Good morning! Looking for some advice. I got two new females on Friday, one of whom, a young CT, I am starting to think may be blind. A photo of her is below - and maybe I'm imagining it but do her eyes look a bit strange? I thought it was just that she was still pretty young, and maybe that's so, but coupled with her behavior, I am starting to think she may be blind. I've had her since early Friday evening, and while the other girl who joined us at the same time (a young female VT), has acclimated really well and is eating like a pig, swimming all around, and starting to respond to my presence when I come in the room, Clementine is doing none of these things.
Suma, my first CT, was very skittish when she first came home, and also did not eat all that well for the first week or so, but she did eat SOMETHING. And the skittishness was understandable to me. Clementine, though, doesn't seem skittish at all - she simply seems to not be much of anything. She is not bloated, she swims normally, and there are no visible deformities or problems that would lead me to believe she is ill. However, she seems not to see food when it is dropped in even right next to her. On Saturday evening, I moved her into one of those little clear breeder things that float, thinking she might have an easier time finding food that way, but that hasn't seemed to help. This was after I baffled an already slow-moving filter (Tetra Whisper) with aquarium sponge, thinking that it was the water movement that made her unable to find the food. Last evening, I tried moving her from the breeder box to one of the floating net breeders, which I thought would give her a little more room and maybe allow her to find some purchase on the bottom if she was trying to get a piece of food that had sunk to the bottom. She does a little better if I give her beef heart or shrimp but not great. I know it's common for Bettas to not eat well, or at all, for the first few days that they are in a new place, and if she were merely uninterested in the food, that wouldn't concern me as much, but it really does appear that she does not even know it's there (when it comes to the pellets or flakes) or seem able to find it very well in the case of the frozen foods.
I feel badly keeping her confined to a small area when she has a whole 5 gallons to swim around in, but I don't know what else to do. Water params are good - ammonia and nitrites under 25 ppm, temperature at a steady 82, water conditioned with API Stress Coat (because it's a newly established tank not cycled yet and the fish is new) and also Prime (because I have ammonia in my tap water). I have a few anubias and some java ferns in there, as well as some taller silk plants that I've positioned around the net breeder to keep it stable or from moving around too much.
Her eyes look normal to me, sometimes Betta's just have all black eyes (which I don't personally like but that's besides the point)
She's probably still just adjusting to her new home. I know my boy Aero is still adjusting and I really have to get his attention to feed him anything and still he doesn't each much at all. Only like half a pellet about every other day, sometimes more days without food. I wouldn't worry, just keep trying to get her attention and offer a pellet, maybe soak it in some garlic juice so that it appeals to her a little more. She might just not be smelling it and noticing that it's there.
One thing I have not tried is the garlic juice, so I will do that. Is it best to smash up a whole clove or can I use the juice in those little jars of chopped or minced garlic that you use for marinades?
I believe smashing a clove is better than the ones in the jars, I've never done it myself but just thinking about a fresh clove than canned ones, I would think the fresh clove would be better. Also NLS pellets have garlic in them, not sure what you feed your Bettas, but those are really good pellets to give to them :)
NLS is what I am feeding already to my home Bettas (my VT that I have at my office eats Omega One) and I've also tried Hikari Bio Gold with Clementine, as well as the Omega One flakes. I have some different options available, including the frozen foods, but nothing seems to be doing the trick. I also tried soaking the food in a few drops of VitaChem (as directed on the bottle) but even that didn't seem to help, so I'll try to cut a small piece off of a whole clove and smash it up and see about soaking the food in that. Maybe that will entice her!
Hopefully! If not that is also fine, my boy Remmy didn't eat for the first month I had him and now he eats like a pig haha. Sometimes it just takes time for them to get used to their surroundings but don't worry, when she gets really hungry, she'll eat.
Wanted to update this thread and get some more advice from everyone, if possible.
I've had my newest CT girl, Clementine, for a week today (I got her early last Friday evening). Since I've had her, she has barely eaten anything, and while she looks normal, swims normally, etc., her general lack of affect coupled with her seeming unable to see food even in a confined area like a mesh breeder had led me to believe she is blind.
I've got some good news and bad news on this front. The good news is that she is eating ... not a lot, but last night she actually ate enough to get a little bit round for the first time since I've had her, which was very encouraging. The bad news is that as I sat there last night observing her, I thought I saw a slight white film over her eyes. I cupped her to observe her more closely, and while it was really hard to be sure (I tried to take some one-handed iPhone photos but they didn't come out well at all) I think the film is either indicative of blindness OR, my fear is that it is early stages of pop-eye. And despite my not wanting to believe it, I'm strongly suspecting now that this is the case, as what I've read indicates it is mainly caused by poor water conditions, and the poor thing's cup was absolutely FILTHY when I got her, so that makes sense to me.
I had already had her in a mesh breeder to observe her more closely, but last night I took her out of there and put her in a small 1 gallon Kritter Keeper with no substrate and am floating it in her main tank so that it will stay warm. I also dissolved about a half teaspoon of ES in the new water, in addition to treating with API StressCoat. In my quick research last night, ES and clean, warm water (the latter of which she already had) was step one to conservative treatment.
So what are my next steps? Do I try to treat her with something more aggressive? And if so, what? How do I know if it is bacterial or fungal in nature, as I've read it could be either, as well as indicative of other more dire things that I don't even want to think about right now. Her appetite is picking up, so I am encouraged overall, but now this ...
Hey there bannlow, sorry I didn't reply earlier. Seems that she is blind as you figured out. I was trying to do some reading on pop-eye but I still have no idea about how to treat it or find if it's fungal or bacteria related so I'm of no use here sorry ><
Maybe you can pm Sakura8 or LittleBlueFishlets to see if they know anything about what to do. (Sakura, sorry I keep referencing you lately! lol)
Thanks very much I will do that! She are nothing last night but she did poop this morning and it looks normal. I tried the garlic and that didnt work so I ordered the Seachem Garlic Guard and some Kanaplex and paid three times what the stuff is worth to get it shipped Saturday delivery so it should be here today.