Sunday, August 02, 2009

Blind Betta

To start off, normally my betta fish won't eat till after I walk away. Unlike most bettas I've known, he doesn't seem to "smell" or even feel the vibrations of food hitting the water, he only ever found his food by sight, so I have to walk far enough off so he can see the shadow of the pellets against the light on top of the water. Well, tonight after I fed him, I went back to see if he'd eaten yet so I could turn off the light.

The food pellets were still floating at the top.

Which seemed odd.

Well, I looked... and there were more food pellets nestled at the bottom.

Naturally, I wanted to check on the betta to make sure he was okay. Scooped him up in the cup he came from at the store (I kept it because it works quite nicely for scooping water out for changes - and for scooping up betta when I need to check on him). Held him up to the light for a proper look. His eyes were clouded over.

My betta is blind.

I mean, I guess it's not *too* surprising since he's nearing the end of his life anyway, I'm sure... I've had him for at least the last 2 years, no idea how old he was at the pet shop when I got him, and bettas aren't the most long-lived of fish... 5 years max, average 3 years and most pet store bettas are 6 months to a year old since they don't sell as well before the finnage is fully developed (ironically, after sexual maturity has come and gone).

But I need help... I've never had a fish go blind on me before. How do I get a blind betta, who only ever finds his food by sight, to eat?

Unfortunately he does not fall into the category of "smart bettas" (because they are normally one of the smarter species of fish). He is, quite frankly, the second dumbest betta I've ever owned. So I'm not sure if I'll be able to convince him to find food another way or not...

**EDIT**

Just got a tip from someone that it might be an eye cloud disease that Melafix should be able to clear up. Hope so, because I'd hate to just watch the poor thing starve to death.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Guard of the garden

Went out to get the mail this morning, and decided to drop by the garden (read: weed pile with some lavendar in it - I've given up on weeding) to see how it was doing. My lavendar's blooming again, so I ran inside to grab something to put the flowers in (it seems to bloom again every time I pluck it so I think I can get a pretty good harvest this year, more than enough to last me through winter).

Went back outside with the basket I've been drying the last batch of flowers in, and bent down to start collecting the blossoms. One of the leaves in the garden moved, so naturally I looked to see what had caused it. At first I saw nothing. Then I noticed this little guy:


This was the best picture I got of him - he kept moving, chasing after a bumblebee that kept getting at the flowers (interestingly, he left the honeybee alone).

But I consider a mantis in the garden to be a very positive thing. They take out the unpleasant bugs, and they are considered by many people to be good luck.

It's just a little one... has some speckles on the tip of the abdomen, so I think it's rather young. But young or old, I am very happy that the mantis has chosen my sad excuse for a garden to live in.