Cloudy Eyes? Betta

  • #1
So I got my new betta, Philip, last Tuesday. I plan on posting some pics of him in a week or so after the TSS does its job and I can have my aquarium lights on.

He was bred in Thailand, and purchased by a US Transshipper. I then purchased him from the Transshipper. His coloration looks amazing. He appears completly healthy in almost every way. Very active, responsive to me, eats his little pellets. But his eyes are kinda cloudy. At first he sort of had a little fuzz looking stuff coming off them, but that is gone. Now they are just cloudy.

Tank: 5.5 gallons
Temp: 80 F
Cycled: Day 7 of using TSS, new tank, water not tested.

I tried taking a pic of it, but I can't get a good pic at all. So... you will just have to take my word for it that they look cloudy. I don't see any signs of fungus anywhere else on his body.

My thoughts on cure: Warm water, and after a few days when I know TSS has done its job, frequent water changes to make sure the water is clean. No salt or meds.

I am basing that off of ... nothing. Anyone have experience with this? Is there anything else I should do? Or should I stick to the "warm clean water cures all" approach?
  • #2
Usually a Fungal Infection is the culprit. Do not heat the tank to "warm water", it will only make it worse. I'd keep the tank around 78*F when you start medicating (and yes, later on in this post I am going to recommend medicating).

Try treating the tank with Maracyn 2
  • #3
Sometimes cloudy eyes can indicate blindness...though you said he's quite active and responsive, right? If that's so, blindness is unlikely. I'd have to agree that it's a fungal infection of some sort. Just keep the water nice and clean and continue to monitor his eyes.
  • #4
Good morning,

The information below concerning Cloudy Eyes comes from Aquarium Fish International Magazine, November 2011 edition, article by Mike Wickham:

"You may or may not be able to help this fish. Several things can cause this problem. The Fish could have a cataract. There is nothing you can to about cataracts. The white color could also be scar tissue from an injury. Again, there is no treatment. There are infections of the eye that might be treatable. A good antibiotic, such as Kanamycin, triple sulfa or a furanoid drug (anything with "fur" in the active ingredient, such as Nifurpirinol, furazolidone, etc.) might be useful for treating a bacterial infection. There are also protozoal infections of the inner eye. Metronidazole might help those.

However, the first thing to do is check the water quality. In my experience, the cloudy eye problem is almost always associated with low pH and high ammonia levels. This situation is common in aquariums with large fish. They put out so much waste that pH levels drop. When the pH levels drop below about 6.2 the helpful nitrifying bacteria begin to fail and the ammonia builds up. Fortunately for the fish, ammonia takes the less toxic ammonium form in acidic water. That is why the fish can survive.

Run pH and ammonia tests. If these numbers are bad, change more water. For most fish, the pH should usually be near neutral, and ammonia levels should always be zero. There may be times where you also need to adjust the chemical parameters of your local tap water, but in most cases this is not necessary. Always try extra water changes first. For tanks with large fish, such as oscars, pacus, silver dollars and so forth, you may have to make 80-percent water changes daily to improve water quality. In my experience, cloudy eyes usually clear up on their own with sufficient water changes. Happy fishkeeping!"

Personally, I would start with frequent water changes and use medicines as a last resort. Some medicines can destroy your cycle.


I have added "Betta" into your title and moved your thread to More Freshwater Aquarium Topics/Freshwater Fish Disease section of the forum.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Ok, thanks everyone! And warm water is 80 degrees, that is what my betta tanks are usually kept at.

Blindness had crossed my mind at first, but he is too responsive to me and he can find his food too easily. His water must have been bad in transit, it sounds like high ammonia levels would be the culprit. I'll test his water tonight, day 8 of TSS, in my experience it is usually done by day 10. If the readings are fine, I'll start doing some frequent water changes and hopefully that will take care of it!
  • #6
As advised on the directions, you shouldn't test your water until 10 days have passed after adding TSS. And, I don't believe the ammonia would be the culprit. TSS is meant to be used with fish and it should keep the ammonia and nitrite levels down just enough for the fish to survive.
  • #7
Ah, poor guy.

I really hope that tank cycles fast because you need to start with daily water changes asap.

I hope he gets better soon.
  • #8
Good morning,

I realize you kind of have a dilemma, having an ill fish and using Tetra Safe Start (TSS) and a tank that isn't cycled. I feel it would be in the fishes best interest to go ahead with the daily water changes and add Prime or Amquel + to detox Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate and forget about the TSS and waiting for it to cycle the aquarium. The longer you wait the more difficult it may become to get the fish back to good health. Keep up with the daily water changes until the cycle is complete and the fish is back to good health.

Of course it is your aquarium and you have the final say so on what steps and the order of the steps to take.

Best of luck!

  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Well, the good news is today is day 9 of TSS. I'm going to go ahead and test it tonight just to see if it is done. I have used it several times in the past and it was always done when I tested on day 10... so I would hope that a few hours won't make too big of a difference. So hopefully the tank will be cycled and I will do a water change tonight

He still seems really healthy in all regards but the cloudy eyes.

So, I tested last night (day 9) and it was about .25 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and about 5 nitrate. The nitrate was higher than I thought it would be honestly, but based on the fact that there were nitrates at all I decided the cycle was "done" and started up my water changes with prime last night. I'm hoping this will resolve both that ammonia issue and also clear up his eyes. Look for pics of Philip later tonight in the betta forum now that I can turn his lights on, he is a very pretty boy!

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