My friend and I drove to Greece today to check out their local fish stores so he could choose new male guppies for his guppy tank (he breeds guppies). We hung around in one for about an hour - Aqua Shoppes. It was gorgeous, had 300+ tanks and a different scenery in every one. Different plants, different rocks, fish, etc. The bettas were in cups and not stacked on top of each other, and looked ridiculously healthy. There were about fifteen of them on two separate shelves.
They had shelves upon shelves of everything betta-related - even a leaf bed, betta plants, medicines, food, anything you name.
We then drove over to Al's Pet Shop which was about three miles down from Aqua Shoppes. It wasn't quite as nice as AS, but the fish were wonderful and healthy. With one exception. I was looking around and found two Aquablocks. One had a red veiltail who looked quite active, but the other Aquablock had a dead betta caught in the fake plant. It was rotting and everything, and when I pointed it out to a manager, she apologized and took it away.
The other bettas were in small bowls. I saw the same employee who took away the dead betta changing the water in all the bowls, which is a bonus.
Other than that, the fish looked terrific, well-fed, and healthy. I spotted a tank and I hung around it for about half an hour. It was a community tank of four female bettas, a few giant danios, some tetras, and a catfish. The females got along great, though they all had been nipped. One caught my eye, and well, I ended up buying her. There are some chunks missing from her fins but she's otherwise active and healthy.
My friend bought four guppies for his tank. The reason I say he's such a bad influence is that he is the same person who convinced me to get Octavius. See what he started?
Pictures coming! She needs a name!