Okay, Welcome to the hobby and the forums..
I'll give you some of the basics first, and I'm sure others will delve into the more resourceful information that will make your experience gratifying.
First if you don't have one get one: a test kit, the better the kit the happier you will be. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to use them, you are repetitively going to learn NitrIte, NitrAte, and Ammonia levels.
Set up: put your substrate (rock, sand, gravel), plants ( i recommend low light live plants) fake are fine too. I started with fake ones, and decorations if you choose so.
Add water now. (sorry my dry sense of humor)
Cycle your tank, if you don't know what cycling is just ask we will explain. I will assume you already know.
Test the water.
That's the start up process...While your tank is cycling it's going to be a few weeks unless you have someone close by that can let you use their old filter and some of their water from a healthy, established tank.
Start thinking about the fish you want to see in there, please research each fish first and never buy them just for the looks alone, find out a few things such as, will they cohabit with other fish, what type of water do they come from, how big will they get, how often do they spawn, are they aggressive? You may also want to think about adding livestock that will help clean your tank such as snails or catfish. Examine them carefully ( I learned the hard way) basically, research, research and ask questions. Try not to overstock your tank (This is very easy to do)
Now that you have chosen your fish, it's a good idea to think about a heater if needed. Some fish require warmer water, some prefer it colder. But now that you have the fish in mind it will help you decide whether or not you need one.
Once your tank is cycled, add the fish you have researched and chosen. I started with guppies because one they are a hearty fish, two they multiply by the day it seems, and three, the give birth to live fry, which would help me to teach my young children the birds and the bees more easily. (so I thought)
As for your lighting I'm not a pro on this I bought T5 lights that if you hold them up from the tank it looks like your at a ball game, I use them because I have live plants which require some light, Use a timer any cheap timer will do. It will turn the lights on and off for you, giving you one less thing to remember to do. It also puts the fish on routine. (they will thank you for this)
Feeding: use quality food, and a variety of it. I use Flake food, Baby Brine shrimp, Micro worms (easy to cultivate yourself) and fresh vegetables.(NOT ALL AT ONCE) Don't over feed. I feed in small amounts until it starts to make it to the bottom of the tank ( then I take a very small pinch of food and let it hit the floor for my bottom feeders) There are no right or wrong feeding variations, The fish will not die overnight if you forget to feed them, (remember food is not always available to them in the wild and they have to wait for it) With this in mind some people take a day of less or no feeding. But over feeding can cause big problems, especially if it happens continusiouly.
Change your water...once your tank is established you will want a routine water change, I do mine weekly and I do 50%. Some do 15 to 20% some do 30 to 50% Depending on your tank size and how heavy your stocked will help you to determine just how much you want to do. (if your tap water has chlorine in it either let it sit out overnight or use a safe chlorine remover. I have to use one and I let it set out to let the water temp reach the same as the tank.
Test your water! I test it before a water change, midweek, and after a water change, just to make sure it's stable, stays stable and stabilizes.
That's pretty much the basics of starting a new tank, seems like allot, but in reality it's not bad at all.
Remember if your not sure just ask, the only dumb question is the one never asked. There are allot of smart individuals on this forum, which is why I stuck around.
Now the pro's can jump in and edit as needed.
Good luck, and enjoy!