Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Exophthalmia/Pop-Eye, Eye Injuries 1

Related Articles: Exophthalmia/Pop-eye, Environmental Disease

Related FAQs:  Pop-Eye 2, Eye Troubles 3, Eye Troubles 4, Eye Troubles 5, & FAQs on Popeye: Causes/Etiology: Traumas/Mechanical Injuries, Parasitic Involvements Suspected & Real, Infectious Disease, Cures, Case Histories, *& FAQs on Popeye: Causes/Etiology: Traumas/Mechanical Injuries, Parasitic Involvements Suspected & Real, Infectious Disease, Cures, Case Histories  & Environmental Disease Aggressive Behavior Sources of Bubbles,

Exophthalmia/Pop-Eye      10/25/18
Hi there,
I wonder if you can help with a question regarding pop-Eye. I acquired a Moorish Idol about 5 months ago, and while he was in quarantine, go through the tank transfer method, he developed a fairly large pop-eye.
<One-sided? Do READ on WWM re... most all unilateral... are due to physical traumas. A Zanclus kept for months is testimony to your good care>
This would get a bit better and then flair up again, but once he settled in the DT, it remained constant. The eye is not cloudy, but it rather looks as if there is a gas bubble behind it.
<That or fluid... yes; does happen; and hard to "remedy">
No other fish in the tank have ever had pop-eye and the Moorish Idol is not being bullied by any other fish. He is healthy looking with no other symptoms, can clearly see the incoming food,(not sure whether with both eyes…), behaves normal and eats well and everything he can get. All water parameters are within a good range, with nitrites sitting around 20. There is no other disease in the DT either.
My question is, should I at some stage treat the fish? Will the pop-eye go eventually away or can it be that it has become a permanent condition after 5 months?
<I would not treat, will not likely go away in any time frame.>
As always, I appreciate your expertise and help,
Kind regards,
Jana Maddock
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Exophthalmia/Pop-Eye      10/26/18

Thanks Bob, for the quick reply. Yes, it is unilateral. And it was of course the nitrates (not nitrites) that are at 20!
<Ah yes; assumed>
I’ve always kept the Moorish Idols, the last two in Australia I had for 4 years before we left for South Africa. I collect sponge from the rock pools every now and then…
<Ahh! >
Wishing you a good day further,
Kind regards,
Jana Maddock
<And you Jana. BobF>

Clown fish with red bulging eye 11/6/05 I've searched the site and can't seem to find a similar case. I have a pair of true Perculas that have been in my 90 gallon reef tank for over a year. The female's left eye has all of a sudden turned red and begun to bulge She doesn't seem to be eating either. Any ideas as to what it could be from or if I need to quarantine her? Any ideas greatly appreciated. Thanks. <Is likely "unilateral exophthalmia" as a description... and likely due (originally) to a physical trauma (bumping into something)> P.S. Now it seems that my other fish (presumably my tangs) have started picking on her. She has some bites out of her tail and fin. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm and #2 linked file above. Bob Fenner>

The Eyes Have It! (Diagnosing and Treating Popeye) Hi, I've noticed today that my Damsel fish has quite a 'pop-eye'. I wonder if it will spread onto other fish I have in the tank... Should I try to medicate? With what? Are there any antibiotics that would be ok to use with live rock (no corals) and crabs? Thank you Luke <Well, Luke- there are really no antibiotics (or other medications, for that matter) that I'd recommend for use in the display tank. You have to assess accurately what you're dealing with here. If it's just one eye that is inflamed- you're probably looking at an injury or other trauma to the eye, and you can remove the fish to a separate aquarium and administer Epsom salt to the water to help reduce the swelling (an old standby). If your fish has both eyes showing this condition, you will need to use medication, such as Maracyn, to treat the condition (always in a separate tank). Keep water quality as high as possible, and monitor the fish carefully. You can cure either condition with relative ease, provided you take quick, proper action. Good luck! 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 -- >

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.>  

Dominos with Popeye I have been reading the articles on "Popeye"  and I am still not to sure on what my fish has.  I have attached a photo, its not to clear.  I have two domino damsels.  One of them have both eyes Bulging out. <I see> both eat fine and both seen to be fine other than the one's eyes.  I was just wondering if this was indeed "Popeye" or something else.  my tank is pretty healthy everything is in perfect order and running fine.  What can I do to save this little dude. <This is an exopthalmic condition, but one that is likely bacterial in origin (rather than an environmentally mediated internal source). I would isolate these fish and treat them with antibiotic laced foods for two weeks. Bob Fenner>

Powering Through A Popeye Infection Scott: At your suggestion have treated the B& W Heniochus with Furacyn after a water change and the Maracyn full treatment. have also been through two or three cycles of the Furacyn treatment with intermittent water changes. Fish is eating well and eyes have diminished a little but are still noticeably Popeye. This treatment has now lasted some three  to five weeks. Should I continue to treat again with another course of Furacyn or what as there has been some improvement? Other wise what do you suggest for this bilateral Popeye. Thanks for your help, Stephen Pace <Well, Steven, I think that the fish needs a "break" from this round of treatment...I'd recommend impeccable water quality as an alternative "therapy" for two weeks or so. If the condition still manifests itself after that period of time, I'd consider another round of Maracyn, Hopefully, it won't be necessary...Keep the water quality up, and stay on top of things! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Popeye Have completed treatment with both: Maracyn 2, changed water and then Furacyn twice with some improvement in my B&W Heniochus or Wimple fish. What, if anything more would you recommend other than euthanasia and patience?  Thank You, Stephen Pace <What I would have suggested in place of the above: Epsom salts... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm Bob Fenner> Re: Popeye Epsom Salt was recommended for an apparent contusion and not fort clear eyes with no apparent injury for which the conclusion was a bacterial infection to be treated with the tetracycline and Furan per Scott. Thanks, Bob. have I misunderstood something? Also, it affected both eyes! <Ohh, I misunderstood. Would use antimicrobials/biotics here... did you discover the root cause of the problem? Bob Fenner>

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>

Mystery of The Bulging eye I have a 75 gal tank that has been set up for about 3 yrs running fine. It includes 2 sebae clowns, a yellow tang, a flame angel, a Hawkfish, a lunar wrasse, and  a couple anemones. The larger of my clowns has developed a bulged eye. The entire eye is on the outside of the fish.  I did add a blue tang a few weeks ago that didn't survive. What kind of problem might I have and what do I need to do about it? Thanks, Shawn <Well, Shawn-hard to be 100 percent certain from here- but usually, if just one eye is affected, it's a response to some trauma, such as an injury, etc. A common cure is to place the fish in a separate aquarium and to administer 1tsp Epsom salt per gallon, which will help reduce swelling. Maintain excellent water conditions in the main aquarium and the "hospital" tank, and the fish should make a full recovery. If it is bacterial in nature, it will usually affect both eyes. Treat this type of condition with a commercial broad-spectrum antibiotic, like Maracyn. Be sure to quarantine all new additions to your tank, BTW...It's the best way to prevent future disease outbreaks! Hope this helps! regards, Scott F>

