Betta With Possible Popeye

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Briggs, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    I've been going back and forth for the last week or so as to whether this fish is sick or not. If he has popeye, he has had it to some extent since I brought him home 4 months ago. I didn't think anything of his eye size, as he as my first betta and I didn't have much to compare him to. They were large, but evenly so and showing no signs of cloudiness. His coloring has been changing a little here and there, and I noticed last week that there is a silver ring around the base of his eyes now. One eye might look a little bit larger now, too? Not dramatically or obviously, though, so it might just be me. He's still eating and showing no signs of fin clamping or distress, but doesn't seem to see as well as my other betta and is maybe losing a bit of energy.
    Does this look like popeye to you guys? His water is and has been clean (Am-0, NI-0, NA-0/20) since I got him, but his eyes have always been a bit bobble like, so it it possible he's been fighting an infection for 4 months that he contracted before I adopted him?

    I've got Jungle Fungus Tabs and Betta Revive on hand, and some Pazi Pro on it's way, but I'm more than willing to order a specific antibiotic to treat him. All the information I'm reading about treating popeye seems to conflict because it's a symptom and not a disease it's self. If it's in both eyes and has been there for over 4 months without progressing dramatically, what do you think is causing it and how would you treat it?

  2. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember


    This could be due to a number of things (which you know), but I'm wondering how big your tank size is and how strong your filter/Powerhead is. Non-parasitic Popeye, especially in very good conditions that you have stated/have, can be caused from "Gas Bubble Disease". It's simply a situation where there is a supersaturation of water in comparison to not nitrogen gas bubbles. Supersaturation occurs when the pressure of a gas in the water is higher than the pressure of the same gas in the surrounding atmosphere, creating a gas difference and ultimately creating gas bubbles behind the eye (like when divers ascend too quickly). There is no hurt in trying to turn down the power and adding some sort or aeration (if you don't have one already)to increase diffusion out of the water and observe, if it decreases, then you have a nitrogen supersaturation problem, if not, than it's an infection.
    More questions, does it look cloudy at all in his eye?

    Hope this helps and best of luck.

  3. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    He's in a Marineland Portrait 5 gallon which has a built in filter, and I've modified it a little to slow the flow rate but the outflow still hits the water surface in a small waterfall to create a better gas exchange to compensate for the lower surface area in the tall tank. I had him in a 2 gallon for the first month while this one cycled, though, so if it was a problem with the filter I would think there would have been a obvious change (for better or worse) when I moved him into his proper tank. It also wouldn't explain him coming home from his little cup in the petstore this way.

    His eyes don't look cloudy, no. They are clear, but I can see a clear lens or scale that covers them, and I can see light through his head a little? I'm not explaining this well. It's almost as if I can see into his head through his eye from some angles.

  4. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    Ok. I've recently (like last weekend) had the exact same thing with my angelfish. Freaked me out at first. (I'll attach a photo, this was the first day I saw it) It looks exactly like a contact lens was over his eye. It had peaked on Monday (couldn't see his eye) I used Primafix and everyday 30% water changes with stress coat plus. Cleared it right up. It now clear again and reduced in size. It's barely there anymore and with a few more days, i think it'll be gone. Try that and see if it helps.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  5. MattS99Well Known MemberMember

    I know you love your fish as we all do, and I don't want to sound mean, but you really shouldn't buy it if it looks like there may be something wrong with it, like his eye in your case.
  6. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    Well he was my first fish and I didn't know something was wrong with him. I'm still not certain something is wrong with him. Also, I'm a rescue pet owner by nature (all my furry pets are from shelters), so turning away an animal because it's not ideal is not in my nature. For all I know he would have died in that petstore, and while I'm not thrilled that he might be sick, he's not showing any signs of suffering so I don't regret bringing him home to a comfortable tank and good care. This is probably more important if there are other fish's health to take into account, but he's in his own tank where he can't spread anything to anyone else.
  7. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    I think Primafix is on the betta fish no-fly list (labyrinth fish have to avoid meds with certain oils in them), but I'll see if there is a comparable medication that's safe for him, thanks for the tip!

    I'm glad your angel is doing better!
  8. MattS99Well Known MemberMember

    First of all try melafix (Sometimes called bettafix). It's usually at any Petco or PetSmart. And think about getting a sick betta from a cup this way. You think you're helping it out and giving it a good home, you're just stressing it out even more, could make their disease even worse. I don't want to sound condescending or mean, it's just my opinion.
  9. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    I know melafix is bad for bettas, but I'll look into bettafix.

    As for which fish I chose to bring home, that is my business. As I have already stated, he's not showing any signs of stress and has been thriving otherwise for 4 months. I didn't chose him because I thought he was sick (my first fish, remember) but if he is, I will treat him. If you don't want to sound condescending, try not being condescending. Just my opinion.
  10. MattS99Well Known MemberMember

    Nothing wrong with melafix, I've been using it for years with bettas. I'm pretty sure melafix and bettafix are the exact same thing. Pimafix on the other hand, stay away. I also used to get this blue stuff in this little container that looked like a fish that worked extremely well, but the name is escaping me.
  11. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    The blue stuff is probably Betta Revive, which is a combination of methylene blue, malachite green and neomycin, but he probably just needs an antibiotic and I'm not sure if neomycin is the best one for treating this kind of infection. I do have some on hand, though, so if it comes down to it I'll try it. I don't like scatter-shot medication, and if it's not going to be the best bet, I'd rather not risk him building immunities to it when it might be more effective for something else later on. A lot of treatments I've seen recommended elsewhere are for popeye caused by an injury and only effecting one eye. Whatever Zoa has is slow, has lasted 4 months with very little change, and is in both eyes.

