Popeye, Possibly Hole In The Head, & Maintenance Issues

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James95

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Hi Everyone,

I recently returned home from a business trip to find that one of my 8 year old blood parrots came down with a nasty case of popeye in his right eye. In full disclosure, the tank hasn't been getting the maintenance it deserves over the past few months. I have been super busy with work. I tried dosing the tank with Melafix and he hadn't really improved over the course of 3 days. I later realized it seems as though my heater quit on me and the tank was hovering somewhere around 71 degrees. I'm not sure if this could have been a contributing factor...?

I figured I would start by doing some large water changes and pulling the UG filter plates from the tank. I was running the UGF in combination with a Fluval 406. I have read that UGFs can harbor bacteria and disease when not properly maintained so I decided it was time for them to go.

Last night I pulled the plates and boy, was that disgusting. The tank has been running for 5-6ish years. The water turned black with fish poop and detritus. I did 2 back-to-back 50% water changes and ran out to PetSmart and bought two Emperor 400 filters and a new heater. I switched the Fluval 406 out for the Emperors and moved the biomedia. Followed up with another 50% water change and dosed the tank with 1 teaspoon per gallon of Epsom salt to try and help with the popeye. This morning the tank temp is back where it belongs around 78 degrees. But no visible improvement to his eye as of yet.

I know I really need to get back on a regular maintenance routine, I am going to aim for 50% water change every two weeks. Have to start somewhere. I would feel absolutely terrible if I lost one of my BPs due to poor water quality.

Does anyone have any advice to give regarding the popeye? I would really like to avoid dosing the tank with antibiotics if at all possible. Should I trying raising Epsom salt levels today to see if that helps? More water changes? When might I start to see some improvement? Thank you in advance!
 

AquaticJ

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Don’t use medication, just do 25% changes every 3 days. Did you get a new heater? Why did you get rid of the 406 for emperors?
 
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AquaticJ said:
Don’t use medication, just do 25% changes every 3 days. Did you get a new heater? Why did you get rid of the 406 for emperors?
Ok. I will continue with water changes. Can I go up to 2 teaspoons per gallon of Epsom salt?

Yes, I got a new heater and the temp is back up to 78 as of this morning. I barely have time to do maintenance these days. The Fluval was getting cleaned every six months, if that. I think that was causing high nitrates. Hoping maintenance on two HOBs will be easier.
 

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Not to disrespect AquaticJ advice, by all means water changes are key.
However, you can order many medications, including antibiotics and anti- internal paracide, in flake food online for pretty dirt cheap
Its worth looking into (for you and anyone else reading this)
 
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Whitewolf said:
Not to disrespect AquaticJ advice, by all means water changes are key.
However, you can order many medications, including antibiotics and anti- internal paracide, in flake food online for pretty dirt cheap
Its worth looking into (for you and anyone else reading this)
Thank you! Last night I ordered enough Maracyn from Pet Mountain to treat for 3 consecutive days. Worst comes to worst that will be my last resort. I'll look into medicated food options when I get home. I know it's out there - just never had the occasion to need it.
 

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I had a super bad case of popeye in my black moor. Gypsy13 helped me out. We gave her Epsom salt baths twice a day(1 gallon of water dechlorinated with 1 tsp Epsom. Left her in for 2 minutes at a time.) Treated her tank with Kanaplex and Furan-2 for 10 days. I honestly thought she would lose the eye but she is now back in the main tank and doing fine!
 
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Goldiemom said:
I had a super bad case of popeye in my black moor. Gypsy13 helped me out. We gave her Epsom salt baths twice a day(1 gallon of water dechlorinated with 1 tsp Epsom. Left her in for 2 minutes at a time.) Treated her tank with Kanaplex and Furan-2 for 10 days. I honestly thought she would lose the eye but she is now back in the main tank and doing fine!
Thank you! That is encouraging to hear! I have a soft spot for fancy Goldies. I had 3 of them years ago, a black moor, an red cap oranda, and a calico fantail. I miss them dearly!