Popeye still... properly dosing antibiotics 2/15/03 Sorry to continue to plague with continued questions but am frustrated  by conflicting advice and seek yours as being most knowledgeable. <Steven... part of the problem here is your apparent (and natural, given) sense that something must be done fast. The impatience led to the rash commitment to a weak or inappropriate drug that you now simply must finish (to be responsible and not allow/encourage the development of a resistant bacterial strain because of short-dosing). So keep in mind that nothing good happens fast in the aquarium. And that's not a bad thing. I assure you that in such cases of disease... isolation in QT with small daily water changes and stable water quality buys a lot of time for you to research and make a sound judgment the first time. If the fish dies within a day or two... there was nothing that could have been done with antibiotics to save him. They simply need time to work> Black & White Heniochus responding very slowly to Maracyn 2 in QT. <five full days is the minimum treatment with antibiotics. Really 7 or more is better. Results at best don't show until day 3 or 4 typically> Cannot find other than Nitrofurogene locally <mail order here: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/sc_view.cfm?siteid=6&pCatId=4626 there are 4 furan based meds on this page. You can have them sent by priority mail (USPS $3.85) 1-3 day service or even overnight if you like> and it has been suggested that I do a 20 percent water change  with activated copper filter for 24 hours and then switch to Nitrofurogene. <I suspect the med named is supposed to be Aquarium Products "Nitrofura-G". It is what I've been recommending (Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone based meds)> What say you to this and also treating display tank with a half dose of the Maracyn 2 as a prophylaxis to prevent other  fish with catching same disease that were in the tank originally with the diseased fish since removed though after two days they do not exhibit any signs of problem other than one blue tang with a split fin. If they do come down with the disease what should I treat the display tank with to avoid killing bacterial filter <half doses and doses stopped short are not only ineffective, but they are dangerous (creating resistant strains of bacteria in the world). For this reason, the government has been considering regulation of pet medications (too many people misapplying antibiotics). Please use the full strength treatment in the main tank, my friend. Then do a water change and continue with any furan-based drug. Remember to do daily water changes too in QT. QT all new fish from the start to avoid such matters  in the future> Many Thanks, Stephen Pace Original answers were provided by Anthony. <good luck, Anthony>

Popeye - 2/11/03 Have a medium Black & White Heniochus with Popeye which I understand might be due to water conditions or a bacteria which should be treated with tetracycline. <I would possibly disagree. If it is only one eye and it has been caught quickly, it may simply be a buildup of fluid (blunt trauma to the eye). The antibiotics may do more harm then good. If you medicate, it must be done in a quarantine tank or you could destroy your biological filter in the main tank. I'd still QT the fish, but use Epsom salt at 1 tbls per five gallons and repeat with a half dose on day three. For a single clear swollen eye, that's usually all it takes. Else, poor water quality and bacterial infection may very well be indicated and the meds in QT are recommended> In so doing should it be isolated from the show tank and other fish only? <correct> Is it contagious <almost certainly not> and what other recommendations for treatment have you, please. <a combination of Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone is likely a better medication here> Perhaps I should just try to clean up the water problem only which was cause in part by copper treatment of a case of ich. <Ughh... that means the main display was coppered. Please do read through the WWM archives on how to recover from this> Many Thanks, Stephen Pace <best regards, Anthony>

FRUSTRATED RE POPEYE - 2/13/03 Yesterday Anthony was kind enough to respond to my question about Popeye and stated it was NOT contagious but other books give prophylaxis instructions to prevent the spread to other fish. <Steve... my apologies, I cannot remember how specific I was yesterday. I can't recall if I distinguished between affliction of a single eye or both. A single eye afflicted indicates a simply bump (blunt force trauma) and will clear with Epsom salt (1TBN per 5 gall) in mere days. Both eyes afflicted would indeed indicate a bacterial infection.> Am treating with Maracyn Two in QT as I was unable to obtain the meds he recommended. <hmmm... sorry about the difficulty finding the furan-based meds. They are very common though. Furan-2, Fungus Eliminator (Jungle brand) and so much more. A very  common medication. Unfortunately, the drug you picked is a synthetic tetracycline (Maracyn II)... very weak if effective at all. Still... now that you've started it, you must finish> Problem is in both eyes of a black & white Heniochus. No improvement after 24 hours. Any other suggestions? Thanks, Stephen Pace <you are doing fine, bud. Finish the 5 day treatment and be prepared to use a furan-based drug afterwards if necessary. Anthony>

Popeye and skimmer selection Hi ....... My dear sweet purple tang has one pop eye.  I was treating with Epsom salts but wanted to make sure I could leave my carbon filter in.  I assume so because it is a salt similar to salt we normally add in....Correct?  (Or is there something in Epsom that a carbon filter will remove?  <Should be OK time should help. See here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm for more> Also.....what is a good protein skimmer that you'd recommend for a 50 gallon tank? <on the WWM main page, at the bottom, is a Google search for just the site. Put skimmer in here and follow the links> Love your site<thank you>!!!!! thanks......missy

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>

Popeye and The Crab From Another World? Hi there again Mr. Fenner, <Scott F. here today> I recently emailed you about a clownfish with a case of Popeye.  Upon receiving it, the whole thing was somehow butchered.  I wish to apologize for the annoying inconvenience. <Never a problem> I believe the reason for the whole mishap was because of our new internet service.  Anyway, to the point.  It seems my oldest (and favorite) fish, an Amphiprion ocellaris, has somehow managed to contract Popeye.  It is a mature female in a 75 gallon reef aquarium. It has a mate and a host sea anemone (Heteractis crispa).  It is housed with numerous invertebrates including shrimp, hermits, LPS and SPS corals, as well as several other fish tankmates.  These include a Sixline wrasse, yellow tang, a blue tang,  and a reef safe yellow wrasse (pet store said it was a yellow Coris wrasse and I know it is not).  Those are all the fish.  Believe it or not, I recently lost my yellow tang at the same time my poor clownfish contracted the disease.  With the simultaneous occurrences, I suspected water quality as the culprit.  But, on the other hand, the corals looked excellent.  I decided to run full water tests anyway. <Good procedure!> When all was said and done, the parameters were all in the green, if not optimum.  They were as follows:  Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, pH 8.3, Ca 450, Alkalinity 3.5 meq/l, S.G. 1.025, Temperature 80 degrees.  With seeing the results, I was stumped as to what actually caused my yellow tang's untimely death.  I was beginning to think of the clownfish and its eye as a fluke accompanied by some misfortune.  Since the clownfish does have a disease, how can I go about treating it.  I want do cause as little stress as possible, preferably without removing the fish from the tank.  Are there any treatments that I can perform or should I leave her to her own devices and heal? <Unfortunately, if you are going to intervene with medication, you need to remove the afflicted fish to another tank for the treatment. If the disease is indeed Popeye, and not just an injury (if an injury, you can use Epsom salt to reduce swelling), you should treat with an antibiotic, such as Maracyn 2> And now back to the tang.  I have figured two possibilities:  1) fish was spooked and jumped out, then my dog summarily ate him (the canopy lid was raised to lower temp) or 2) there is a small (relatively speaking) stone crab present as a hitchhiker that has eluded my grasp in all instances (including when I broke the tank down to find him).  Could it have been this demon that ate my tang? <Possible...hard to be sure> I already know I must find a way to remove him (then I can sell him to my local pet store for a quick buck).  All considered, could you help me to find out what to do? <I'd opt for removal, if you suspect this guy to be the culprit!> Please help me with my clownfish as it is a favorite as well as a best friend .I suppose it is a little too late for the tang:( Thanks in advance, Andrew <If the Popeye is in one eye only- it's probably due to injury, and Epsom salt/good water quality/time will do the trick. If its both eyes, you need to use medication, IMO. There is a lot more on this illness in the wetwebmedia.com archives. You can use the Google search feature and look under 'Popeye". You can save this fish with quick action! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

