Bulging Eye

Bulging eye goldfish emergency

Bulging eye on goldfish 911. What brought me to your site was one of my fish having a bulging eye. This started months ago, or so it seems, but at first it was nothing alarming because another one got this (both eyes) but it went away. It took a while but it did.   But after a while, with this fish, it began to bug me. Till one day ‘he’ he began to look unwell. So I did a filter wash and partial water change as usual. (I’ve had these fish for about 8 years) After a few more days things just didn’t look right. So I thought to treat the tank w/Maracyn II – that’s when it all went downhill and panic mode came on.

Goldfish pop eye

All three of my fish were like OMG what is that? Are you trying to kill me!!! They all sunk to the bottom looking horrific – so I went berzerk, I filled a bin with water and scooped them out. They were “OK” but I seriously had to get that crap out of the water, so i did an entire water change. In the midst of all this I read the packaging had an Expire date of 2016!! I had used some old stuff rather than the new. I have some that’s 2019.

Well by the time I got them back in their tank, they were at least swimming around, but now ALL three had red streaks in their tails. Not a good sign. But why! Poison? I have read that out of date Tetracycline is not good (it’s Minocycline so not the same) but I had to wonder if the rule applied.

Goldfish bulging eye

Now all 3 were ill and all because one fish had a bulging eye and all I knew to do was treat for Popeye, and Maracyn II was for that. So after reading around, I found that Maracyn (the plain one) (Erythromycin) will help popeye too. So I tried it. I stuck to it and it seemed to be agreeable. But after a few days I saw no real improvement. So I tried Kanaplex and Metroplex. This seemed to actually make a difference. They were more active and less sickly looking. I followed directions to a T. You have to stop for a few days to start another round of doses. I did this 3X and that was enough. I couldn’t keep going on with this.

All the while I knew I was dealing with practically a new tank that needed cycling. So I was doing water changes regularly and watching the test strips and checked ammonia. All stayed in check.

They are in a 36 gallon tank w/Marineland 200 filter, with only a filter pad. I’ve never used carbon.

So that’s about this time I discovered this website and I’ve been working on water quality issues more vigorously since. It’s def given them all a big improvement. I’ve always left their lid opened, propped by a cup, but now I have the entire hood propped up. I’ve lowered the water level a bit so they get better circulation on top of the water, just waiting for that pump to come in. Really focussing on water changes and checking nitrite/nitrate levels. All test parameters are in normal ranges.

The symptoms from before were laying around the bottom, esp the one w/one bulging eye, and red streaks in their tails, but ALL of this has improved. EXCEPT for the bulging eye of the one fish, but sometimes they all look “lazy”. As soon as they see me coming towards the tank they start swimming around normally begging to be fed.  I feed them these Marineland flakes and peas. I’ve always fed them Tetrafin flakes, but found this Marineland flake a year ago or so and started using that. I keep wondering if I should feed them the Tetrafin again. I never knew about peas until a few years ago I read it was good for them. But that’s all I feed them. Now I see I need to introduce other greens as well. Gee, after 8 years I thought I knew how to handle this, but when problems come along I find out I’ve been doing alot of things wrong!

So the way it stands right now, I don’t know what’s going on – do I have sickness, water quality issues, or both? Should I have given another round of Kanaplex or Metroplex?  I would really appreciate some advice.  Thank you!

Here is a picture of the bulging eye:  (never mind, can’t figure out how to upload a pic)

Here’s a video of them tonight. Its the spotty colored one that has the one bulging eye. The white one has a could red streaks, the orange one is fairly ok. They’re all a bit irritated though because things aren’t right with each other.


This video here is from a few weeks ago when they weren’t doing so hot. Notice the airstone. OMG they hated it. Everytime I turned it on they went crazy. Start chasing each other and then they would huddle on the bottom. So of course I stopped using it.