I got home from work today and there is a *slight* improvement in the swelling but not the progress I had hoped for. He also seems to have developed some white spots, as you can see in the photo. I am going to give it another few days of water changes before I resort to the meds. Unless you guys would recommend a different course of action?

I will keep you all posted! I really appreciate the help! Shame on me for being a negligent parent. All of this probably could have been avoided!
 

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Oh gosh, I hate to say it but that looks like the beginning of hole in the head disease. I’ve never had to treat it though.

It looks like API General Cure will treat it.
 
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Goldiemom said:
It looks like API General Cure will treat it.
I ordered Maracyn but if necessary I will do the General Cure instead. Looks like PetSmart carries it.

When I bought this tank set up years ago, it came with the Undergravel Filter. I’ve always used them and never had an issue... until now. I was reading yesterday they are known for bringing on certain issues like hole in the head and hexamita. Ugh!
 

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Don't get too paranoid, but don't do dumb stuff like me (not cleaning anything)

If they get SWBD is probably bacteria, it can result in stringy poo as well.
Popeye I think your suppose to use sulfa or erythromycin, so you made the right choice
 
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Whitewolf said:
Don't get too paranoid, but don't do dumb stuff like me (not cleaning anything)

If they get SWBD is probably bacteria, it can result in stringy poo as well.
Popeye I think your suppose to use sulfa or erythromycin, so you made the right choice
Perfect, thank you. Unfortunately, all of my local mom and pop pet stores are gone. Closest one is a 20 minute drive and they don’t really specialize in fish. Glad I ordered online and made the right choice!
 

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Whitewolf said:
Don't get too paranoid, but don't do dumb stuff like me (not cleaning anything)

If they get SWBD is probably bacteria, it can result in stringy poo as well.
Popeye I think your suppose to use sulfa or erythromycin, so you made the right choice
Any broad spectrum antibiotic is fine. Erythromycin or kanamycin are equally as good. Sulfaplex did nothing for my popeye. Good luck and keep us posted!
 
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Goldiemom said:
Any broad spectrum antibiotic is fine. Erythromycin or kanamycin are equally as good. Good luck and keep us posted!
I will give an update once the meds come in and I dose the tank. Fingers crossed. Again, Thank You all SO MUCH!
 

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Whitewolf said:
Don't get too paranoid, but don't do dumb stuff like me (not cleaning anything)

If they get SWBD is probably bacteria, it can result in stringy poo as well.
Popeye I think your suppose to use sulfa or erythromycin, so you made the right choice
White wolf - Just curious. What is SWBD? I know SBD but this one is new to me. Just wanting to learn more. Thanks!
 

Whitewolf

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It was meant to be Swim Bladder Disorder
Im just not good with abbreviations.
 

Goldiemom

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Whitewolf said:
It was meant to be Swim Bladder Disorder
Im just not good with abbreviations.
Got it! Just thought there was one I didn’t know. I still have so much to learn!
 
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Update time...

I am in the process of doing a 50% water change as we speak and then I will dose with API Erythromycin. I ordered both this and the Maracyn and from what I’ve read online either will work.

No real improvement, but he definitely hasn’t gotten worse over the past few days. Hoping these meds knock the infection out. He is still active and rambunctious so that is a very good sign. Still eating as well!
 
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Good Morning! Before I left for work this morning I noticed all of his white spots are gone and he is left with red pits in his face... I would definitely say it was HITH. Hoping it heals fully.

He was acting reallyyy skittish this morning when I approached the tank. Not sure if this is a side effect of the meds but he seriously freaked out. I can't really tell if his eye has gone down at all. I guess I will need to give that more time!
 
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Came home from work today and no major improvement. Second dose of erythromycin just went in. I’m starting to get a bit worried
 
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Bumping this thread in hopes of some advice.

He is getting worse... I came home from running errands this morning and his other eye is starting to protrude now. I think I am dealing with some sort of serious internal bacterial infection.

Does anyone have any further advice? Both eyes are severely clouded. Based on how he has been swimming and eating, I think he is already blind in the eye that popped first. I am seriously starting to wonder what kind of quality of life he will have if he goes blind in both eyes
 
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