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>

Re: Persistent Popeye Thank you so much for responding.  I have read about Epsom salt but is this different from aquarium salt (which I have always added to my water at every change) or just a variation? <Yes, different> At this point I agree it may be best to lay off the meds since I've been subjecting him to rounds of different meds continually.   <Good idea> It's hard not to when the condition keeps worsening though! Also, is it too late to try salts once the eye has burst so significantly?? <Probably, but I would try it anyway> I read on your site that it seems preferable to start on salts and then start meds if no improvement. Your site is very informative and I greatly appreciate your advice. <Thanks>

Pop eye or Physical Trauma I have an Oriental Sweetlips which looks to have something wrong with his eye. I am not sure if it is pop eye or just trauma from him banging into to the glass when feeding which he does very often. I have had the fish for about 9 months had a problem with ich when I first got him but I put him in a QT tank with formalin and FW dips and everything has been okay ever since (knock on wood). For treatment I was going to add Epsom salt to the main tank and see if the swelling goes down just in case it was caused by him banging into the glass. If the swelling does not go down I will move him to a Qt tank and medicate. Is this a good  idea or should I just move him to a Qt tank and add medication along with Epsom salt if it is possible to mix the 2. I forgot to mention that the eye is also cloudy. Which step do you think I should use. Thank you for your time and patience. <I would try the Epsom salts in the main and think of ways to minimize his collisions with the glass or other objects. Feed away from the glass.  The cloudiness will go away when whatever trauma is causing it goes away. Make sure he doesn't still have parasites which could also cause an eye problem. Don't treat, but watch closely.  Best of luck!  Craig>

Flame Angel QT decision Hi Bob: <Hello Jim, I'm just a doctor! Oh, sorry, an old trekkie> Wanted to write again with a progress report on the Flame.   After reading your response, I decided to try Furan-2 and Epsom salts (1 tbsp per 10 gallon) -- one, because I figured if she had to sit in QT another 3 days she might as well get antibiotics to be on the safe side, and two, for my own personal education.    At any rate, she just completed her 15th day of QT, 48th hour of Furan-2, and 24th hour of MgSO4.   Interestingly enough, her eye now looks worse rather than better!  It definitely appears to be Popeye, but I don't understand how the condition can look worse.   All of her other activity is good -- she's eating well, has typical behavior for a Centropyge, has vibrant color, and her feces is normal-colored although it has become somewhat stringy since starting the MgSO4, which I'm guessing is to be expected. <Yes> The directions on my Furan-2 box by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals states that it is a 4-day regime, not a 5-day as posted several places throughout your website for Furan-based drugs.   The antibiotic has a 03/2004 expiration date, and consists of 60 mg Nitrofurazone, 25 mg Furazolidone, and 2 mg (just a touch) of Methylene Blue per 10 gallons. I would greatly appreciate some more hand-holding here from you to help her through this.   I don't see her having a full recovery over the next 48 hours from the remaining two doses of Furan-2 based on how she looks now, but I could be wrong as I have no experience with Popeye.   Should I follow through with a second round of antibiotics, or a FW dip with Methylene blue and follow with placement in the main tank? <I would do the latter, hope for a self-cure>    Any explanation on why her eye looks worse now than better in this situation?    I did a 40-50% water change 48 hours ago before starting the Furan-2, so water quality is okay. <No idea. Depends on the root cause of the eye trouble... if it wasn't bacterial in origin, the treatment might not have done much good...> Thanks for all of your help and a great website.   You have done immeasurable good and saved a lot of fishes' lives and the ocean's reefs too by discouraging people from buying inappropriate species.    I look forward to the day when Flame Angels are routinely farm-raised, which I understand is fast approaching. <Yes> Happy Holidays, Jim <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Pop-Eye I have just put in my second Coral Beauty in my 60 gallon reef tank. The first one had died with Pop-Eye and Ich. It was quarantined till death. The second Coral Beauty also has Pop-Eye, I have been treating with an herbal medication. It has been swimming normal, along with a health appetite. <Consider searching Wetwebmedia.com for information on Popeye. Epsom salts is a good way to treat this problem and the directions for using this are on the WWM site. Just do a word search through the facts> It has recently been swimming around an Arrow Crab that I have in the tank. When the Coral gets close to the crab, it let's the crab grab hold of it's bad eye. I think that the Coral Beauty is trying to peal of the dead eye lens. <The lens isn't dead...or at least I hope not> I have pulled the Arrow Crab from the tank and put it in another tank. <Good!> Is this normal behavior? <Arrows can be rather aggressive. It's hard to think the angel appreciated this behavior> Should I let this cleaning process continue? <I don't think this was cleaning> Will this harm the Coral Beauty's eye, or pull it completely out? <Possibly> Thank you for your time and response to my questions. You have been very helpful in the past. <Thanks! Do yourself a favor and search the WetWebMedia site for facts and articles. Popeye isn't that difficult to cure but you need to arrest its progression fast. Try searching with the keywords "Popeye Epsom Salts." Details on WWM> Daniel

Pop-Eye II Can I put Epsom salt in the tank directly? <Yes> Is it safe with live soft corals, crabs, starfish, snails,...? <Completely, all can be revealed by reading about this treatment on www.WetWebMedia.com. It has previously been discussed in great detail. -Steven Pro>

Re: Another Popeye question Thank you all (especially David and Anthony) once again for your kind attention to my problem.  I just wanted to make sure I was doing what was in the best interest of my fish.  I really appreciate your advice. <You are welcome! If you're interested in learning more about Popeye, consider doing a word search on WetWebMedia. Take care. David Dowless> Bret

Popeye and Epsom salt Hi Guys.  I sent this question last night and a guy whose name I didn't recognize (I think Dave Dowless ) responded saying he would not use the Epsom salt method.   <yes.. I noticed afterwards and chatted with David about it> I am confused because I thought based on reading the FAQ that the Epsom salt method was the way to go.   <indeed... in my opinion it is very helpful indeed and has almost no negative effects. We all (thankfully!) have different perspectives and David was expressing his. My suggestion to David/all is to simply explain your perspective and let all consider and make an intelligent consensus that suits your needs/perception. David is an excellent aquarist and has simply had different experiences I suppose> He also said not to use Epsom salt in the tank which I also thought was OK based on reading the FAQ.   <you are correct. It is quite OK and even helpful in the main display. One of the few treatments that can be done without QT> So I just wanted to bounce it off another one of you to see what you thought.  I will do nothing as David last night indicated I should, if you guys agree. I did a 10% water change this morning because I figured it couldn't hurt. The tang's eye looks about the same this morning.  Thanks again, Bret <I do indeed recommend using Epsom salt (hard to overdose too!) for initially treating singular exophthalmia (one Popeye). It is usually a simple bump that causes it and some fluid builds up behind the eye. Often the Epsom salt will purge the fluid before it becomes a bacterial infection or the eye is lost. Use 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons and repeat after 3 days (half dose if you feel conservative). Best regards, Anthony>

