Bettas have been the only fish I have ever owned, so far. My first had his tank next to a mirror and took a dive onto the floor trying to attack his reflection. My bettas now are rather un-colored, but very personable: mainly a dull reddish blue named Gokou and a stunning yellow with black back freckles named Duck. They live in separate tanks, of course! They are wonderful to have. Gokou will posture aggressively if you make faces at him, allows himself to be lightly petted without darting away and often sits on the plastic plant in his vase (he's in a large glass vase). He's also around a year old. Duck (named for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks) was an impulse buy. I'd never seen a yellow betta before, and his yellow is this stunning crisp pale yellow with goldfish-like freckles of black on his back, and black gills. I had to have him. He was very inactive at the pet store, with drooping fins, but since I've had him here, he's perked up quite a lot. He swims so aggressively that it causes his food pellets to spin in little whirlpools when I feed him. Bettas are my favorite fish.
Raising Betta Fry: If you don't have time to make a batch of "green water" for the fry, get some LiquiFry for egg layers. Feed that to them for the first 3-5 days, then move them onto newly hatched brine shrimp (BBS). They will grow at very different rates, and the largest ones may eat the tiny ones. Out of each batch you should be able to raise AT LEAST half or 2/3 of them. When the males start flaring at each other move them into separate containers, I use quart jars. Do daily water changes of 10% on the fry tanks and jars. When they seem to get too big for BBS move them onto some Freeze-Dried bloodworms, betta flakes, and some frozen foods. Good Luck!:)
My first fish was a betta in a jar. He was a great pet and beautiful to watch. He was very easy to take care of. I have had a few since then, they have lived happily with other fish. I found that they only live a few years, are very simple to take care of and rarely get sick. In a tank I kept them with other fast fish like tetras. In case he got in a bad mood tetras or other fast fish have no problem zipping away. They are a beautiful addition to any decent-sized bowl or tank.
The Betta Splendens is what started my interest in fish keeping, but my first was not so successful. It is possible to keep them in community tanks, but make sure it is a calm tank, and that ideally your fish dealer has been keeping them with small fish (such as tetras) for a while, because my first took 3 neons and 2 guppies out in 4 evenings, and regrettably had to be moved to another tank where it failed to settle. My current Siamese, about a year old, was brought up with rummy nosed tetras, and has caused me no problems, only pleasure.
Do not put your males in with a Gourami. I brought a Dwarf Gourami pair and the Siamese Fighter nipped them to death, or close enough. I had to give the pair away. I think it stems from the fact they are from the same family in the evolutionary tree and therefore are closely related. I would assume it would apply to most Gouramis and other fish in the group, such as Paradise Fish.
I have 5 planted tanks, ranging in size from 40 L to 300 L, and every betta I've ever owned (always have one in each tank) absolutely loves the freedom of a larger tank. The bigger, the better! I even have one that likes to exercise by swimming directly into the output stream of my filter for minutes on end! I think he heard me talking about buying him some females and wanted to beef up. ;) When the bettas aren't perusing their watery homes, they tend to rest on leaves and roots near the surface. I can't imagine having fish without the betta!