Are Albino Cory Catfish Blind

Although there seems to be a misconception that albinism is synonymous with blindness, it is uncommon for albino cory catfish to be blind. An absence of a tiny pigment in their eye is the reason for their impaired vision. In rare instances, a genetic flaw or an accident could render the fish blind.

The clumsy demeanor of cory catfish and their pale skin and crimson eyes could easily be mistaken for blindness. Often albino cory catfish have a disorganized swim pattern and a slower response time; these factors alone cannot quantify rumors of their blindness.

How To Check If Your Albino Cory Catfish Is Blind?

It may be challenging to determine from a distance if your albino cory catfish is blind, primarily due to their pale skin and crimson eyes.

If the behavior of your albino cory catfish has you wondering if it is blind, you might want to adorn yourself with some investigative skills before you confirm your suspicions.

Traditionally you can start by doing the following:

  • Isolating the albino cory catfish
  • Examining the eyes
  • Shining a light into the eyes

Albino Cory on Sand

Isolate the Albino Cory Catfish

The first step would be to remove the albino cory catfish from the tank to avoid causing distress to the other tank mates during the examination process.

Examine The Eyes

It is common for albino cory catfish to have congenital disabilities due to lacking melanin. By some genetic chance, the fish may be born without an eye, which may be the reason for the blindness. Take a closer look before you rule out this possibility.

The albino cory catfish could have also sustained an eye injury, impairing the fish’s vision. Be sure to check for any tell-tale signs like eye redness or scratches.

Shine A Light Around Their Eyes

Try to shine a flashlight or penlight around their eyes. Be mindful of shining the light directly into their eyes. There will be no response from an albino cory catfish that is blind, while one that is not blind will react immediately to the light.

Signs That Your Albino Cory Catfish Has Eye Problem

On examination of your albino cory catfish, you will need to look out for the following signs. It is important to note that if the condition is untreated, it could result in partial or complete blindness.

Visible SignsThe CauseSolution
Bulging EyesA result of unilateral Popeye (medical term – Exophthalmos), an eye disease common in albino cory catfish.

Often caused by physical injuries.

Also, a result of bilateral Popeye, a cause of poor tank water conditions

Treat physical injuries by isolating the albino cory catfish.

Remove any tank décor to avoid further damage.

Consult a vet to see what medication can be administered.

Ensure that water has a PH range of 6-8.

As well as a water temperature of 72-79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Blood-Stained EyesThe rapture of blood capillaries in the eye is due to excessive fluid behind the eye area.

This is often the result of infection.

In extreme cases, blood can infiltrate the cornea, causing blood stains.

Remove the infected albino cory catfish.

Treat the infection with a broad-spectrum antibiotic recommended by your vet.

Ensure that the albino cory catfish are fed a good diet to support the immune system.

Ensure that the water quality is on par with the requirements.

Discoloration Of EyesDiscolored eyes are a tell-tale sign of illness, especially if the eye appears milky.The first step would be to isolate the affected albino cory catfish from the rest.

Consult a vet to see what medication can be administered.

What Causes An Albino Cory Catfish To Go Blind?

Indigenous to Southern America on the eastern side of the Andes, Columbia, and Trinidad, albino cory catfish are known for their peaceful demeanor. Although gentle, external forces can be instrumental in causing their blindness.

If your albino cory fish is continuously bumping into things, there may be other reasons besides being clumsy. Let us explore some of the reasons that cause an albino cory catfish to go blind.

Albino Cory Catfish on Natural Gravel

Genetic Or Congenital Disabilities

Albino cory catfish have a challenge producing melanin due to their genetic abnormalities. These abnormalities, in hindsight, could have a ripple effect on their eyesight. In this instance, the albino cory catfish could become blind.

An albino cory catfish could also incur congenital disabilities during birth; one of those defects could be blindness.

Physical Injuries

The mild toxins on the spine of an albino cory catfish have earned them the name “armored fish. Despite this heavy armory, they are still prone to injury, which can sometimes result in blindness.

Physical injuries can result from the albino cory catfish scraping the eye against tank decorations and other abrasive objects.

Although the albino cory catfish is a peace-loving fish, there may be an instance where other tank mates become territorial and may fight over food and tank space, sometimes causing injury or even blindness.


Albino cory catfish are prone to fungi and bacteria, especially if they live amongst other fish. If not addressed immediately, these parasites and bacteria can affect the sight of the albino cory catfish. A sick tank mate could very easily infect other fish.

Internal issues like kidney or gills malfunctioning can result in fluid storage behind the eye area. Too much fluid in the eyes can cause blindness.

Trauma Or Stress

Although an albino cory catfish is known for their unnatural swimming movements, their clumsy actions of bumping into the glass could also be caused by trauma or stress.

The ripple effect of trauma or stress could cause the albino cory catfish to injure itself, resulting in blindness.

Stress is the permeating factor that adversely affects the albino cory catfish’s health, including eyesight.

Poor Water Quality

Poor water quality can result in stress in albino cory catfish. Factors such as lack of oxygen, unhygienic water conditions, incorrect water temperature, gas saturation, and PH level are all contributing factors.


While albinism may create some visibility problems in albino cory catfish, it does not necessarily mean that these fish are blind. Like any other fish species, illness, trauma, and poor water quality could contribute to partial or complete blindness.

If you have albino cory catfish in your aquarium, you might consider cutting down on tank décor, especially any sharp objects, to avoid injury.