Well, paying for a 10 gallon starter kit with a couple of dividers is a lot cheaper than just getting two tanks. I'm going to have to go with this option. From what I gather, there seems to be not much consensus on the male/female shared tank other than get a decent filter in there and get some live plants in there which is something that you should probably do anyway.
The backup plan is that the tiny female can go back in the bowl and the male can have his run of the tank.
Buying two separate tanks doubles the expense and pushes things WAY beyond our budget level. Sure they have cheap small tanks, but after you add up all the stuff you need for them, it really pushes things beyond out means.
There's not many solutions to get out of this cheaply. Aquarium stuff, by the time you add in all the accessories and stuff you need is an expensive initial investment. Much more than two fish bowls.
I think as far as my wife is concerned, she just wanted a couple of simple fish where the total cost would be around $20 or less and be done with it and now I'm hitting her with "You need this and that and this and that" and the price tag is up around $65-$70 at the cheapest.
I can't wait to get them into something heated. In order to get their bowls the proper healthy temperature, I'm pretty much roasting in my apartment. I have them in the bedroom that retains heat more consistently and they're just a tiny bit above 75 degrees. The problem is that to accomplish this, the ambient air in this old crappy apartment is up near almost to 80.