If you are going low-tech I wouldn't use excel at all, otherwise I suggest DIY yeast. It isn't too hard to maintain good levels of CO2 on a small tank. I use small HOB filters for ten gallon tanks, aquaclear filters are good if you go that route. If setting up a ten gallon today I would use soilmaster(Because it's cheap and I have some) or aquasoil(because it is supposed to be the best). You will probably need some sort of fertilizer. Micros for sure and maybe some macros just in case you need it. Seachem ferts wouldn't be too expensive for a small tank. I have a pair of blue rams in a ten gallon and absolutely love them. It has 2x15w NO fluorescent bulbs, eco-complete, and co2. Java fern, xmas moss, java moss, red wendtii crypt, rotala rotundifolia, bacopa caroliniana, bacopa monnieri, anubias, and lilaeopsis brasiliensis have all grown really well for me in that tank.