Bulging Eye

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 I have read that out of date Tetracycline is not good (it’s Minocycline so not the same) but I had to wonder if the rule applied.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.

By | 2019-04-01T10:08:31-05:00 October 9th, 2017|Categories: Goldfish Koi Health Issues|Tags: , |

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  1. Venus October 10, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    It seems our comments are falling out of order; been trying to fix, so you may have to look for your most recent

    Create a new post to add photos. Create as many posts as you like

  2. Venus October 10, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Do you have Prime or Amquel plus on hand? These are the water treatments that convert ammonia and or nitrite to a safe form. Pick up a jug if not

    The nitrates were too high, but performing a fast water change can cause more harm than good. Reduce nitrates gradually by performing small and frequent water changes. Keeping that water table high could keep them from going into shock. If they’re activity remained the same; if they press to the bottom during or after the change, no harm done

    It’s really cool that you confessed; most don’t. lol

    Great KH readings, and the GH aren’t half bad. A GH reading of 200 to 400 is the goal, so you won’t need to buffer, but you could as a tonic now and then. Use pure Epsom salts (magnesium) for raising GH

    Your pH looks fair, but with KH readings of 120 or more, pH should be 8.2 ppm

    Just keep a close watch on ammonia and nitrites for a spell, and maybe you’ll get lucky

    If you don’t have a pond pump in place, the water is likely to have clouds of toxins and or clouds of Co2. This explains why one fish will get poisoned by ammonia when another isn’t harmed. Yes, it will be great to get that pump going. Your fish may be afraid of the pump, but most fish are really happy about it. Goldfish love moving water

    You’re doing great

    • Lil Dipper October 10, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      What did I confess to? LOL!!

      I do have Prime, but WOW does it stink! When I first bought it, it did not stink, but P-U! I haven’t used it for couple weeks now. I was using it when I did the entire water change. Then I was standing at the sink with the bottle open and I was like OMG what is that smell. I looked in the sink. Dumped out a pan, looking in the garbage disposal, nothing. Then my nose went to the Prime and I couldn’t believe how disgustingly putrid it smelled!! Is that normal? I read some Amazon reviews and they said it killed their fish, whereas others said it’s the only thing they’ll ever use. I erred on the side of caution and have not used it since. I also have Stability, which doesn’t stink but not sure to use it. I even have a bag of Puregan, these bio-balls, very tiny, in a mesh bag that are supposed to remove impurities. For the past two weeks I’ve used nothing but water changes and occasional swishing. Yesterday I did swoosh off the foam cartridge in the bucket of some water I took out. Very small amount. Maybe that’s why I got a spike today. I shouldn’t have cleaned off that pad. But it was slowing down water flow.

      What do you mean by keeping the water table high? Keep the tank filled up? I’m purposely leaving it a little lower just so I can gain a little movement on the top of the water. Should I fill it to the top? My lid is open and the entire hood is propped up.

      What do you mean keep and eye on ammonia and nitrites and maybe I’ll get lucky? Lucky how? You mean cycling, or lucky my fish make it? LOL The water is not too cloudy anymore. Seems to be clearing up. I’ve probably removed all previous traces of the medication and the top is not as bubbly looking as it was with medication.

      This Marineland comes with a BioWheel and that was on there when I used medication. The pet shop where I got my Metroplex said to just leave the BioWheel on and never remove it. Really?? Is that right?
      Thank you!

  3. Lil Dipper October 10, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Can I insert an image in this post? Or do I have to create a new post?

  4. Venus October 10, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Your fish are really extraordinary. Are they comets? It’s very unusual for goldfish to keep their spots. Most turn one color or another within a year or two. Their tails are spectacular

    In almost every case, what is wrong with the fish is wrong with the water. The medications you see at the pet shop are dangerous chemicals that amplify the problem by destroying the beneficial bacteria that create the nitrogen cycle. These friendly bugs live in our filters and pumps, so never clean. If they slow or clog, swoosh them around in a bucket of old tank water

    The red strips you see are caused by nitrite poisoning, the second toxin in the cycle; produced by nitrifying bacteria. We call em friendly bugs because they create a safe environment. The so called meds you caused a spike in the cycle. After the list you say you went through, I’m surprised you have a cycle at all. It happens more often than not; the fish look poorly, so the fish keeper goes racing to the pet shop for a fix, making matter worse. What your fish need is excellent water. The question is, how do get it

    Excellent videos by the way. I noticed one fish swimming around, that stopped short, and went to the bottom for a few moments. It’s been effected by nitrates, the third and final toxin in the cycle. Nitrates and nitrites both rob the blood of oxygen, but the end result is different for some reason or another. In this case, I think nitrates were too high, and a large water change was performed. This causes a condition I call nitrate shock. Fish in water with high nitrates need deep water, as this relieves the pressure caused by nitrates. During the water change the fish were in shallow water no doubt

    From now on, exchange less water more often. I exchange water three times a week instead of the standard once a week water change. This keeps nitrates consistently low. No matter if you exchange water three times a week or once a week, exchange only 5% at a time. The trick is to keep the water table as high as possible

    Fish that have been injured by nitrates or nitrites require heavily oxygenated water; this, not meds, is the only cure

    My thoughts are, most of your issues are a result of nitrates rising too high, and water low in mineral value; low in oxygen

