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Bare essentials I would get:
1)Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate kit: since you will be cycling the tank you will need to know when its safe to add fish
2)dKH kit so you can make drop checker solution or equate pH to CO2
3)pH kit if you are not going to be using a drop checker

1 and 3 can be found in the API Master Freshwater testing kit for about $20 and the KH kit is around $7-9. Avoid test strips. And the best measurement, like Hoppy said, is how your plants are doing.
 
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