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FAQs on Eye Troubles, Exophthalmia/Pop-Eye, Eye Diseases by Causes, Etiologies

Related Articles: Exophthalmia/Pop-eye, Environmental Disease

Related FAQs:  Pop-Eye 1, Pop-Eye 2, & FAQs on Popeye: Traumas/Mechanical Injuries, Parasitic Involvements Suspected & Real, Infectious Disease, Cures, Case Histories, & Environmental Disease Aggressive Behavior Sources of Bubbles,

Popeye is a condition... not a specific disease: Sort of like "the common cold". Mmm, mostly caused by traumatic (bumping into things... common if one-sided/unilateral); environment... e.g. too much dissolved gas, "poor water quality"... Nutritional... Pathogenic: Infectious, parasitic disease...

Emperor Angelfish with PopEye    11/29/18
<Hey Michael>
I reaching out to you because my beloved emperor angelfish needs help. In the last month he developed Popeye in his right eye, I believe it is an injury.
<Yes, a physical trauma>
Last week the swelling in eye was improving, about half way back in the eye socket. But now over the past two days it has swelled up bigger than before, and even worse there are three little air bubbles in his eye. I’ve had this fish for 5 year and he’s between 9-10ins long.
<It is reaching its maximum size to swim freely in a 240gal tank and it may be bumping with the rockwork or side panels of the aquarium>
I follow proper quarantine procedures and have parasites such as ich. Also he is not stressed out, he's the dominant fish and still eating well but has trouble lining up his food to his mouth.
<It is caused by a lack of complete peripheral vision>
What do you recommend I do?
<Read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Popeyetrauma.htm and the related links.>
Tank details
240gal with 100gal sump
7 year old system
Ph 8.0
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
Thank you,
<You´re welcome Michael>
Michael Walton

cloudy eyes... Cu exp.      3/18/14
Hey Bob,
A week ago I had a scribbled angel who developed some cloudy eyes. It was not unilateral, both eyes were of equal cloudiness.
<Yes; copper involvement speculated as I recall>

My uv light went out, and I am waiting for a replacement bulb to come in, and since then my water had some fog to it. (suggesting a bacterial bloom)
Could this bloom, have caused both eyes to become hazy?
<Not likely>
I pulled the fish out and placed in quarantine on Friday. I used Maracyn Plus, and the eyes are clear and as good as new again. It has been 4 days since using the Maracyn, is there a need to run it a few more days, just like people who need to run the full treatment of antibiotics?
<... the Mardel product likely is/was unnecessary>
Also, should I place him in there now, or wait till the UV light is on again? (should have bulb this coming Monday).
<I wouldn't have the lamp influence me one way or t'other>
I checked WWM, various queries with Maracyn plus, and didn't see anything on this particular antibiotic,
<... re-search: Erythromycin>
as well as full treatment time. The bottle says treat days 1,3,5, but doesn't state how long after day 5 to keep him in there.
Thanks again for all you do
<W. B>
Re cloudy eyes... Cu exp.      3/18/14
Yes copper was in place, Cupramine. I also have Cupramine in QT and the same level, and yet his eyes are vibrant and clear. I did this because I read on WWM that it is fine to run Cupramine and maracyn synergistically. I also wanted to see if in fact it was the .5 Cupramine causing this, and from what I have seen in QT, it is not.
If it wasn't the maracyn that took care of the eyes, not sure what else it could have been, since both tanks have equal amounts of copper, salinity. The only thing different from what I can measure, is the tank temp is running at 82, the QT 79. (degree F of course) Both are at a 1.022 SG.
Maybe the angel didn't like the 82 degree water? Again, the only comparisons I can make from my standpoint.
I will take him out of QT tonight, and place back into DT, with a short acclimation.
Re cloudy eyes... Cu exp.      3/18/14
follow up

