Dwarf gourami with pop-eye

  1. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    Hi folks. This morning I noticed that one of my dwarf gourami's eyes is bulging. I did some search online and it seems to be pop-eye. It's definitely not there the day before yesterday, as I have a clear photo of him taken. Please see the before and after picture attached. I'm pretty sure it's not there yesterday either. I just tested the water, the condition is good: ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate=5ppm, ph=8, temp=80f. The dwarf gourami was newly introduced to my 29 gallon on Saturday. There was a swordtail bullying him. I returned the said swordtail yesterday and the dwarf grouami looks happy except that he does not eat much. What should I do? Thank you!

    Attached Files:

  2. poeticinjustices Well Known Member Member

    Unilateral popeye is often caused by injury and since your parameters are good and you had a bully in the tank I would say that injury is a likely culprit.

    Clean water, boosted diet. If it won't stress him, an epsom salt bath or a QT with a bit of epsom salt in it will help draw out the fluid.

    If you notice the second eye bulging or any signs of bloating/pinecone scales then you have internal infection. Watch out for secondary infection as well.

    But for now it sounds like injury and that's how I would start treating it.

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  3. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    Thank you, poeticinjustices. I'll try an epsom salt bath. How much epsom salt per gallon? Can I do it in a bucket? How long should I leave him there if there is no sign of stress? Thank you!
  4. poeticinjustices Well Known Member Member

    This, unfortunately, I cannot help you with very much. I've been investigating the same myself. I read as little as 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons and to watch for any unusual behavior. Honestly, I've found baths to be very stressful almost not worth it. Stress will make him vulnerable to infection. This is just my personal opinion, and I have very little experience with it, but I would probably just start with the clean water and good diet. If it gets worse or does not come down, then use the baths. Just don't use aquarium salt while he is healing, it can make it worse.

    Also watch for popeye in the other eye or bloating/pineconing in the belly. If it's infection, popeye can be the first indication of dropsy, the muscles of the eye socket being weaker than the abdominal wall and therefore showing symptoms first. But I think it's probably an injury. Check the eye for any damage, And watch for any other signs of infection - waste, marks on the body.

    Here's a link that might help you.


  5. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    Oh, no! I just noticed that he has white stringy poop. That indicates parasite? infection? What do I do?
  6. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    After further research, it might be a false alarm. That white stringy thing is quite short and drops off quickly. Shining Armor looks normal except for the eye. I fed them pureed garlic with brine shrimps last evening. He was drawn to it and ate a bit. Today he acts fine but did not care for the same food. I have bought some epsom salt, just to be prepared.
  7. poeticinjustices Well Known Member Member

    White stringy poop doesn't necessarily indicate parasitic infection, it can also mean bacterial. As well as stress and constipation.

    So the symptoms now are popeye and stringy poop. I have to admit, it's a little suspicious but not conclusive. I have a hard time in this gray area. When my fish get sick, it's like, WOW they're sick.

    Any marks on the body or fins? Tummy looks normal? Normal behavior?

    Did you see the poop after you fed the brine shrimp? They're pretty light colored and since it wasn't long and stringy, I'm inclined to think it might just have been the shrimp.

    If it were me, I'd just continue to monitor. Very, very closely. But this maybe sick/maybe not thing always throws me off a little. Wish I could say anything with more certainty :\

  8. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    He looks quite normal, no marks on the body or fins, tummy looks fine. Of course I only had him for less than a week, so I might be wrong. He took up glass surfing and keeps doing it. His eye is no longer "popped". It still looks different from the other eye - the pupil is smaller and not as black and clear. But one may not even notice it unless you watch very closely. No more stringy poop, or any poop for that matter. He was not interested in food.
  9. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    New (bad) development. He has a small red ulcer on his mouth! Please look at the pictures. I feel I must do something now. What to do? Any advice? Thank you!
    He ate garlic juice soaked brine shrimp this morning and acts normal.



  10. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    More pictures




  11. poeticinjustices Well Known Member Member

    Hard to get a good look at it but popeye + ulcer + possible white poop makes me think bacterial infection, maybe. Possibly secondary to popeye from injury or possibly both are the same infection.

    He's a DG, so melafix for the ulcer is out of the question. Well I guess not completely, but I wouldn't chance it.

    I would really like for you to wait for confirmation from others on what I think might be going on here. This is just because I've recently dealt with popeye+septicemia in my fish and have been medicating and I don't want to automatically jump the gun on you. I can diagnose the most textbook of symptoms but beyond that I like to have someone else jump in on it too.

    What you could and may want to start with are antibacterials (not antibiotics yet) like Paraguard for the external lesion. It's malachite green + aldehyde. This is something I feel fairly okay with recommending as a first step. And, of course, watch for signs of internal infection. I don't think Paraguard does much for that.
  12. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    OK. I went out to buy a 5-gallon container and a power filter pump. I also put a cup with some gravel inside for shelter. I moved him to this hospital tank. I couldn't find Paraguard from Petco, Petsmart, or Walmart. They have antibiotics such as Tetracycline. I'll have to order the Paraguard online. Meanwhile, should I add the Epsom salt? What else could I do now?

    He looks fine. The red spot is quite small. It's at a place that's naturally dark, by his mouth. But it's red instead of dark, compare to the other side. Am I fussing over something trivial? Hope I am not doing more harm than good by stressing him unnecessarily.
  13. poeticinjustices Well Known Member Member

    If he was in another tank with fish, QT was a good start.

    I'm not sure about epsom salt healing properties when it comes to open sores but it may help with what remains of the popeye.

    I just remembered you mentioned the bully before. Was he still in the tank with the bully when the red sore appeared? If so, then he might just still be getting picked on. Either way, QT will tell you for sure.
  14. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    I removed the bully but there were other fish. He was not picked on from what I saw. Anyway, he is in QT now. I will add Epsom salt tonight and see what happens until Paraguard arrives. Thank you for keep answering my questions´╝ü

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