Heyla, all. I'm new here and wanted to first say that this forum is a wealth of information.
Before I get into the issues with my betta, I'm gonna give a little background about myself, since this is my first post (and there's no "welcome" or "introduce yourself" forum partition) and I'd like y'all to know I'm not a complete n00b when it comes to fish care.
I'm 30 years old and have been keeping fish since I won my first carnival goldfish at the age of 7. I've only kept freshwater, though I've gone the gamut from community to semi-aggressives to cichlids to goldfish. My current tanks include a 60 gallon showcase tank (community/semi-aggressive), a 70 gallon 4-tiered tank with a 20-30 gallon sump (empty/cycling), two 10 gallons (one is my quarantine tank), a 150 gallon outdoor pond, and a .5 gallon (which I will explain in a moment).
Now, on to the bettas:
I work at PetSmart, and have for the past 5 years. For those 5 years, I have managed, for the most part, to avoid the "betta bug", but, when our newest shipment of bettas came in today, my heart about broke. One of our "half moons" came in with the "diamond eye" that I saw listed in another post. He is completely blind. He responds to vibrations and touch, but not movement. He did manage to find his pellets when I fed him though I did have to drop them directly on top of him. He proceeded to swim with his nose down against the bottom of his cup until he bumped one and then gobbled it up. Another of our "dragonscale" bettas was similarly afflicted, though only one eye was covered in iridescence. Since we can't sell defective (corporate's word, not mine) animals, I brought them both home.
The one that can partially see (wildtype dragon plakat?) is currently in my quarantine tank and should do fine with normal care. The completely blind one (steel blue butterfly dragon delta or halfmoon?) is living in the aforementioned .5 gallon tank. While I realize this size tank should be outlawed for general fish use, in this case I believe it is a necessity. I don't think he'd be able to find his food if I had him in a larger tank. There is no substrate on the bottom, no ornaments. The only plants are two little scraggly floaters. I will be changing a quarter of the water once a day to keep the ammonia/nitrite/nitrates down. Heating isn't an issue (I have him in my reptile room which has an ambient temperature between 75 and 79 degrees).
Can anyone think of anything I can do to help him further? Does anyone on here have a blind betta that could give me ideas/pointers? Am I doing anything wrong? Any suggestions, comments, questions, etc. are appreciated and I'll try to reply back promptly.
Best pic I could get of him tonight. Sorry about the cruddy quality. Took it with my phone, since I can't seem to find my camera.