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Aponogeton & lighting & substrates

I was in a lfs today, quite surprised to find they had dozens of aponogeton 
crispus and ulvaceous growing in a few tanks. These tanks were not well 
lit--the *brightest* tank had maybe 80 watts over probably a 75 gallon tank 
or so. They were small bulbs, but were rooting profusely. Leaves were growing 
up to the surface, as well, maybe because of the lower lighting? He'd 
apparently gotten them in as bulbs only, and they were growing well in his 

I was curious about this, because I had attempted to grow some aponogetons in 
a 80 watt over 55 gallon tank, not really successfully. I finally gave up and 
put some of the plants in a higher light tank and some in a dark tank for a 
dormant period. I had initiallly thought they could handle lower lighting.

I wondered whether the fact that he was growing in a laterite substrate could 
lead to this type of growth, with low lighting. I have plain old river gravel 
in my tank, with some Flourish tabs pushed in the substrate here and there. 
(I add flourish via the water column periodically.) If it is the laterite, it 
would appear that iron would need to be supplemented via the roots, rather 
than the water column, for these plants to grow in my tank, no?

Second, I was wondering whether anyone's tried a multi-vitamin or mineral tab 
for root fertilization.  I considered trying it out, but was concerned about 
copper toxicity. Had 
enough problems with aquarisol in the past.

Thanks in advance, for any suggestions or advice.