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Old 01-03-2013, 11:23 PM   #1 
AyalaCookiejar
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Cool Tales of a blind betta

So I already have one journal, but I wanted to make another specifically for my blind male CT, Bahari. He's certainly been a learning experience for me although I've only had him for a month. I've been adapting to his needs as he's been adapting to life being blind.

The story: when I got him, he was not blind. He was a small boy that I found in a dirty cup on a shelf at Earl May in a town 2 hours from home and he was GORGEOUS! He survived the two hour car ride home and I let him sit and calm down in his cup as I set up his very own five gallon tank, complete with two caves and four silk plants. He ate (snapping very aggressively at those pellets) for me as soon as I got him home while he was still in his cup, and flared at EVERYTHING! He calmed down with the flaring after a few days but was much more aggressive than my older VT has ever been. He was active and seemed to enjoy his new five gallon home :) the first few weeks, he started to marble and lose the blue coloring in his caudal and anal fins until it completely disappeared, but he was still active and hungry as ever. (I will share pictures of his marbling process later.)

Anyways, around the time my VT got very sick with internal parasites, Bahari also started to act strangely. It took about a week to figure out what was wrong with my other guy, but Bahari's behavior was a total mystery.

He slowly stopped eating, although he would still play "peek-a-boo" with me and follow and jump at my fingers, it started to become harder to get him to eat. He ignored all the pellets I had and wouldn't even touch bloodworms. Then he started to become more lethargic... I couldn't figure it out. I posted several threads worrying about him and had a very nice conversation with Sakura, but to no avail. I was at a loss. Until one day, after very long and careful observation... I noticed he was no longer responsive to my fingers and he was running face first into his tank decorations... Which got me to thinking... What other explanation could there be? I then grabbed a wooden skewer I had been using to mix the conditioner into the new water and wet the end of it and stuck a pellet on it and put it right in front of his face.. He snapped a few times (he was light years away from actually reaching the pellets, LOL) but I continued to use the skewer to nudge the pellet in front if his face. FINALLY, he got it, and I could hear him chewing very intently, and I got him to eat a second one (in a row!) using the same method, after not being able to get him to eat for TWO WEEKS! Needless to say, I was ecstatic and was also 95% sure that he was blind and NOT terribly sick like I had thought. Ever since, I have been trying to experiment and research ways to make his life as good as I possibly can.



Now: feedings are getting easier as I figure out new ways to help him find his food (and he figures out ways to find it easier, as well). I've read multiple ideas on feeding blind fish, but the skewer has been working well for me. Now, I also get him to swim to the corner which makes feeding time even easier and faster than before. At times a pellet or two will sink before he finally gets one but I'm still trying my best to aid him with it.
As for him starting to recognize his tank decor... I haven't moved anything since the day I got him and am being extra careful, now. He still gets curious about the water siphon and even likes to play with the filter sometimes, but I can tell he is a bit more cautious. He slows down before reaching decorations instead of slamming head first into them, and he's starting to become a little more active. I've been trying to interact with him even without him being able to see.. Sometimes I will blow gently on the water surface and he will follow (he used to follow my finger around at the surface) and every time I open the lid, he quickly swims to the back to check out the condensation dripping into the tank. At least his curiosity hasn't been impaired! Haha. I am always trying to think of more new ways to interact and new things to try with him.

I've had some questions about caring for my now blind Betta. I'll try to keep this updated for anyone who is curious, has a blind Betta, or wants to have some ideas on blind Betta care if they ever happen to aquire a blind Betta. I love my little guy and I find him just as much fun now as I did before :)

Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 01-03-2013 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:53 PM   #2 
ChoclateBetta
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I wonder what Blinded him. I am a big Blind Betta fan.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:22 PM   #3 
AyalaCookiejar
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Sakura suspected that it may be a high pH? My pH is about 8 and CTs are the most sensitive to pH but there isn't really any evidence behind pH causing blindness. OFL thinks its likely genetic. He's definitely not full grown and I have read somewhere that the opaque coloring is more prone to blindness. He has opaque tips on his rays.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:32 PM   #4 
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Could it be from the dirty cup that you found him in? I'm sure that had a very high ammonia content, could have started the process, and now he's completely blind.
I'm no fish medical expert, especially with blindness, but it sounds plausible to me.
Very nice thread! will definitely be helpful for anyone else that may end up with a blind betta.
I'd also really love to see a video of him at feeding time! It would be very interesting to see the interaction.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:49 PM   #5 
Perry the platypus
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Can you post pics?
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:31 PM   #6 
ChoclateBetta
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The Betta Tolerance on Average is 6.0-8.0 PH. I think Genetics. Bettas these Days are highly inbred.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:32 PM   #7 
AyalaCookiejar
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Aemaki, its possible, I guess. The only thing I really don't understand was that it was a progressive thing. He wasn't blind when I got him, but its hard to tell if he was in the beginning stages already or not. Now that he's in a clean, proper home, he's gone blind... It just doesn't make sense. And the water wasn't super cloudy or brown colored or anything but there were strange black things in the bottom that he'd attempt to eat. They were flaky, definitely not poo or anything and they didn't look like any flake food I've ever seen before.

I will post pictures in a sec - I'm gonna steal the same ones off another thread and post a picture of his eye. It glows red. I'm really not sure if that's normal or not.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:33 PM   #8 
ChoclateBetta
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Shock might be a cause.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:33 PM   #9 
AyalaCookiejar
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Here a pictures of his marbling process. The first picture is the first day I got him home when he was still in his cup.



This one is not a great quality picture but you can see the way that his eyes glow red in certain lighting. Still, I'm not sure if this is normal or if it has something to do with him being blind... He has no cloudiness or anything in his eyes. No physical signs that he's blind... Just behavioral. Also, the black part in the middle of his eye is much smaller than that of my VTs, but again, I'm not sure if that's normal.



Here's him being a ballerina :) he "twirls" a lot!

Edit: I don't have a video of him eating yet but I will try to get one... It'll be difficult to hold the camera and get the food in front of him at the same time (I have to get it right on top of his mouth so he can eat it). I'll see if I can get someone to assist me with that. I also have a few before and after videos... Some videos of him before following my finger around and then a video the day I realized he was blind being completely oblivious to the fact that my finger was right in front of his face.

Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 01-04-2013 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:16 PM   #10 
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I think the red eyes is a clue.
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