I went to a local pet store to do some looking around today. Still doing some price research and such, getting all my options on tanks and the like.
Today I went to a locally owned pet store specializing in fish. They do sell dog/cat food just to get some extra business, but fish is their niche. I was expecting to get a lot of useful information and a wide variety of betta's to look at. I was surprisingly disapointed.
The clerk said that I would only need what couldn't have amounted to more than a half gallon tank. He said that substrate of some form was for little more than show. And when I mentioned a heater you would have thought I was speaking in German or something...
And in general, he just wasn't knowledgeable at all about the species. He didn't know that there were different varieties of Betta. Meaning, he didnt know the difference between a veiltail and a half moon. He said they get in shipments of Betta and sell them all for the same price.
Based on all that I saw/heard/learned in my trip....
I probably won't be taking any advice from this place, and probably wont be buying any tank and such equipment from them. However....I might try to get a half moon if one comes in. He said their Betta's were like 6.99 or so. I think the veiltail's at Petsmart were a few bucks less, but the half moons were around 14. Thats 50 percent off if I could find one. I do, however, worry about the condition of the fish when I get to it. But I figure if I get it shortly after the store receives it, the condition would just the same as it would be at Petco or Petsmart.
I still think I'm gonna start with a 2.5. Then in a few months I might move up to a 10, divide the tank, and add another Betta. Or instead of dividing it, I might add a snail or something of that nature. The options are really endless, but I'm going to start small and work up.