Betta: popeye or blind?

BrynneBattersby
  • #1
Hi everyone! I have recently adopted a betta fish from my LFS. He is a blue/platinum dumbo half moon betta. He is currently housed in a cycled, planted 10 gallon, all by himself. Water parameters are all good; ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate ~5, ph 7, temperature 75F. He seems to be adjusting well, he is eating and swimming around normally. However, his eyes are not normal. The employees at the LFS were split about 50/50 as to whether he had popeye or is just blind. The employees said that they were treating him for a couple weeks with bettafix, and saw no improvement in him. I’ve been researching popeye, but he doesn’t seem to completely fit the description. His eyes don’t seem to be popped out, but rather he has a sort of bubble around them. The eyes are also cloudy, with a milky-white colour to them. My betta does seem to have some sight, but he definitely does have vision loss. He swims aimlessly, bumps into things, and struggles to find his food. I have been hand feeding him, which I’m sure he appreciates.

So… my question is; do you think he has popeye, is blind, or could this be something else entirely? I’ve attached photos for reference.

Thank you all :)
 

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Rose of Sharon
  • #2
Wow, poor baby! It's wonderful that you adopted him!!!

It does look like popeye to me. Maybe someone else has another opinion, but I would recommend that you give him a few epsom salt baths. That will help with the swelling. Use only epsom salts with no additives or fragrences. I usually dose one tablespoon per gallon. Don't add it directly to the tank. Take some of his tank water, add the epsom salts, make sure it is all dissolved, and then add the betta. Keep him in the bath for 15 to 20 minutes. If he shows signs of severe stress, take him out right away. If not, leave him there. You can do this daily, as long as he isn't too stressed. Hopefully, that will take care of the issue.

I personally don't like bettafix. It has tea tree oil in it, and that isn't good for bettas.
 
BrynneBattersby
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks for your reply!! The tank has some API aquarium salt in it. I put in 2 tablespoons in for the whole tank (10 gal), as I heard it can help promote recovery from disease and help maintain overall health. Is this beneficial at all? I will definitely try out the Epsom salt baths. I’ve read that popeye can be from a number of causes. If the bettafix was not working at the store, could that mean that this is maybe caused by fungus rather than bacteria? I’m hoping that by being in clean water it will help him a lot.
 
Rose of Sharon
  • #4
Hi,

The aquarium salt is good to use, but it is not recommended to use it for longer than 14 consecutive days. So that is acutally a plus in treatment for your betta baby.

It does have one downside. Over using aquarium salt is like constantly using antibiotics; they become ineffective over time.

Bettafix is not an antibiotic. It's like an herbal medicine. It is not recommended for use with bettas because it can affect the betta's labyrinth organ (what helps them to breath air). Of course people still use it, but many fish keepers shy away because of it's ability to damage the fish.

If you use the epsom salt, and the swelling goes down, then you won't need to try antibiotics. I always try to use the most natural remedies (clean water, indian almond leaves, clean water again :) ).

Give it a good week or so with the aquarium salt and the epsom salt baths, and then if you see that he isn't getting better, or if the swelling is worse (in one or both eyes), then it might be time to try an antibiotic. By using both aquarium salt in the tank, and epsom salt baths, you are treating for both cloudy eye and pop eye at the same time.

I do know that white bettas are more prone to this type of thing (it's genetic, or so I have read).

Just for future reference, API puts out an antiobiotic called Fin and Body cure which has the antibiotic doxycycline, which is good for various infections. Seachem also has a host of antibiotics that treat all manner of fish illnesses, too, if you want to look at their products. Most LFS's and Petco/Petsmart carry some of these products (if you are in the US), or you can buy from Amazon.
 
BrynneBattersby
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thank you so much for the information, it’s so helpful!! I will try an epsom salt bath tonight and see how it goes. Finger crossed it will start to help! I’ll post an update in a few days :)
 
SLuGz
  • #6
Thank you so much for the information, it’s so helpful!! I will try an epsom salt bath tonight and see how it goes. Finger crossed it will start to help! I’ll post an update in a few days :)
Hi.

What was the result of your betta? Mine is going through something similar. I am doing the 1 gallon epsom salt baths daily.
 

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