Submerging the substrate
Prior to planting, I submerged the soil for a couple of days. This acted as a leak test for the new aquarium, and also enabled a bunch of nutrients from the soil and silica from the pool filter sand to leak out initially.
The tank is cloudier than I would have expected as I used a small plate when filling which didn't disperse the flow from the hose enough.
My plants arrived and I've drained all the water from the initial submergence. I filled the aquarium a couple of inches and commenced planting. Here's a few pics of the plant out. I made sure I used a deeper bowl this time for the fill!
Pretty happy with the result. I swapped around the aquascape a little bit from the original plan. Wisteria is now planted behind the hygro, and the 2nd bit of driftwood with the java fern is now closer to the back with the rock in front. I achieved better terracing that way and think the vertical growth of the ferns will look better as a backdrop.
I'll keep up the blog posts over the first month, while the tank settles down.