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FAQs on Goldfish Eye Troubles

Related Articles: Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Disease, Goldfish, Goldfish Varieties, Koi/Pond Fish Disease, Livestock Treatment System, Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish, Gas Bubble Disease/Emphysematosis, Pond Parasite Control with DTHP, Hole in the Side Disease/Furunculosis,

FAQs on Eye Troubles: Causes/Etiologies: Trauma/Mechanical Injuries, Parasitic Involvements Suspected & Real, Infectious Disease, Case Histories, Related FAQs: Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 10, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish Disease 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24, Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30, Goldfish Disease 31, Goldfish Disease 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health 38, Goldfish Disease 39 & Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrogen Cycling, Koi/Pondfish Disease, Goldfish in General, Goldfish Behavior, Goldfish Compatibility, Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Feeding, Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish, Goldfish Breeding/Reproduction,

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Goldfish Success
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Gold fish; eyes       5/1/14
He there ,
My gold fish are about 4 years old and has all the sudden developed a donut like circle around its eye .It is not effecting the eyeball but it almost looks like he has on glasses .they are transparent with a hit of gray...what could this be .....Thanks for the help>>>>>>>Jeffrey
<Perhaps a physical injury... could be genetic. Nothing to "do" re other than the usual good care. Bob Fenner>
Re: Gold fish   5/2/14

thanks Bob !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you have a great day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<And you. B>

White spot on goldfishes eye    5/26/13
Hi, I was hoping you could tell me what is wrong with my Goldfishes eye. I saw you have a whole page dedicated to goldfish eye problems, but did not see/read anything that convinced me it is the same problem as what I am seeing.
<Ok>
I have also been asking on other forums and digging through Google image search looking for something similar, but so far no luck. Over at goldfishkeepers.com they ask for a series of questions to be answered, when asking for help, which I've pasted the answers to below, in case any of it is of consequence. (the whole thread is at http://goldfishkeepers.com/forum/showthread.php?p=53875  though there isn't much there that isn't in this email - larger or uncropped versions of the pictures, and conversation clarifying the KH reading)
<Thank you for this>
I have also attached a couple photos of the eye and test results from water tests yesterday morning, though honestly they may as well be any day of the week, any month of the year. The water tends to be very stable.
If you could do anything to tell me what is wrong with his eye and how to treat it, if possible I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
Jason
What is Ammonia Level? 0
What is Nitrite Level? 0
What is Nitrate level? 0
<Unusual for a goldfish system. I'd have some one else use their kit to check>
What is Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH)? 7-7.5 (KH 5 dKH/89.5 ppm)
What is Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH)? 8.5+

What is the brand of test-kit used(strips or drops)? API Drops
What is your water temperature? 68 (room temperature which is normally about 68 this time of year), ~70-72 in the summer.
What is the size of the tank (how many gals.) and how long has it been set up? 55, gravel, some decorative ornaments.
What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Two Eheim 2217's, Green Killing Machine Internal 9 Watt UV Sterilizer with Power Head, (and a couple power heads, though those obviously aren't really filtering anything)
Is there any substrate in the tank? If so how deep? and what kind (sand, gravel)? 1-1/2-2 inches of gravel How often do you change the water and how much? 40-50% once a week
<Good>
How many fish in the tank and their size? 4 goldfish. Nothing else. ~4-5 inches not including fins
Do you use water conditioner(if so, what kind)? API stress coat and API proper ph 7.5 (more because it makes the water harder and the water here is very very soft)
<Your water is not that soft... given the measures of GH, KH, and pH you list>
What do you feed your fish and how often? Omega One Goldfish Pellets, twice a day
Is there any new fish/plant added to the tank? if so how long is the quarantine period? No, nothing has been added in many months Is there any medications added to the tank? No
Describe the problems you are seeing: example grains of salt on body, bloody streaks, frayed fins, fungus, staying at bottom, not eating, etc?
Spot on eye. No idea if it is a tumor, fungus, etc.
<This spot is very likely the result of a simple physical trauma... the fish swimming into something solid; prob. decor... and will heal in time, though this could take months, here without medication use (I would NOT medicate, nor add anything else to the water). The conditions you list, the food, water quality and maintenance are good... Just time going by. IF there were something amiss system-wise OR a pathogen at work, ALL your goldfish would be similarly afflicted.
Bob Fenner>

Re: White spot on goldfishes eye     5/26/13
Thank you very much for the quick response! I'm relieved to hear it will probably heal in time.
<Ah yes. BobF>

Follow-up: White spot on goldfishes eye    8/4/13
Just writing to let you know that your advice was spot on. His eye took a awhile to go down, but at this point it is nearly 100% healed.
If he is very still and I look very carefully I can see where the injury is/was, but it is not the big obvious spot that it was in the
pictures I sent. Thanks again!
<Ah good. Thank you for this follow up. Bob Fenner>

Bulging eye    6/29/12
Hi there kind people, I once sent a photo of my comet goldfish
<These get very large... a foot, more in length>
that has one large white eye.
<Likely resultant from a physical trauma.>