Ok, Bob, I stumbled upon something I believe matches up. Amazing what one more piece of literature may entail.
The cloudy eyes were a result of something off in the tank. The maracyn may have helped expedite the healing process, but it may come back when he goes in to DT. So the real cause may lie in the tank. (nitrates, bacterial blooms, etc) In other words, it was a symptom, or secondary sign of something else.
Well considering I personally believe my parameters, (exception of Cupramine) are good, I may have stumbled on what caused it. From the time I got him, until the time he developed foggy eyes (5-6 days), he refused to eat. He was new, and therefore acclimating, but not eating (no nutrition) may have lowered immune system ability, therefore allowing an infection to occur, that may have not happened if he had been eating.
So perhaps rather than use antibiotics in qt, I should be focusing on strengthening him up, getting him to feed, before re-introducing him to DT.
I suppose initial logic and nature says to put the flames out of a burning house. A further superior mind says, to not keep flammables near an open flame to begin with!

Does White Stringy Poop always mean a sick fish? Nope  1/26/11
Hi Crew...
Tank info: 125g w/ sump, skimmer, above tank fuge with Chaeto and miracle
mud, live rock, live sand, and powerheads.
Parameters: Ammonia: 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates (brace yourself) 80. I've been doing water changes to lower the nitrates. I'm trying to get the Chaeto in the fuge to grow so the nitrates go down, but it's not working yet.
<There are other methodologies: Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm
and the linked files above>
Inhabitants (in order of how long they've been in the tank): 1 Banggai, 2 blue green chromis, 1 diamond watchman goby, 1 ocellaris, 1 lawnmower blenny, 1 Foxface ( he's around 3-4"), 1 coral beauty (around 3"), and 1 Kole tang (around 2"). My last additions were the coral beauty and Kole tang, added together mid-Dec 2010.
The tank has been up for a year. Everyone eats a healthy mix of frozen Mysis, spirulina, sometimes some Cyclopeeze, and all the algae eaters get algae sheets daily, and of course they pick at the rocks all day for pods and algae.
<Sounds good>
I also have a small cluster of healthy looking mushrooms that hitchhiked on rocks but my tank is otherwise fowlr. I feed once a day, and I put algae sheets in once a day (maybe due to the fuge, I get very little algae growth in the display)
Here's why I'm emailing...I saw stringy white poop on the tang (just once -- earlier today) -- Now, does it ALWAYS mean it's a parasite if there's white poop?
<It does not>
I stress the word "always". I know the general consensus is that it is a parasite...but I've also heard of people saying it's not always a parasite and that It could just be something else...but I'd like more opinions from some experts (that would be YOU guys). I'm hesitant to snatch up the tang and qt him to treat because I haven't had much luck in treating fish outside of the display tank (I've treated 2 fish for a disease, one being a clownfish who also had white stringy poop). I have some Prazipro in hand. My tang eats, but doesn't seem to be losing weight. <?> He appears to be gaining weight.
<A good sign>
No heavy breathing. A week ago, I did notice a couple of holes in his fins, but they healed within a day, so I don't think it was fin rot. He probably fought w/ the goby. He, along with all my other fish folk, are very active outgoing swimmers. Could the high nitrates be stressing him?
I wasn't sure because I've read that fish have high tolerances for nitrates.
Thanks in advance for the words of wisdom!
<I would not have the stringy, white feces bother me. Bob Fenner>

Pop eye in school of pink Anthias 5/19/10
Hi WWM Crew,
Thanks for a very interesting site.
I have a school of 7 pink Anthias in a 40g quarantine system.
<Mmm, am a big fan of expediting the processing of Anthiines... They badly suffer for being in small, unstable bodies of water>
The water quality is good, with 5g changes twice a week, and the system has a great skimmer on it and a UV sterilizer. They've been in there for about 2 weeks. About a week ago one of them began to show some tail rot,
and a few days later a different one got pop eye in one eye. Now three of them have pop eye, one of them in both eyes. The tail rot doesn't seem to be getting any worse (and that one doesn't have any pop eye). They are all still eating well.
<Could be "just stress"... or hypersaturation of gas... likely via the skimmer>
My relevant water parameters:
Temp: 78
SG: 1.025
PH: 8.2
NH4: 0ppm
NO3: 0ppm
I don't think this is environmental,
<I do... that there is more than one specimen thus afflicted points this way>
and I don't think it's trauma related. So that means either bacterial or fungal, right? My question is: how do you recommend I treat this?
<If these fish are "clean"... which is very likely the case, I'd summarily move them to their permanent quarters>
The internet does not seem to have a consensus opinion on how to treat.
<I would not "treat". Bob Fenner>

