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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. This is my first post of this nature, but I'm really starting to get worried about my little guy. He has cloudiness over the pupils of his eyes, but it doesn't look like anything I can find elsewhere. I can tell he is having increasingly more trouble seeing his food (I have to tap gently where it is, then he looks at it from an angle and finds it), so I hope there is a solution for this. He doesn't bump into anything, so I'm pretty sure he's not blind.

Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 76 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes (as of a week ago).
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Only some pond snails that snuck in on a plant.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Top Fin betta bits.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x per day, 3 pellets each feeding.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Once per week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-50% depending on how much gravel needs to be vacuumed (I have a BGA infestation at the moment so a higher percentage).
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? AquaSafe Plus.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

It's due for my weekly water change anyway, but I'll go ahead and test it beforehand.
Ammonia: Somewhere between 0 and 0.25 PPM
Nitrite: 0 PPM
Nitrate: 5 PPM
pH: 7.2 (fluctuates a bit after water changes, since my well water is more acidic)
Hardness: Don't have a way to test.
Alkalinity: Same as above.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? In relation to this problem, his eyes started out with a tiny bit of glaze over them, then over time it has spread to cover a good amount of his pupils.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is having more and more trouble finding his food, although he is as sweet and friendly as ever, and not acting injured as far as I can tell.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A couple of months ago I noticed the first little dots, but I figured it was part of his natural color developing since his scales are iridescent too, and I was out of the country for a month during that time. As it has increased, I've become more concerned. I didn't start noticing that he was having trouble finding his food until a couple weeks ago. Lately he has also been resting a lot more, although as soon as I walk over to the tank he starts swimming around, and he wriggles under and through plants/decorations as usual.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I've been doing more water changes and keeping a close eye on his behavior, but I'm hesitant to medicate him without knowing exactly what's up.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He has torn his fins multiple times on a hornwort plant that I finally realized was the problem and removed about a month ago. I replaced anything that could be dangerous with silk or a natural version. Much of the tearing happened while I was overseas for a month (June), I doubt my family kept up with water changes and the ammonia buildup probably contributed. The water has been clean since then, though.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for almost a year, I'm not sure how old he was when I got him since he was already an adult.

I don't know if this has anything to do with the eye problem, but shortly after I got him, I noticed his spine is slightly crooked in an S-shape (most visible from above) and over time the edges of his fins have become more jagged; the right front ventral fin actually became bent somehow while I was out of town in June. It didn't seem to bother him. His color has also faded from darker blues to baby blues, but I have heard that can happen because of the environment (going from a harsh, bottomless square container to a naturally-colored tank), so I was never alarmed. Also, yes my tank is fully cycled as far as I know, it's been so since last November (I put Jippers in last December).

I have some pictures of him that I just took, maybe that will help; I'm attaching the files.

To whoever reads this novel of info, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Please, any assistance/suggestions on the matter are greatly appreciated, I'm worried about poor Jippers.
 

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Hmm. I didn't read the whole thing but it could be a combination of fluctuating pH and/or age. My Ludendorff got the same symptoms around a year and half of me having him and I bet he was close to a year when I bought him. But where your pH is changing with the water changes I think you should aim to stabilize them. Remove him during water changes might help. Or a pH stabilizer that you can buy. My personal fave is holistic and called Indian ALmond LEaf. Ebay has them for really cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm. I didn't read the whole thing but it could be a combination of fluctuating pH and/or age. My Ludendorff got the same symptoms around a year and half of me having him and I bet he was close to a year when I bought him. But where your pH is changing with the water changes I think you should aim to stabilize them. Remove him during water changes might help. Or a pH stabilizer that you can buy. My personal fave is holistic and called Indian ALmond LEaf. Ebay has them for really cheap.
Thank you for the suggestion. I have heard before that bettas can live 5 years, but I'm guessing that's not an average lifespan, and he might even have been two years old when I bought him for all I know (it was from Petsmart). So pH could do that to my poor fishy? D: Also do you know if there's anything I can do to stop it or heal it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think that's likely. After reading some info on this page http://nippyfish.net/sick-betta/aging-bettas/ his symptoms seem to match very closely with these, particularly the color loss, fin oddities, resting more frequently (a recent development over the past week), and especially his sight problems. He frequently lunges at and misses the pellets. It's confusing to me, since I've only had him for about nine months, but there is no telling how old he was beforehand. I can't imagine he's older than three years, though...
 

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To me he looks like he's beginning to go blind. The cloudiness looks just like one of my passed on girl's eyes, and she was blind. Here's a picture so you can compare and see what you think:



I can't see your picture too well (sorry if mine's huge), but it does look a little like my blind girl's eyes. If he is going blind with age, my suggestion, as mentioned, would be a smaller tank and maybe a floating Betta log of some sort, so he can sit in there close to the surface. If he does go blind he'll need some help finding his food as well, they can have issues with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you very much for the suggestion, I will most likely be purchasing a 5g tank for him shortly. It does look much like that except that it's a shiny, iridescent blue-green; it began in the middle of the eyes at a point and has gradually spread outwards. I can still see his irises at this point. How do you get them to find their food if they are completely blind?
 

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My girl could sense it or something. It took a while, but she learned when I dipped my finger in the water to go to the ripples and I would basically drop the pellet right on her mouth. She died of a fungal disease in mid July, and I miss her dearly. She was a pretty good fish. One way to tell if he's going blind (if you have a second betta) is to put him in a cup in the other Betta's tank or switched. If he acts stressed and flare-y and all, he still has vision, but if not he may be going blind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just walked up to his tank, and he flared at me, until he peeped through the glass and saw that it was me, then he danced for food. LOL! I don't think he's completely blind yet, but clearly his vision isn't what it used to be (esp. since he frequently has to lunge more than once to get his pellets/bloodworms). He's used to me tapping to show him where food is, so hopefully the transition won't be so bad... poor buddy.
 

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Oh good! It can take a while for them to go completely blind, but once they do they usually don't change all that much, they just sort of stop noticing you all the time. One good thing about my blind girl was that my kitten would want to chase her around the tank, but she couldn't see him so he played with her for hours behind the glass without her knowing :)
 

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Yea they just sort of turn in onto a world of themselves. Best we can do is make them comfortable. Ludendorff is spending less time with/watching me and more time in the plants laying down. Blind fish will sense and smell food when offered, like someone mentioned. Just have to spend a couple extra minutes with him and feed him one at a time.
 
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