If I were you, I'd do the shrimp method. It is easier and cheaper. I did both methods. Didn't have any smell to either of them, just on the pure ammonia method overdosed and lengthened my cycle.
In terms of cheap filtration, on my 55 reef I run a 20 gal
long as a sump. I bought this tank brand new and put it all together with a light for a refugium for 58 dollars. I added a pump I had laying around and was good to go. For a reef setup a sump setup is much better than a HOB
filter, gives you extra water and room for a nice sized skimmer if you are going towards corals that need pristine water.
In terms of heater, since I think I recall you mentioning a heater in your post...I went and researched them at my LFS
's. I ended up spending the extra money on one that you can dial into specific temps and is fully submersible. I set it, put it at the bottom of my sump and forgot about it. I don't recall much else about it.