A lot of people have said on this forum that Kritter Keepers are actually decent tanks to hold a betta, and frankly I believe it. I kind of regret buying my fancy looking glass bowl.
Kritter Keepers go for a very cheap $15-$20 for a 2-5 gallon tank. (only come with tank and hood)
First of all, I want to say how jealous I am that you can get that tank for such a price in the USA. That would be well over $100 here. :p
Secondly, I would definitely go with that tank. It's the best tank I've ever seen for a betta, being long and shallow. This gives him lots of swimming room without having a long trek to the surface.
I can't comment on the heater, etc, not being familiar with US brands, but I can help you cut corners elsewhere. Don't bother with the SafeStart, you don't need it. Either cycle fishlessly (the best option) or do a fish-in cycle (not so good, but doable). If you choose to do fish-in, the Prime will neutralise the ammonia and with the right amount of water changes, your fish will be fine. The live plants will also help.
I'd also not get the AquaSoil. Whilst it would be useful if you ever wanted more advanced, root-feeding plants, neither of the plants you have chosen need to be buried in the substrate - in fact, neither of them should be, as it could kill them. Both of them can be either left loose, or tied to your driftwood or a rock. They are water-column feeders, and get all of their nutrients from the water, not from the soil. So ordinary gravel or sand will be just fine. If you wanted, you could even go bare-bottomed.
I also wouldn't bother with the net. Nets aren't great for bettas as they can tear fins. Just use a ladle or a measuring cup from your kitchen. Chances are, you won't even need to use any catching device, since you don't need to 100% changes in a cycled tank.
Well.. yes to do it really right costs some money.
I love that tank. It's more wide than deep which is perfect for bettas and I was thinking of getting it myself..I would put a sponge over head though. I love the choice but you can do cheaper by getting a 10 gallon standard size aqueon tank (found in store) for under $20. Then of course the lid is another $15 and it doesn't include the light, filter, etc..
I would go with a different heater. I have good experience with Marineland visitherm, Aqueon Pro and Hydor Theo. This is another good place:
Get a good protein based pellet not wheat based. Look for New Life Spectrum or Omega One Betta Buffet. Throw out all unused pellets after 6 months of opening regardless of expiration date.
If you want to be as cheap as possible.. you can get a 5g tank, plus lid for about $30. Heater is $20. Choose several silk plants for maybe $20. NLS betta food will run like $7. Get him some kind of ceramic cave or structure which is smooth and has sizeable openings he can't get stuck in. This may run you about another $20. This is about as cheap as you can do it right. Of course you will be doing much more frequent water changes as you can't cycle without a filter.. you can get a sponge filter for maybe $10-$15 more.
Well I definitely want to stick with live plants. I had a Betta years ago with silk plants and I just didn't like the look, compared to live plants at least. I realize it would be cheaper but part of my goal is to make a really nice looking tank. I'm planning on doing a fishless cycle. I read up on it and saw that you could do a planted cycle? But am not sure of the amount of plants I would need to do that, vs trying to do it with pure ammonia or something.
Ok, so ditch the safestart and ditch the current substrate for something cheaper...and ditch the net. Well that brings me down in price quite a bit!
I'll stick with the tank I listed because I really like it and it comes with a filter, plus I imagine that by the time I bought a 10 gal, a hood, a light, and a filter, it wouldn't be much cheaper.
I'll look into different heaters, is there a particular reason why you don't recommend the Jagar though?
I'll look at the omega buffet pellets too, the bettatalk website recommended what I listed, so I just figured that would be fine.
I think I might have some old silk plants lying around...somewhere. I can use them plus the few live plants I want to get until everything is more established. I want to get some moss balls and a few other live plants eventually, nothing difficult though, all low light, beginner friendly.
You mentioned the 10 gallon. Look at Petsmart if you have one nearby. A 10 gallon kit with filter, dechlorinator, hood, light , and some fish flake is $30.99 with a petsmart card (regularly $34.99). They had another 10 gallon setup with the same but a heater added in for $48. I don't know if space is an issue but you thought it would be cheaper than a 10 gallon so since you mentioned it just thought I'd toss that out there. I bought a 3 gallon setup and by the time I was done I've easily spent $200. Little things like test kits and such add up. My guy has 3 little live plants, a house, a heater and a filter. It's amazing really how quickly it all added up. At the end of the day I did the math and the 10 gallon would have been FAR cheaper than what I went with.
That's great substrate. If you're really into a planted tank that was maybe your best choice out there. But if you can find something cheap it's not like it's a necessity.
Moss balls are great!
Just an off-brand lower quality heater. I would choose the other brands just for reliability purposes. I always check my tank thermometer when I check on my fish anyway, but you don't want your heater to fail.
Hikari changed their formula. They used to be protein based, but now it's mostly wheat.
Ok, I'll definitely look into another heater then. No way to I want my heater to fail and have a frozen fishy. Yes I will be checking aquarium temps several times a day btw.
I could probably fit a 10 gal aquarium but would rather just go with the 6.6. I'll look to see what petsmart has though, maybe something will catch my eye. I have a ton of different pet stores near me, petsmart, petco, pet value, plus some smaller pet shops and a few aquarium type stores. I'm nervous to buy plants from any one of them though because I've heard about bad quality plants and snail infestations. It does give me great options for tanks and heaters and such though.