I heard the roots will grow better into the gravel without water, so I gave it a try. Also I got a 10x10 matt of Dwarf Baby Tears from aquariumplants.com. I was able to pick them up locally. The quality was top notch, though I did get a few snails.
Sunsun filter so far is working well, and for the money ($35 shipped ebay) I have to give it a 4 out of 5. Only because it can be a little hard to prime. I took a gamble on It because there really is no information/ reviews online. Maybe if there is interest I will make a youtube video review tomorrow if I find the time. It is able to pump water up about 3.5feet with still a fairly nice flow. It is also silent.