Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: HI, but Pueblo, CO for now
Technically, you don't need any of those fancy plant substrates although it does help. You can grow plants just fine with an inert substrate. Depending on your setup, you can add ferts through the water column or through feeding your fish. If you just have plain aquarium gravel, you could add some root tabs under your heavy root feeders(crypts, swords, etc). I don't want to promote any specific product but I've tried rootmedic, seachem root tabs, osmocote, and wondergro. They have all done their job. Some better than others.
Describe your setup. Lights, co2, low tech, high tech, type of plants? It will help to see what the best course of action is. Btw, welcome to tpt.