Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jtalia 02-19-2008 09:40 AM

blinded fish
I am so devestated! I have a 55 gallon hex tank with 4 angels and a pleco in it. Within 2 weeks of setting up the tank a pair angels had taken over and were not permitting the others to move or eat. So I gave away the more timid pair to a friend (where they are doing very well!).

Shortly thereafter, one of the angels managed to kill both the pleco and his partner. So, I went back to the local fish shop and purchased 3 silver dollars, 2 bala sharks and a BEAUTIFUL african featherfin catfish. All went well for about a week. The featherfin ruled the tank and seemed to keep the aggressive angel in line. Then I went away for the weekend... Everyone faired well with one exception - the catfish! When I approached the tank yesterday I noticed he had been blinded! When I lifted the lid of the tank to feed them (and confirm what I was seeing), I saw the angel rush towards the catfish and peck at the holes where his eyes had been.

Needless to say, the angel has now been removed from the tank. (He is now the smallest fish where he is - we will see if he can bully the larger angels in his new home.) But I want to know if there is anything I can do for my catfish. He is swimming and eating - though now with the vigor he had before. I know he will not regain his sight - but I hate to lose him. I want to prevent infection and I am not sure if I should get another featherfin or not.... any suggestions?

fish_4_all 02-19-2008 11:28 AM

I would not get another catfish. The blind one will require all your attention to make sure he is doing well. As long as it is eating then it should survive. Some Melafix or other similar product should help prevent infections and help the eye sockets heal.

On a side not, please be aware that the tank is almost fully stocked and once the fish reach adult sizes the tank will be slightly overstocked.

Bala Sharks up to 14+ inches (28")
Silver dollars 8" (24")
Your african featherfin catfish 8" (8")

All of them are big waste producers so make sure to keep up on water changes and water quality. Water quality is the best thing for the catfish to have the best life it can after losing it's eyes.

jtalia 02-19-2008 11:45 AM

thanks for the prompt reply. I am really upset. I do hope he makes it... today he is just swimming upside down scoping for food at the top of the tank. starting to think he may not live too long. :cry: :cry:

crazy4fish 02-19-2008 12:38 PM

so sorry about what happened :cry: hope he is ok :roll:

okiemavis 02-19-2008 02:37 PM

There are lots of fish who can live long healthy lives after loosing their eyes. Catfish are particularly good at adapting to being blind as they have wonderful whisker that can smell just about everything. They can also use electro location to find their way around. I'd say the most important thing is to make sure the eyes don't get infected, and to make sure no other fish are picking on him. I'd recommend dosing him with Melafix- it's an antibacterial that speeds healing and will help prevent infection. Just keep monitoring him and make sure he's eating and behaving alright! If he makes it through the initial trauma he should pull through.

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