This will depend greatly on your area. But do you have any friends/family that also have tanks? If no, do you have a lfs
that you are familiar with? At my lfs
, the owner has ATI sponge filters on ALL of his freshwater tanks. Sponge filters are pretty cheap, but they provided me with a used sponge that was fully cycled and provided a lot of BB. All I had to do was throw it in a brand new tank hook up all of my gear and BOOM! Instant cycle. I still only added a couple fish at a time. But I'm guessing you may have already considered an option like this.