As people who mirror my excitement for their lovely little pets, I had to share my experiences from yesterday. My fish, Ziggy Stardust, has been in a heated 1.5 gallon since I've had him, about 6 months (yes I religiously changed the water every 3 days so make sure he didn't get sick). Just yesterday I made a trip to Petsmart (it is indeed a trip, because there are no petstores near me), to "look" at tanks and fish supplies before I move into my dorm for my second year of college.
Well, I'm sure you all know, there is no such thing and "just looking" at Betta supplies, haha. By the time I left, I had a 5.5 gallon and CFL bulb for it, live plants, a filter (the tank came with one, but I bought the Tetra Whisper 10i because I had heard it would be better for bettas, and much quieter), and some aquarium salt. I think my enthusiasm rubbed off, because my mom bough a nice ornament for the new tank that I think my fish will love.
I had to combat the usual, however. Each person I asked about things for my fish (for example, looking for a sponge filter, etc) was slightly more knowledgeable than the last, but still left me shaking my head. I asked if my 25w heater would be enough for my 5gal tank, to be told "Well, Bettas don't need heaters so don't bother with it". Agh. Some other workers I asked actually gave me good advice that lined up with what I have read on here, but then would end on things like "Oh, and you can get 4 or 5 females to go in that 5 gallon as well with him"
I washed his plants really well (they were from separate small plastic containers, not from any fish tanks) and added them to Ziggy's current tank after I cleaned it, and he LOVES them. Exploring every inch and hiding behind some. It was so relaxing after a long day to see him enjoy his new things.
As I move from a house to a tiny dorm, my fish moves from his 1.5 gallon dorm to a 5.5 gallon studio apartment, haha.
I was thinking about getting one or two ghost shrimp for the new tank after it has cycled, and would like some input on that.
Also, does anyone know if my 25w Hydor Theo will be enough to keep my 5.5 gallon warm? I should be on the 5th floor of the dorm so I should be pretty warm year-round, but I just wanted to check.
Sorry for the long read, does anyone have any similar "splurge" experiences they want to share?