Betta fish with cloudy film on eyes

  • #1

So over the last several weeks I’ve noticed a cloudy film over one of my betta’s eyes. Noticed it maybe 3 weeks ago on one eye. Then over the last week maybe I’ve noticed it more on both eyes. Fish is acting totally normal to me, swimming around all the time, energetic, has a big appetite but struggles to find its food sometimes I think due to the cloudiness on its eyes. Any idea what it could be or how to treat? Could it just be an injury/abrasion? That’s what I’m leaning towards since fish is acting normal otherwise.
Thanks in advance!!


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Rose of Sharon
  • #2
There are a few things that can cause your betta's condition. Having more info may help with pinpointing the problem. If you can fill out the emergency template, that would be great. Just copy and paste the questions into a post, and answer them as best as you can. Knowing your tank size, water change routine, and other things will help with the diagnosis. The first thing I do in cases of fish illness is to start doing small frequent water changes for pristine water. Here is a way to access the template -

Aquatic Emergency Template | Freshwater Fish Disease and Fish Health Forum | 376562

  • Thread Starter
  • #3

What is the water volume of the tank? 5 gallon

How long has the tank been running? Approx. 2.5 months

Does it have a filter? Yes

Does it have a heater? Yes

What is the water temperature? Between 76-78 degrees

What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 1 female betta, 10-12 baby shrimp, several small bladder snails (that got carried in via live plants accidentally)


How often do you change the water? Since my betta and shrimp have been living in the tank about a month, I’ve done 2 water changes

How much of the water do you change? 15%

What do you use to treat your water? Seachem prime

Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I do not vacuum as it’s a heavily planted tank

*Parameters - Very Important

Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes

What do you use to test the water? API master kit

What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 0-5ppm

pH: 6.8-7.0


How often do you feed your fish? Twice a day

How much do you feed your fish? 2 pellets each feeding

What brand of food do you feed your fish? Tetra BettaMin small pellets

Do you feed frozen? I have fed frozen brine shrimp a couple of times but not consistently

Do you feed freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms

How long have you had this fish? About a month

How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? A couple weeks ago

In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Cloudy film over one eye (with part of the film lifting up at one point), then a week or so after that, the other eye became slightly cloudy but not nearly as bad as the first eye.

Have you started any treatment for the illness? No

Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No

How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Behavior has not changed. Fish has acted the same since I received it. Very active, not lethargic, good appetite.

Explain your emergency situation in detail.

(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now) Betta started having a cloudy eye/film a couple weeks ago. Maybe a week into it, the film started lifting up in one tiny spot but since then has recovered the eye completely and is back to the full film over eye. About a week into one cloudy eye, I noticed the other eye turning slightly cloudy but has not looked as bad is the original eye. Fish seems to struggle at times targeting and catching pellets (which could also be due to the current from the pump valve). FYI, I cut very tiny holes in pump tubing to decrease water flow and pump is turned down to low.


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  • #4
Your betta could have swam into a object and got the cloudy eye the best way you can fix it is by
A. keep the water clean/good.
B. provide a good diet.
Or it could be poor water quality which is unlikely
  • #5
Your water quality numbers sound good but I'm wondering about doing such small water changes twice a month. Is that to protect your shrimp? I'm not an experienced or even very successful shrimp keeper, but I understand that more frequent water changes are not necessarily detrimental to them.

What I do know something about tho, is bettas. My first step would be to increase water changes to weekly. The least intrusive next step would be adding a botanical like catappa leaves - not necessarily to reduce pH but for its mild antibacterial properties. I'm wondering about the range of your pH tho? Does it bounce between 6.8 & 7 with water changes or is the 6.8 the tap # & 7.0 the tank #?

Are you familiar with aquarium salt baths? In my case, as in yours, I keep invetebrates & heavily planted tanks & can't safely salt treat in-tank. But I have had success removing bettas to separate hospital tanks & treating with aquarium salt until the film disappears - no more than a week. In a couple cases, whilst treating for fin-rot with malachite green, eye cloudiness such as you describe has been eliminated as well. Not my treatment intention, but it returned vision to those bettas.

FWIW, I have housed bettas that came to me blind & for whom no treatment was successful. All of them were ultimately able to function normally, presumably due to the sensory organs around their eyes. Hope it helps & your betta returns to good health.
  • #6
Hi rvan! I was just logging-on to the forum to see how your shrimp are/is doing! I tried it again & betta ate it w/in a week! It seems like yours does better w/ shrimp?

How is your betta doing? Is her eye better? She is so pretty!

I'm surprised your Nitrates are that low w/ only 15% water changes twice a month. I do 50% once a week & it seems like it's always in 40sppm whenever I test before a water change. IDK tho! Just saying from how mine is.
  • #7
I suggest upping the water changes to 30% weekly even though your levels are fine. And also, how is your betta doing? Has he healed yet?

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