 He still eats and acts fine, However I noticed that it looks slightly bigger with a little area in the center you can almost see inside when he blinks?
<Ah yes; you're a keen observer>
 If it was to break open will he die?
<Highly unlikely on both counts. I've seen Comets live w/ this condition for decades>
 It looks as though it cant take getting much bigger, I have tried some meds, but nothing helps, I once showed a photo  of him to an online vet, supposedly a vet?? He said it looks like a granuloma and nothing can be done for it, but never mentioned what could happen if it got bigger, it is likely from an injury 2 yrs ago or more. What do you think about this?
<Likely accurate>
 I really like this little trooper, he is about the most feisty and lively of the 3. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated
Thanks again
Cathy Hart
<Mmm, Epsom Salt is easy, safe... though nothing is likely to "work". Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/EpsomSaltUseF.htm
Bob Fenner>
These fish are around 12 or more yrs old

Goldfish eye problem PLEASE HELP !! - 5/9/2012
Hi Hope you can help
WWM: I as well
We have a gold fish about 4 inches in length we first noticed that 1 eye was puffed up
WWM: Ahh, unilateral, one-sided... indicative of a physical trauma rather than infection or parasitic involvement
and a bit white looking. He was still very active and eating, his in with 3 other fish the same size. No evidence of bullying, but the tank nitrates level was high so we removed him from the existing tank ( Now working on the nitrates level which are now back in a good range ) We put him in a hospital tank with a air stone and a filter with just wool in it and treated for pop eye. We used triple sulphur <sulfa> tables every 3 days for about 3 weeks he didn't seem to get any better. The other eye then stated to look bad. We then used Multicure for 3 weeks changing the water regularly and keeping the dose at the right levels.
WWM: Mmm, these med.s don't really "fit" here... Better to just use Epsom, make sure that water quality remains good. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FWEyeTrbTrtF.htm and the linked files you encounter, deem of value
Both eyes are like this, it doesn't look like pop eye, its more that the membrane is just covering his eye and making the black of his eye be pushed back into his head but he is very active and eating normally, I put the carbon back in the filter last night so the hospital tank is back to clear so i could see his eyes more clearly, it seem to me that both eyes are enlarged.....What to do now....Its my daughters fish and we Love him dearly...please help...Should he go back to the normal tank with his friends to live out his days, is it a kidney infection, or are we not treating with the right medication, should we euthanize him ....HELP ! Cheers Sallie
WWM: Better to rely on the simple magnesium sulfate, actually leaving the affected goldfish in w/ the others in the more stable, established system. A note to you to not worry. These sorts of eye issues, though difficult to resolve, are rarely detrimental. Bob Fenner
Re: Goldfish eye problem PLEASE HELP !! - 5/9/2012
Thanks a million I will stop worrying!
WWM: Ah good
How long would you suggest to use Epsom salts for ?
WWM: A couple, three weeks
I've added it to the hospital tank for now, but once i hear back that all is OK for the regular tank will put the gold fish back in with his friends.... Does the Epsom salt not affect the good bacteria in the main tank ? ( That's my main worry )
WWM: At moderate dosage, no
We seem to be working so hard on the nitrates, PH levels, keeping the Ammonia levels all in check .... I really appreciate all you help Cheers Sallie
Re: Goldfish eye problem PLEASE HELP !! - 5/9/2012
Thanks a million ! Do you only add more Epsom salt when you do a water change ?
WWM: Ah yes... it doesn't "go away" otherwise. B
WWM: And you, BobF
Goldfish eye problem PLEASE HELP !!

Hi Sorry to be a nuisance Just checking....Don't want any more dramas ! 50 litre tank ( Australian ) so I'm adding 7.5 easpoons of Epsom salt is this correct ??
<Is fine, yes>
 Very New at this and we just love our fish ! Thanks Heep's Sallie

Re: Goldfish eye problem PLEASE HELP !!     5/24/12
Hi
<Sallie>
I emailed you a few weeks ago about our 4inch gold fish with Popeye in both eyes.
We have since removed him from the hospital tank and returned him to his friends with the addition of Epsom salt 3 tsp per 5 gallons as you suggested a week later its so bad you can hardly see the black of his eyes.
<Ahh>
The bubbles on his eyes are clear and have just pushed the black eyeballs back into there sockets.
HELP is there anything else we can do ?
<Nothing that I know of, no. Only time can/will heal this sort of issue>
Will he lose both eyes ? Can they survive with no sight ?
<I hope not, but yes... blind goldfish can live long, happy lives... water being six hundred or so times more dense than atmosphere, and these (Cyprinid) fishes "hearing" being so acute, they're able to navigate their systems, find food.>
Should we euthanizes him ?
<Were it mine, I would not. I have owned many blind goldfish, Koi...>
The 3 other fish are fine, nitrates good, ammonium levels are good !
Cheers
Sallie
<And you, Bob Fenner> 

White ball in Black Moor's eye     3/14/12
I have two Black Moor Goldfish. One is 4 inches long, and the other is 5 inches long (including tails).  Up until recently, they lived in a 10 gallon aquarium.
<Way too small...>

They now live in a 55 gallon, which I had been trying to get for several months, because the 10 gallon was not meant to be their long-term home. (I know that the 10 gallon was too small for them.)
<I see>
 They lived in the 10 gallon for about 10 months. Both of the tank's levels appeared, and continue to appear to be fine every time I check them with 5 in one test strips.
<These have proved to not be very accurate nor precise>

