Join Date: May 2015
Location: british columbia
I've set up two dirted aquariums, one (10g) was just dirt. No clay, or any other additives. The plants grew well, it was low light no co2 and I was trimming all the time.
My second one (29g) is not low light, not sure where it fits, higher light than my other tank for sure. No co2, plants are growing very well very limited algea so far (still playing with light schedule). It is dirt with a layer of laterite. I have some DIY osmocote tabs and will add them as the plants need them but have heard of others putting a thin layer under the dirt when setting up, so it's up to you.
I'm enjoying having an open tank these days as well. Haven't had any jumpers yet (hopefully it stays that way!)
Subbing for CFL lighting information, interested to know about that as well.
Good luck with your aquarium!!