Need suggestions for a less messy substrate
I currently have a 6G tank with a Fluval Stratum bottom. If I move a plant, or take one out to clean it off, the re-planting is a nightmare. The water gets very messy as the stratum breaks down into mud in the area that it's disrupted. The plants are doing well, but the muddy water settles onto the leaves and turns them brown, which is very unsightly too. I want to replace the substrate with a less messy alternative, but I'm not sure what I should use. I don't really need my plants getting much bigger than I buy them, so I'm even considering gravel. If I dose regularly, is this a viable option?
I've looked at Fluorite, but that seems as it can be messy and difficult to rinse.
What are my options?