Around 4-5 months ago, I began noticing a white spot inside the bigger moor's left eye. After a short while, the white speck appeared to be a ball inside of her eye. The ball is underneath the lens of the eye, and appears to be in between the lens and the pupil,
<Actually, it is the lens, under the cornea>
 other than the back portion of the ball, which appears to go into the pupil. The rest of her eye is bright and clear, and the white part doesn't appear to keep her from seeing out of that eye, even though most of the pupil is covered.
When this first appeared, I tried to treat it using Jungle Fungus Clear,
<Of no use>

but it did not seem to help.  Since then, I have watched both fish closely for any new signs of illness.  Recently, I have started to notice the same thing start to happen to one of the other fish's eyes.
<Nutritional and/or environmental... not/less likely genetic involvement>

 I have also noticed that there seems to be the same thing in the bigger moor's other eye, except it looks black, almost the same color as the pupil.  I have searched all over the Internet, and I have not found any answers. Could this be from the water quality, even though it appears fine?
<Yes>
  Do you think it is from them living in the 10 gallon,
<Very likely... I'd use Nitrate concentration as a guide... keep under 20 ppm.>
 and if so, will it stop or get better now that they are in a more proper tank? Thanks!
<... and/or nutritional... Do look into a good "totally nutritional" pelleted food. I use Spectrum brand w/ my fancy goldfishes. Bob Fenner>

Eye flukes in Goldfish? 1/15/12
Hi guys,
<And some gals Cath. Cheers!>
You have helped me before (thank you!) and I hope you can advise me on my current situation. I have a small Pearlscale goldfish that I have had about two months. Today I noticed that her left eye is popping out and misshapen, and it looks like there is a small glob of some kind of jelly-like substance in there, in the upper left quadrant of her eye. I can no longer see her pupil, the rest of the eye is cloudy. There may be some blood in her eye, too, but I do not think she has been injured.
<Mmm; does look like trauma to me... very common unfortunately w/ certain breeds... My Moor is blind...>
This seems to be all internal. She been in a 100 G cycled, planted tank (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10-20 nitrates), 2 Eheim 2217 canisters, with 4 other goldfish, all of whom are fine. I moved her into a QT and bumped the heat up to 80 and started Medigold this afternoon. Tonight, though, I saw her poo and it was normal, not stringy and white. So, I am wondering is this could be eye flukes. If so, what can I do for her?
<Administration of an Anthelminthic... Perhaps Prazi/quantel. Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/AnthelminthicsFWF.htm
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flukesfwf.htm
I am attaching some pics. It is very alarming. I am pretty sure it is too late for the eye, it looks pretty bad, but I'd like to save the fish.
Other than the eye, she is eating, but has been hanging in a quiet corner at the top of the tank the past week or so. I am pretty sure this eye thing has developed in the past few days, as I checked her when she started hanging up there, but no outward signs of trouble at the that time. And, other than the eye, no outward signs now. (I am attaching pictures so you can see.) What should I do?
<Read... consider whether the cost of treating all is warranted... act or not>
Thanks for taking a look.
Catherine
<Mmm, a scraping, examination under a low power microscope is definitive...
Bob Fenner>

Re: Eye flukes in Goldfish? 1/16/12
Hi Bob (and guys and gals!)
Thanks so much for your help, as always. Would you advise another round of Prazi
<Mmm, no... IF you've treated w/ this, then this is not a case of Trematodes associated w/ the eye>
while I am giving her the Medigold? I did Prazi in QT and did a salt dip before adding her to the main tank, and have PraziPro on hand. I also have potassium permanganate and powdered Metronidazole.
<Both too toxic and not called for here>
Does it look like an eye fluke to you?
<As stated previously, no. Looks like a mechanical injury to me>

The eye has a round clear bubble surrounding it that you can see from the top, so there is some buildup up of fluid/pressure there. Anything I should about that--Epsom?
<Worth trying>

This morning, after 15 hours of Medigold, the good news is that the deformed perimeter seems to have mended and the perimeter is round (as it should be--instead of being indented on the left side) once again when you look at her from the side. The white glob is still there. If an injury, is that the eyeball, perhaps? It is floating around at the top in there--
whatever it is?
<Could be a few things... the lens... >
Regards,
Catherine
<And you, BobF>

GF, eyes, Cath 8/23/11
I used to talk to you folks quite a bit about my fish problems, it was over a year ago, This one fish had a white popped out eye, we finally determined it might have been an injury, it is the large white eye , he acts fine, eats very well and swims fine, water is good, ph may be high at 8.5
<Is>
and I use softened water, ALL of which has been what I have been doing for 11 years. For the past two weeks however the other eye of this fish has started to protrude , notice how it looks like it goes out to a point with a white end, I have talked to a man at pet connection who says he doubts that fish will make it and I should feed them all Medigold,
<Won't help... or hurt likely>
I tried this once a year ago when the fish first eye was bad. I am going to buy it , as this is all he keeps telling me, What do you think I should do, I don't want to lose any of them and they truly do act fine, if he wasn't going to make it why doesn't he act sick??
<I would not treat this fish, this system>
I don't like when everyone tells me off as I have them in a twenty gallon tank, they have room to swim and really act good, <well> why does everyone tell me off one way or another.
<You'd have to ask "them">
I have had bad experiences with medicating other fish I had, they all died, I am very nervous about doing it. BUT if it means saving the well acting fish I will, Do you have any suggestions. I cant understand why a fish if so sick as people say is acting quite well??
<Got me... appearances, judgments sans knowledge...?>
Thanks
Cathy
<Welcome. BobF>
Last mail 8/23/11
Regarding last message I sent with photo attached of fish with bad eyes, I should mention that it has always , since I can remember had funny looking eyes, they never looked like the other fish eyes ,they were always a grey color but never protruded, this has been 11 yrs
Thanks again
Cathy Hart
<These eyes, the tissue/s around them may be some sort of "other" growth... or as you speculate, some sort of result from injury. B>