Treat Popeye with Epsom Salt...I wouldn't! Hello.   <Hi!> I have read all of the FAQ already but I'm still not sure what to do.  I have a 3" yellow tang in my 72G bowfront (I know it's kind of a small tank, upgrading for Christmas).  I came home today and his right eye is bulged way out.  His left eye is fine and both eyes are still clear.  I can clearly see bubbles under the bulging eye.  I pulled out and read in "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" that this could be a water quality issue.  I just ran a full battery of Salifert tests: PH - 8.2 NH3 - 0 NO2 - 0 NO3 - <5 Alk - 9.0 dKH Temp. - 79 Everything seems in order as far as I know.  The tank is FOWLR and a 4" DSB.  Tankmates are a 2.5" Longnose Hawkfish, an 3" ornate wrasse, and a 12" snowflake moray.  All of them appear fine.  Since I can't see any damage to either eye it doesn't seem like a blunt trauma injury even though only one eye appears to be affected.  But the water tests seem good too.  What am I missing? <Everything appears to be in perfect order.> Should I use the Epsom salt without knowing exactly what is wrong?   <I wouldn't.> If so, can I add it to the tank or do I need to quarantine the tang.   <Treatments of any kind should be done in QT. Always.> I have a 20 Q tank but that's small enough I'm afraid it would stress him out.  Also, if Epsom salt is in order, the dosage is 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons 3 times over 5 days right? <I would skip the Epsom's salt.> I hope that gives you enough information to make a suggestion.  Thanks for any advice you can offer. <Normally Popeye is caused by a collision with a rock or the side of the tank. I wouldn't worry about this too much. Simply watch him for signs of other problems and move to a QT if necessary. Some experts have tried to link Popeye to a virus but as yet this hypothesis is unproven. At any rate, it isn't contagious...just not pretty. He will likely recover relatively fast if you keep water conditions optimal. David Dowless> Bret

Popeye maroon clown Hi Bob, <Steven Pro this morning.> I just spent the last 20 minutes perusing the e-mails on the FAQ-Popeye site-very helpful, but I still have a question. I have a maroon clown that I've had for 9 years-he had been in a 10 gallon (believe it or not) the entire time until July when I upgraded to a 55. I elevated the salt level (from like 22 to 25ish) per recommendation of a local dealer to help the new fish (Sp. hog and a wrasse, both fine) accommodate. Since then, I've had some parasite problems (which are now under control) and suddenly my clown had a cloudy eye (just one). The same dealer recommended furan in a QT tank (I'm using a 2 gallon bucket). I did so, but after 2 days the eye began to pop. He then said furan is no good for Popeye and that I should switch to EM. The fish has now undergone his fourth treatment of EM, and has been in QT for 8 days. The eye has not gone down, but he seems okay otherwise. Should I try Epsom salt as you so often recommended to others? <Yes, I would.> Should I just return him to the tank with the popped eye? <No> Will the pop eye kill him? <Not directly, but your fish could lose the eye and then succumb to a secondary infection.> Also, is there a chance that this all resulted from the salt change? <No> I'm since converting it back to 22. <I would keep at NSW concentration. -Steven Pro>

I Yam what I Yam...so sayeth the POPEYE Greetings Mr. Fenner and crew.... <Ahhh... crew member Anthony Calfo here... AKA Antoine... AKA the Marine Nazi... AKA Joey Bag O' Donuts... and once, only once... AKA Shirley> I've got a habit of purchasing the LFS misfits and trying to save them... <do you mean badly behaved store employees? That is cool. I want my own indentured slaves too.> examples are dying/receding brain coral, hammer coral, frogspawn coral, bubble coral, fox coral, and Candycane corals...They are all doing well now...some for more than 2 years.  <I am very glad and grateful to hear of your service and empathy. For the benefit of others reading this... do you notice that every one of the corals that you named were Large Polyped Stony corals (LPS)? This is so common and the reason why we strongly recommend that beginners leave hard corals in the stores for at least a year or more until they become more experienced. LPS can be hardy but are easily damaged. Kudos to you again for offering to save them> But I digress :-) Just today I purchased a potters angel to add to my main tank. I got a steal because it has a damaged eye. I've been watching this fish for a while, and it looked like Popeye, but the swelling had reduced and it is really nice and chunky so I bought it for half price.  <the eye is nice and chunky? Hmm... I'm seeing a pattern of misplaced modifiers here or you are one really strange dude <G>> The eye is still whitish, and has a thin film hanging from it, but it looks like the membrane from the swollen period so I wasn't concerned with that.  <sure.... its just a hanging membrane from an eyeball. What's to worry about?!> After acclimating it for appx. 60 minutes (floating and introducing tank water slowly) I released it into my 15g tank (used to QT all new fish before into to the main tank).  <very wise with the QT my friend. Thank you!!! Surely one of the ingredients to your success> The fish appears normal, but the eye seems to have begun swelling again. It looks like it is beginning to slowly bulge from the socket. Could this be from a difference in salinity? <not at all... there is a relapse in the Popeye and the chance of it being a bacterial infection the second time around are quite good. Medicate promptly with a Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone cocktail (like double strength "Fungus Eliminator" from jungle brand. Also add 1 TBN of Epsom salt per 5 gallons. Do this 3 times in 5 days and conduct small daily water changes. No carbon of course> My water param.s are: no2 = 0 no3 = 0 amm = 0 ph = 8.3 Alk = 9 dKH CA = 400 Temp = 79F <all fine> I don't like to use any meds for treatment, and in fact this QT is actually a coral propping tank for me so....any suggestions other than patience?  <I don't like meds either if not necessary but this is a must. Rest assured than Furan drugs are effective in solution less than 6 hours> Personally I have had one eyed fish before, and it doesn't bother ME...but I'd hate to be able to do something and not because I didn't know. By the way...I did look over the FAQ on this subject, and wasn't going to email but it seems to be getting worse over the last several hours. <agreed and thank you> Thanks in advance for your assistance. By the way...I was ticked because you (Bob) came to my local reefers club in Sacramento in June but that was the ONE meeting I couldn't make it to. It was my anniversary and the wife wanted to go to Reno...bummer. <you missed a two fer... I visited too :) from Pittsburgh. You could have enjoyed my wise cracks in person :p I hope you had a lovely anniversary.> Jason <with kind regards, Anthony>

Re: Popeye and Bullies  Hi Bob /Anthony, <cheers, mate> One last question regarding pop-eye (I promise). <no worries> The swelling in my CB eye has gone down (thanks to Anthony's suggestion to use Epsom salt) to about normal but the white semi-opaque covering over his eye is still there.  <quite normal in some cases depending upon the degree of distension before it was remedied> He is also quite blind in that eye (temporary ? enduring ?...I hope not). <eye injuries are slow to heal... some fishes appear blind in that eye for many months before full recovery is realized. Still... blindness is possible> I read on the Web that someone was using Mercurochrome (spelling ?) as an antiseptic for fungal and bacterial infections including eye infections and pop-eye for marine fish.  <such topical swab can be effective BUT are NEVER to be applied to eye or gill tissue> He mentioned that you need to net the fish, quickly apply the stuff topically without getting it all over the place (i.e., NOT in the net on the gills or in the water !) and then return fish to tank. <still not on the eyes... and no hurry to work either. Fishes can be out of water for a minute of two easily which is likely 60-90 seconds longer than it takes to swap skin or trim a wound). Just cover the fish (keep dark) with a clean towel that has been wet with aquarium water (have a helper trickle saltwater over the gills through the towel if you like) and only uncover the small section of the fish that will be worked on. The fish should of course be held in QT after procedure> Is this at all effective, safe, viable etc. ? <topicals when appropriate are very effective for skin infections... not the case here> Thanks again, Chuck Spyropulos <best regards, Anthony>

