All is sound advice. Substrate is a matter of opinion. I started mine with CC and some sand, IME, it got dirty fast and looked kind of ugly. I, then, had the fun job of trying to sift out the sand, after moving the LR
and probably stressing my fish. If I did it again, I would go with sand. Don't just take my advice, I am sure there are others that love the look of CC and propbably can give you pointers.
As for your algae problems. You may want to work on gettting that in check. If not, you will have the same issues in your new tank (congrats on the upgrade).