bilateral exophthalmia   3/21/10
Hi Crew,
I don't understand why ONLY all my triggers develop bilateral exophthalmia in my tank.
I've read some articles about supersaturation that is often considered a possible cause of the Gas Bubble Disease that induce bilateral exophthalmia but Jay Hemdal, who is speaking about it in the last issue of advanced aquarist's magazine, told me if other fish in the tank DON'T get Popeye that might point away from supersaturation as a cause.
<I agree, but Triggers, Balistids, in fact the Order they are part of, the Tetraodontiformes, have "higher/greater vascularization" than many other fish groups... are more susceptible to such complaints>
Their eyes are not cloudy and there isn't any presence of blood. I'm sure that it is a problem neither of any infection nor fungal. My triggers are very healthy and active; I think it could be a problem of environment (nitrates too high or too much organics in the water).
<Could be contributing causes>
What do you think about not ideal environment conditions as a possible cause?
So I'm here to ask your help to understand why ONLY all my triggers have bilateral pop eye and how could solve this problem!
<You've said/stated naught re their environment... Bob Fenner>

CLOUDY EYE.. 6/24/09
Hi Bob,
How are you?
<A bit sleepy thus far, but fine otherwise, thanks>
Got a bit of a scenario..did a 25% water change last week and overnight my angel and several fusiliers developed severe cloudy eye..
<Mmm... what brand salt-mix? Do you have any more of it/this? I would be testing... Some brands have shown to be real trouble in recent times... and check with your water municipality re what they may have been doing, pulsing into the mains. Note to browsers, Thai is in Australia>
I'm assuming there's something in the water and was wondering if activated carbon would remove the bad chemicals..
<Depends on what these might be>
If not can you please suggest something that would get rid of chemicals in the water.
Thai Pham
<Please review here: http://wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm
and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Blue Ring Copper Toxic Levels, Pomacanthus hlth.  - 06/05/09
Hi there,
I've been treating my blue ring angel for white spot and he seems to be rid of the whitespot.
However he has developed a cloudy eye and it seems pretty severe. He twitched a lot as well and am assuming this is due to long exposure of copper.
<Could well be>
Am planning on doing massive water changes on the weekend and adding a copper removing filter.
Am wondering if the cloudy eye will heal itself with good water quality and also if there is such a point of no return for the eye.
<Likely will cure itself over time, good water quality, nutrition>
Thanks in advance
Thai Pham
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Fish Blindness  10/5/08 Hi Crew Will try to make this fast. Had a lionfish that was going blind. Took him out of the tank he was living in and put him in a different tank. He didn't make it. Just thought that it was bad luck because have had lionfish throughout the years and found them very easy to care for. Well the tank that I put him in, my bird wrasse has gone blind and has been for over 2 months now. I cant believe he's still alive really. I do see him swishing the sand back and forth and spitting it out so I guess he's surviving that way because I cant get him to eat anything for over 2 months. I would think that maybe bad luck struck twice but the 1st tank he was living in I put a skunk grouper in and yes he went blind also?? I wrote Bob Fenner about this awhile back and he said diet or parasites. After 3 in a row I would have to say parasites. The grouper and bird wrasse look great except they just lay hidden and even if I put my finger in front of them in the tank they don't even know Im there. The grouper lives with a blue face angel that is doing great and has been for over a year now. The bird wrasse lives with a purple tang, maroon clown and a small passer angel. No other fish has gone blind? <?> If this is a parasite will freshwater dips and formalin dips cure this? <Mmm, not likely... If it were parasitic, would be almost certainly internal...> That has been my cure all for ich and velvet in the past. Knock on wood haven't had that in along time. What is this parasite called that attacks the eyes? <There are a few... Protozoans, worms... none easily treated for> I have had salt tanks for over 20 years now and this is a first for me. I cant believe diet because they were before the blindness eating silver sides algae sheets and formula 2 flakes. I have read your parasite section and cant find blindness treatment. Any help as always is very much appreciated. Thank You Crew! <Mmm, I suspect still that this is/was a case of nutritional deficiency, or other co-factors in the system affecting nutrition. Bob Fenner>