    I’m glad to hear you ordered the pump. Until it arrives, I want you to perform this method of oxygenating water twice a day. Push a pitcher deep into the tank filling it with water. Bring it up and pour it back in. Repeat the action 10 times, as this will remove the Co2 that builds up in the water, keeping oxygen from entering. The pond pump you’ve ordered provides the necessary action needed to remove Co2 (carbon dioxide) a gas created from the waste your fish create. It fills a body of water, keeping oxygen from entering

    In order for water to be oxygenated, the surface must be exposed to fresh air, so if your tank is enclosed, remove the top, and don’t replace it. Water is oxygenated by method of diffusion. Moving water pulls oxygen from the air, and at the same time, Co2 is pulled from the water and released into the air. This is why moving water is all important, but of course, the right kind of movement. Pond pumps pull water from the bottom, where the gas accumulates, and pushes it to the surface where the gases are expelled

    Last, but not least, we need to examine carbonate mineral value; KH. This mineral gives water the ability to support the oxygen molecule. In other words, it makes oxygen soluble for our fish to utilize. In your case, the fish will benefit from level of 120 to 140 ppm. It’s possible you have healthy levels, but Co2 is dragging oxygen levels down

    Test pH in your tap and tank water to compare the two; post results here. I can get a pretty good idea if your KH is too low, and also if the oxygen levels are low in your tank by examining these readings. pH is a combined measurement of both oxygen and carbonate mineral, with the latter being responsible for how alkaline or acidic your water is

    Would like to see KH, pH and GH readings. GH (general hardness) is magnesium and calcium. Both are valuable minerals your fish need for longevity; for good health. Most of have healthy calcium levels, with low magnesium. If your test results are low, we’ll discuss how to buffer

    Also, let’s see ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings; see what the cycle is doing. The last thing your fish need now is another spike in the cycle. Keep a close watch on these readings for the next few weeks. The goal for ammonia and nitrite of course is zero. Let’s keep nitrates at 10 to 20 ppm by performing small and frequent water changes

    Until we get your water quality where it should be, lower the temps to 64f by chilling tank water in the fridge. Goldfish use less oxygen in colder water. Reducing temps buys time because they’re cold blooded. They become dormant in cold temperatures

    I have a theory about bulging eye. I believe it’s caused by pressure in water that isn’t properly oxygenated. Other so called experts blame it on infection, but that doesn’t really make sense, as infection makes its presence known in other ways. I think you’ll see a great improvement in your fish once we get things right with the water

    • Lil Dipper October 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      Yes, I believe the two are comets and one white one is a regular goldfish, but she too has a nice tail, so maybe she is a comet, IDK. They came from the pond I told you about. We moved here 8 or so years ago and it was quite jungle-like. After moving away all the overgrowth we considered to start it up again. It was two ponds connected with a stream and a little bridge over the middle. We got the pump all hooked up and it ran great. So I went to Petsmart and bought 17 feeder goldish. LOL, I’m sorry, that was a lot but they were little! (I feel like I already told this story but I can’t find it) but anyway, they did great all through the winter which I was worried about and they continued to thrive through another winter and into the next summer. Till that fateful day my daughter won a gold fish at the fair and when we put it in, it looked droopy, stayed droopy for two days and it died. I just tossed it out. Well the next day ALL of my fish were sick and dying one after the other! I freaked out. 6 survived. I have no idea what that fish had that infected them. It was so terrible though because they had become my little friends. So I set up my old 29 gallon and treated them in the house. 4 survived the long haul. I never did put them back outside. The next year we took out the connecting pond, now it’s just one large pond and it’s had frogs in there ever since. A few years later, number 4 died overnight. No warning. She was my favorite too, she had “lipstick’ and very colorful. So these three here have been hangin’ with me since. I felt they needed a slightly bigger tank so I got the 36. I wanted the 50 but didn’t have wall space for it.

      So that’s their history with me. I have read your reply with great interest and I’m really on board with doing all the focus on water quality. I do have well water so I don’t have to worry about the chlorine and other contaminants.
      I just go through lifting and pulling the water with the pitcher. What a great idea. They were looking a bit sleepy, now they’re swimming all around. I have actually been going into their tank for about 5 days now and swooshing the water up to the top, cupping it with my hand and swishing the water all around. They do seem to like that. I wish that pump would just get here! Too bad Amazon doesn’t have just the one I’d want. I used to have a great one that I supplements the pond with. You just pulled the back end off, inside was a sponge with lots of holes and it sure did keep that pond clear. But I have no idea where the thing is.

      OK – here is the reading from my test strip right now at 4:30 pm

      No3 – is 40 or 80!!! OMG, I haven’t seen this high ever! and I’ve been using these strips for weeks! Is it possibly because I shook up the water w/the pitcher, and now the real numbers are coming through??
      No2 – is .5? Maybe zero
      pH – looks high now! maybe 9. It’s usually 7.5 or 8, more orangish on the test strip now it looks red.
      KH – is 120
      GH – is between 120 or 180. Looks more purplish than blue.

      pH from the tap is 7.5 or 8 I used the test tube

      Now I just used my test tube ammonia and the sucker turned green!

      As I freaked out doing these tests I did a 20% water change (I have a line drawn on my tank) and now my Ammonia test tube now reads yellow.

      I’m sorry, I know that is not per your instructions, you said 5%, but wow, I’ve never seen these numbers before! Is this what you refer to as a spike? Could swishing up the water really get more of a true reading than just taking some water off the top with regular filter flow?

      I’d like to put up some pics, but I don’t see how to do that. What should I do about the Nitrate? I redid another test strip and it still looks the same as the first. The only thing different is the Ammonia test tube is turning up yellow now rather than green.
      Thank you

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