Are you finding it hard to tell if your betta is blind or not? Is it even possible for bettas to become blind in the first place? In this article, not only will these questions be answered, but you’ll also learn just how bad blindness can be in bettas, how to look after a betta with partial sight, and how to feed them too!
So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
Can Bettas Go Blind?
While it’s not common, it is entirely possible for bettas to go blind. However, the chances of them going completely blind are very slim. Most of the time, they may lose sight in one eye or, more commonly, partially lose sight in one eye.
What Causes A Betta Fish To Go Blind?
When bettas lose some or all of their sight, there can be a few different causes behind it. While some of them are completely out of your control, some of them can be prevented and even treated with the right care!
Here are the main causes of blindness in bettas!
Dragon Eye/Moon Eye/Diamond Eye/Snake Eye
While there are many different names for the ailment, the moon eye occurs when the scales of your betta start to grow over their eye. It most commonly happens in dragon scale bettas hence the name Dragon eye.
Mooneye typically starts with translucent scales growing near the eye, and then after a while, the scales will begin to grow in number and become more colored. Over the course of a couple of months, the scales will completely cover the eye, effectively making your betta blind.
No one knows exactly why Mooneye happens, but some people think it could be to do with the fact that infection occurs in the eye and the scales growing is in response to such an infection, although of course, no one knows for sure.
Another reason that your betta might be going blind is due to infections. Some parasites and bacterial and fungal infections such as popeye and cloudy eye can cause damage to your betta’s eye and damage their sight.
Normally, if your betta is healthy, they won’t have an issue getting rid of these sicknesses; however, if you’ve been keeping them in poor conditions, then their immune system may be too weak to fight off an infection.
If your betta is going blind due to infection, the first signs you’ll notice are the eyes clouding over. And the younger your betta is during this time, the more likely that they’re suffering from an infection and not from cataracts.
As well as this, infections will tend to happen fast, and as well as noticing blindness, you may notice other symptoms as well, such as lethargy and not wanting to eat.
As your betta gets older, it’s entirely possible that they’re going to end up suffering from cataracts. One of the ways you can say with confidence whether they’re suffering from cataracts or not is by their age. If you notice that they’re over 3 years old, then the chances that they have cataracts are going to increase.
Unfortunately, if your betta has cataracts, there’s not much you can do to treat them, so you’ll just have to help your betta live with them.
They’ve Lost An Eye
And lastly, one of the ways you’ll know for sure that your betta is blind is if they’ve lost an eye or sometimes even both.
There are so many reasons that your betta may end up losing their eyes, such as physical damage caused by fighting and rigid objects in your tank; however, it can also be caused by infections too!
And of course, if your betta is blind, there’s nothing you’re going to be able to do to cure them, so you’ll have to adjust how you care for them.
How To Tell If Your Betta Fish Has Turned Blind?
If you’re not sure whether your betta has turned blind or not, fortunately, there are a few ways you can check to see.
Check Their Eyes
First of all, you should look at their eyes for signs of blindness. If they are missing an eye or have scales growing over their eyes, then the chances of them being blind are significantly high.
Check For Illness
Next, you’ll need to check for illness. If they’re suffering from popeye, you’ll notice their eyes are literally popping out of their head. And if they’re suffering from cloudy eyes, as you can guess, their eyes will begin to have clouded over.
Put Your Finger In The Tank
Lastly, you can try putting your finger in the tank (just make sure it’s clean with no chemicals on it). Now all you have to do is see whether your betta goes to investigate. If he doesn’t, then try slowly moving your finger towards him.
If he still doesn’t notice it or care, then he could potentially be blind.
How To Treat A Betta Fish Who’s Going Blind?
If your betta is in the early days of going blind due to infection, then there are a couple of things you can do to reverse the damage and help them get their eyesight back. However, whether they’ll be successful or not really depends on how long they’ve been suffering from an infection.
Either way, the first thing you’ll want to do is move your betta to a quarantine tank and change the water in his main tank.
Once you’ve done this, the next steps will vary depending on what you think your betta is suffering from. If you think he’s suffering from popeye, then you’ll need to treat him with ampicillin and aquarium salt.
How To Care For A Blind Betta Fish
Unfortunately, sometimes, there’s nothing you can do, and your betta ends up either becoming fully blind or partially blind. If that’s the case, then here are a few tips on how to care for him!
Remove Any Sharp Decorations
The first thing you’re going to need to do is to remove any sharp decorations or things that can hurt him from the tank. If you still want decorations, then you should replace them with either live plants or silk plants.
Remove Him From A Community Tank
If your betta is in a community tank, you should remove him and add him to his own tank. If he’s blind, he may end up becoming a victim of bullying. And even if he doesn’t, other fish swimming around the tank is likely to stress him out.
Consider Sand Instead Of Gravel
You should also consider using sand as a substrate instead of using gravel. While it’s unlikely that your betta will go to the substrate, sometimes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. However, if your betta NEVER goes near your substrate, then you may not need to worry about this step.
How Do You Feed A Blind Betta?
The hardest part about caring for a blind betta is trying to feed them. However, fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure that your betta is getting enough food!
Put The Food In The Same Spot
The first and most easy thing to try is putting the food in the same spot every time. Do this enough, and your betta will get used to the location and naturally go there when he wants to eat.
Try A Feeding Ring
Even if you put the food in the same spot, if your betta doesn’t eat it quickly enough, then it may end up floating around the tank. When this is the case, it can be worth adding a feeding ring to the tank as well.
Drop The Food Near His Good Eye
If your betta still has a good eye, then you can always drop the food next to it for him to see. You can also try adding some live food this way, as the movement may help him figure out exactly where the food is.
When your betta still hasn’t figured out where the food is, you can stick it on some tweezers and put it directly in his mouth. This way, he’ll know straight away what the food is and chomp down on it.
This may be strange for him at first, so you’ll need to make sure you’re giving him time to get used to it!
And if you’re doing it this way, remember not to give him food that’s too big, as he may have trouble swallowing it.
Put The Food Where He Rests
And lastly, you can also put the food where you know your betta rests. When he goes to rest there, he should be able to smell exactly where the food is and then go to eat it. However, this only works if you can manage to get the food to sink and stay in one place long enough for your betta to sense it!
As you can see, there are a whole bunch of things you can do to treat AND feed your betta if they go blind. So when you notice this has happened, you shouldn’t give up on him. With the right care, he can still carry on living for a long time to come!
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