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FAQs on Freshwater Popeye, aka Exophthalmia, Other Eye Issues: Real or Suspected Parasites

Related Articles: Environmental Disease, FW Disease Troubleshooting, Freshwater DiseasesChoose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks,

FAQs on Eye Troubles: Causes/Etiologies: Trauma/Mechanical Injuries, Infectious Disease, & Treatments/Cures, Case Histories, Related FAQs: Environmental Disease 1, Environmental Disease 2, Popeye/Exophthalmia, Nutritional Disease, Aquarium Maintenance, Establishing Nutrient CyclingAfrican Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid Disease

Kribensis with Popeye, hole in the head, a proto or fluke spike protruding from between two scales & ich.....  2/21/08 Sorry for the length of this submission- But, this is a complicated matter- I have a Kribensis with Popeye, hole in the head, a proto or fluke spike protruding from between two scales & ich..... A crazy combination that I would think all stems from poor conditions. This however is not the case. He came out of a healthy 55 gallon community tank with a balanced load of fish (including other Kribs), under gravel filtration & a more than sufficient canister filter. The #'s are 0(ish) Ammonia, 0(ish) Nitrites & 8.2-8.4ph. Water changes are frequent. Diet is varied and high quality. The other fish did not pick on him. In all, it is a healthy, stress-free tank.... My first suspicions of cause(s) were based on the fish being a recent addition: The fish was only in the tank for 14 days- He came from a planted display tank at a good LFS, he had been there 6+ months, had always looked healthy & had recently spawned- (his mate came home with us too.) After 14 days the Popeye developed. Again, I thought stress of transport & netting. Other possible causes / stressors may have been: New (well rinsed) carbon (could have contributed to the HITH too?)- And / Or, new beads in the filter- Or, a new plastic spray bar on the filter contributing toxins that the fish is sensitive too.....? No other fish showed, or have shown (5 days later now), signs of any illness. I moved the sick fish to a quarantine tank and began medicating / treating with Maracyn Plus (replaced % after water changes), adding Aquarium salt at 1tblsp per 10 gal (replaced % after water changes), 20% daily water changes and a temperature of 82 degrees F. The fish has now developed hole in the head (some scarring indicates it might have been effected before) that also extends to the gill plates, a spike near the tail that looks like a fluke / proto & ich flecks in 3 areas...... This little guy is a hot zone. The last part of this whole confusing ordeal is that he is fighting so well- The fish stays mid tank at the bottom, upright, fins up / out, eyes are clear, colors are bright as ever, is attentive and eats (though challenged by impaired vision through 'popped' eyes...) Aside from all the measures being taken, can you make additional suggestions as to the cause(s) and / or treatment? I am considering augmenting the current treatment(s) with copper for the ich as it is acceptable to use in conjunction with Maracyn. Any insight or info is appreciated. Thank You- Matt <Hello Matt. Dwarf Cichlids across the board are sensitive to dissolved metabolites. Your fish certainly has HITH/HLLE. There are few reliable cures (Metronidazole is most recommended), so it is one of those things you try to avoid that fix. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm In any case, once fish are infected, even if you cure the symptoms, the disease often comes back again. It is widely believed that there are a combination of factors involved, but water quality is the trigger even if there is a specific pathogenic organism that does the harm. In other words, it's a lot like Finrot. The best I can recommend is treating the fish with Metronidazole, ideally in its own aquarium. But I haven't seen small cichlids with this amount of damage recover, so can't offer much hope in the long term. Do please remember carbon removes medications from the water, so if you treat a fish, remove the carbon. The addition of salt is probably not necessary either; contrary to myth, Kribs aren't especially associated with brackish water, and long term exposure to salt can damage freshwater fish. Cheers, Neale.>

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