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Dupla Cables & New Tank Setup Advice?

Hiya All! I'm hoping for some advice! (again.. Grin) :) 

I'm re-doing my big tank (it's a 125 planted) since it's OLD (lotta tiny scratches),  the gravel (4 inches of it) is over 10 years OLD without being "renewed". Everytime I do a good gravel vacuum, I get yukky BGA blooms (I've actually had to resort to erythromycin last week which did a GREAT JOB!).. AND it's all just plain gravel, and I wanna improve upon that. 

(Tank to be replaced viewable at: http://www.myfishbox.com/members/ggooden/125gallon.htm)

I wasn't as into such heavily planted tanks until I got on this list and learned so much! So since I'm going to the trouble of re-doing it, I want to re-do it RIGHT from the start..

So the new setup is going to contain:

- 135 Gallon (a foot longer than current tank) w/ Black Back & Trickle intake
  (I was hoping to go 240gallon, but my better half wasn't so keen on another swimming pool. ;> )

- 4 96watt Compaq Flourescent 
  (2 from my current setup, 2 to be purchased from AH Supply)

- Wet/Dry Trickle filter

- My Current Eheim ThermoFilter drilled in from back
  (for extra/mechanical filtration)

- Injected CO2 in the sump
  (from my current setup) with current ph controller IN the sump

- Dupla Heating Cables

- 1 Inch Seachem Flourite

- 2 Inches standard gravel (from old tank after "wastewater rinse" to try to avoid a CYCLE which my Discus can't take).

I got the quote from a local LFS and I'm a bit puzzled by some of their numbers (specifically the cost of the dupla cables, and the flourite!)..

For the Dupla Cables, they're quoting me either 550.00 that includes the Delta controller, or 750.00 that includes the Alpha controller. This seems VERY expensive! Are there any sites where I can "comparison shop" this item? I can't seem to find them! If that's what I gotta pay, then I'll have to just go for it, but I don't wanna be a dumb consumer. ;>

For the Flourite (I'm assuming the 7kg bags), I see them on bigals for 12.99 per bag, but my LFS is listing higher on that (I believe 20bux a bag), so I suspect the rest of the bid may be inflated. 

And some questions:

1 - Which do you think is better for a long-term tank setup; First Layer Laterite as first inch, or Seachem's Flourite? How many inches SHOULD a substrate be for a tank of 135gallons (18 fronttoback x 72 wide x 24 high).

2 - Is there anything "special" I should know about using wet/dry with planted tanks, i.e., special covers, some particular brand that's good for FW... Should I use ehfimech instead of bioballs, etc.?

3 - Do I appear to be missing any elements if I want to achieve an optimimum setup for a planted discus tank? I wanna do this right the FIRST time! :)

Thanks so much for any advice you can provide! :)




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