Re: Last mail, GF hlth. 8/23/11
If you don't think the system suggested using Medigold will help or hurt, what do you suggest I do for the fish??
<... nothing>
Is it possible to have to much or oversized filter, I have a whisper 40 filter I use and a small bio wheel filter and one airstone with extra power (made for 40 gallon tank) that runs the airstone, is this too much?
<No. B>
Re: Last mail (inconceivable!) 8/23/11
Hello, you mentioned in an email I must have lost, that the Medigold wont help or wont hurt, I am nervous about this so if I was to use it are you pretty sure it wont hurt them?
<... as stated>
I don't want to do that, but would like to see I guess if it would help, but if you think it would hurt them I wont!

Cloudy Eyed Goldfish 8/8/11
Hello I've spent a good amount of time using the highlight feature on your site, and I can't seem to find an answer to my question. I hope you will be able to answer it for me.
<Let's see>
About 4 months ago my friend and I got a black fantail goldfish, and in the beginning he seemed to do just fine. Recently though his eyes appear to be bulging (even more than usual) and the "whites" seemed to be filling up with a cloudy fluid.
<Mmm; not uncommon... usually a matter of genetics or environment>
At first we thought this was just a normal part of the growing process, but now one of the eyes appears to have some sort of brown fluid in the bottom of it. It almost looks like when a human bursts a vessel in their own eyeball. I'm not an expert on fish anatomy so if this is as simple as when a human bursts a vessel I apologize, but something about it just doesn't look right. Luckily the condition does not seem to be impacting his vision.
He still swims right to the top of the tank when either of us walks up to it to feed him. We would appreciate it if you could give us some information on this situation, and if you know of any remedies for the poor little guy's condition.
Gratefully,
Elizabeth
<Mmm, well... not much can be done from the perspective of heritable traits... I'd review water quality:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlvstkind1.htm
scroll down to Goldfish tray, Systems... Bob Fenner>

