What substrate to use for a low tech tank?
I am sure this question has been answered before, but I am setting up a 35 gallon low tech tank. I will be using 1.5-2 wpg, but I need to determine what substrate to use. Most of the traditional substrates (flourite, eco-complete) are really quite pricey (at least where I have saw them in Canada) So I am considering using either Laterite or mineralized soil. I have seen some great results using MS, but have also read that it is not recommended for beginners, which is what I am. I would top either off with sand.
I have also been toying with the idea of using egg crating to prevent fish from digging and disturbing the soil, but am afraid of the plants roots getting too tangled in this, and making replanting too difficult.
Thoughts on both of these would be much appreciated, and sorry if these questions have already been answered.