Gas Bubble Disease? Exophthalmia f' also  -- 6/17/08 Hi crew, I recently purchased a flame angel and placed him my 20 gallon quarantine tank. I was using two Whisper 10 filters. The next morning i discovered what i initially thought to be popeye. However after reading your site i found that if it occurred only in one eye it was likely the result of trauma. <Actually... can be bilateral... one-sided is often mechanical/damage in origin, both-sides from environmental, pathogenic causes> Therefore i added some Epsom salt and hoped for the swelling to go down. However, the next day, i found the flame angel to have a clear (air bubble) right above his eye (not on the eye, but more like the eyelid), It seems to be gas bubble disease. However, I'm not sure what may have caused this and what I need to do as far as treatment. <Very likely this bubble is derived from collecting damage... being brought to the surface too quickly...> I replaced my two whisper 10 filters with a Emperor 280 hoping that the GBD was a result of lack of aeration. (Please note my emperor is a 280 gph and adds lots of surface agitation-not sure if its too much because i am getting air bubbles-is this also harmful? <Not likely at all> I read about microbubbles causing bends in the fish-but not sure if this can be caused by a hang on the back filter) <Again... not the cause here> Please let me know what i can do to help the little guy? <Really, just time going by, good care. The area around fishes (and our) eyes is highly-vascularized... The "trapped air" will be re-solubilized in time.> Also please let me know if the Emperor 280 microbubbles will cause problems? <Have... Not a problem. Microbubbles are much smaller, produced by mixing air and water tog. at high/er pressures> not sure if surface agitation bubbles from a hang on the back filter are dangerous or that that microbubbles only apply to canister and return pumps? <No> Thank you. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Actinic Lighting And Eye Damage? 2/9/08 Heya Crew! <Hiya Grant> I keep an actinic light on for a few hours after the regular lights turn off. Purely for the aesthetic night-time effect of the glowing corals. I understand that "black lights" are damaging to human eyes due to the UV light they put out, and was curious as to whether or not actinics have the same or similar damaging effect... not so much for my own health but for my Undulated Moray (Gymnothorax undulatus) which, being nocturnal, is primarily out and about when only the actinic light is on (and then of course all night when they're off). I couldn't find anything about it in the faq's and I do apologize if it has already been asked and I over looked it. Thank you all for your time and knowledge, it really makes things so much easier and more enjoyable for us amateurs :-) <No threat to eye damage here, just lighting in the 460nm range. James (Salty Dog)> -Grant-

Queen angel gone blind? Reading, using WWM   11/21/07 Bob - I'm a first time user and need help with my 1 year old Queen. Our salt got out of whack last month so we did a water change and treated the tank w/copper and Melafix. <... not in your main tank, please tell me> Our niger trigger had ich and our queen angel started hiding in the reef, although we did not see any ich on her. After we got the water stabilized (salt is at 1.012), <... also not a fan of hyposalinity...> the queen never went back to normal. It's been about 2 weeks. She is not eating well and although seems hungry, doesn't seem to "see" the food. She will venture out of the reef and act like she is looking for food in the sand, but a Mysis shrimp or piece of algae will float right by her and she won't eat it. I read a posting about another queen doing a "shimmy", and she has what looks like a twitch. Her eyes are clear, but she just acts like she can't see. She used to be the boss of the tank and now she is very passive and hides. Can you possibly know why? Thanks! Kim Smith <... the exposure to the copper... possibly the leaf extract, the lowered spg... might all by themselves or in combination have brought about this condition. Only time can/will tell whether it will be reversed. PLEASE, don't write w/o having looked (the search tool in the process of contacting us... the indices) re these materia medica... and hypo... You've over-stressed this fish, these fishes... There are ameliorative actions you might try to restore their health. Again, all posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Bubble in Tang's Eye...GBD? - 08/27/06 Hi, <<Hello Deb>> I have a tang who had tiny air bubbles in her eye, then the next day the tiny bubbles became two larger one then the next day they merged into one big bubble. <<Can't say I've ever seen this before...still, is possibly the result of an injury or environmental condition>> Is this the same as POPEYE, or is this something different? <<Something different, as stated.  Popeye infections generally affect BOTH eyes>> Also I see that Epsom salt is recommended for Popeye, <<Mmm, not really...a true Popeye infection would require an antibiotic treatment, but the Epsom Salt may prove beneficial in this case>> if this is what she has can the Epsom salt be added to my tank with the other fish or should she be put into a smaller tank. <<Separation/quarantine would likely make it easier to observe/treat this fish, but the Epsom Salt can be added to the display tank if you so wish (a level teaspoon per ten gallons actual water volume is recommended)>> Also how long can you use the Epsom salt? <<As long as perceived necessary...will not need to be re-dosed until you perform a water change>> She is eating but her balance seems off and she looks like sometimes she bumps into things. <<Indeed...peripheral sight/field-of-view is affected, though the loss of "balance" may indicate another problem...emphysematosis, Gas Bubble Disease>> Can tiny micro-bubbles in tank cause this or is this just something that fish just get? <<Ahh, yes...is this an issue in your system?  If so, definitely remove the tang for treatment...and see here about rectifying the bubble situation in your display: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaqs.htm >> I thank you in advance for your help. <<I'm happy to assist>> I Love this fish and will try anything I can to help her. Deb <<Remove the tang and treat as described...and fix your bubble problem.  Regards, EricR>>

Bubble-Like Growth on Soldierfish - 09/08/06 Hi Crew, <<Hello!>> I have a Question a year ago I brought a small Big-eye Soldierfish (Myripristis vittata) after Quarantine I add it to my tank, he/she was doing fine until 5 months ago that he/she start getting a bubble next to the eye, I went to my local fish store and they tell me it was nothing to worry about it so I left like that and 5 days later it disappear. <<Mmm...likely an environmental/secondary issue>> Now the fish has the same "disease" the bubble is again next to the eye and now I am wondering if I need to take care of that, maybe put it on a hospital tank or if It will disappear again, he is been like that 4 days already and the bubble is growing and growing.  Water parameters are normal, he is eating normal and I always add Vita-Chem to the food for vitamins.  Can you help me I don't want to see him like that anymore I'm adding some pictures of my fish. Thank You <<Separate the fish if you have the facilities to do so.  This is likely a bacterial infection caused by some aspect of your water quality (do validate your test kits/possibly increase frequency of water changes).  Add some Epsom salts to the hospital tank (1 teaspoon per 10 gallons actual water volume) to start, and have a search through our marine disease FAQs for further info and treatments (if needed).  Regards, EricR>>

Emperor snapper with 1 big pop eye: need larger tank ASAP, not to mention QT tank.    1/5/07 Hello, I have read several of the notes...on pop eye and Epsom salt. <Hi Shanon, Jorie here.  I'm thinking you are referring to FAQs on the subject? These can be very helpful.> I have a 55 gallon saltwater tank.  I have 4 or 5 different types of soft coral, the snapper, a  coli tang... <Not familiar with this "common" name, perhaps you mean Kole tang, Ctenochaetus strigosus?> , and 2 damsels (different species). <The emperor snapper you refer to, or Lutjanus Sebae, can reach 30" as an adult, and requires at least a 200 gal. tank.  The tang will reach about 7" in length and should be kept in at least a 90 gal. tank.  Your tank is woefully too small for these two beautiful fish, and they will very soon outgrow it, if they haven't already.> My snapper recently tried to escape and got out hit the floor (about 4 1/2 feet from top of tank). <Can often be signs of poor water conditions.  Have you checked your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels, along with pH, temp., salinity, etc.? How long has this tank been established, and has the nitrogen cycle established itself? My likely bet on the cause of your problems is environmental, and this is likely compounded by keeping too many large fish in too small, stressful an environment...> About 3 or 4 days after the fall he started with a small bubble over one eye, and the next morning it was the whole eye and tonight (same day) it is really bulging.  I understand this is from the trauma of the fall. <Maybe, or maybe not.  The fall could have stressed him out to the point that he became more susceptible to disease.  Many times Popeye is caused by bad water conditions, so first thing to do is check the parameters...> Is there anything I can do to help him out? <First check water conditions and remedy as needed.  Second, upgrade his tank ASAP.>   I do not have a way to QT him.. <A QT/hospital tank is truly a necessity in the fishkeeping hobby...> ...he seems to be swimming fine, but not eating as much as he usually does.  Please help, I do not want to loose the leader of my tank.  I was wondering if the Epsom salt treatment that has been mentioned is a possibility in the 55 gallon tank.  I have also been told that he might loose the eye altogether.  PLEASE help what do I need to do? <This fish is woefully stressed, and will likely not get better without better care.  You need to upgrade his tank very soon, keep the water clean, and read and research all fish before acquiring them.  You cannot use the Epsom salt, or any treatment, in the main tank; you MUST get a QT tank for this fish ASAP.  As per the FAQs you've already read, the Epsom salt is truly the best way to treat the Popeye, in conjunction with keeping toxins out of the water.  You need to start researching and planning for an upgrade, or you will likely loose both of these beautiful fish.  I can't comment on whether the damsels are appropriate for the tank or not, but generally, damsels don't grow too large.  They are quite aggressive, however, and you must be careful what else you house with them... Regards, Jorie> Thanks in advance Shanon PS I'm new to this hobby, what books have you written?  I'm a 4th grade teacher and really starting to get into this and want to learn as much as s I can. <<Doh! Not HomerS, but BobF, who see's the Grahamster missed this.>>

Re: Emperor snapper with 1 big pop eye: need larger tank ASAP, not to mention QT tank.  1/5/07 Thanks for the input. <You're welcome.>   We did research the fish before we bought them, and they came highly recommended from our local saltwater store.  They told us this was a good combination and the tank was a good size to start with and gradually get bigger.   <You've got to remember that advice from even the best fish stores can be a bit biased...they are, after all, trying to sell fish! I won't say they are all/always wrong, but it is best to do independent research.  Also, I'm not a fan of the "buying a suitable tank for now, then will buy bigger later" mentality, as even the best intentions can be thwarted by various circumstances.> The snapper jumped out because we were trying to get him to spit out the smallest damsel he tried to eat (our fault)  I know this was not the best choice, but the fish was brand new (picked out by my children. <Best not to let children decide such important issues, in my opinion.  You are, after all, the adult... Also, you really should, for the health of all the fish in your main tank, be quarantining any and all new fish/livestock purchases for at least a month...many nasty diseases can be present on a new fish, and you can very easily wipe out an entire tank w/o using proper QT methods...> The last time I check my ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH it all checked out. <Hopefully you are monitoring these regularly...> We add calcium and ph balancer daily and iodine every other day. <OK, hopefully you are monitoring these levels regularly, also...> The only thing that seems to be wrong with our water is the cloudy look and the tiny isopods, copepods... that I can barely see on the glass. <You asked for my advice, I gave it.  Popeye is 9/10 times due to poor environmental conditions.  If it were me, I'd double the frequency of the water changes until the eye improves.> So I should not put the Epson salt in the main tank? <I wouldn't.  I don't even put any treatments, medications into my main tank.> I do have a small 20 gallon tank I could make into a QT tank, what do I need to do to get this done properly? <Heater, filter, decor for the fish to hide in/around, test kits, frequent water changes.  It's basically a mini-version of the main tank w/o the protein skimmer (hopefully you are running one of those...)> Thanks for all you help so far.  I am looking forward to hear what else you have to say. <Shanon, I don't really know what else I can tell you that I haven't already said.  If it were my fish, I'd QT it, use the Epsom salt to treat the Popeye, in conjunction with keeping the water uber-clean.  Also, you may want to consider soaking the fish food in vitamin supplement (something like Selcon) to help boost its immune system during this time.   Shanon Parker 4th Grade Teacher Tread way Elementary School <Best of luck, Jorie>

Cloudy Eyes, Copper Use 4/30/07 I have a large centralized system (750 gallons) and I'm having trouble with cloudy eyes in many of the fish.   It is fish only and I do use copper power. 1.26% copper sulfate. Thank you, Mike <This is most likely due to long term copper exposure.  Copper is quite toxic over long periods or in too high of a concentration.  It should only be used to treat diseases, not as a long term preventative treatment.> <Chris>

Recurring Popeye with Angels Dear Bob. I have a 150 gallon tank and been having trouble keeping angelfish. They seem keep having Popeye all other fishes (tangs, hogfish, damsel & butterflies) are doing fine. please tell me the reason and how to prevent it . Thank you. >> Hmm, something is amiss here.... Either (and in order of likelihood) something wrong with your water quality (I'd do the big review here, have a fishy friend look over your set-up, maintenance practices... maybe the big clean out, water change), AND/OR "bad" livestock choices in the way of species (doubtful) or specimens (likely)... here, I'd chat up survival, choice of suppliers... AND/OR physical traumas induced by... your other (current) livestock... someone bullying newcomers...  Need to know more about specifics re your aquarium(s)... Do you have live rock? how many, how large of these other fishes? What species of angels are you trying? Where are they coming from? Your acclimation procedures? Bob Fenner

Porcupine Puffer question I have a porcupine puffer (about 7 in long) in a 35 gal long tank, shared with a small lion fish (about 5 in long)...nothing else in the tank except for a crab to clean up the substrate. My puffer has one eye that is the translucent blue coloring which is normal...the other eye does not. and reveals the large dark iris in the back of the eyeball. My water parameters are fine, from what I can tell (salinity good, no ammonia). Both fish eat well .... no hesitation. Behavior is fine (no change from when both eyes were blue). Any ideas on what would cause this...and how it can be corrected ? thanks... Jeff McFadyen <Hmm, could be nutritional in part... perhaps an internal parasite of some sort... maybe the result of a mechanical injury that didn't quite heal... Other than placing these fishes (and crab) into a larger system, I wouldn't do anything else to try and "cure" the one dark eye... As far as I know, there is little that COULD be done. One note re: I fully suspect that the Puffer is fine, "happy" otherwise, and will live a good time, even if the one eye should be inoperable. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Popeye related to environmental problems I emailed you a couple of day regarding Popeye on my Sweetlips. I think I have figured out that this was caused by bad water quality. My water started getting cloudy 2 days after a water change. While doing the water change I decided on cleaning some of my decor with some bleach I let it sit in the sun for a day and then rinsed it of and put it back in my tank this was the problem I believe that I did not clean the decor good enough and the bleach ruined my tank. I came to this conclusion when I test the water and my ammonia and nitrites starting climbing just like when you first setup a tank. I took out the decor that I cleaned with bleach but the damage has already been done. Do you think this is possible. <Yes... not uncommon in service companies... where bleach sometimes "gets away", accidentally spread into systems> After reading the above statement if you think it is true,  please tell me is you think the steps I am taking or good. I have been doing some small water changes about 10 gallons I have a 90 gallon tank. I have been feeding once a day very small quantities 4 or 5 pieces of krill and a half a cube of brine shrimp. I added some aqua plus to the tank water to get ride of any chlorine the might still be in the water. Do you think I should add some type of Beneficial Microbes to help speed things up and if so what should I use anything besides live rock I know its the best but I don't have room or the money to do so. Thank you for your input and help as always and hope 2003 is well for you. <I would add the beneficial microbes (like Hagen's Cycle) here. All else you are doing is fine. Do keep testing your water for ammonia, nitrite. Bob Fenner>

Disease Medley Hello, right now I want to say thanks for all the help you gave me. <We're glad to be of service> In my 240 gallon tank my annularis angel has Popeye. Besides adding vitamins to water/food, and giving less stress as possible is there any medications I can use for his Popeye? <Popeye is essentially a condition resulting from sub-par environmental conditions...either from the LFS, or, just maybe- from a water quality lapse in your tank(?)...I'd use a broad spectrum antibiotic, like Maracyn, administered in a separate tank> Also I have a blue face angel and he has what I think is called a bacterial infection. On his side there is a reddish coloration. Is this bacterial infection? How do I go about curing it, any medications I can use? Thank you! <Hard to say what the reddish discoloration is...It might simply be an abrasion of some sort...I'd keep a very close eye on this fish, to verify if the condition worsens...Let us know if you see a decline in his condition...Take care! Regards, Scott F>

Re: bubble eye my flame angel has developed a large clear bubble over one eye.  It still swims and eats well.  What is this and will it resolve or kill the fish. Thanks, Mark <Due to it being "one-sided" this is likely a result of a mechanical injury ("bump in the night") and not some overt environmental or pathogenic result. Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: bubble eye Thanks for your quick response Bob.  I looked over the FAQs and saw recommendations for Epsom salts ranging from 1 tsp per gallon to 1 Tbs per 10 gallons.  I went with the latter.  I'm not sure if this is a one time dose or should be continued? <Can be continued. Often efficacious as a one-shot treatment> Any water measurements I need to watch like pH or salinity? <All that you usually do>   I'm going to have to treat the whole 140 gallon tank.  I'll never get this guy out of the reef.  BTW, I met you in Fort Worth at MACNA and really enjoyed speaking with you. I'm looking forward to your new book. Mark <Me too! Bob Fenner>

Clownfish With Swollen Eye Hi there.  Just have a quick question.  I have a Clarkii that has one eye that has bulged out.  Is still eating fine and swimming about but the one eye is way out there.  Have one coral beauty, one yellow tang, the clarkii and six green Chromis in a 55 gallon.  All levels are great and nothing else seems amiss.  Is this an infection or maybe an injury?  All seem to get along well.  Thank you in advance for the info. Sincerely, Linda C <Well, Linda- you hit it on the head! When you see one eye bulging, it generally means that your fish has suffered some kind of trauma to the eye. The swelling can be reduced by isolating the fish in a separate tank, and treating with Epsom salts. Alternatively, you could simply make sure that the tank water quality is as high as possible, and the injury could heal with minimal intervention on your part. Either way, just keep an eye on this fish (no pun intended here!) to make sure that there is no secondary infection manifesting itself. Good Luck! Regards, Scott F.>  

- Red Herring - Having lost my B&W Heniochus to Popeye after a thorough course of Furacyn, I purchased some more fish another Heniochus and put it in the  same hospital tank without sterilizing and restarting it. I lost another to the same cause, Popeye, as well as a Royal Gramma which just dies without Popeye. <My friend, there is a very important clue here - it's very difficult for a fish to be killed by Popeye, it can have fungal causes, but it's really more like a bruise, or trauma to the eye itself, and will usually heal on it's own provided a quiet place to recuperate. I think you may have a more serious parasitic problem here, carried on because you didn't sterilize the quarantine tank between fish.> Two fish remain showing no signs of disease, Percula Clowns. They have been in the isolation for a month but I am afraid to move them into my display tank for fear they might carry something with them. What precautions should I take such as sterilizing the hospital tank and then keep in them in the restarted  isolation tank for another 3-4 weeks? <Take the system down and run a weak bleach solution through the entire system, pumps, filters, everything.> Or have you another suggestion? <In fact, I do... just give the fish a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip and place them in the display - you can do more harm than good by over-quarantining sometimes.> Thank You, Stephen Pace <Cheers, J -- >

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