Strange water bubble within the bubble of my telescopic fish's eye and other tank setup questions...... 6/3/11
Hello!
<Hello,>
I greatly appreciate you answering emails and having so much information on your site, considering that goldfish are incredibly difficult to maintain in good health it seems.
<Not really difficult, but the problem is that people buy Goldfish WITHOUT doing any research first, assuming they're as easy to keep as a houseplant.
They're not, and the key thing they need that almost every beginner gets wrong is a big (30+ gallon) tank with a robust filter. Get those things right, and they're generally very easy to maintain!>
I have two telescopic fish, one is a calico named Posie and the other is a black moor named Petri, after sitting, researching and reading your site for some time I have realized that I need to move them as soon as possible to my larger tank that I have sitting around, possibly get a new filtration system for them and I'm feeding them all the wrong foods, so those are definitely contributing factors to whatever problems that seem to keep popping up within their domain and amongst them, but I still have a few questions I didn't find answers to and I'm really hoping you can help me!
<Fire away.>
The chemical balance is all wrong in their tank at the moment; I'm going to do a partial water change and hopefully that will get it in proper order but I was told at the petstore where I originally got both of them, (I
think they are a year and half old now(?) or there abouts), that stress coat and stress zyme are the best options for clarifying and maintaining a good chemical balance, is this true?
<No. Do start by reading here about Rift Valley salt mix, a very cheap, easy way to provide the hard water Goldfish need. Use about 50% the dose listed there for Rift Valley cichlids. This will cost pennies a month!
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
You don't need to add anything else to buckets of new tap water except for water conditioner, i.e., chlorine remover (most kinds also remove Chloramine, copper and ammonia, and it's well worth buying brands that do this).>
Or am I using the wrong products? I also have a tetra whisper ex20 filter system for their 15 gallon tank; they are both about three inches long including their large flowing tails now, hence why I need to put them in the bigger 30 gallon tank, but I read that trickle filters are not the best filtration for goldfish. This may be a stupid question but is the filter I have considered a trickle filter?
<No; the Tetra Whisper EX20 filter is a hang-on-the-back filter.>
If so, what filter would you recommend I get?
<The best all-around filters for Goldfish are internal canister filters.
The Fluval 3 Plus or Eheim Aquaball 2210 would be appropriate examples for your 30 gallon tank. These have the flow needed to clean up the solid waste produced by Goldfish, while also being very easy to maintain -- just take them out, open the canister part, rinse under a tap, reassemble, and put back in the tank. External canister filters like the Fluval 305 or Eheim 2213 would be even better but many find them tricky to use because of all the pipes that need to be connected (though I admit they're the filters I
prefer to use). Hang-on-the-back filters can work well too, but they're noisy and they don't always handle the solid waste produced by big fish particularly well.>
I also have the Kollercraft Tom 360 Degree Cylinder Tank 2 Gallon, and it came with what they claim is a filter but seems to just make bubbles, and I was wondering if I could use the "filter" that came with that tank as an aerator for them?
<You can certainly add extra little filters if you want, but I don't think this unit will make much difference to water quality or oxygenation either way.>
When it comes down to the physical ailments, in general, they seem okay, not bad, but not great either. Petri and Posie both seem to have the "pine cone" like scale protrusions, but I don't think it's dropsy.
<Hmm, the pine cone look is the classic symptom for Dropsy; do bear in mind that Dropsy can sometimes come and go.>
Their scale protrusions seem to be very randomized and they have very few, I'd say 5 scales protruding on each side tops, and it appears that those scales are shinier and lighter in color, and seem to reflect light very differently from their other scales which makes the protrusive scales stand out incredibly. The reason I don't think it's dropsy is because they don't have any bloat or any of the other dropsy symptoms at all, in fact in general other than their strange protrusive scales they don't seem to have any other ailments than the water's terrible chemical balance.
<Well, fix this, and your Goldfish should improve.>
It's completely ALL wrong; which I will be fixing. The most puzzling thing which is in the headline of this email, is Posie's eye bubble within his eye bubble. I have never heard or seen anything like this before.
<I have.>
It literally looks like a drop of water is within his cornea, as if originally it had been filled with air and someone poked a hole in it, water seeped in and formed a sphere within it's confines. I don't know what
to make of it. It's not swollen. He doesn't seem to be in any pain. There doesn't seem to be any blood or secretion and its relatively new. I'm quite sure it wasn't there yesterday. I have no idea; Do you know what it is, and how to treat it?
<Typically, these bubbles are formed by supersaturation of the water with oxygen. As such, they're usually seen in tanks where there's a very strong mixing of air with water, e.g., in marine tanks equipped with trickle filters and/or wet/dry filters. Certain sorts of high-performance airstones driven by extremely strong air pumps can have the same effect. While these aren't likely issues here, do check to make sure you aren't pumping too much air into the water. Otherwise, simple physical damage could be to blame, in which case review the tank for sharp objects including plastic plants.>
Is this some strange new deformity? Is it water and eye damage? Please help me. I can take a picture if you think that would help clarify his strange condition better but I do not have one at this moment.
<No treatments as such. Good water quality, a balanced diet, and time should repair things.>
Thank you SO much! Amy
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Goldfish swollen eye problem (RMF, any insight)<Nada mas> 5/18/11
Sorry to disturb you again for advice'¦
<Not a problem.>
The case of one swollen eye below recurred after about a week, and then developed into swelling to the face; I figured it was internal bacteria and as it wasn't getting any better I reluctantly used the Furanol 2 (I think the tank pH had crashed; I'm trying to remedy the soft water gradually with JBL Aquadur now).
<Ah, yes, you do want to fix water chemistry. Goldfish aren't especially fussy, but they do seem healthier kept in hard water, and in the north of Scotland for example you have quite soft water. Better for whisky than beer, and better for tetras than goldfish. So some hardening will be worthwhile. Crushed coral in a media bag (or the "foot" of an old pair of nylon tights) works wonders and is easily cleaned and refreshed.>
Unfortunately, the Furanol 2 treatment involved removing the bacterial filter. I managed to get the filter back in the tank yesterday after the original symptoms improved and I changed out enough of the medication. However (deep sigh) today the fish has three or four white spots on his head and back- at first I thought Ich, but it's not grainy, at least not in the larger spots, perhaps more fuzzy and white in the middle. Maybe columnaris or fungus?
<Columnaris is difficult to diagnose compared to Finrot, but Fungus should be clearly different, more cotton wool-like. To be fair, both can occur on the same fish, along with Finrot, so a medication that treats all of them, like eSHa 2000, is worthwhile.>
My dilemma is, I can medicate for columnaris but I REALLY don't want to take the filter out again (Ektol will require the filter to be removed).
<I see. Well, with eSHa 2000, that isn't necessary, which is why I favour it. I have no experience of Ektol, but it sounds annoying. Zeolite can be used in the short term to remove ammonia directly.>
How long do you think I dare watch and see if he fights it off without the Ektol now the water quality's better? I read some reports that Columnaris can finish a fish pretty quickly'¦
<Yes, this is true. Columnaris is usually slow, but there is a fast strain that can kill fish within days.>
I've managed to get the KH up to 4 (pH 7.5, nitrates 0 - 0.3 mg/L -that's the lowest category my test kit can read). Many thanks for any advice. And
sorry for being a pain; I feel like this is becoming an epic!
Jess
<Good luck, Neale.>

