I'm pretty amazed at just how much one needs to know to set up a new tank and keep it happy while it gets up to speed.
I remember my first tank vaguely back when I was in the army, early 80s I think. the ppl at wallyworld I believe it was sold me neons for an uncycled tank. So after losing fish left and right I gave up on it. fast forward multiple years later and I had two 25 cent baitshop goldies in a 20 with an UGF. They lived thru 7 years and multiple moves and my cluelessness when i was in college. fast forward to about 5 years ago we found a 20 tall at a garage sale. that led to the MTS issues I have now.
You already know what happened... we ended up with too many fish in not enough water, fish started getting sick and some ppl on an online forum mentored me while i got geeked up, got a bigger tank and got the tanks situated.
Online is what got me into livebearers. I found the pretty little endlers whose habitat was getting polluted. Decided I'd like to give them a good home. In hindsight, I kinda wish I hadn't. they are just too prolific. but I still have them and make sure there are bigger fish around to pick off some of the fry so I'm not overun anymore.
Speaking of young ppl, a friend of my daughters worked in a LFS in his teens. He's the one who bred those swordtails with the unique coloring that i inherited when he got kicked out of his dad's house after he graduated high school.
Bettas and goldfish in cheap death bowls and the small tank kits (with horribly overstocked pics on the box) will always keep sucking ppl into the hobby because they're cheap impulse buys. those ppl who care will end up online looking for info and help and will put out the money and time/effort to get their fish/tanks situated. You can get most of the stuff you need nowdays on craig's list or via local aquarium clubs, so it's not as expensive as buying new. plus a rubbermaid tub, some prime, a test kit and a decent filter will get you by in a pinch.
I've observed our local club growing because our online presense is growing. When people go looking for information, that brings them here. The more info here, the more pages to find in the search engines, the more ppl end up finding you online. having a responsive forum like this one is becoming is a good thing as would be getting more livebearer content up.