Our Odessa Is Sick... Popeye??

Shawn Steele

HI All! I’m new to this forum. Not a beginner, but certainly not an expert. I don’t have much experience in diagnosing or treating fish. We have a 55 gallon tank (3-4 yrs old), and we have a sick Odessa Barb. Here is all the info:

  • What is the water volume of the tank? 55g
  • Does it have a filter? Yes, very good filter
  • Does it have a heater? Yes
  • What is the water temperature? 78-79f
  • What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) See attached pic

  • How often do you change the water? Every 7-14 days
  • How much of the water do you change? 20-25%
  • What do you use to treat your water? PH buffer if necessary
  • Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I vacuum the substrate

  • Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
  • What do you use to test the water? Water quality kit
  • What are your parameters? We need the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10.0
pH: 7.6

  • How often do you feed your fish? 2x/day
  • How much do you feed your fish? What they can eat in 3-5 mins
  • What brand of food do you feed your fish? Spirulina (frozen shrimp), and Tetra tropical flakes
  • Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? Both. Dry in the AM, frozen shrimp at night

Illness & Symptoms:
  • How long have you had this fish? 3 yrs
  • How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? He started swimming eradically 3-4 weeks ago. His eyes looked bigger a week ago and are now bulging.
  • In a few words, (more room for details below) what are the symptoms? Bulging eyes, slightly puffy body, erattic swimming occasionally
  • Have you started any treatment for the illness? No
  • Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
  • How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? See above

Please explain your emergency in the best detail possible. (Please use this area to tell us the story of when this emergency began and leading up to now.)
The fish began shooting to the surface of the tank occasionally. We have a volcano bubbler in the tank and we actually found him unside of that and unable to get out about 3 weeks ago. He was. Very pale, but he looked good by the following morning. We thought perhaps his eyes looked a bit bulgy a couple of weeks ago, but they really bulged our in the last 2-3 days.
Thinking of setting up a 5-gallon hospital tank and treating him with...??? Thanks in advance for your help!! Shawn


My guess is the Odessa has a bacterial infection. Since you've had the fish three years (good job) he might be close to aging out. No telling how old he was when purchased. The noted unusual swimming behavior observed weeks before the popeye might have been a symptom of a general decline of the Odessa's health due to age. If you chose to medicate, the most recommended antibiotics are Furan 2 & Kanaplex. Good luck.
  • Thread Starter

Shawn Steele

Thanks Very much for your response! I’ll let you know how it goes.

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