Goldfish swollen eye problem 4/17/11
Hi guys- I've read a lot of your FAQs but I'd appreciate some specific advice.
<Ask away!>
One goldfish, large filtered aquarium- 100 L I think; not a new tank or anything, I've had him for about 12 years or so. Diet of peas and goldfish pellets. Water changed regularly, but it was a bit late the last couple of times as I've been quite ill myself and didn't have a choice. Nitrite test reads in the <0.3 mg/L category, which is as low as it goes, but it's an old kit, may not be reliable.
<What this likely means is there's a non-zero nitrite level. That probably means the fish is either fed or the tank is under-filtered, and I'd put my money on the latter because 100 litres is a bit small for a 12-year old Goldfish. I'm assuming this Goldie is full grown, i.e., 20-30 cm/8-12 inches if a standard single-tail Goldfish, or 15-20 cm/6-8 inches if a fancy Goldfish of some sort. Either way, I'd be looking at not less than 115 litres/30 US gallons for adult Goldfish.>
I know I should get a new one but as I say I've been preoccupied with some health problems.
<Understandable.>
Noticed last night that fish has one swollen eye, really swelled up. As far as I can see no other damage to the fish and the other eye looks OK (I never really studied the eye before so I'm not sure how it normally looks!) It's normal compared to the other one. So likely trauma?
<Yes, if one eye alone is damaged, yes, physical damage is the more likely option. You can't rule out a secondary infection of course, and problems with water quality are more likely to mean an injured eye becomes infected. So in that sense your job here is to [a] deduce how the fish hurt itself; and [b] consider whether a water quality issue made things worse.>
Did a 30% water change last night.
<Good.>
I'm living abroad (yes, I brought my fish but it was a year or so ago so the tank is established), I don't have good local language skills and I'm worried I won't find Epsom salts. I can order them online but it will take 5 days plus to get here- will that be too late or still worth it?
<Epsom salts are easy enough to get in the UK. Also known as magnesium sulfate (usually spelled magnesium sulphate in England). Shouldn't need to mail order them from abroad! Do try places like Lloyds Pharmacy or Boots, as well as health food shops.>
I'll check the pet shop here today (and try and get a test kit) but it carries a very limited stock. If they don't carry an antibiotic, should I
order the Interpet anti internal bacteria (probably takes about a week; I normally used the Interpet medicines in the UK) or should I try and order an antibiotic from the US- that could take ages!
<I'm a big fan of a product called eSHa 2000 for external infections, and found it works at least as well if not better than the Interpet equivalent, in my experience anyway, and is a LOT cheaper (use far, far less per gallon, so you can treat more water or more fish). Problem is that isn't so widely traded. In any case, Pop-eye doesn't immediately need to be treated. In clean water it should heal by itself, much like a bruise on a human.>
If water quality is unsatisfactory, shall I assume infection and that he needs antibiotic?
<Certainly an antibiotic can be a plus. But the Epsom salt alone should reduce swelling, and if you ensure good water quality, it should heal by itself.>
If I can get both, do I administer them at the same time? And, as an antibiotic will probably affect the filter, how often can I water change
while the medication is in?
<Yes, you can use Epsom salt with antibiotics.>
If I can't get Epsom salts, is there anything else I can do to try and save his eye? I'm quite terrified at the thought of it falling out! Is there any hope?
<Oh, much home. Simple physical damage to the eye should heal in time. Occasionally fish do lose one eye, and the good news is that seems to cause them no real problems. But slight swelling should heal. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwpopeyefaqs.htm
>
Many thanks for any help!
Jess
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish swollen eye problem 4/18/11

Hi Neale- thanks ever so much for the advice, it's wonderful to have somewhere to turn to! The eye has now thankfully gone down a great deal and I think it will heal by itself, so I think I'll just maintain the water and not treat it with anything.
<Indeed.>
I'm actually in Finland rather than the UK- Epsom salts proved difficult to get here, in the rare eventuality that anyone asks again, but I did get hold of an antibiotic JBL Furanol2 which I'll hold on to in case I need it in future.
<Cool.>
I just measured the tank and by my calculations it's 128L (though not 100% full of water), which sounds by your advice to be an acceptable size?
<Yes.>
The filter rate says 220-570L/hr.
Thanks again from me and my fish!
<Happy to hear about the successful outcome; enjoy your fish! Cheers, Neale.>

Blind black moor 10/26/10
Good evening: I have just purchased a large (3 inch) black moor- he appears to have cataracts, but after doing a bit of research I have learned that this condition might actually be due to previously poor water conditions and/or a fungal or bacterial infection. He is currently alone in a quarantine tank, and before I add him to my 50 gallon tank with my two much-loved telescopes I would like to see if I can restore his vision as well as ensure that I don't pass along a disease. What would you recommend? Kind regards: Gina
<Hello Gina. If the eyes are merely cloudy, there's a chance they'll recover in time. The disease isn't "catchy" so provided he's given good conditions now, and he's able to feed himself and negotiate his way around the tank, I wouldn't worry too much. Cheers, Neale.>

