Here's my take on running a successful low maintenance low tech low budget tank. I have adopted these rules over many years of aquatic experience and have learnt by my mistakes
Pick a theme. My particular themed tank simulates a medium flow river bed.
Do your research. Learn the water...
I thought I'd post a quick photo of my Superfish Expert 70.
No CO2 or liquid carbon. Occasional ferts (Colombo Pro) and Colombo Pro Soil. Internal filter and It hasn't had a water change in 3 months.
Plants are mostly crypts, buces, Rotata and some Anubias, Cyperus.