08-10-2011, 12:54 PM
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Are you buying a kit that comes with everything you'll need, or just the tank?
If you are planning on doing it right and getting things like a filter, heater, air pump, etc. then you're better off going with a 5 gallon. The amount of money you'll spend on "extra" necessities won't be worth it for a 3 gallon.
Also, once you get a 3 gallon you are likely to want more fish (it always happens, so just be prepared). If you have a 3 gallon, you're stuck. The filter, heater, etc are too small to use in any other tank. If you have a 5 gallon, some of the equipment is also good enough that it could be used in a 10 gallon when you decide to upgrade.