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How to Feed a Blind Fish? | Easy Ways You Must Know

We call blind fish for fish without functional eyes. Some fish types are born blind. Some lose the function of one or both eyes due to any illnesses or accidents. Feed a Blind Fish can be challenging because they can not find their food by seeing them.

You have to be tricky with blind fish if you want them to thrive.

How to identify a blind fish

To identify blind fish, you should observe them closely. Usually, a blind fish has cloudy eyes or, the eyeball is smaller than usual. Further, they act differently than typical fish.

How to Feed a Blind Fish Easy Ways You Must Know

The main difference will be when you feed the fish; the blind fish may have trouble finding food. Blindness usually occurs in old fish. Some get it because of bacterial infections.

If the blindness occurs because of a bacterial infection, you can try treating them with antibacterial medicine. The fish is blind for another reason, unfortunately, there is no cure.

If you are unsure whether your fish is blind or not, try this trick. Put a clean chopstick slowly near the suspected blind eye. If the fish doesn’t react or move away, your fish is blind. Do this test on both eyes to ensure both eyes are blind or not.

Can a blind fish smell?

Yes, Blind fish has a smell, taste, and feel. These senses improve eventually after the fish goes blind. This happens for their survival because blind fish stand no chance of feeding well with healthy fish; hence they need to find a way to eat.

Blind fish usually find their food by smell and feel. However, old blind fish may not catch up with these senses and may die due to starvation.

Can blind fish locate food

Yes and No. Fish usually locate the food by seeing them. Blind fish can not find food by seeing.

However, when blind fish learn to smell and feel the food, they can locate the food with these senses. Now that should be a challenge for the fish because they have to learn this new skill.

How to feed a blind fish

In the wild, blind fish stand no chance to find food. Therefore, they die starving. But, in an aquarium, you can help them eat food and live well until they die old.

It will take some extra work by your side, but it’s totally worth it because you save a life by helping the fish. Below are some proven ways to feed your blind fish.

When feeding blind fish, always be careful to provide them with easy-to-swallow food because they may choke the food.

How to Feed a Blind Fish

Use some garlic

By using garlic, you can make the food smell more. Blind fish still has the smell, so; it will have a better chance of finding food when the food is soaked with garlic.

Dog/cat doser

Dog/Cat doser is also a good idea to feed your blind fish because you can stick the food right by their face. Fish get more chances of eating food when you feed them right in front of their mouth.

Feeders that suctions to the glass

Feeders that suction to the glass sticks the food in one place. When you invert your blind fish to this spot, it can have a better chance of feeding.

DIY food dropper

You can use a plastic eyedropper (pipette) and basically spoon feed the fish. You can feed them with frozen/thawed brine shrimp or bloodworms.

Any food that goes with the pipette is just fine if your blind fish is omnivorous. Train the fish to eat in one spot for your convenience.

To do that, trap the fish in a floating ring on the same spot every day. So, when the fish comes to that spot every day, it knows that it can eat from there.

What to feed a blind fish

Feeding blind fish can be tricky because they don’t know which particles are food and which particles are not. Further, feeding them with larger size pieces may cause them to choke the food because of their size.

It’s better to feed your blind fish with the same food you provided them when they were healthy, as the fish already knows the size, taste, and smell of the food it was used to eating.

In addition, you can feed them with live or frozen food such as brine shrimp, blood worms, black worms, and copepods as they are easy to swallow and tastier.

Blind fish symptoms

Fish blindness rarely occurs as a congenital disability, but these fish do not survive for long. Some fish catch up blindness because of illnesses such as fish eye fluke, Exophthalmia.

When the eyesight disappears, that specific eye shows some symptoms. The most common blind fish symptom is cloudiness in the eye. 

If the fish’s eyeball is smaller than other fishes, it also means that the fish is blind. The fish will have difficulties in finding food, hence will be leaner than other fishes. And also, you will find blind fish less active and will not respond to sudden changes in the environment.

Can fish go blind from the light

Yes. Fish can go blind because of bright lights such as camera flash and bright aquarium lights. Fish have no eyelids.

So, if you point a flashlight at them, they will be afraid of the light and temporarily cause blindness. However, constant light such as led light in your aquarium causes no harm to your fish.

What is Betta feeding ring

A Betta feeding ring is a plate that sticks to the aquarium’s glass to keep it sturdy. When you feed your fish with this ring, they will most likely eat most of the food, not disturbing others.

By installing several feeding rings, you can ensure that all of your fish get to eat food. This is how it works. When you put the fish food into the first ring, most aggressive fish species rush to that place to eat.

Then you can put food to the other rings to let other less aggressive fish eat. So, by adding a feeding ring, every fish in your tank get the chance to eat food, including blind fish.

Can blind fish survive?

If the eyesight goes away because of an illness, the fish will most likely die soon. If the fish can bear the pain and fight the illness, it will live for a long time.

But, the survival rate is low. If the fish is born blind, although its species have eyesight, they will also die soon. Blind fish can survive for longer in aquariums than when in the wild if you provide proper care for the fish.

Can a fish eye grow back?

If the fish become blind because of an injury and the injury happens to only retinal nerve cells, fish can regenerate those retinal nerve cells. According to Science Daily, fish are able to regenerate injuries to the retina at the cellular level. 

But, if the fish become blind because of an infection, the blindness will be permanent, which means the fisheye can not grow back in a disease.

Common Eye problems That Cause Blindness in Pet Fish

Diseases that affect the fisheye are quite common in aquariums if the water condition is not ideal. However, not all diseases cause blindness in fish. Some fish diseases affect the eyes so badly that the fish loses its sight in one or both eyes.

The conditions that cause blindness often are deadly to the fish. So, when a fish gets blind because of a disease, it will eventually die. Following are some common diseases that cause blindness in fish.

Exophthalmia (Pop Eye Disease)

Exophthalmia, commonly known as Pop Eye Disease, is a condition where the fish’s eyes swell and protrude abnormally from its socket because of various underlying diseases.

This condition can come to single or both eyes. The most common cause of Exophthalmos is an injury. If a fish fight with another or has eye damage caused by an abrasive object in the aquarium, it will have a popeye.

Sometimes, an infection causes pop eye disease. Many organisms like bacteria, fungi, and parasites cause infections.

When an infection causes a pop eye, it is most likely that the fish is in severe condition. In this condition, not only that the fish will lose its eyesight, but also it will die sooner or later.

Treatment for popeye disease depends on the underlying condition. While some fish recover, most fish affected by an infection dies.

Eye Flukes

Eye Flukes is a parasitic infection that is common among wild fish. When a fish is infected, it will have enlarged and cloudy eyes with some tiny worms in the eye occasionally.

Infected fish become blind most of the time. It may develop cataracts too. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for Eye Flukes, and the fish dies eventually.

Preventing eye flukes by quarantining any new fish is the best option to get rid of eye flukes.

However, eye flukes are rare in captive-bred fish and common in wild-caught fish. So, if you catch fish from the wild, keep them in a quarantine tank for about a month to be on the safe side.

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.