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A setup question(long)

Hi List

A quick bit of background and then my questions. I have been keeping fish
for 12 years but only 2 years ago I began planted tanks. I live in a country
where we do not get laterite, flourite or any decent substrate. Our currency
is very weak so importing is out of the question.

Up to now I have used plants that do not need to be anchored in the
substrate and have been feeding via the water column. It has worked for me
and the growth I have had has been good. I would like to try a 'proper'
planted tank. I have a spare 10 gallon I would like to use. I will have 1,5
watts per gallon of light. I know I should strive for more but fish products
in this country are very expensive as everything is imported.

My question is twofold. I need advice on a decent substrate. I have read
extensively on the web but there is so much conflicting information. I am by
no means an amateur as I have bred and kept various species some of which
are notoriously difficult to keep. The plant route however is somewhat new
territory and as I said the information out there is confusing.

The other question naturally would be what plants do well in the lower light
conditions. Unfortunately plants are pretty scarce here also so a list of
names, normal and Latin would be useful. I can then see what I can get.
Aquaria in this country is still very much using the information of 20 years
ago. Thankfully I discovered the web a long time ago and have been able to
break out of the old school of thought. It has helped me a great deal.
Without discovering PMDD I would never have been able to keep my first plant
tank in the manner explained above.

I am sorry for the length of the post. Any and all help will be appreciated.
Please do not hesitate to ask questions if any of my ramblings have been