Sand bottom tanks are very easy to keep clean... when you do a water change all you need to do is "hover" over the sand about a half inch above it and it keeps it looking very nice.
As far as rooting goes... even the finest of roots grab hold of the sand.
When you do your substrate be sure to get a good 2" (or more) of flourite,eco-complete, kitty litter or whatever "nutrient" substrate you prefer then cover that with 1 " of sand and work it into bottom (mix it).
Then add whatever you need for looks over that...
Be sure to keep some sand on hand to add here and there as needed when moving plants (if you do that like I do)
The Sand Man
P.S. "tanks" for the site compliments , I will be releasing new pages on the 56G Angel Tank project soon... ( Tahitan Moon Sand/Eco-Complete Sub.)