Okay so big update this time. First off, the tank was filled 3 days ago. Everything was looking great until I noticed the tank had a leak at the back part of the tank, on the black plastic part. It was like a pinhole along one of the black edges because I was getting a drip from it. I drained everything instantly, emailed aqueon about it but wanted it fixed after all my dry start time I spent. So I had some marine epoxy which is potable water safe, JB waterweld which cured after an hour. A little on the spot and filled after an hour without a drip. # days and no issues so I'm happy.
So here we are now. I have some pics but warning, they don't look that great since the aquasoil left some dust residue on the sides of the tank while settling. I need to clean that off tomorrow. Well so far the grass actually seems to have some new pieces poking through the aquasoil so I'm happy about that. The HC seems alright, I have some brown pieces that browned during the dry start. I may just prune those out and get rid of them. I'm using excel for this tank but also made a diy CO2 setup just because. So if you see all the haze in the picture, it's just a lot of tiny bubbles. You can see the tiny bubbles in some pics. Also dosing this tank EI style using pre-made solutions I made using dry fertilizers. You'll see in the pics, which were taking a little before lights off, that the HC seems to be pearling. So far I'm happy with the results I'm getting. Finally, here are the pics.