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Blind Hippo Tang

Underwater Passion

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So I have a hippo tang that I recently had to undergo what seemed like an ongoing battle with velvet. After 2 copper treatments and a 7 day treatment with ich-x the velvet is finally gone. I’ve had this tang for 7 years and would do anything to keep it alive.

My struggle now is that I believe she has gone blind, I am not sure if it was related to the velvet or another factor. Her eye color has changed to light yellow with a bright blue lining of a circle instead of her usual dark black eyes. She is definitely running into things and won’t eat.

She is swimming around after being placed in the DT after a 3 month fallow period and is clearly blind but swimming happily.

My question is how do I keep a blind fish alive? How do I get her to eat?

Thanks in advance
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

ThRoewer

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If the fish went blind there is very little you can do. Best is to keep the fish in a tank it knows and ideally change nothing regarding rock positions or flow. Fish can navigate using their lateral line organ and catch food by smell. So it may get by for a while if you have no bullies in the tank.
Blindness of fish has been somewhat of an issue in the 1970s and 1980s but not really much since. I don't know if anyone ever figured out what caused it but speculations ranged from nitrates and phosphates being too high over cyanide used during capture to medications.
In your case medication (copper) may have played a role but it is really hard to tell conclusively.
 

lion king

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I've cared for a number of blind fish, it likely happens more than we know, many times they will just retreat into the rocks and slowly die. If you can get them accustomed to stick feeding before they lose too much of their eyesight, you can care for them a bit longer. I kept a pinktail trigger for almost 2 years after starting to lose his sight. So put a chunk of someting good on a feeding stick, or holding some macro in long hangled hemostats and feed them in their spot. My pinktail would pop up in his spot as I fed the tank. Everyone else was so jealous.

I believe copper is the cause. My last blind fish I predicted after 2 rounds of copper. It was a niger trigger I was not able to stick feed, and had to pull the plug rather than to see him stqrve.
 

ThRoewer

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I've cared for a number of blind fish, it likely happens more than we know, many times they will just retreat into the rocks and slowly die. If you can get them accustomed to stick feeding before they lose too much of their eyesight, you can care for them a bit longer. I kept a pinktail trigger for almost 2 years after starting to lose his sight. So put a chunk of someting good on a feeding stick, or holding some macro in long hangled hemostats and feed them in their spot. My pinktail would pop up in his spot as I fed the tank. Everyone else was so jealous.

I believe copper is the cause. My last blind fish I predicted after 2 rounds of copper. It was a niger trigger I was not able to stick feed, and had to pull the plug rather than to see him stqrve.
Another reason not to use copper unless absolutely necessary.
 
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Underwater Passion

Underwater Passion

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I've cared for a number of blind fish, it likely happens more than we know, many times they will just retreat into the rocks and slowly die. If you can get them accustomed to stick feeding before they lose too much of their eyesight, you can care for them a bit longer. I kept a pinktail trigger for almost 2 years after starting to lose his sight. So put a chunk of someting good on a feeding stick, or holding some macro in long hangled hemostats and feed them in their spot. My pinktail would pop up in his spot as I fed the tank. Everyone else was so jealous.

I believe copper is the cause. My last blind fish I predicted after 2 rounds of copper. It was a niger trigger I was not able to stick feed, and had to pull the plug rather than to see him stqrve.
Thank you for posting your experience. I’m trying to feed her Macroalgae soaked in garlic with feeder thongs but have had no success yet. I’m hoping she will adjust but am remaining cautiously hopeful.
 
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Underwater Passion

Underwater Passion

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If the fish went blind there is very little you can do. Best is to keep the fish in a tank it knows and ideally change nothing regarding rock positions or flow. Fish can navigate using their lateral line organ and catch food by smell. So it may get by for a while if you have no bullies in the tank.
Blindness of fish has been somewhat of an issue in the 1970s and 1980s but not really much since. I don't know if anyone ever figured out what caused it but speculations ranged from nitrates and phosphates being too high over cyanide used during capture to medications.
In your case medication (copper) may have played a role but it is really hard to tell conclusively.
She is navigating really well (occasionally bumps into things with front of head) so the lateral line organs explains that. My challenge is trying to get her to eat. She is the biggest fish in the tank so nobody bullies her but I’m starting to lose hope that she will eat for me.

Thanks for your response.
 

vetteguy53081

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Bummer - Sorry to hear. I am leery with copper when it comes to Tangs. I prefer Polyp Lab MEDIC. If copper, I wont go above 1.5 rather than 2 and you must test copper
 

lion king

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Thank you for posting your experience. I’m trying to feed her Macroalgae soaked in garlic with feeder thongs but have had no success yet. I’m hoping she will adjust but m remaining cautiously hopeful.
Keep trying to get her to eat from the tongs, whatever food she was most fond of, not only macro but whatever specialty treats. My pinktail actually got fat because I spoiled him so much. As it may sound like a pita, I actually got enjoyment from caring for him. He was my favorite, after he went blind. Their eyesight usually declines over time so you have to get the hand feeding down before they lose too much. Once we got a routine down it was so cute to see him pop up in his spot when he was hungry or he noticed the tank was being fed.
 
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Underwater Passion

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So when is it time to humanely euthanize a fish? My blue hippo tang hasn’t eaten in over a week and a half and has been hiding a lot more the last two days. I don’t want her to be suffering because she is starving to death. I’ve tried feeding with thongs and syringe feeding right in front of her mouth and she won’t eat. Is it time to euthanize?
 

lion king

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So when is it time to humanely euthanize a fish? My blue hippo tang hasn’t eaten in over a week and a half and has been hiding a lot more the last two days. I don’t want her to be suffering because she is starving to death. I’ve tried feeding with thongs and syringe feeding right in front of her mouth and she won’t eat. Is it time to euthanize?
Tough call and it's a personal one, easy to advise you to pull the plug when it's not ours. I gave my niger 3 weeks, he showed no interest or attempt to eat. A fish like a hippo is used to eating pretty much all day, so 2.5 weeks is a long time.
 

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