I found a stunning EEHM at Petco. As I was admiring him, I noticed his cloudy white eyes and his lack of reaction to anything around him. He is blind. I dragged an employee over and asked him if I could have the blind betta for a steep discount or for free. He said he could do a discount for me if I would take him, so I agreed. So... how do I take care of a blind betta??
A feeding ring would help so he knows where to go for food at mealtimes.I would not put a lot of decor so he does not hurt himself. I personally would do a round bowl so he does not bump into any corner. Or you could feed him frozen food with an eye dropper its cheaper than a ring. If you do use decor try not to move it around to much or else he could become confused. Hope this helps :)
I've read a couple other threads about blinds bettas. I have no experience with them but here is what I would suggest:
All silk plants and very smooth decorations. Since he'll be running into things you want to make sure what he rubs against wont tear his fins.
Probably a calm tank environment. Any sort of disruptive current from a filter might stress him out.
For feeding you'll have to get his attention and get the food in front of his mouth. You could try simply tapping the water to see if that's enough, or you might have to actually bring the food to him. I think there are sticks specifically made for that, but I'm sure there are other things you can use. I don't know what those are though.
Those are my two cents. (: I'm sure his new surroundings will be a surprise, but a pleasent one, when he discovers how much space he has!
All that I have at the moment is my 1 gal QT tank. I was NOT prepared to buy this betta, but I knew a blind betta didn't belong anywhere but with someone who is experienced in fish keeping. I didn't want him ending up in a child's 1/2 gallon bowl with sharp plastic plants.
Right now, he'll live in the QT. It's rectangular, but it does have a large silk plant that both provides a hiding place (not sure if he knows what hiding is) and a resting spot near the surface.
I am wondering if one of his eyes has a tiny bit of sight left in it. It's not entirely covered in the whiteness, so I am a bit hopeful. How do you guys think I could test this? I do NOT want to stress the poor fellow out.
You'd need to get him to react on one side then the other to see if he can see anything. The only way I can think of doing this is to try and get him towards the front of the tank, then mkve your face along the glass on one side of him and see if he flinches away or turns to you. Then repeat it with the other side. Maybe if you put him in the tank and get your face close to him he'll react. Perhaps he can see a little like you said but it isn't clear.
Alright, I'll give that a try once he's in. He's acclimating right now. I'm trying to do it slowly because I know he can't see what's going on. I'm giving him plenty of time to get used to the change in water and whatnot. On the plus side, he's very active! I've decided to name him Daredevil, after the blind superhero~
Lol face or finger, either one hahaha. If I can get him to react to SOMETHING I'll be happy. He really is such a pretty dude... I'm so sad he's blind. Although I guess I shouldn't be sad haha because him being blind meant he got to come home with me!
Thanks~ I thought of the name immediately after I bought him and it just sounded right. He was named before he even got home, which is extremely rare for me!
OH! I just finished rehabilitating a "blind" betta dumbo with body slime and clouded eyes (which caused his blindness). He can now see out of one eye and has no slime! Yay! Here's my tips and tricks for helping him potentially recover/navigate better!
1. When you do water changes, try to put everything back EXACTLY where it was before. Consistency in their environment helps them know where they are and not bump into things.
2. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A LID. When I fed my guy when he was blind he would over-shoot for his food and jump! I'm glad I had a lid on or he would have jumped right out!
3. Feed in the same spot. Every. Single. Time. It helps them learn to find their food.
4. Feeding rings are useful! You can buy them at petsmart I think, OR you can make your own from the plastic/rubber liners of the inside of some bottle caps! (Just make sure to rinse it really well first).
5. EXCEPTIONALLY SOFT PLANTS. Silks or lives suggested. There will be much running into things. x.x
6. Easy access to the surface. If your guy struggles to get around or find the surface, I suggest smaller tanks.
7. GARLIC JUICE. OMG. If your guy is having a hard time finding his food, soak it in garlic juice before putting it in the tank. Its smelly and delicious. He'll use his nose to find it instead of his eyes! (yes fish can smell).
He COULD recover. It is possible. However, sometimes blindness is caused by more than just an infection or disease. In going blind, he may have rubbed/scratched/damaged his corneas (eyeballs) to the point of having scarred them. This would prevent his vision from ever coming back. Also, even with treatment, they may never fully "un-cloud."
My boy's blindness was caused by body slime, but his desperation to find the surface/food/navigate caused damage to one of his eyes that will likely never heal.
To test his vision you can try the following:
1. Move your finger along the tank near where his head already is. See if he reacts.
2. Shine a light (indirectly) at him. He should move away from the light. (Note, just because he can't see well doesn't mean he can't detect light movement. My boy could detect light but couldn't see solid objects.)
3. Hold something brightly colored to the tank. (Reds usually work best for me) If he reacts to it, he probably has some vision.
Best of luck with your guy! Let me know if you have any questions!