It is a lot harder to see the fish in a big bucket or tote but it works. I've used large 18 gallon buckets for pond fish, but they were large enough to see easily. So many fish are slim and darn near invisible from the top.
A sponge filter and a heater works, and something to prevent jumpers like netting or clear plastic.
But Walmart has 10 gallons for $9, not much more than a tote, really.