Pop-eye in Panda Moor [Bob, any better ideas?] 5/29/2010
<Hello Jane,>
Please would you be kind enough to advise me further regarding treatment of my newish Panda Moor.
<OK.>
A couple of days after I purchased him I notice that his left eye was rather swollen.
<Right. Now, assuming he was fine in the shop, if one eye has become swollen, it's likely this was physical damage, perhaps while being netted, or else by bumping into something in a new, unfamiliar, or too-small
aquarium.>
There are no signs of any clouding of the lens or any fungus etc. His other eye is normal.
<This is good.>
He seems to be having difficulty seeing his food to eat it but after hoovering around on the surface he usually ends up finding it. I have tried the Tetra Gold sinking pellets that I got but he is unable to see them and leaves them and I end up having to remove them, so therefore I have stopped using them. He is currently in a 12 litre quarantine tank with a filter.
<12 litres/3 US gallons is a trivial amount of water, and confining him here will only make things worse. Much better to have him in the main aquarium, which for Moors needs to be upwards of 100 litres/26 US
gallons.>
I have tried Myaxzin for 5 days but sadly there seems to be no improvement.
<Never found this stuff much good myself. Anyway, contains Malachite Green, Formaldehyde and Acriflavine, which have a mild antibacterial affect with regard toe external infections.
<<And too likely to interrupt nitrification, an essential element of biological filtration, by killing off necessary microbe populations. RMF>>
In this case the problem is internal, the eye "popping" because of pressure behind the eyeball. Time, good conditions, and the use of Epsom salt is about the best thing you can do without using antibiotics. In the UK, antibiotics are prescription-only, so to get what you need to treat Popeye, for example Nitrofurazone, you need to speak to a vet. This isn't expensive, but it does require finding a vet willing to treat fish.>
I have had the water tested by the local Aquarium shop and they said it was fine.
<May well be.>
Unfortunately, I did not ask for the exact test results, as from reading other entries you probably need them to help me further.
<Correct. At minimum, you should own a nitrite [with an "I", not nitrate with an "a"] test kit and a pH test kit.>
I have read the entries about using Epsom Salts and Metronidazole.
<Indeed.>
Unfortunately I am still unsure as to the best way forward as there seems to be a divide over the most appropriate treatment. I don't really want to delay as I would like my poor fish to have the best chance of a full recovery.
<Both Nitrofurazone and Metronidazole are antibiotics, and both will reduce the infection behind the eye, if there is one, and unless you're a vet, you really can't tell either way.>
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and thank you in advance if you would be able to help me! It would be most appreciated by myself and my little panda moor.
<Hope this helps.>
Jane
<Do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwpopeyefaqs.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Pop-eye in Panda Moor 6/3/10
Dear Neale,
<Hello again Jane,>
Firstly, may I say a huge thank you for getting back to me so quickly regarding my poorly panda moor.
<No problem.>
Secondly I forgot to mention in my first e-mail what a great site you have and the wealth of knowledge is astounding!
<Kind of you to say so.>
Anyway, I have followed your advice and I have managed to get hold of some Metronidazole and I have administered it to him in a continuous bath, changing 25% of the water and adding another dose every other day.
<Good.>
I am very wary of adding it to his food, perhaps you would be so kind as to advise me further on this.
<Actually, adding via food is the BEST way to administer drugs; adding to the water is hit-and-miss. When put in the food, it's much easier to provide the dose required to heal the fish.>
After a few days of treatment he (could well be a female!), seems to have improved a little, certainly seems a little more lively and seems to have a better appetite.
<Excellent.>
His eye has gone down a little bit but it has got a white ring around its base now, is this just the overextended eye muscle?
<Not sure.>
How long should I expect it to be before the eye returns to normal?
<Oh, some weeks.>
I note your suggestion about putting him in my main tank but I don't want to cause him further distress by putting him into there when I think my small Lionhead is picking on and destroying the rear fins on my black fantail moor
<I see; in that case leave him where he is. He'll be okay on his own for a few weeks or a couple of months.>
I am rather compromised at the moment with tank space and I am unsure what to do for the best. I am looking into getting a bigger tank in the near future, so the current setup is only temporary.
<OK.>
Thank you so very much for all your kind help and advice, it is very much appreciated.
Jane
<Good luck, Neale.>

