My father brought me a betta about a month ago. I have him all by himself in a 36 gallon tank with adequate decoration and a couple of live plants and moss. He seems to derive enjoyment from laying on the moss and he sleeps inside the plant leaves.
What i discovered is that those fish have personality. They have their own habits and preferences and they seem to recognize both owners and people who spend time with them. I had fish for 20 years and i can certainly say that their behavior is not based on weather you feed them or not. They establish favorites.
I am appalled at the notion that they keep any kind of living organism in pots and those who say that they do alright... Well try to lock yourself in the bathroom and have a person give you pizza and water every 10 hours. I want to know how would you feel after a week.
The fact that they can be found in small pudles doesnt mean that they thrive on them. And those who still believe its ok do keep em in cups take a look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSSRMqmPbAA