FAQs on Goldfish Eye Troubles
Articles: Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Disease, Goldfish, Goldfish
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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,
8, Goldfish Disease 9,
10, Goldfish Disease
11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16,
17, Goldfish Disease 18,
Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish
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31, Goldfish Disease 33,
Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health 38, Goldfish Disease 39
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What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Telescope eye trouble, blindness
Hi WWM crew,
I have been researching potential causes and treatments for the unusual problems
my telescope goldfish has been experiencing, both online and in Fancy Goldfish
by Johnson and Hess, to no avail.
<Have done a bit of look/seeing re this condition as well... same sense of
I believe my goldfish Adele, who is about 5 years old, has bilateral
<Mmm, possibly; but this is a "trend" with this sort of "sport"... "telescope"
goldfish varieties. This being stated/understood, the "googly eye" breeds of
goldfish (like domestic dogs/canines, they're all the same
species; actually dihybrid cross) often have physical traumas due to bulging
eyes, swimming into structure... subsequent issues.>
but the usual causes of poor water quality or injury do not seem to apply in her
My water test results (using the API liquid kit) are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0
nitrate (yes, I realize this is unusual but I have confirmed it many times ... I
was told I probably have some type of bacteria in my system that consume
8.0 pH, 13 drops gH, and 10 drops kH. Regarding injury, I find this unlikely
because both eyes are affected, and the dome structure covering the eyes is
intact. I have 3 other goldfish in my 50-gallon tank, none of which are
exhibiting such problems. I keep a strict maintenance schedule of changing
60-80% of the water every week, and feed a diet consisting primarily of Repashy
Soilent Green and NLS Thera-A, with occasional frozen bloodworms. The tank has
been established for 1.5 years (prior to that, she lived in my boyfriend's 50
gallon), and the only additives I use are Ultimate water conditioner, koi clay,
and Flourish and Excel for the plants. The temp is around 68F; I add a heater to
73F to simulate seasonal variation during the spring and early summer (we don't
get much seasonal variation here in California).
A few months ago I noticed that her eyeballs were cloudy and appeared to be
somewhat loose inside. Recently, one eyeball suddenly disappeared - it must have
retreated internally as there is no external damage, but I do not know how this
could have happened. The missing eyeball can be seen in the second photo.
Initially, both eyes looked like the first photo. When I first noticed the
opacity, I thought it could have been cataracts; however, in my experience
cataracts have more of a grayish cloudiness, not the entire eye being opaque
In addition to the eye problem, she seems to be very "depressed." She used to be
very active, but now spends most of her days resting at the bottom of the tank
or in the plants. Sometimes, I even see her laying upside down on her back or
with her head resting on the ground and her body up. This does not appear to be
related to swim bladder difficulties, as when I touch her she quickly rights
herself. She just seems exhausted and possibly disoriented, with little interest
in/awareness of her surroundings. She seems to have lost all enthusiasm for
<Well-stated (and sad)>
As far as her history, she had a pimple on her caudal fin last year that burst,
<Not a problem>
which I treated with salt and hydrogen peroxide in QT. I also have done
my standard annual Praziquantel
<Unless Trematodes are somehow possibly being introduced, there is no need for
treatments to keep flukes at bay.
Other than that, she has had no issues until now. She has spawned multiple times
in my tank, most recently about five months ago (the fry are very healthy). I
felt her abdomen and it feels firm/normal (not mushy), and her gills appear to
be within the normal color range. Additionally, she has no red spots or blotches
anywhere on her body. She still has an appetite,
although she runs out of energy quickly during feeding in comparison to my other
fish, and retreats back to the bottom.
Is there anything you can think of that I should be doing for her?
<Nothing more than the excellent care you relate above... Unfortunately, eye
problems are inherent w/ these pet-mutations of goldfish>
Thank you so much!
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Telescope eye trouble, blindness
Thanks for the quick reply, Bob. As always, your help is much appreciated.
Unfortunately, when I came home from work tonight, Adele had taken a turn for
the worse. Her entire body normally has a metallic orange sheen, but now
she has patches that are sort of a matte pale salmon color with what appears to
be slime coat sloughing off.
