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Community Tank Design Thoughts

I am putting together a community tank in a 38gallon
(36x18x12) with a double strip light.  I am willing to
add another strip if necessary but I am trying to
avoid getting into CO2 systems if at all possible.  I
am looking for a few suggestions of plants, bulbs,
etc.  The tank is going to contain about 30 small fish
(mostly < 2in. tetras and dwarf rainbows).  I already
have two bags of flourish to use as a substrate; I
will probably add another gravel on top to bring the
substrate up to 3" (is that wise?)

Opinions Needed 1:
I have looked at the bulb chart etc. and have
determined that I need 1 wide spectrum and 1 plant
light.  I was thinking of either a triton or chroma 50
for the WS and something like an aquasun for plants. 
Does this make sense?

Opinions Needed 2:
I am looking for some plant recommendations.  However,
I do have a few thoughts and some parameters.  First,
I like some of the finer leaf stuff like Cabomba,
micro swords, some of the aquatic ferns (thoughts?)
and anubias (species suggestions?).  I am not that
fond of any wrinkled leaf plants like crypts or Java
fern nor do I have a particular liking for things like
Vals. (I know, I'm difficult!) I also really like and
am a HUGE FAN of Nymphaea lotus but I am uncertain if
it will handle the size of tank or a two strip light
situation (what about three?). 

Opinions Needed 3:
Is it necessary to add a third light?  Will it make
CO2 a requirement?  Help!

Thanks for any Advice!
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