how my lfs treats bettas
So for my betta, I decided to go to a pet stores that specializes in aquarium fish instead of just a petsmart or petco. Mostly, I wanted something that wouldn't die as soon as I got home. I had noticed before that most of the fish in this particular store looked healthy, so I decided this would be my best chance at getting a disease free betta without going to aquabid or a breeder.
I was quite impressed.
Along the wall was probably 3 shelves of of acrylic "cubes" for lack of a better word, containing beautiful active bettas. Now, the "tanks" weren't huge, maybe 1/4 - 1/2 gallon each, but they were a bigger than those plastic cups at most stores! AND they were clean! Most of the bettas were swimming around, flaring every now and then, and I don't recall seeing any dead ones. When I found the one I wanted, the fish store guy simply poured him into a plastic bag, like most other fish you buy, and set the tank aside, probably for the next betta shipment.
I wish more pet stores would realize that there are alternatives to tiny little dirty plastic cups.