I've been a member of this forum for a while now. I've never posted, mainly because caring for a fish was prohibited with my previous lifestyle and living space. I was just learning and daydreaming. Now that's changed.
I'm so excited. I've literally longed, ached for an aquarium since childhood, but I've made do with frequent visits to public aquariums. (That said, you have no idea how glad I am I didn't get an aquarium while I was a child. I wouldn't have been ready for it. Frankly, I'm glad I didn't have one before there was the Internet and resources such as this forum.)
A few years ago I took a dream trip through Thailand and Cambodia and it created this deep love of Southeast Asia in me that cont. If you have not been you would not believe how beautiful the environment is. My particular interest in Bettas starts in their homeland.
Before I get a fish, I'm spacing out my starter purchases.
I've bought an semi-hex acrylic tank with a hood, florescent light, and power filter. It is five gallons, a compromise between my space and providing. I'm not sure if the filter will work out; it's the one element of the kit that gets some negative reviews. It might need switching out in time.
Next, a heater (probably a Aquon Pro 50W) and a thermometer. And then a test kit (API Freshwater Master Test Kit, probably). Then there are siphons, buckets, conditioners, hopefully find some worn old towels around the house, substrate. I have decide if I want to go real or go fake on plants.
It might be a while before I can get my fish... still, I'm on my way.