Have you tried shopping online? I live in a small town, so much of my shopping happens online at amazon. It's cheaper for me that way too and I don't have to worry about fighting traffic.
Pics can be tricky at the beginning. I found it's easier to turn on a ceiling light (for extra light) and take dozens. Odds are they'll be still for one of them! XD
5gal is a good size. You won't have to worry too much about PWC, there's plenty of room for décor and even plants, you can cycle it, and there are a few tank mates that can Btw added (depending on hardness) like a snail or shrimp. Shrimp are great cleaners, but they need plenty of hiding places because some bettas see them as snacks!
Thanks for the reply. I would have PM you but I don't know how to on here.
I had been holding off on naming him because I wasn't sure if he was healthy. I was trying not to get too connected to him and be hurt by his loss. I lost my two dogs this year, only 2 months apart. But I was also waiting for him to settle in and his real personality to shine through.
Where I live a heater is definitely needed. The temp can fluctuate greatly day to day, plus we have long hard winters. Sadly my local pet store doesn't do any water testing, but they do have the strips.
At the moment I'm treating him for velvet in a 1g plastic tank, but I have a 5g that is/will be his regular home - and an even bigger one downstairs, not sure of it's size. If I plan to get more I'd split that one up between a few of them. I think I'll just use bigger smooth stones for the bottoms, easier to clean.
I'll eventually get more pics when he's healthy and the tank is finished :) He's a bit camera shy so it's tricky.