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Substrate Suggestions??

Hi all,
       I'm a little new to this, so bear with me. I am preparing to set up
a 20-30 gallon tank to be primarily planted(maybe a few small fish). I
already have 30 lbs. of sand(it was cheap-I wanted to be sure I had
enough). My question is: What is the best kind of substrate(within reason)
that I can use to get decent plant growth? I have heard all kinds of things
from the Dupla clay fertilizers that you can get out of mail order
magazines to simple potting soil found in your backyard. Would sand
alone(fertilizing tablets mixed in) be enough? Or is there something else I
can use simultaneously that would be even better? Thanks for any input.
Ryan Ingram