Frankie is alive!
I inherited a red VT betta from a coworker that had him in a regular goldfish bowl with a small filter and 2 aquatic frogs.
When the office moved, she didn't want to take care of them anymore and was going to "take them somewhere" when i spoke up.
First i separated the frogs from the betta as they were nipping its fins, thinking it was bloodworm cubes she used to feed them. He (the betta) was MUCH happier.
Then i went to Petco, and since i didn't know ANYTHING about bettas (other than that people kept them in really small containers) i asked a rep who pointed me to a starter kit which had a .5 gallon container, gravel, and small plant. Simple i thought!
Frankie was happy when he got his own space and had a grand old time hiding near the plant. The next morning i got to work and the water was a little cloudier, but he seemed ok. That day i fed him and went home to do some betta research.
I found this site and immediately went to the "post your betta's home" sticky to see all the amazing setups. What i saw stunned me: large grand habitats with lots of space. After perusing the other areas of the site my heart started beating really fast. I had confined Frankie to a life of misery and perhaps death by ammonia in a small plastic cell.
I immediately went out and bought a 5.5 gallon tank and fresh plants (can't fit anything bigger in my apartment as defined by my lease), and complained about the petco employee who sold me the teeny-tiny tank. I went back to work at 9pm to get him becaue i wasn't sure if he'd make it all night. I acclimated him just fine and now Frankie is amazed and delighted (if fish can be either of those things) and happy living in a large tank on the hutch. Filter and heater to come as soon as i get paid :P.
THANK YOU THANK YOU to this site and for all the contributions, i don't think he would have made it through the night if it weren't for all the great information i found here!