Very helpful info. Where do you get your plants? From a shop, or online distributor or what? For that matter, where are folks getting their fish...from a bricks and mortar aquarium, or shipped directly from an online distributor, or...???Wow, that's going to be gorgeous. So cool how it is displayed in the wall like that. When I set up my tanks, I like to do it in this order: any "large" rock pieces, I put in first for the sake of stability. I don't want fish tunneling under them and causing them to tip and squish fish, plants, or worse - damage the glass. Then I add my sand (or whatever your choice of substrate is), then driftwood, and then plants. Most plants can handle the cycle no problem. Btw, not sure how much experience you have with live planted tanks...but a lot of plants are sold not fully transitioned to being under water. In other words they were grown with roots in water and leaves out of water. So what happens is shortly after planting them in your tank, all the leaves will die back. But as long as the roots are healthy, they will regrow leaves that will now be adapted to living underwater. The new leaves will be smaller, because they dont get as much light and carbon underwater. Anyway, just don't worry of your plants seem to be dying, it's usually a 2-3 month conversion process. With a tank as large as yours you could get away with putting a few fish in there during the cycling process, but it is safer just to wait and not put them through that. So patience is best. My 220 will already be cycled, so I'm in a different situation and will be adding fish right away.