I'm a newbie. Not only to this forum, but I've never owned a fish before!
Some friends of mine got bettas, and I fell in love. That's when I started doing research into fish care, and found this forum. I've been lurking for a couple of weeks trying to learn everything I can.
My friends have their bettas in those little tiny "designer" tanks, which broke my heart (I am currently discussing with them why their fish deserve much larger homes!). So I decided on a 20 gallon tank for my future friend.
I have the substrate, fake plants, a cave, heater, filter, tank/hood. I will be washing everything tomorrow (no soap!) and setting the tank up to run for a day. Then I'm going to start a fishless cycle using Ammonia (10% ammonia, no scents or surfactants).
I will be a few weeks till my tank is ready for a betta. In the meantime I've been looking into what a healthy betta should look like. Which brings me to the reason for this post:
What should I look for when buying my betta? It's hard for me to imagine picking one out when they're cooped up in those tiny little plastic cups. I can't see if they are swimming strongly, etc. So are there specific things I can look for / avoid?
Thank you so much for your help! (and patience...I'm still learning!)