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P.E.I. soil in subsrate

About a month ago I set up a new 120 gallon tank and used a small amount of
P.E.I. soil in the substrate. I used it in the same manner that one would
use laterite. I mixed about 3 pounds into the bottom 1/3 of the of a plain
gravel substrate. After planting things appeared to go along pretty well for
about 3 weeks but for the last 2 weeks the plants are showing signs of what
appears to be a lack of iron. The new tips of the Limnophila are very light
colored. In contrast with the old growth they appear almost white. The
Echinodorous plants are also looking very pale but the water sprite, Java
ferns and Anubius is looking pretty good. There is also a fair bit of green
spot algae on the glass so there seems to be enough nutrients in the water
column to support plant growth.

The reason I used P.E.I. topsoil is because it is very red due to the high
iron oxide content of the soil. So I am pretty sure there is iron there but
it doesn't seem to be available to the plants. I had considered using a
small amount of peat in the gravel above the laterite layer to help make the
iron in the soil usable to the plants but decided against this as this is a
sort of experimental substrate and I did't want to complicate things. The
soil itself was collected from an area that was covered in grass and has
been fallow for decades so I doubt if it something else in the soil that is
harming the plants. My other tank with the vermiculite substrate but is
otherwise fertilized in the same manner has never shown anything like this
so I am wondering what's up. It seems to me maybe I should have added a
little peat afterall.

Is it the iron that's the problem or is it something else and apart from
just waiting for the substrate to mature on it's own, how can this be