Are Albino Cory Catfish Blind? (Explained!)

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Having an Albino Cory Catfish makes a wonderful addition to any tank. They’re peaceful and fun. But, because of their pale skin and reddish eyes, many people mistakenly believe these fish are as blind as a bat. It’s easy to see why people would say that, their eyes are a delicate part of their bodies.

But are Albino Cory Catfish blind? No, they’re not blind. While they may seem to be clumsy and fumble around, they are more likely to have poor eyesight than they are to be blind. That said, there are some who are born either without eyes or have genetic blindness. But this isn’t the norm for an Albino Cory Catfish.

Are Albino Cory Catfish Blind? (Explained!)


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Is It Common for Albino Cory Catfish to Be Blind?

It is very uncommon for an Albino Cory Catfish to be blind. Unfortunately, many people equate albinism with blindness and this is a false equivalency.

While there may be Albino Cory Catfishes that are born blind due to inbreeding or other genetic defect, it’s not a frequent trait among this type of catfish.

However, it’s not uncommon for Albino Cory Catfish to become blind either through shipping or because of aggressive tank mates. In this case, their blindness is caused by injury and it may be reparable.

Check your Albino Cory Fish’s eyes once you get them if you have them shipped to your home from somewhere.

By the way, have you ever noticed that your cory catfish are swimming crazy? If you are interested, I highly encourage you to check out my complete article about why cory catfish swim like crazy!

How Can You Tell If a Fish Is Blind?

If you believe you have a blind fish on your hands, you can check them out with a flashlight or a penlight. Look around their eyes for blood, swelling, cloudiness, or infection. If there’s any sign of irritation that accompanies the appearance of poor vision, such as swimming into objects or other fish, call an aquatic vet immediately.

In the event you discover that your fish is blind, don’t lose hope.

They can survive and live a very long and happy life. But it will take special feeding, care, and observation. It also means that you will not be able to have any aggressive fish around it.

Also Read:

What Do Albino Cory Catfish Eat?

How Many Cory Catfish Should Be Kept Together?

Cory Catfish Complete Tank Size Guide

How Long Do Cory Catfish Live?

Does Albino Cory Catfish Have Problems with their Vision?

While they may not be blind, Albino Cory Catfish will have problems seeing; well that’s what it appears to be. If you peruse the huge array of online forums, you’ll find that many keepers of these curious fish will relate how their catfish swim around in a clumsy way.

They’ll knock into each other, run into decorations and smack themselves into the glass. It’s this kind of folly that has some aquarists believing their fish are blind. But, they’re not.

They simply may not care about the things around them the same way as other fish. They’re just enjoying their environment in their own special way.

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Isn’t the Pinkish-Red Eye Color of the Albino Cory Catfish What Makes them Blind?

The delicate pink to red eye color of the Albino Cory Catfish is one of the main reasons why many people believe they’re blind.

While it’s true that they will experience difficulty seeing, they are not blind. So, the poor vision that comes from being an albino is probably what causes them to swim in a silly or oblivious way.

Because poor vision is a common problem for mammals with albinism, it’s not too farfetched to think it’s the same way for Albino Cory Catfish.

If you happen to have one that’s blind, it’s not because of their eye color or because of their albinism. It’s something they had when they came into the world.

However, like all albinos, they probably have very sensitive eyes, especially when it comes to bright, white light. Therefore, their tank lighting should be dim.

What Does It Mean for a Catfish to Be an Albino?

All albinos, regardless of the species, occur as a result of an anomaly in their DNA.

When it comes to catfish, it causes a lack of pigmentation and they appear light or whitish in color. This is something that’s always occurred in many catfish.

Although there exist albino specimens of all catfish species in the wild, the light coloration makes them easy to spot by predators. And so it is uncommon with adult albino catfish in the wild.

Actually, albino catfish are much more common in captivity.

You May Also Like To Read: Are Cory Catfish Hardy? What Are the Hardiest Cory Catfish?

How Catfish Become Albinos?

Albinism in catfish is the result of a series of genetic abnormalities which ultimately ends with the catfish not being able to produce melanin.

Unfortunately, this is a frequent occurrence in catfish. Using an RT-PCR test, scientists have been able to pinpoint a specific gene, Hps4, as being the impetus for this phenomenon.

Essentially, what happens is there’s a deletion in the DNA where it jumps or skips.

Scientists postulate that this is the root cause of how catfish become albinos. But, they share the same characteristics as any other albino and are immediately recognizable by their whitish bodies and red or pink eyes.

Regular vs. Albino Catfish

The only difference between a regular catfish and an albino is genetics. Other than that, they’re the same size, have the same appetite, and perform the same activities.

There aren’t any special care or treatment requirements for Albino catfish.

However, they do have a shortened life expectancy because of their albinism. But, with the right love, care and consistency, they will live a good, long life.

This means performing regular water changes to keep their environment as pristine as possible. 

You May Also Like To Read: Why Is My Cory Catfish Not Moving?

Conclusion

Albino Cory Catfish are not blind. It may be easy to mistake such a thing because of how they swim and haphazardly crash into other similar fish and items within the tank. They’ll even swim headfirst into the side of the tank’s glass. So, while their albinism will create some problems with their eyesight, they are not blind.

References:

Life Of Fish – Albino Cory Catfish Facts

Aquatic Community – Catfish – Albino

Research Gate – A deletion in the Hermansky–Pudlak syndrome 4 (Hps4) gene appears to be responsible for albinism in channel catfish

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