If *I* could do it all over again:
I wouldn't waste my time with yeast CO2 and drop the bucks on a regulator/needle valve and 10# tank right after bought the aquarium. It's more important than fancy filters, lights, and substrates. Pressurised CO2 and a powerhead are all that's necessary.
30" tanks are a PITA to light properly. I would not have bought the 3 that I did
Common practice is to feed our plants way too much and I subscribed to that for a long time. You'd be surprised how healthy the plant growth is with just a fraction of the recommended amounts and algae becomes *much* less of an issue. Of course, the specifics depend on your substrate and tap water... Light makes less of a difference than most people say.
I stopped spending tons of money and time on algae eaters such as shrimp, ottos, SAE a while ago-- they are over rated, IMHO. Snails (Physa sp., or ramshorns) are the best, hands down and they're free. I don't have algae anymore (see last point). The snails keep things spic-and-span.
Constant tinkering is the worst thing possible for a plant tank. Choose a way and go with it. When you see a problem or aren't satisfied with something, change ONE THING AT A TIME. Hehe-- that way you know what the solution was. My hard head found itself bleaching/scrubbing out algae infested tanks for years before I figured that out