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I have a 40 gallon cube tank with stand. I used gambling winnings to buy it, so that negates it. But it depends on how much you get your tank for. I'll skip that and go to Equipment, so I am oh so very cheap. This is what I remember so it may be inaccurate.

3 LED strip lights - $100
Standard Strip light that takes CFL light bulbs - $20 with bulbs
Sand and Gravel, loose from pet store - $15
Rena X2 - $90 on ebay
Ceramic CO2 diffuser - $10 ebay
Plants and decorations - about $100 I'd say of what I currently have. Swap and Shop here helped tremendously in this aspect.
Standard heater - $15?

You could probably go even more low tech with a different filter, I just heard lots of great things about the Rena, and I think its great. I built my own sump, but ditched it when I started CO2, but that was a great lil project.

Depending how low tech you want to go, you can save a lot by using basic lights. I have been using leftover food and ferts that I bought or others have barely used. The LED lights however are working great for my Tall tank, so I've been growing plants pretty well, with the help of DIY CO2 and Flourish twice a week.

Agreed that electricity overall is probably the most expensive thing. I got the LEDs to try to save on wattage, as well as penetration. But thats harder to calculate. Not sure how much heaters suck up power, but my apt is pretty cold during the winter, so I try to keep my tank covered as much as possible. They have "Kill-a-watt" gauges that monitor ur power usage, but I havent cared enough to spend the money to buy one.
 

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I only caution against used tanks, because you never know what was in them before. For example for SW you don't want any traces of copper because it affect inverts right? Besides, i find the most expensive part of a setup to be the stand. I try not to take any risks with the actual Tank.
 
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