People love their betta fish and more and more beginners to the fish keeping hobby are starting out with a betta from the get go.
This coupled with the fact that more and more experienced fish keepers are also starting to keep bettas has helped the species become the second most commonly kept fish within the hobby behind goldfish.
Due to this, we constantly see questions from the community about caring for their pet betta fish as best they can.
We have answered a huge number of these questions already but today, we want to be focusing on dealing with betta diamond eye as we have noticed a number of people asking about it recently.
What Is Diamond Eye In Betta Fish?
The first question that we are going to answer is what is diamond eye in betta fish?
Essentially, it is a hereditary condition that causes the eye of your betta to deform as scales grow over it resulting in blindness.
This gives the fish’s eyes a diamond-like shape and appearance which can be quite striking.
As this is a hereditary condition, it is most commonly seen in fish that have been bred in captivity.
In the wild, bettas rarely suffer from this condition as they are not being bred for aesthetics and inbred over and over again for generations.
The condition is thought to be caused by a mutation in the genes causing the scales to grow in an irregular fashion that would have been eliminated in the wild due to a wild betta with diamond eye not being able to hunt and feed.
How Can You Tell if Your Betta Has Diamond Eye?
The second question that we are going to answer is how can you tell if your betta has diamond eye?
The easiest way to tell is simply by looking at their eyes.
If you notice that the scales around their eyes have started to grow over their eyeballs in a diamond-like shape, then it is likely that they have diamond eye.
If you are unsure, you can always ask an experienced fish keeper in your area or your vet for a second opinion.
What Causes Diamond Eye In Betta Fish?
The third question that we are going to answer is what causes diamond eye in betta fish?
As we mentioned before, it is a hereditary condition that is thought to be caused by a mutation in the genes.
This mutation is thought to be caused by inbreeding as this is the most common way that bettas are bred in captivity when trying to increase the fry yields of particular colors or tail styles.
The mutation that causes diamond eye in betta fish causes the fish to have problems with the scale growth around the eye with the scales eventually being able to grow in a way that causes them to cover the eyes of the fish.
In some cases, just one eye of the betta will be affected by diamond eye but in most cases, both eyes do seem to be affected by the condition but both eyes may not have the excess scale growth at the same time.
Is Diamond Eye Common In Betta Fish?
Diamond eye is not very common in betta fish and it is estimated that less than one percent of betta fish have the issue.
Many breeders who notice diamond eye in their betta fish will exclude the fish from their breeding lines as it can often result in the fry that fish produces having the condition too.
Is There Anyway To Treat Diamond Eye In Betta Fish?
Unfortunately, there is no way to treat or prevent diamond eye in a betta fish and due to it being a genetic issue, it is unlikely that anything will be developed.
One way to reduce the chances of your betta fish having problems with diamond eye is to only purchase your fish from a reputable betta breeder who keeps strict breeding lines and excludes any fish with undesirable traits.
This usually means avoiding the large chain stores that often have very poor quality control with their fish.
Many local breeders will happily show you their operation as they love to share their hobby. This can be a great way to investigate their quality control as many breeders will have a “mutt betta” tank where they keep their bettas with undesirable traits.
You can often ask to see their mutt betta tank to see that these fish are being removed from the breeding lines. Unfortunately though, some betta breeders will just sell baby bettas with diamond eye as feeder fish.
Are All Betta Fish At Risk Of Diamond Eye?
No, not all betta fish are at risk of developing diamond eye as it is a hereditary condition.
The only bettas that are at risk of developing the condition are those that have been bred in captivity and have been inbred for generations by breeders who are not keeping strict breeding lines.
Due to most people who buy a betta fish not knowing the breeding line history of their betta fish and being unable to get it, you could technically look at it as any betta fish you purchase potentially being at risk of diamond eye.
Can I Improve The Quality Of Life Of A Betta With Diamond Eye?
Diamond eye is not a death sentence for a betta fish but it can make caring for your betta much more difficult.
Thankfully, the main issue with a betta that has diamond eye is getting it to eat but you are usually able to train your betta fish to eat from one set area of the cage while the diamond eye develops.
You will usually get plenty of notice that your betta has diamond eye as the scale growth over the eye is slow so you are able to build up a set feeding habit for your betta.
The most common one is to wiggle your finger in the tank water in the area you will feed them so they know its feeding time and then add the food to the same area.
Betta fish actually have an excellent sense of taste and smell so provided you get the fish close to its food, it should be able to do the rest itself even without its vision.