I lifted her up to inspect her, and part of her belly feels soft and mushy,
which I know is a bad sign. I moved her to a QT tank in case she has a systemic
bacterial infection that could harm my other fish. Now, she is sitting on the
bottom in the corner, and breathing in an odd manner - it looks almost like a
hiccup/spasm (she was also doing this in the main tank before I moved her).
Sadly, I'm not sure she'll make it at this point. In your opinion, should I
attempt treatment with Metro-Meds Metronidazole pellet food, or just maintain
clean water for her and hope for the best?
With regard to the Praziquantel treatment, would you recommend just the initial
treatment upon purchase of a new fish, or is there a different medication you
<Prazi (for worms of various sorts, phyla) is generally good... There are others
that can be more efficacious (e.g. Levamisole). I would have you search (tool on
every page) and read what we have archived; perhaps review some of the book
references listed here/there on WWM (in libraries or on-line; some are quite
I normally use Prazi and salt for new fish, though I did use Tetra Parasite
Guard once per a fish supplier's recommendation.
<Tetra's line are excellent through-out. Safe, and generally effective; nary a
phony, toxic product>
It seemed to work well, and that fish has never had any problems to this day. I
had just been doing the annual Prazi treatments because I had read fluke
infestations often recur
<Mmm; no; not w/o introduction of new source... fishes, plants....>
and need to be kept at bay. But if that's inaccurate, it's one less thing for me
to have to do!
<Ah yes. Cheers, BobF>
Gold fish; eyes
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
|Re: White spot on goldfishes eye
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
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
<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
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
I really like this little trooper, he is about the most feisty and lively
of the 3. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated
<Mmm, Epsom Salt is easy, safe... though nothing is likely to "work".
These fish are around 12 or more yrs old
Goldfish eye problem PLEASE HELP !! - 5/9/2012
Hi Hope you can help
I as well
We have a gold fish about 4 inches in length we first noticed that 1 eye was puffed up
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.
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
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
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!
How long would you suggest to use Epsom salts for ?
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 )
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 ?
Ah yes... it doesn't "go away" otherwise. B
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
Re: Goldfish eye problem PLEASE HELP !!
I emailed you a few weeks ago about our 4inch gold fish with Popeye in
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
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 !
<And you, Bob Fenner>
White ball in Black Moor's
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
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
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
<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
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?
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
<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.
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.
<Mmm, a scraping, examination under a low power microscope is
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
<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
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?
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... >
<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
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
<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
<Got me... appearances, judgments sans knowledge...?>
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
<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??
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?
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
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.
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
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.
<Mmm, well... not much can be done from the perspective of heritable
traits... I'd review water quality:
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......
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!
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
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
If so, what filter would you recommend I get?
<The best all-around filters for Goldfish are internal canister
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
<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.
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
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
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
<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
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!
<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
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.
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
<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.
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,
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
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!
<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.
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.
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
The filter rate says 220-570L/hr.
Thanks again from me and my fish!
<Happy to hear about the successful outcome; enjoy your fish!
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?]
Please would you be kind enough to advise me further regarding
treatment of my newish Panda Moor.
A couple of days after I purchased him I notice that his left eye was
<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
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
I have tried Myaxzin for 5 days but sadly there seems to be no
<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.
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
<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
I have read the entries about using Epsom Salts and Metronidazole.
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.>
Re: Pop-eye in Panda Moor 6/3/10
<Hello again Jane,>
Firstly, may I say a huge thank you for getting back to me so quickly
regarding my poorly panda moor.
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
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.
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?
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.
Thank you so very much for all your kind help and advice, it is very
<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
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
<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:
and the linked Related FAQs file above, and here:
re eye complaints of FW fishes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Problems with Goldfish (RMF, advice on finding fish vets in
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
<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
Not all antibiotics are the same, whether you're treating fish or
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
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
Thanks again for the help
Photo E-mail Play
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
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>
New Print and
eBook on Amazon
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner