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Hey there, I am learning fast at this great hobby. I researched everything and chose a five gallon with filter and heater for Zen, and am in process of cycling the tank. I think it is perfect size and can handle some nice plants and starts out beautiful and only gets better as plants grow. Amount of water after gravel substrate and largish sponge filter: 3.75 gallons. He has one tankmate, a cute snail which i may regret if there is reproduction. LFS was out of the nerites.

I have a very large anubia, a marimo moss ball a bit of hornswort and will be adding a moss wall loosely around/to hide the filter. For five gallons planted, consider a LARGE footprint as this will give you more floorspace to plant, maybe a bookshelf design (they are very eye-catching) and the bookshelf is somewhat shallow, making it easy to plant, rearrange and good for betta cause they don't have to swim so far to get to surface.

Have fun with this! there is a nice 6.6 gallon bookshelf design on the market if you have the room for it. They are long and narrow.
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