    There is also the small chance that he's just an odd betta with large eyes, which is what I'd assumed up to now. The silver highlight around his eyes is what made me start to worry and look more seriously at it being an infection of some kind. This morning he seemed a bit lethargic, which upped the worry and lead me to come here for advice. After a water change and some food he seems to have perked back up, though, so I don't know if that was infection or if he just didn't like me upping the fertilizers a little yesterday.
  12. MattS99Well Known MemberMember

    Sorry to keep throwing things at you, but if he needs an antibiotic maybe erithromyocin? (if I spelled that right.)I don't think he has popeye, but I do think something is wrong with him. Just not sure what it is.
  13. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    His eyes being large is his only real symptom, though? I mean, popeye is just a name for a symptom, like fever or rash, not a specific disease. So he's either got something that's caused his eyes to enlarge, or he's just a big-eyed weirdo who's fine. I don't see much room for a third option.
  14. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    I think there is something going on between his eyes and in back of his head as well. I don't like the look of the ends of his pectorial fins. Might have some rot going on.
  15. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    Really? I haven't noticed any signs of fin rot on him, but he's a crowntail so it's not as clear as it might be otherwise. His pectorals are a bit blurred by moment in those pictures, though, is that maybe what's bothering you? Or is it the silver edging? I know dark edges can be a sign of rot, but are light colored edges a bad sign as well?

    As for his head, his coloring is a bit speckled but there is no sign of anything being wrong with the scales there. Nothing raised or irritated looking. Just bits of silver mixed into the red. I didn't think that was unusual for Cambodian coloring?
  16. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    In the first picture (top view) when I click on the picture and it enlarges, it looks like an area on his back where scales are missing and it looks like something similar to that in between his eyes. The same picture the ends of the pectoral fins are clearish. On the right side they look kind of fuzzy. It could just be the picture. The clearish color could be new growth. In my betta it was not.
  17. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    Ah, I think that's just my shoddy photography and his coloring being odd. All his scales are intact and the part of his fins that looks clear is just a blur of movement. His pectoral fins end cleanly and in silver, not clear tissue. This is the problem with getting medical advice based on pictures. Some of us are better photographers than others!
  18. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, Yeah, he has popeye. I would not use erythromycin, it is only meant for gram positive diseases and will also harm your bio-filter greatly. There are very few things erythromycin will treat. If his eyes were cloudy, I'd suspect streptococcus and then that would be the only time I'd suggest erythromycin.

    Popeye when in both eyes, and not an injury itself is usually caused by the aeromonus bacteria. I think your best bet would be something like Kanaplex or Maracyn 2. Also, I'd use 1/2 tsp dissolved epsom salt in his tank to help with the fluid retention. You can use it for up to a week but then remove it. With water changes, replace what you remove, it doesn't evaporate and is only removed with water changes.

    The recommendation of Melafix for something like popeye just isn't going to help. It is a very weak natural antibiotic at best from the melaleuca plant. The most I'd recommend it for would be some very mild fin rot, if even for that. Stress coat is simply a dechlorinator with some aloe in it, again won't help something like this.

    I think when someone is asking for help you should stick to the topic at hand. The OP already owns this fish so lecturing them in some way that this was a bad choice four months ago does nothing to help the situation. Also it really makes no sense comparing their toxic cup environments, usually high in ammonia to a tank with clean water environment as more stressful. The stress comes from the small, unheated dirty environment in the first place, not the move into a clean tank. And suggesting someone should not care for a sick animal or fish because of the fact that they're sick really is perplexing to me. :confused:
  19. MattS99Well Known MemberMember

    Even though it probably hates that little cup, the fish still views the cup as his 'home'. Moving it to another tank would cause any fish stress. You see, I've kept betta's my whole life but I mainly specialize in community tanks, so buying a sick fish is a no go. I never said not to treat it. Everyone has a different perspective, and that's the great thing about FishLore.
  20. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    I wasn't going to comment on this post anymore because I think the fish has other problems besides the popeye but that being said, they can't survive in those little cups, they can survive in the tank she has. You give a chance at life or you deny it. A lot of people work very hard here to bring these beautiful fish back from the brink of death. They make it to those 20 gallon community tanks. There is the hobbyist who will only buy perfect specimens (good luck to those people), and put those fish in perfect little situations and sit back and admire their fish. Nothing wrong with that. Then there are those people who elevate the "Hobby". You really can't call it a hobby. A hobby is something you do in your free time, when you feel like it. Knitting and wood carving and pottery, those are hobbies. If you only took care of fish in your free time when you felt like it, they would all be dead. Because it is life or death to a living creature, we get crazy serious about it. Buying sick or stressed fish and having to bring them through their illness only elevates our understanding of them and makes us better custodians. It is a continual learning experience even if you have been doing it for the greater portion of your life. Oh, and when someone falls off the roof cleaning gutters this spring, I am still going to call the paramedics who will cause the patient a LOT of stress by moving them, aligning that broken bone before the surgeon has to put pins in it etc, etc...I'm doing it anyway.

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