Problems with Goldfish (RMF, does Pop-eye ever get better?) 3/11/10<<Oh yes, there are many cases of complete remission. Just try Epsom Salt and better water quality here>>
HI I have been chatting with you off and on about a goldfish I have with Popeye, it seems to be getting bigger, he still eats good etc. Will it burst?
<Yes, and then fall off, leaving a hole in the side of the head. More often than not, the fish survives (which tells you something about how tough fish are) but there's the potential for secondary infections, septicaemia, etc.>
Is there a medicated food I could give him to cure this or any suggestions on how to help it to improve, He has had it now for about 2 months?
<Pop-eye is exceedingly difficult to cure once established. I have never seen any fish recover from it without first losing that eye. I'm asking Bob here if he's seen fish recover; he may well have done. One difference I should mention is that here in the UK antibiotics are prescription-only medications, so unless you go to a vet, you won't be able to (legally) use them in your fish tank. Trips to the vet are time consuming and expensive, and so when people here in the UK have fish with Pop-eye, they usually don't use antibiotics, and the eye has little chance of recovery. If your fish hasn't shown any signs of recovery even after 2 months of antibiotic treatment, and with optimised water quality and a good diet, I'd have to say a trip to the vet is really the only logical way forward if you want the eye to recover. Antibiotics sold in pet stores in the US are a bit hit-and-miss, and vets I've spoken with consider them largely useless because so much depends on the body mass of the fish when it comes to dosing antibiotics, something aquarists rarely think about. So aquarists typically provide too little of the antibiotic for medium to large fish, and unless you add enough antibiotic, it'll never effect a cure. A vet will be able to weight the fish (or at least hazard a reasonably guess) and from there draw up a sensible prescription. You may well carry on using the store-bought Erythromycin or whatever, but at least you'll be adding just the right amount to the water. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Problems with Goldfish (RMF, advice on finding fish vets in the US)
3/11/10<<Ask the local veterinarians re... and if there's a regional/County Veterinary Association or such... Also inquire at colleges w/ life science departments, fish and game State civil servants>>
I have never heard of a fish vet around here?
<It's just a regular vet. Here in England at least, many will have at least one surgeon on the staff who handles goldfish and Koi carp. Again, I have to ask Bob here what the best listing site or trade body is in the US for finding a "fish vet" near you. They are certainly out there; local or national Koi clubs would be one place to start, since Koi keepers are the prime market for fish vets.>
If there is one it is probably 8 or better hours from me!! Do they usually die once they get Popeye?
<No, not in my experience. Usually just the eye falls out. I have one female Ameca splendens with a missing eye following Pop-eye about six months ago, as well as a Ctenolucius that lost one eye seemingly from a fight with another of its own kind while bagged and being carried home from the pet store. In either case, no long term health problems at all.>
I have tried some Maracyn 2 but certainly not enough I know as I really didn't want to use it so I just pour a few drops of powder in for a few days, I have something called triple sulfa and wondered what you might think of that, I did see online that medicated marigold fish food containing Kanacyn can be purchased, or another from jungle labs, it says it is broad spectrum food?
<The broad spectrum stuff is what I'd probably avoid. If this was me, and I had access to a range of antibiotics, I'd be working my way down the list of likelihoods, in each case choosing an effective, if narrow spectrum, antibiotic. The thing with broad spectrum medications is they tend to be "jack of all trades, master of none" products that sound good but often turn out to be unreliable. Instead, try a gram-positive antibiotic first.
If that doesn't work, a gram-negative. Use antibiotic foods if you can, as these deliver much better dosages than anything added to the water. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Problems with Goldfish (RMF, advice on finding fish vets in the US) 3/11/10
Okay, Then Do I just keep water clean and wait till eye falls out> It sounds more as if your saying not to try to medicate as this is not fixable until eye falls out? Is this what I do then , just wait? I got a bit confused as you said one of yours had this problem and it is okay, what did you do?
<... Please read here re the use of Epsom:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
and the linked Related FAQs file above, and here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwpopeyefaqs.htm
re eye complaints of FW fishes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Problems with Goldfish (RMF, advice on finding fish vets in the US)
Okay, Then Do I just keep water clean and wait till eye falls out> It sounds more as if your saying not to try to medicate as this is not fixable until eye falls out? Is this what I do then , just wait? I got a bit confused as you said one of yours had this problem and it is okay, what did you do?
<Keep reading. BobF>
Re: Problems with Goldfish
I am sorry I am confused, if this cannot be fixed should I try antibiotic food or just wait till eye falls out?
<Bob seems to think that optimising water quality (which may including providing a bigger tank or better filter) and keeping up with the addition of Epsom salt in the water (at a dose of up to 3 teaspoons per 5 gallons) should help. I would further recommend an antibiotic formulated for use against internal and systemic infections (as opposed to one for external infections like Finrot). Nitrofurazone and Tetracycline appear to be the antibiotics usually recommended. Provide the antibiotic via food if at all possible, at the dose suggested on the packaging or by your vet.>
It just sounds like in most of the replies that in most cases the Popeye is not fixable once they get it?
<That has certainly been my experience, but thankfully I've only had two fish in 25 years that have had Pop-eye as a syndrome all by itself (as opposed to damage to the eyes via fighting, poor handling, etc). It isn't a common disease when fish are kept properly, which is why we keep stressing the need for clean water, adequate space, proper filtration, balanced diet, and so on. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Problems with Goldfish
Would this help along with some Epsom salt, I cant find any Nitrofuranizole??
<Try online; mail-order.>
Medi-Gold ormetoprim, sulfadimethoxine, Kanamycin and oxolinic Acid AquaMeds USA medicated food
<Haven't come across these as recommendations, so they probably won't help.
Not all antibiotics are the same, whether you're treating fish or people.
In situations like this one, it's best to stick with what's known to work rather than trying to be imaginative! I'm not a vet, so I can't give you anything more than what I've learned from others or read in fish health books. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Problems with Goldfish
I am sorry to keep bothering you, However I only see that they have Maracyn 2 and Binox at my pet store with the two problems I will tell you will either of these work ,
<Not read/heard anything to suggest these will help against Pop-eye.>
I will keep trying to find Nitrofuranizole but wondered about these, I do have some triple sulfa here at home but haven't used any yet, need more advice before I start anything.
<As I said a day or two ago, there are two antibiotics that seem to work against Pop-eye, Nitrofurazone and tetracycline.>
I talked about the one fish I have in a tank with 3 others with the bulging eye, and in another tank I have one larger one with cloudy eye and now has 2 tiny red slightly raised red sots on the top of body near fin at top, I did bump him with a net a few days ago, don't know if that would have done it.
<Sounds like you have multiple fish exhibiting signs of opportunistic bacterial infection, i.e., Finrot or similar. Treat accordingly, but also find out why they're sick. Almost always, it's either poor water quality, the wrong water chemistry, or physical damage from careless handling.>
I changed water and added stress coat plus,
<Pretty useless stuff, really.>
(have never used the plus before,) could that have caused his red bump?
<No.>
Thanks again for the help
<Cheers, Neale.>

Nitrofurazone 3/20/10
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Medicated Fish Food For Popeye
Hi, I finally found some medicated fish food with Nitrofurazone in it. It is Jungle bacteria medicated food, I am concerned it is okay to use for this as I have been trying Melafix, Epsom salt and water changes etc. He eats good and looks bad, I want to save him but am worried about using something that goes right in the system, do you think it is okay to use?
<Popeye is a bacterial condition where the bacteria are living behind the eye socket. It is very difficult to get the medication behind the eye.
Medicated food is worth a try.>
Can it make him worse?
< If the fish is very weak , then it may not recover from the treatment and you started to medicate too late.>
What do I watch for to stop using it?
< You should start to see the eye start to go back into the eye socket.>
Thank you all again for the help these photos come out a bit dark but give an idea what he looks like, nothing is red just moth eaten scales and Popeye??
<The Nitrofurazone should help.-Chuck>

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Goldfish Success
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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