Pop Eye and use of Epsom Salt Hi Bob <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob, fresh back from the Caribbean, tries to inflate his dingy while awash in a sea of slides and pictures of fishes from the trip... not his dingy)> I have a 30gal QT with a sick Bi-color Dwarf Angel. When I purchased him he looked good. I acclimated him per FFExpress details and made sure that the water in the QT is good (from main tank). PH 8.2; Ammonia 0; Nitrite 0; Nitrate 0; phosphate 0; SG 1.020; temp 82f (I have other new fish with Ick). Frequent water changes as you previously recommended. I'm currently using Melafix, day 3 as of now. Is this a good product for pop eye? <its not a good product for anything... it is mildly therapeutic at best... claims to cure the most extraordinary and incongruous list of pathogenic organisms (yada yada yada...). From a logical if not scientific point of view the products claims are very dubious. Yes... tonic at best. But then.. the proof is in the pudding: what has it cured quickly for you? If it has helped you, do use it... but consider that there are actually time tested and reliable meds out there in preference> Will adding Epsom Salt drain the puffy eyes of the bi-color?  <a very good chance if it is merely a fluid build up and not a full blown bacterial infection> If so, how much do I use and where do I get it?  <from the Pharmacy... it is used as a laxative and to soak sore body parts in. Magnesium sulfate. in QT, add 1 tablespoon per five gallons... you can repeat after a few days. No harm... this salt is in your fish food and sea salt naturally. A hard water element> Can it be used with Melafix? <heehee... anything can be mixed with Melafix... its just snake...er.. tea oil> Thanks! Steve <my pleasure... Anthony>

Re: Pop Eye and use of Epsom Salt Thanks for the fast response Anthony! <very welcome> Can you recommend a good med for the Bi-Color? I'm a bit desperate and don't want him to lose his eye. <if it is just one eye then it was simply blunt trauma and unlikely to become complicated. Medicating the whole tank may cause more harm than good. If the fish will eat antibiotic laced pellets or flake food great. Else, consider making a batch of frozen food that it will eat with meds in it. Many food recipes here on WWM, in Bob's CMA and abroad... do find one with ingredients that you recognize your angel will eat. If you see stabilization or improvement with the Epsom salt in 3 days... you are likely home free> Many thanks Steve <best regards, Anthony>

Popeye and Bullies and Epsom Salt Bob / Anthony, <cheers my friend> I introduced a new Copperband into my tank last week. My tangs beat the crap out of him so I moved him to my refugium tank. He got pop-eye in his left eye probably from being chased and banging against something. <agreed... blunt trauma and a simple build up of fluid behind the "black-eye"> Anyway, the Epsom salt you suggested worked !!!. <hey... don't be so surprised :)> The Epsom salt is drawing out the liquid from the eye.  <indeed... it is quite good at helping to regulate body fluids (applied to birds, fishes, humans, etc). What it cannot do is cure swelling that has been caused by or overrun by a bacterial infection (future reference). It was very good that you took quick action> He is recovering and is starting to eat brine shrimp again...but how do I re-introduce him back into the main display tank with those bully tangs ? <it may simply be that they will never get along. Tangs are categorically tough characters. If the copperband is there to do a job (eat Aiptasia, Syconoid sponges, etc) then remove the tangs to QT for a couple of weeks while the BF works and gets established. Still.. the reintroduction of the tang gang may be a less than welcome affair> Any suggestion to avoid future bullying of this wonderful, docile animal would be appreciated. <yep... don't mix bullies with docile animals...heehee. In very large aquaria it can work (couple/few hundred gallons+) but in popular sized smaller aquariums it is pot luck of it will work or not.> Thanks, Chuck Spyropulos <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Popeye and Bullies Hi Anthony, Any word from Bob yet regarding medicated foods for pop-eye ? <Mmm, here I am. There really aren't any specific antibiotics for exopthalmic conditions... As you've likely discussed, most events are environmental (poor water quality of many kinds, physical trauma) mediated... and "cures" of the nature of improved water quality, nutrition, care... and time going by. There are recorded cases of microbial co-involvement and even parasitic causes of "Pop-eye"... and some writers have promoted the use of gram-negative antibiotics (Chloramphenicol, Oxytetracycline... and others) introduced through food intake, injection (not just placed in the water or administered through baths)... See authors/works by Nelson Herwig, Edward Noga for about the sum total of what has been tried here. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Chuck Spyropulos

Re: Popeye and Bullies Anthony, My tank capacity is 300 gallons, so I thought that the tangs would have plenty of room and not bully the Copperband. <agreed, my friend. I would have taken the same chance> As you suggested, I will try temporarily removing the bullies, and let the Copperband get established after he is back to good health. <it may very well work. If you have an excuse to change the rockscape a bit as well to confuse them it may also help> Thanks for the suggestion. Regards, Chuck Spyropulos <kindly, Anthony>

Re: Popeye and Bullies Anthony, Sorry to bother you again.... <no worries my friend> He IS eating...which is a good sign and it would make antibiotic soaked foods an attractive option.  <agreed> He is still stressed by the move from the main tank so moving to QT, although an option, would probably not be good for him right now. <also agreed> Can I soak food in the Furan based antibiotic and feed it to the Copperband (in the refugium) without effects on other animals in the main tank (inverts, clams, etc)? <yes... with little or no harm to the other inverts you can feed a medicated food. However, me may want a different med for this. I need to chat with Bob about the correct terminology... but the gist of it is (I believe) that Furan based drugs are not antibiotics, but rather bactericidal... er... something like that. As such, they are very effective in the water topically, but may not work as well as another drug internally. Let me chat with Bob about this one and get back to you... please do holler back if you get no response by tomorrow (that means I forgot while swimming in a sea of e-mail :) With kind regards, Anthony> Chuck Spyropulos Diver, Aquarist, Snowboarder, Golfer (well almost) and 4-dimensional space-time dweller <VVBG> (Sorry, you got my business name template!) <heehee... no worries. You got the WWM crew member that thinks he has a sense of humor :)>

Re: Popeye and Bullies Anthony, <cheers> A few more question if you don't mind ? How can you tell if the pop-eye is infected ? <there is no easy way to do so... but an infected eye will swell or persist for many days or weeks while simple trauma begins to heal in 1-4 days with Epsom Salt>  It has been around 3 days, with one Epsom salt treatment for my Copperband's pop-eye. His eye got better (I could see his eye) but now it is really swollen and cloudy....does this necessarily mean he needs to be quarantined and treated with antibiotics ?  <if you thing the stress of moving him would be significant and you can get him to eat... antibiotic soaked foods would be fine> Also, you mentioned a furan based antibiotic in the FAQ. Is this easily obtained at pet/fish stores ? <yes my friend... a common med and a very good first choice when vet meds are not convenient. Furan/Nitrofurazolidone mixes are best... many brands offer this. Jungle brand "Fungus Eliminator" has it and can be used in QT for marines at double strength. up to 3 treatments in 5 days with water changes would be the most direct address of this fish> Thanks for your help, again Charles T. Spyropulos... Principal Systems Software Engineer <Anthony Calfo... Aquarist, Author and occupier of Space <VBG>>

Popeye? (Not the Sailor) I have a porcupine puffer that we've had for about 5 weeks. We just introduced a dog face puffer, two days ago. Last night, I noticed that the porcupine's eye looked like it had trauma to it. Perhaps the fish had a scuffle at night? <Sounds likely> The puffers are in with a panther grouper and a couple of hermit crabs. The porcupine and the grouper are getting along fantastically. As far as I can tell, I should just watch and see. Let me know if there is some sort of treatment that you would suggest. <Please see the coverage here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm> My local pet store knows nothing. Thank you, Jennifer <Good luck. -Steven Pro>

