Aquarium finally arrived!!!
It took a while, but my LFS owner picked the thank up for me today!
It is a beautiful tank, not quite AGA quality, but the best option available to me.
The aquariumplants.com substrate looked better than I thought it would. I never opened the buckets till today and was very pleased with its appearance (hope its performance is equal).
If you ever decide to go this route, take their suggestion on the website and rinse this stuff first. I drilled small pin-holes in the smaller bucket and used it as a strainer. This is the dustiest stuff I have ever ran into. Seriously, if you are pouring this stuff into anything dry, hold your breath because you will choke on the cloud.
However, as dusty as it was, it cleans up a lot faster than any other substrate I have tried to rinse.
I also added a layer of pure laterite on the bottom. I had it on hand..so why not.
Tomorrow I will pick up my python hose from my old house and fill it with water. I will also need to trim the intake.