Hi there! I'm new to this forum and a bit of a beginner to fish tank care all around, so I've come to the internet to find the information necessary to properly take care of my new finned friend and his home.
If you don't care to read my whole story, here's my question in a nutshell that I'm currently seeking an answer to:
I bought my male betta (named Jabu-Jabu) at a local pet store. In minor ignorance, I chose him because of his, in my opinion, rather gorgeous colors. I noticed one of his ventral fins appears curled and perhaps broken? Is there anything I can do to correct this or help him out? Or is his poor fin going to be like this permanently?
If you would like to hear a bit of a story about Jabu-Jabu and his progression into his current home to perhaps add a few clues, here goes. :)
I decided after getting a hefty paycheck from a new job that I really missed having fishy friends. I'd had many goldfish over the years when I was younger but didn't want gold fish. I decided a simple betta fish would be a good place to start. The day before getting my fish, I went to wal-mart and got a 1.5 gallon tank that seemed to be appropriate for him. (Continue reading please :P) I filled it with tap water and a bit of distilled, along with a drop of water conditioner the day before...
I went to my local pet shop and got Jabu-Jabu. The employee had pointed him out to me because she said there was something about him that was particularly pretty. Upon first looking at him, he looked rather bland to me. I put him back and walked around the store a bit more. When I returned to the bettas for sale again, one immediately caught my eye that flashed a really pretty shade of indigo and then teal as he swam around. I picked him up and it turned out to be him. I had my fishy.
I took him home and put him in his new tank.
It was at this point that I decided to do a bit more research on betta fish and proper care for them. I'd had a betta that I inherited from a co-worker that got fired. It was in a rather small bowl and I only had it for a week before it died. Upon researching many sites with many opinionated people (this one, yahoo answers, etc.), I ultimately came to the conclusion that I wanted a full aquarium for him.
I bought him a small heater for the time being after learning he needed it. It did the job for a few days while I set up a 10 gallon tank that is now home to a couple zebra danios, a couple ghost shrimp and Jabu-Jabu. I returned the 1.5 gallon tank and small heater and traded up for a bigger heater, a filter, several live and fake plants, and of course got the necessary monitoring essentials like a pH kit and thermometer. I also found a product called biozyme that just about everyone says worked wonderfully to avoid new tank syndrome.
So now Jabu-Jabu and his tank mates have been getting along very well. No fighting at all between any of them. The ghost shrimp camouflage amazingly into the gravel I got them and they have places to hide. After the tank has cycled and is doing alright in a couple weeks, I'm going to add a couple more zebra danios so they can stay in a group.
So there's my story... but the question I have about my betta is about his fins. In depth, I chose him because of his pretty colors. I knew to look for clear eyes and full scales. He's fine as far as both of those go. One of his ventral fins, however, seems to have curled up under him... almost like it was broken.
Here's a picture:
Is this something that may eventually correct itself with time or is this permanent? Is there anything I can do to help him heal? What would have caused this; being stuck in a bowl, fighting?
Thanks for any insight you might have about Jabu-Jabu and his situation. I hope to become a regular here and learn much about my fishy friends.