This is Bahari on the first day I got him, still in his cup. He was a spur of the moment grab, I found him an an Earl May two hours from home. His cup had a ton of little black things at the bottom (they were flakey but I don't know WHAT they were exactly. Not food). The employee dumped out the water in his cup and filled it with water from a random tank before he gave him to me. That stressed him out and then he had to survive the 2 hour car ride home. I held him in his bag the whole way there (he was in a cup in a paper bag) and let him sit in a dark corner for awhile before moving him to his tank. He was shook up!
He was very aggressive and territorial in his new tank and always, always hungry. But then the blue in his fins started to marble out and something happened to him, about two weeks after he came home. He stopped swimming around as much and wouldn't eat at all. I thought he was sick, but couldn't figure out why. He had some constipation issues and he had very LARGE poos. But as I watched him for a week, and paid close attention, he started to run face-first into decorations and stopped responding to my finger. I soon figured out he was completely blind, for genetic reasons I think, and had to adapt. He could sense light a little but that went away with time, too. I had to help him find his food. Then his constipation got worse and he started floating nearly all the time. He was in epsom salt for months but it didn't help so eventually I took it out and added a snail tankmate to clean the algae caused by all the food he let sink.
I attempted to stimulate him as much as I could. He didn't use any part of his tank except for the surface. He couldn't swim downwards. He sat in one spot most of the time. He did move on his own, occasionally, but he only moved to find a different spot and then went back to sleep or whatever he was doing. He seemed to enjoy the snails company and always tore apart his food. He'd whip around bloodworms similar to the way a dog will tear apart a squeaky toy. But often times he'd have issues finding food after I dropped it in there, and although I tried helping him, it seemed sometimes he would give up because he was having so much trouble finding it.
Last weekend his chronic SBD problems took a turn for the worse. Instead of floating, he sunk to the bottom of the tank on the gravel and refused to move. He attempted to swim to the top but couldn't. He was also gasping and breathing heavily. I put him in a QT tank so he could reach the surface and added epsom salt. By Monday, he seemed to be doing better, had no issue staying at the surface and Tuesday he looked even better. Unfortunately, he passed away last Wednesday night, still in his QT tank.
My hopes for him are simply this: I hope that he can see now, and swim normally. I hope he can find his food easily and has fun tearing into it. I also hope that he is now flaring to his heart's content (I haven't seen him flare since he went blind, and he LOVED to flare) and his fins are all healed. Being a CT, I am not sure if his fin damage was due to him being blind and injuring them or due to our hard water, but he never developed fin rot the entire 5 months I had him. He was blind for four and a half of those months and buoyant for at least 4.
I am also glad that his suffering is over. He obviously was not going to recover, as much as I tried. I hope that if he has any siblings who also had bad genetics, that none of them suffered. And I am glad that I now have a free tank that I can save another fish. I'd like to adopt from MoonShadow in Bahari's honor. I only hope that the next inhabitant of Bahari's tank will be able to enjoy it more than Bahari could.
Swim in peace, Bahari.