Marble Betta- color change on eye or popeye?

Foolsgrin

Hi there, I'm just trying to figure out if my betta is sick or just has a weird marbling thing going on. If those who have experience with marble bettas can take a look I would appreciate it. It should be noted that I did have a high nitrate scare recently and I was worried this could have caused popeye, but the fish is acting normal, even energetic. It's the right eye that is turning white on the lid (see photos and video below). Is this marbling color change that is harmless and natural? Or is this possibly popeye and should I be concerned? I don't want to try antibiotics unless I'm certain he's got an infection, but I REALLY don't want to wait too long to treat for popeye if that is what it is because I read that can get pretty serious if untreated and I really like this fish and I want him to be healthy. Take note of the other pics from the past as this betta has changed color in a short ammount of time and has a history of white patches. The fact that it is just white on the one eye is what has me worried.

Stats on tank:
Tank inhabitants are one male marble betta plakat and one amano shrimp. 10 gallons, cycled, Ammonia and Nitrites 0, I have been battling high Nitrates the last few weeks between 40-80, but I finally got them down this week to 20 with frequent water changes. I'm actually not sure why my nitrates have been high as I have so little inhabitants in the tank and only feed the betta 3 pellets a day and I make sure he eats them all. The amano shrimp just eats algae and waste now as previously another fish keeper told me to stop feeding the shrimp to maintain better water quality. I do weekly water changes of 25%. Some live plants: The tank has several anubius and java fern plants attached to rocks and also four large moss balls. I was planning to get more amano shrimp and a snail eventually, but I need to make sure my fish in in good health and that my nitrates are under control first.

Recent nitrate issue and Epsom salt baths:
In addressing the high nitrates, I have already gotten my nitrates back down to 20 with frequent water changes and I'm considering buying more live plants for the tank. I also took the advice I seen others post about salt baths. I put the betta in a quarantine of fresh clean water daily for 10 days and during this time I also put him into 15 min. epsom salt baths (1 tbs. per gal.) each day and then put the fish back into the clean water right after. There was no change to the eye after 10 days of this routine, so I put the fish back in the regular tank and now I'm just monitoring him.

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Recent photos: A bit blurry. The right eye is the affected eye and it is the upper eye lid. The white eye lid really looks much whiter in person, and the video above shows it better. The pic on the right where he's turned away actually shows the white much closer to the way I see it in person than the view where he's turning to show the affected eye. The fish just won't hold still long enough to get a good photo! He's a dancer!


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Past photos: These are just to show how he has changed over time. He started out blue with big white patches and then slowly lost all traces of white. The first one was taken back in March.


betta color change.001.jpeg

At this phase he's completely blue with slightly lighter blue around eyes. There is no white at all! This was only a couple of weeks ago.


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Rose of Sharon

That is one beautiful betta boy!!! That blue is stunning!!! :)

I have some experience with pop eye, and that really does not look like the beginnings of pop eye to me. Usually when you see an article about pop eye referring to white on the eye, it is usually talking about a white ring around the entire eye. And not long after that, you will begin to see the swelling start.

For nitrates, you could add some floating plants. They are really good at sucking up nitrates. I have some pothos ivy that I have attached to the side of my tank, and it really does the job. But many floating plants will do the same thing.

He is very healthy looking and has good form. The only thing that I would suggest is to vary his diet, and maybe introduce some fluval bug bites and/or some frozen daphnia, both high protein and very good for bettas. The daphnia will keep his digestive system working well, and the bug bites will just give him a little change. I would also feed him at least just one pellet more per day. I feed mine twice a day, at least 2 pellets at a time with 8 hours or more between feedings. You want to keep that immune system strong!

Again, he is very lovely!!!
 

Salem

By your pictures it looks to me like the skin around his eye are just changing. The eye still looks to me like its the same size as the other so I do not think of popeye when I see him.

That being said, it does look like more of the affected eye is covered than the other which in combination with how the scales around his face appear to be thicker leads me to believe that this little guy is also a dragonscale, and that what we're seeing here is scales growing onto his eye. This is called diamond eye and is upsettingly extremely common among dragonscales. Their scales are much thicker than other bettas and cover their entire body including the face.

Diamond eye ranges from a few scales around the edges of the eye to actually fully covering it and blinding the fish. Sometimes it progresses slowly, sometimes it never gets worse, and sometimes it just keeps going until its covered. There's nothing you can do about it to slow it, stop it, or remove it as far as I've seen or heard. The best you can do is watch it and if it starts affecting his vision change the tank layout to be more accommodating. For example if he were to become fully blind in one eye I would suggest removing any harder ornaments he may bump into and replace them with softer ones, or tapping on the water before you feed him to get his attention and let him know where to go.
 

Foolsgrin

That is one beautiful betta boy!!! That blue is stunning!!! :)

I have some experience with pop eye, and that really does not look like the beginnings of pop eye to me. Usually when you see an article about pop eye referring to white on the eye, it is usually talking about a white ring around the entire eye. And not long after that, you will begin to see the swelling start.

For nitrates, you could add some floating plants. They are really good at sucking up nitrates. I have some pothos ivy that I have attached to the side of my tank, and it really does the job. But many floating plants will do the same thing.

He is very healthy looking and has good form. The only thing that I would suggest is to vary his diet, and maybe introduce some fluval bug bites and/or some frozen daphnia, both high protein and very good for bettas. The daphnia will keep his digestive system working well, and the bug bites will just give him a little change. I would also feed him at least just one pellet more per day. I feed mine twice a day, at least 2 pellets at a time with 8 hours or more between feedings. You want to keep that immune system strong!

Again, he is very lovely!!!
Thanks! He is certainly pretty in all his color changes. I keep wondering if he will change color again. I will try out the betta bug bites and daphnia. I do have some freeze dried blood worms to give as a treat occasionally also, but fresh frozen food is obviously much healthier!
By your pictures it looks to me like the skin around his eye are just changing. The eye still looks to me like its the same size as the other so I do not think of popeye when I see him.

That being said, it does look like more of the affected eye is covered than the other which in combination with how the scales around his face appear to be thicker leads me to believe that this little guy is also a dragonscale, and that what we're seeing here is scales growing onto his eye. This is called diamond eye and is upsettingly extremely common among dragonscales. Their scales are much thicker than other bettas and cover their entire body including the face.

Diamond eye ranges from a few scales around the edges of the eye to actually fully covering it and blinding the fish. Sometimes it progresses slowly, sometimes it never gets worse, and sometimes it just keeps going until its covered. There's nothing you can do about it to slow it, stop it, or remove it as far as I've seen or heard. The best you can do is watch it and if it starts affecting his vision change the tank layout to be more accommodating. For example if he were to become fully blind in one eye I would suggest removing any harder ornaments he may bump into and replace them with softer ones, or tapping on the water before you feed him to get his attention and let him know where to go.
I have heard of the dragonscale issue with blindness! I didn't think he was a dragonscale, but you could be right. That would explain the changes around the eye. I'll definitely monitor his vision.
 

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