Ok, I finally have everything working like its supposed to
I had to relocate the capacitance sensor board to the inside of my stand, but once I did that, it worked like a charm. I am using 1.5" x 1.5" copper clad board as my sensors, right now they're just taped to the inside. However, even as-is, they are sensing through 3/4" plywood. I am sure once they are securely screwed down they will work even better. Right now they work great, but only within a tight area.
Here's a pic from inside the stand, facing outward. You can see the LCD glowing on the right hand side:
I also made a quick video after I got the project working. It is kinda crap, as I took it quickly with an Iphone
So, the plan is to have the plumbing done, and plants ordered this weekend!!! As I live in Phoenix, I'm hoping that Arizona Aquatic Gardens is open for walk-ins, as they are only an hour drive away.
Stay tuned for more pics as things end up in their final resting places!