When I was younger, much younger probably 5 years old, my mom had a betta in a bowl in our window.
I had always assumed that living like that was ideal for them.
So when I was about 11 I got a betta named Marble at petsmart. He lived in a 1/2 gallon "tank", was fed flakes once a day, and a 100% water change once a week.
But I didnt even think about chlorine in our water. I didnt realize that I needed water conditioner.
Somehow, he managed to live in that horrible environment for 9 months, he died right before summer, probably because that is when chlorine levels rise in our water to prevent nasties from entering during the warmer months.
What really sucked is that when Marble died, I didn't know WHY he died. So I went and got another betta, named Squirt. Two days later, he died as well. We went back to the pet store and the employee told us we needed to get water conditioner, or we could use spring water.
So then I got Shorty, who lived in the same environment as Marble, except with conditioned water and he lived for about a year.
After that I gave up. I dont deal well with death.
Then, on April 9th 2012 while we were at walmart, I asked my dad if I could get another betta. It'd been almost 3 years since I had a betta. I expected him to say no, but then he said yes. I picked up a blue crowntail that was laying on the bottom of his cup, but then in the corner of my eye saw an orange blob moving. I walked over where the female bettas were kept, I had always thought the female bettas were ugly and colorless. But when I layed my eyes on Teeney I knew she was mine. While all the other bettas in that store were laying on their cups or already dead, Teeney was very alive and active.
So I brought home a 2.5 gallon tank and flakes. I learned a lot from yahoo answers and upgraded to a 10 gallon tank with a heater. Then when I asked on yahoo answers how to baffle my filter, I was given a link to the forum and joined. Then I changed my water change schedule, teeney started on pellets and I learned a lot about bettas just in general.
Here is a before and after picture of Teeney.
Before- when she first came home. After- after months of a warm clean tank.
As you may know I can no longer have fish and I ended up being forced to rehome Teeney, but she now lives in a 55 gallon community tank and bettas will forever be in my heart. I will defenitely bring at least one home the day I move out.