Sure can. Ppl have been doing it for decades prior to the fracted (ie. SeaChem Flourish) and organic based substrates (ADA AquaSoil). You have to enrich the substrate with products like Flourish Root Tabs, Laterite (tropical source that should be deep orangy red, not the pale pink crap from the sub tropics), etc.
Lots of info on the web to enrich the substrate via DIY.