Popeye in Mombassa lionfish Hi Bob, I work at a fish store in Virginia and was lucky enough to find a rare Pterois mombassae mis-labeled as a miles lionfish. He has been at the store for several months now and I have been setting up a 30 long for him at my house.  <wow... a small and rather temporary housing for this rare find> He had the most spectacular huge green eyes, the giveaway that he was a Mombassa and not a antennata. He is housed in a FO centralized system of about 1000 gallons made up of about twelve 75 gallon tanks. We have a large wet dry filter, large skimmer, numerous UV sterilizers and a large sand filter. His tankmates are a clown trigger, a large lunar wrasse and up until recently a show size Rock Beauty angel. The angel died of a combination of Popeye and some other skin disorder (white film on skin). Now the lion's beautiful green eyes are cloudy and swollen-- one more so than the other. Is Popeye contagious?  <exophthalmia (Popeye) is rarely contagious but rather an expression of degraded water quality and/or a bacterial infection. Do consider treatment in isolation with Epsom salt (1 TBN per 5 gallons) and a broad spectrum antibiotic (no Maracyn products please for this)> Immediately after the angels death we did a massive water change on the system. After consulting with my boss, who has been in saltwater for over 10 years, I have been bucket treating the lion with Kanamycin. I fill up a 5 gallon bucket with system water, then add an airstone and pump, dose one whole teaspoon of Kanamycin and add the lionfish. I do this during the time I work, usually 6-12 hours almost every day. I have restricted the feeding of the lion so that only I do it-- last thing he needs is to be overfed. We feed nutrient soaked krill, shrimp and big silversides. What is your opinion of this treatment? Any changes? Suggestions?  <as above, my friend. Perhaps Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone for antibiotics used together> I really do not want to lose this lion, he is a gem and is my favorite fish. Thanks for your help, Andrew <best regards, Anthony>

Misty eyed I have a Royal Gramma with a left eye that is swollen and cloudy. What do you suggest. I have raised the temp to 82 and lowered salt to 1.017. <singular exophthalmia is generally induced by blunt force (startled into glass, rock, etc or bit/struck). Fluid build up behind the eye which may or may not be accompanied by a bacterial infection. Rarely if ever contagious. Try a home remedy of 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per ten gallons of water with a second half dose three days later. If stabilization or improvement do not occur, please be prepared with a QT tank and broad spectrum antibiotics (Furan based would be fine). Anthony>

Re: best thing to use for bacterial pop-eye? Hi guys, Okay, she's in the QT, and I'm treating with Erythromycin (E.M. Tablets, to be precise).-Ananda <Arghhhh... Erythromycin is actually a gram-positive medication and gram-positive infections are very uncommon. As a rule, such meds are usually not very effective and in this case, I don't think it will help much. Be prepared to use a broad spectrum (like Furan/Nitrofuran cocktail) if necessary. Keep up with the water changes and Epsom salt... I suspect that may be enough. Best regards, Anthony>

Blindness Gentlemen: <cheers friend> About two weeks ago, my Crown Squirrelfish developed exophthalmia in both eyes. Thanks to Anthony for suggesting Epsom salts usage. Fortunately, the condition subsided within about four days. <quite welcome... it is a wonderful and fast home remedy> Unfortunately, I believe that the fish is now blind in both eyes.  <possible... may improve in time or not> He still swims about, occasionally bumping into things. His sense of smell must be acute, as he "looks" for food when I feed the other animals.  <yes...they can adapt. Consider a small specialized tank for it down the road if necessary> I have resorted to placing a piece of krill on a plastic stick and move it close to him. He eagerly devours it. <ahhh... you are very kind and empathetic. Kudos and keep up the good work> Is there anything that I can do to hopefully reverse the blindness? Your suggestions are always valued. <dubious but perhaps vitamin supplementation (even in the water). I like Dick Boyd's Vita-Chem for this. No guarantees... but worth the try> Thanks, Mitch <kindly, Anthony>

Fish eye injury I have a lion fish that has stopped eating and looks like it has a scrape off scale mark on one side if its body and one gray smoky eye that is extremely enlarged. What is wrong and what can I do about it? <exophthalmia... (Popeye) likely caused by being spooked/frightened into the rock or glass. May require antibiotics, do use some Epsom Salt (from the pharmacy is fine) at 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons one time. Prepare to medicate in a QT tank if swelling doesn't subside within three days. Review medication procedures for exophthalmia in the disease section here on WWM. Don't worry about the lack of feeding...they can go for weeks without food. Best regards, Anthony> Thank You, R.Doughten

Pop-eye Hi, My Banggai cardinal has a rather bad case of pop-eye. Being that he is in my 80 gal. reef and almost impossible to catch, what are my choices? Is this disease a symptom of something worse to come? <if it is one eye only, there is a good chance that it swelled from a mechanical insult (bump, startle, spook in to the glass rock, etc). It may go down on its own, but is just as likely to turn into a bacterial infection. Still not really contagious (unless tank conditions overall are poor/organic rich...lack of water changes, poor protein skimming, overfeeding, etc). My advice is to add a one time dose of Epsom salt (from the pharmacy) at one Tablespoon per 10 gallons. It is reef safe and helps to purge the fluid from behind the eye. This magnesium sulfate is commonly found in fish food and sea salt. Completely safe... just don't abuse it. Else, medication in a hospital tank may be necessary. Many tricks to easily catch this fish (some recent ones shared in the archives). Best regards, Anthony>

Tang Compatibility Anthony... Just so I am clear...if I decide to use the Mag Sulfate for the Popeye, would it be best to add via the sump or directly to the tank or it really does not matter? <good question... when in doubt (and most often), dissolve an additive or salt (as in this case) in some aquarium water and add to a strong stream of water. The sump would be a fine place to mix the mag sulfate in slowly> "Humour" with a "u"? <GRIN> Thanks, Mitch <hehe... in better, humour :) ...Anthony>

Pop eye Hi, I have a coral beauty that I've had over 2 weeks. Its about 2.5 inches. This morning I noticed he looks like he's getting pop eye. The eye isn't cloudy just popped a little. He's swimming and eating fine. Will this affect my other fish and how can this be cured? My water test are fine...Elizabeth <If it's one-sided (not both eyes affected) it is unlikely that this ailment is "catching". Please read of others "Pop-eye" queries/responses here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Panther Grouper (w/ Pop-eye) Hello, I have a panther grouper that has been in my tank for about a month now. His right eye is bulged out in a huge bubble, and looks a bit bloodshot. Is this a result of disease, or has he been attacked by a tank mate? He is currently just about 4 inches long (a baby.) <Likely this "pop-eye" condition is resultant from a physical trauma of some sort... Please read through the FAQs here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm and links beyond. Very common problem with this species (mainly from crashing about after lights out... And self-curable given good, boosted environment quality. Bob Fenner> Thanks as always for your knowledge Bill Hammond

Re: Pop Eye Hey Bob how are things going?  <Fine my friend. Been out of town a while> I have a damsel that has pop eye how do I go about curing the disease.  <Just on one side?> I check that pop eye link on your web page but the link seems to be missing can you help me out. Will this disease spread and could it kill my fish. Thanks. <Only have FAQs thus far: http://wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm Not "catching"... won't spread to other livestock... best to keep system optimized, stable and possibly add vitamins to the fishes diet, water... should self-cure in time. Bob Fenner>

Pop-eye The Pop-eye article doesn't show up on the page, just the title shows up. Randy Jones <Thanks for this... there is no "article"... must need be written and posted... it's space was generated to place the FAQs... have to move up this piece on the gigantic "to do" list. Bob Fenner>

Damsels (pop-eye) I am new to marine aquariums and "pop-eye," will the eye eventually pop out if not treated and if so then what? <Hmm, pop-eye problems don't generally result in such loss... depending on cause. Please read the "Pop-eye/Exophthalmia" and "Environmental Disease" sections and FAQs archived on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for more here, and get back with me if you still have questions, concerns. Bob Fenner>

