Well if we're talking about general maintenance, I follow a weekly water change schedule of 25% on my 20 gallon/ 75 litre. And combine that with dosing every three days. It seems to work pretty well. And all is in good health.
In terms of setup, its pretty simple. My rule is to have everything I need, ready on the table before I dig into it, as well as some advanced prep. So for a planted Aquascape:
1-2 days in advance on planting. I spend a lot of time fiddling with the stuff to get it to look exactly how I want, give it some time to grow on me (or not) and run it through my girlfriend just to be sure
Test kits. (Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, pH)
After I've got all this stuff, and only then, then I go out and buy the plants I need, and begin planting. Standard shallow submersed method.
Once that's done, fill the aquarium, start all systems at the appropriate levels, and let it cycle!