Is this pop-eye, or something else?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Domita, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Domita

    DomitaNew MemberMember

    Sorry about the abundance of pictures, I hope it doesn't crash things for everyone. Also I hope you won't mind my first post being a 'problem' post. :)


    My fish Tim is about 12 years old, and has had a problem with his eye for about a year. I know it's super late in the day to be bringing this for help, but at first I did treat. I used Melafix, Primafix and salt at various times as I had another, much larger, fish in the aquarium (who was growing and got way too big for it) with a recurring wound which he kept re-opening. ANYWAY that fish was massive so he was moved to my parents' large pond in April where he's living happily and terrorising the locals. Tim's had the place to himself since, and has recently moved to a smaller aquarium. It's probably too small for his size, but the eye problem means he has trouble finding food - his depth perception is broken - so a smaller tank makes that easier. He's also not swimming much because I think he's afraid of hitting things, so the smaller tank hasn't effected his behaviour.

    The problem:

    So Tim's eye seems to have gone/shrunk inside his head and there's just a swollen cornea with a bubble of something in it. I can't see his iris any more at all on that side - you can see the difference with the healthy eye in the pictures. There's what looks like a black mass at the back of the eye. It could be the pupil at first glance but looks solid with a rough surface, although it's hard to tell.

    It started with just the cornea popped up, the rest of the eye looking normal - the picture with the green border is an older one which shows this in it's early stages.

    There is a very tiny amount of something which could be old blood pooled in the eye underneath the 'bubble'.

    When I've seen pictures of fish with pop-eye it looks like their eyeball is trying to escape from their skull, whereas this is like the swelling has pushed it in, or it's just *gone*, or something completely different has happened which I can't explain.


    I tested the water yesterday, and stupidly didn't write down the exact parameters but they were all in normal range when I checked them.
    The last water change was yesterday, about 30%
    He's the only fish in the tank, has been alone since April.
    He's had this for a year, so recent changes aren't likely to be that helpful, sadly. The water did go through some ups and downs due to the treatments at the time the problem emerged.
    I haven't been salting the water recently, but did for a month after the large fish was removed.

    Early stages, about nine months ago (in a salt-bath, don't worry their tank was a lot bigger!):

    Pictures taken today:

    Any ideas much appreciated! He doesn't seem in distress with it, except for his aim at food being off, but I'd like to know what's wrong.
  2. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Pop-eye indeed. Often an internal infection or tumor.
    In the first case it could be treatable by an antibiotic / antibacterial med. If a tumor, there isnt much you can do.
  3. OP

    DomitaNew MemberMember

    Thank you!

    It doesn't seem to have been getting worse recently - does that suggest the infection is gone and I'm left with the physical damage? (if it was an infection)

    Could it have happened through injury? The bigger fish could have hurt him.

    I stumbled across an image of a fish-eye dissection, and the 'bubble' seems like it could be the lens of the eye just, burst out there somehow, which would explain the black at the back which would be the retina/wrecked iris.
  4. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    As it is already nine months since the first pics I'd put my money on a slowgrowing tumor. The fish doesn't seem to be sick I think. If a (bacterial) infection it would be.
    But maybe other members do have other thoughts !!!