Yeah now that I am doing a little more research, once you get the tank the way you want it, you have to cut the plants back to keep it looking that way... Dang! and I hate cutting the grass... :P
As your research continues I believe you will find you can build a tank that will need the amount of maintenance you have designed into it.
My 40 (sig line link) :
Lighting is on a timer
Quarterly I may move/remove a baby plant.
Quarterly I cull some snails, food in a net overnight, remove next am.
I do 1X wk water change.
2Xs a month I dose.
I don't trim at all.
I feed every other day. with current population levels. When it was just shrimp & snails I feed once a wk.
I picked low light plants, used MTS substrate, all fauna are algae eaters that live in basically the same water perimeters naturally. The flora & fauna are all pretty much from Sri Lanka or other similar bio type from S.E. Asia.
I built a 30gl mini reef in 1985 (pre-internet) from articles in TFH, Aquarium magazines and Library research (yes, the place with the books). I had clowns (Amphiprion percale) spawn in 1986. My point being true success in this hobby comes from research & planning.