Question about Pop Eye... Robert, We currently have a 72 gallon saltwater tank that consists of a Green Chromis, A yellow Tang, and a mated pair of Maroon Gold Stripe Clownfish. The Tang and The Chromis were in the tank for approx. 4 months. We just introduced the Clownfish 4 days ago. The male Clown now has pop eye. We were told it was because the Tang couldn't get along with the Clowns. We got rid of the Tang today. Is it true that Tangs can't get along with clowns?  <No, not "true"... all tangs will get along with Clownfishes in a large enough system... Maroons can be tough though... maybe they were bullying this tang?> I never saw any signs of the Tang going after the Clowns, but we were told that it was probably traumatizing the Clown when we weren't around. Is it possible that the Clown got Pop Eye because of the Tang being aggressive towards it, or is it possibly because it's was introduce to a new environment and it's just stressed? Is it possible to cure this condition. If so, how do we go about doing this? The person at the pet store told us to use Melafix and it should help it's eye. Any help would greatly be appreciated. <Please read over the "Popeye" (exophthalmia) section under "Environmental Disease" stored on the Marine Index on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Re: Question about Pop Eye... Robert, Today we noticed that the clown is starting to get a clear white film buildup on the eye and a large area (almost half of the right side of it's body) around the eye. Should we still just give the fish time, or is it possible it's sick?  <It is definitely "sick"... but little you can "do" will help, other than to keep the system optimized, keep offering the animal foods> All it does is hide behind the rocks and it hasn't eaten since we got it. We just want to make sure we don't lose the clown when we could've done something to help it out. <Have you read through the materials referred to you previously?> Thanks, Chanda and David <Bob Fenner>

Maroon clown with bulging eye Hi Bob, How's it going? <Fine> Unfortunately I'm having a bit of a problem with my large female maroon clown that I've had for about five years. I recently added a small maroon (about 2 inches) to this 100 gallon ecosystem tank and they adapted to each other immediately. I have had the small one for about 3 weeks with no signs of disease whatsoever. The fish have all been extremely healthy in this system and in all of the other systems I've seen set up with this system much as the company claims. The other day I noticed that a yellow-eye tang that I've had for about a year had disappeared and at the same time my large maroon clown had a large bulging eye. <Disconcerting to say the least...> I left her in the tank untreated for about 3 days thinking it might get better naturally. Unfortunately this hasn't been the case and although the fish looks very healthy it still has the bulging eye (I assume it is definitely an injury since it isn't hazy at all). <If unilateral/one-sided this is likely the case... and I would have done what you did... and still would... not move, treat... Try feeding vitamin soaked foods for a bit...> Today I moved her to a quarantine and treated her with Maracyn 2. Is this going to help or should I have just left her in the tank. Have you seen fish recover from this? Thanks Mike <Have seen recovery many times... Would re-place the female in the main tank... try the Selcon et al. soaked prep. Resolution here may take weeks... Bob Fenner>

Porcupine puffer with a swollen eye I wonder if you can help, I recently acquired a Porcupine puffer about 3 inches in length. he currently shares a 180L tank with a small Volitans, a 3 inch Clown Trigger fish, a 5 inch Pink tail trigger, a Powder Blue Tang, and an Imperator Angel. All the water parameters are in very good shape, but about 1 week after being added to my tank, he suddenly developed a very, very swollen eye. The eye enlarged in the space of an hour just after feeding. It's now about 3 weeks later and the situation has worsened, the swelling is massive and looks very uncomfortable, a significant amount of air is clearly visible behind the eye cover and in front of the eye itself. The poor creatures buoyancy is clearly affected yet he feeds enthusiastically. have you ever experienced anything like this before? <Yes... first hand and otherwise. Popeye, aka exophthalmia is a condition... that has several etymologies/causes... If it's one-sided typically this is resultant from a mechanical injury... a bump in the night or some other organism bruising the animal... likely one of your triggers or the Angel...> do you know of any treatments? <For advanced cases like this? Best to just "wait, hope, see" what happens... Please see the "Popeye" and related sections on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for more here> Thanks in advance for your help, I've been very impressed with the words of wisdom you have offered others Regards, Ian <Thank you for your kind words... don't know about wisdom, but collective experience, yes. Bob Fenner>

Re: Porcupine puffer with a swollen eye Thanks for the speedy reply Bob, just a quick update, last night the eye deflated substantially.  (Ah, good) It's now about the same size as the good eye but looks a real mess (very opaque and the eye cover surface is rough and flaky). As for the porky himself, well he seems very busy and active (getting on the nerves of the Pink Tail seems to be his favourite pass time!!!) (Also good) Thanks again for the help, I'm just about to move all my guys into a 190 gallon (UK gallons) system and build a 90 gallon reef system, so I'm sure I'll be in touch again if that's ok (Absolutely my friend. Bob Fenner) Cheers from the UK Ian

Pop eye tang Help please, I am a relatively new comer to the marine aquarium hobby, however I have kept fresh water fish for many years. I have had my 75 gal. marine tank for almost a year with only one loss to date that being a juv. black angel fish who just wasn't healthy from the beginning. Recently there was what I assumed to be a parasitic outbreak in my tank. My yellow tang had black spots on it, my domino damsel and regal tang had what I assumed to be Ich, my other fish seemed to be healthy. None of the effected fish ever stopped eating. I have great fear of treating with copper because of its toxicity, which would mean immediate death to my inverts, and do not have the space for a quarantine tank.  <Really?> All available space taken up by my other (5) fresh water tanks. My course of treatment was as followed, large water change, 30 gal., followed by freshwater baths for the effected fish. Then I removed the activated charcoal from filter and have been treating the tank with a reef safe product called Chem-Marin stop parasites because of the invert and live rock population. The yellow tang and domino damsel showed immediate results following the fresh water bath. However the regal tang's ich seems to have been replaced with what appears to pop eye.  <More like "supplemented" or "joined" than replaced> I'm not sure what caused the pop-eye which isn't as bad as the pictures on your web site, more of a clouding of the eye. <Yes... do supply obtuse examples as illustrations... do think the cloudiness is related to the health, current situation of your system> The pop-eye section appears to be missing from your web site.  <Not placed yet. Thanks for this reminder...> What should be my continued course of action be? Should I stop the treatments, add an antibiotic, or continue for the recommended five days? Water conditions were tested today and found to be optimal, corals and inverts are all fine with no harmful effects from the treatment.  <Hmm, because... there has been no real treatment... what has likely gone on is the parasites are in a collective in-between population boom phase... You'll see in a few days... See my notes below> My setup is quite simple, I run an aqua clear 500 filter, a protein skimmer and three power heads to move the water around. The only other thing in the tank is a bubble wall which is on the side opposite the intake for the filter. When the treatment is over should I replace the charcoal and the sponge portions of the filter, or can I replace the old charcoal portion which was only three days old when the outbreak occurred, the sponge portion was left in during the treatment. Will my nitrifying bacteria survive the treatment or do I start over? Also I have seen much mention of your book, I would like to know the title and where it is available (Amazon?). <Hmm, probably "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", Amazon does sell this and another title of mine... But back to your diseased system (not just the fish hosts)... I would go the entire route of using one of your freshwater tanks... yes, a lot of work, but necessary... to move the marine fishes to (alternatively, the non-fish livestock could be moved, but I wouldn't do this here)... and lower the spg, elevate temp. as stated in numerous places on the WWM site... and, yes, use a copper based medication, test kit for two weeks as also stated on WWM under "Copper Use", "Marine Parasitic Disease"... and not return the fishes to the main tank for at least a month... better two... and adhere to a strict dip/bath protocol for acclimation henceforth at least... if not use a quarantine tank... Bob Fenner>

