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Old 07-23-2011, 02:24 AM   #1 
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Blind/partially blind betta care?

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.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:36 PM   #2 
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I wouldn't know much, but I would not stick any "decor" in his tank-in terms of things ceramic in nature in fear that he may continuously run into them and harm himself. I would instead stick to plants and sand, some rocks may provide him with stimulation too, but no pirate ship or treasure chest for him. You can also teach him that certain vibrations or touch mean food, the removal of the tank lid will do, and perhaps tap his food into the water so that way, there's movement. Fish can also smell their food and Bettas are very smart. I'd also put him by himself in a tank seeing as he's more likely to get picked on at first, as he may have trouble knowing where his tankmates are. Of course, if he's capable of responding to movement-as he has no doubt been able to do, he could do fine with a few tankmates.

This is just what I would do, of course. Just be wary of the type of decor you put in there, be sure he's able to sense his food and keep an eye on him and his interactions with his tankmates.

I am by no means an expert. P:
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:43 PM   #3 
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A .5 tank is too tiny though. I don't believe it's necessary. Just stick with plants-either silk, or real plants and sand or something to that nature and he should be fine. Plants, despite him being blind-will provide him with stimulation and possibly a place to rest. He should be fine in a 2.5 gallon if you make it known that something is present when feeding. Fish do have sensory chemicals (while different than our general sense of smell, it is there) and he should be able to find it.

Tap his food into the water and he should learn by association.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:52 PM   #4 
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I just repeated myself an awful lot, but I hope you find my advice helpful.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:31 PM   #5 
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I have a cellophane that I believe is blind or at least partially blind. He doesn't flare at anything, he isn't able to find his food yet he can sometimes chase sinking pellets. He sort of "snaps" at his food and often misses it. I got him a feeding ring so he would learn where to find his food.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:28 PM   #6 
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Saix is blind in one eye and has a great deal of difficulty finding his food because of it. He attacks and misses by a little bit. I've found that by rubbing two fingers together like you would to make a cat come to you above the food and making clicking noises helps him find the food easier. I think it has something to do with the echolocation some blind creatures use. Even just rubbing two fingers above the food will make him notice, I think he can actually hear the rubbing.

And yeah, ever since his eye became blind he won't flare at anything.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:18 PM   #7 
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Originally Posted by dramaqueen View Post
I have a cellophane that I believe is blind or at least partially blind. He doesn't flare at anything, he isn't able to find his food yet he can sometimes chase sinking pellets. He sort of "snaps" at his food and often misses it. I got him a feeding ring so he would learn where to find his food.
What a great idea! A food ring. I recently rescued what I thought was a stressed betta from Walmart. He is yellow.. took me a week to figure out he can not see BUT he is finding his food after it sinks and eating. I am going to try the ring.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:19 PM   #8 
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A betta hammock could be used to hold food. I think the 2.5 rectangular tanks like you sell at Petsmart for about $14 would be fine for him. Pick some Marino silk plant keep them generally in the same place and he will be find. I also found making some noise and actuallly creating water rings with my finger where the food is help alot with my partly blind EE. Also soaking his pellets in Garlic Gard might help him smell the food.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:35 PM   #9 
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I'm researching posts on blind bettas as the last week we have noticed my Princess George (halfmoon apparently dragon gene) has a thick patch of growing scales on his head/gills and it is starting to come down over one eye more so than the other. I am scared for my baby that in another month or so he will be blind in at least one eye. breaks my heart, he's been my pink and purple princess since I got him.

Already planning worse case scenario and going to get the 1.5 gallon set up with plants and cycling in the next few weeks if it continues to progress.

I read that Vita Chem puts nutrients into the water to promote good health, so that may be something to look into for the blind, eye sight challenged fish as well.
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blind, diamond eye

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