i used to have some red ozelot swords. they were planted in straight large-grain sand, no root ferts whatsoever. i dosed liquid ferts and they grew quite nicely. under 40 watts in a 20 long tank, they were about the size of my spread hand in diameter and bright red with green veins.
i never use specialized plant substrate, and i never put suppliments in the substrate. in my most recent planted tanks, i have been using uncented, non-clumping clay cat litter on the bottom, and sand on top, and my plants are growing great with just DIY CO2 and water column dosing (EI with dry ferts)