Popeye Could this be spread to my other fish? Should he be taken out of the main take? <Not likely if unilateral... read over the sources sent to you... www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Pop-eye with Pseudanthias lori?  Hi Bob,  Please help! I purchased a seemingly healthy Pseudanthias lori (approx. 3.5" from end to end) 5 days ago for my reef tank. I floated it in the bag for about 15 minutes, and then acclimated it for about 30 minutes by taking a cup of tank water and putting it into a bucket that the P. lori was in. After the volume in the bucket doubled, I netted the fish out and placed it in my reef tank. As soon as I placed it in the tank, it sank to the bottom of the tank and remained there breathing very heavily. It didn't move from its spot for the remainder of the day. I turned off all of the lights just  to make sure it wouldn't get more stressed. I saw it later that night and  it was still breathing very heavily.  <Hmm, here's the brief citation off of the site: www.wetwebmedia.com: Pseudanthias lori (Lubbock & Randall 1976), Lori's Anthias. To five inches in length. Indo-Pacific. Best kept in a small group, as they are here at a marine livestock wholesale operation. Do only do well in groups...> I didn't see it again 'til today (5 days later) and I noticed that both of its eyes are huge. It almost looks like a bubble-eye goldfish with the eyes bulging out. He doesn't seem like he can see very well (if at all) and he's just sort of swimming along the sand at the bottom of the tank (probably 'cause he can't see).  <Yes, likely> What should I do? Do you know if this will be permanent damage to his eyes, and if so, how will he be able to survive with 2 bad eyes? :(  Thanks for your time,  Thomas  Tank specs:  120g reef tank with 40g sump  DAS protein skimmer  calcium reactor  150W HQI Metal Halides  Primarily SPS tank  Tank has been setup for approximately 3.5 months w/explosive SPS growth  Parameters:  1.025 specific gravity  nitrates are undetectable  temp: 72-78F  pH: 8.1-8.3  Other Fish:  1 x Pseudochromis fridmani (2.5")  5 x Pink Chromis (3")  4 x Green Chromis (1")  <At this point... I would likely leave this specimen where it is and just hope for the best... moving it will only increase stress and hasten its demise... Going forward, if I were interested in most any of the Anthiines, I would buy them in a small group, avoid netting them in the acclimation process (just freshwater, pH adjusted, dip them in the bag... on the way into the main tank... No "treatments" or additions to food, the water are recommended... "it doesn't look good" for this specimen, but "you can never tell" and it may rally of its own accord. Bob Fenner, who encourages to scan over the WWM site for more on livestock selection, this group, pop-eye.>

Re: Pop-eye with Pseudanthias lori? Thanks Bob! Could this have been caused by stress? <Pretty general term... and yes. But more likely due to physical trauma... rubbing of the animal's eyes somehow> Some people are speculating that I may have a supersaturated O2 condition in my tank, but from what I remember in all of my chemistry classes, under "normal" conditions, it's pretty hard to get anything supersaturated (and also, the other fish all seem to be fine). <Agreed... and all your other fishes would show signs... not likely> Thanks again for the quick reply and the info.! Thomas <Anytime, my friend in fish. Do read over the www.wetwebmedia.com site re Pop-eye/exophthalmia, and environmental disease pieces and FAQs files. 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>

Coral Beauty and Naso Tang: Eye Injury Bob, this is the first time I am writing you. I have been reading your FAQ on your website and found it very informative.  <Good to hear> I have a couple of questions that I am hoping you can help me out with. I recently upgraded my 50 gallon aquarium to a 125 gallon aquarium. I initially had a Dragon Wrasse, Tomato Clown, Coral Beauty, and a small Blue Angel. Everyone was doing fine after I moved them into the 125 gallon aquarium and after a couple of weeks I went out and bought a small Naso Tang. I started noticing that my one of my Coral Beauty's eyes was starting to get cloudy. I didn't want to catch it and put it into a quarantine tank right away because I thought that maybe the Coral Beauty had gotten scratched or something when I netted it and moved it into the 125 so I just left it alone and kept a close eye on it to see if it would just heal on it's own. <Doubt if the Naso introduction had anything to do with the cloudy eye... suspect the cause is what you state... and would have done the same...> I didn't want to stress it out any more especially since I had just gotten done moving it a couple of weeks earlier plus the Coral beauty was swimming around normally and actively eating as usually so I didn't think that it was infected with anything. While I was keeping on eye on the Coral Beauty I was tending to the new Naso Tang and trying to get it to eat. For the first few days it would pretty much hind behind rocks only coming out if I threw in some brine shrimp in there. <Typical... they're actually big algae eaters in the wild> That seemed to be the only thing it was interested in, pretty much ignoring everything else I tried to feed it. After it would eat a little brine shrimp, it would just go back and hide behind some live rock. Initially, I thought it was just shy and not yet accustomed to the tank and was expecting it to become more active when it felt more comfortable. That hasn't happened yet. What I have noticed though is that his fins have started to look like someone has been nipping on them. I have been observing the fish for quite some time and I haven't noticed any signs of any of my other fish being aggressive towards the Tang. <Likely the fraying is from being caught, moved, lack of nutrition...> I have finally moved my Coral Beauty into my hospital tank because it has been about a week and her eye has gotten worse. It is not only cloudy but now has swelled up and gotten very big. I'm not sure what this is and what might have caused it or how to treat it.  <Still believe the root cause is mechanical trauma... a possible infection, secondary.> I have also moved my Naso Tang into a hospital tank because I now think that it might have tail rot or something. I haven't noticed any of my fish picking on him so I don't know what else would cause his fin to look like it has been getting nipped. His lack of swimming around has made me think that it is sick but I am not sure what he has and thus have no idea on how to treat him.  <I would probably have left the Naso in the main/display tank and hoped that it would have "rallied"... otherwise, a percentage don't adapt to captive conditions (more than half)... and the quarantine system is likely compromised by such an active tankmate... and this fish will unlikely (re)sume eating there.> If there is any advice you can give I would greatly appreciate it. I really liked my Coral Beauty and would have to lose her and I had high expectations of seeing the Naso Tang owning the upper part of my 125 gallon aquarium since all my other fish hang out pretty much in the bottom half of the tank. Thank you. Gianluca <I would wait yet another week on the Coral Beauty to see if the eye will resolve and start to show signs of curing (the cloudiness will dissolve first, but the swelling may take several weeks. The Naso... I would likely place it back in the main tank (be careful of the sharp processes on caudal peduncle) and hope for the best (You do have live rock with some algal material growing on it I trust... in both the display and quarantine systems). If the eye continues to dis-improve I would likely daub it with a cotton-swab and a mercury-based medicant (mercurochrome, Merthiolate, Merbromin) that is used on children. I would wait a good week on this decision as I state... and weigh the damage of handling against the hope of repair of the eye. If the eye appears smooth on its surface, wait. Bob Fenner>

Pop eye? Bob, Just this morning I noticed that my blue face has some sort of white film on his, but worse the eye is actually sticking out! Is this a form of fungus or bacteria? As you will remember this tank is coppered, just put in MarOxy yesterday. Will this eliminate it? Should I try a dip? Could be the copper? Should I hit the tank with Maracyn Thanks  Tom >> Likely, some sort of physical trauma, compounded by the ongoing treatment(s)... I would definitely NOT net the fish, move it... or add the Maracyn (tm), or erythromycin (same) or any other "medication" at this point... If the eye doesn't resolve (the markings become more discrete) in a week or so... if may become "worth" the trouble/damage to net, coat the eye with a disinfectant... Let's wait. Bob Fenner

Pop-eye clown Thanks for all your info, will the pop eye condition heal or what do I do???? >> Hopefully, and do nothing... manipulating the fish at this point will very likely do more harm than good. Bob Fenner

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

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: