i know, i am the most impatient person in the world when it comes to hobbies such as plant/fish keeping...but many of us have traveled down the road of doing things the cheap way, only to end up with the equipment that the elders told us about years ago. i thought keeping a planted tank was esoteric knowledge for many years, only known by people with endless disposable incomes. but with 3-4 wpg of light, pressurized co2, a good canister, basic fertilizer, and regular water changes, my upkeep costs are minimal these days. i say take your time and start with good equipment.
55 gallon - 4x55watt power compacts
fluval 404 - pressurized co2 - cardinal tetras - SAE's - pleco - platys - corys - amazon swords - crypts - anubias - spirall val