Your last scape is perfect. As I read through the thread I thought, Ehhh, Nice piece of wood but the rocks need work. Then, OK good more rocks, looks nice but the front right rock is a bit overpowering and could be buried a bit. Third scape, BOOM! perfect exactly as I pictured it. You could use some low lying rocks on the right side to tie it all together, but depending on your selection of plants it could make all the difference. We are looking at it with no flora, and we don't really know what plants you intend to keep, so it's hard to comment other than saying the right looks a bit bare. Awesome work so far.
Thank you for your kind words! I spent about 2-4 hours trying to perfect the scape, not sure if that's a long time. The plants I know i'm going to get are HC and Blyxa Japonica. I'm still researching a background plant.
looks like the left from my vantage is more shadowed. If you can raise that fixture somehow I believe you'll get a little more light distribution. Shouldn't hurt your intensity any as that tank isn't overly deep.
If you can, your best option would be to get another light and have 2 possibly with lower wattage bulbs, or raise the one you have a little more and hope its strong enough. I currently use 2 clip desklamps on my 10 gallon and even with 2 the middle of the tank is noticeably darker so I just put lower light plants in the middle and the higher light ones directly under the lights.
you shouldn't worry about too much light bringing algae because once you have healthy growing plants they should out-compete the algae for the nutrients. You'll probably find that you might need more light for the 17 gallon. A little more anyway depending on the plants you decide on. I think most of the carpeting plants like the higher light.