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Red Soil

Hello, my name is Brian and I've been lurking on the list for a while,
I've kept both marine and fresh aquarium fish for quite a long time and
even dabbled with plants a few years ago, unfortunately before I found
this list.  I'm getting ready to set up a plant tank and my question
concerns red soil.  I live in southwest missouri, in this area (about
seven miles from oklahoma) the soils are very red.  Does anyone know
whether this is the type of soil that would be good as a portion of the
substrate for a plant tank? Any folks out there in the Joplin - Tulsa
area who have tried this soil? 
	In addition I would like to hear some comments on thickness of
substrate, I've read a number of posts on the list archive and have read
George Booths site as well as info on the Krib but there seems to be a
great deal of variety in substrate depth from 3 to 5 inches, is there an
optimal depth?

Thanks in advance for your advice and comments.  -brian 
brihead at getonthe_net