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Old 03-01-2011, 09:13 AM   #1 
Alexandrite
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Popeye - or paranoia?

Hi Betta-lovers,

I recently set up a new (well, secondhand, but well-scrubbed-out) tank for my 2 fishies, whom I got from a friend who moved overseas. Only set up the tank a few days ago, one of the fish - Fabio - has been in there for about 3 days by himself and settling in just fine. I did a 50% water change and gravel vac yesterday and got filter stuff to put in the gap between the divider and the glass so they do not flare as much at each other. Had serious flaring issues before when I first tried to introduce them to the tank.

The second fish, Enzo, had been in his bowl that he was kept in previously, and was only added to the tank yesterday after the water change.

After a slightly but definitely green reading on my ammonia test kit today (0.25?! THAT quickly?) I went to change the water again 50%. While I had both fish in cups, I noticed Enzo's eyes were bulging a bit more than Fabio's by comparison. Could this be popeye or am I being paranoid??
I'm still getting familiar with these fish so I'm not too sure if that's Enzo's normal look. But they're my friend's fish (or they used to be, mine now) and if anything happened to them I'd feel devastated :(

This is what I mean:






Housing
What size is your tank? about 8-9 liters, divided in half (Yes I know, it's small. They were living in small bowls before, at least now they have room to swim and plants to hide in.)
What temperature is your tank? been around 30-33C lately, that's room temperature where I am.
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? Have a heater, but it's summer, have not used it yet as there's no need.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? the other betta, across the divider

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Wardley's Betta Food pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? When in their bowls, they were getting water changes once a week. I upgraded this to twice a week. I haven't had them both in the tank long enough yet to figure out a proper schedule but I test ammonia etc levels daily to help me figure this schedule out.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% so far. 90% when they lived in bowls.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Science Complete Water Treatment, Science AquaCycle


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? possibly larger eyes?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not much
When did you start noticing the symptoms? this evening
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Not yet, no idea how! Epsom salt? Separate him back into his bowl??
Does your fish have any history of being ill? not that I'm aware of
How old is your fish (approximately)? no idea
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:53 AM   #2 
Lupin
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No meds. Remove gravel and then do daily water changes. Only clean water can solve this issue. Yes, it's popeye. Pop eyes are often caused by poor water quality and gas supersaturation (nitrogen gas) especially if you are not vacuuming enough.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:41 AM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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To understand-this is a total of 2gal with 1gal each -(1gal each is fine IMO/E)

With 2 adults in 2gal unfiltered tank-I would make twice weekly 50% and 1-100% a week...totaling 3 water changes a week to maintain water quality

And temp in 33C or 91F correct---you need to get this temp down some if you can, however, it is summer and you are not using a heater...so thats a challenge......lol.......you can sometimes lower the water level, remove the top and add an air stone, even use a small battery operated fan to attach on the tank to blow across the water....but small volume of water can be a challenge when the weather is hot.....usually healthy Bettas can tolerate extreme temps short term....

Its hard for me to tell by the pic if its popeye-the Bettas eye pop out some to start anyway.....can you tell if one eye is bigger than the other or do they look to be about the same and compared to the other Betta too.....

How is his overall behavior...does he act okay, eating okay...etc.....

I have had success treating popeye with Epsom salt 1tsp/gal along with 100% water changes for 2 days-then increase the Epsom salt 2tsp/gal on day 3-10 along with the 100% water changes while in QT......I also use tannins and pre-mix my treatment water so the tannins can steep in the 1gal jug of pre-mixed treatment water....its easier for me to provide the correct dosage and make the water changes this way....
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:12 PM   #4 
Alexandrite
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Thank you so much for your replies!

Both eyes are looking a bit "buggy" but again, I'm not too sure if that's his normal look. Enzo is slightly smaller than Fabio (who's been in the tank longer and whose eyes are perfectly normal) Could it just be due to his fishy proportions?

I had a look at a picture I took the day my friend gave them to me, and while it's just on the side, Enzo's eyes do look about the same size.. that is to say slightly larger compared to Fabio's eyes.

He has been a bit stressed adjusting to the new tank, plus water change after I noticed the ammonia reading. But other than that, I don't understand how the tank could be "dirty" THAT quickly, it's only been set up a few days and had 2 50% water changes. He is eating, and hiding behind plants a bit (because he finally has them!). But he is sort of the smaller, shyer, slightly weaker-seeming fish, always been, the other one is more social.

Yeah we've had a bit of a heat wave the last several days - it's not just the fish suffering through it :( They don't have lids, just plastic mesh covers anchored with more of the binder things (same as the DIY divider), so they can't jump out but they are getting air in.

I'll monitor him closely and get some epsom salt so I have some on hand.. just in case!!

EDIT: and I have moved him back into his bowl, just in case too...

Last edited by Alexandrite; 03-01-2011 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:53 AM   #5 
Alexandrite
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So I moved Enzo back into his bowl this morning, with fresh water and all... came home today, eyes look the same, but he's not eating very well :( He half-heartedly ate one pellet, the other two have sunk down to the bottom and he hasn't touched them.. (yes I will be cleaning them shortly if he doesn't eat them soon)

Haven't had the chance to pick up epsom salt but will do so tomorrow as I get off work earlier.

I'm worried about him :(

Did I do the wrong thing by moving him back into his bowl? Is he stressed from being moved so much?
On one hand I don't want the other fish in the tank to get sick (which is healthy, friendly, and eating very well). On the other hand he's now back into a small bowl without any plants or hiding places, which has got to stress him out more.

He's always taken a while to get to his food, but at least he was eating it before.. But it's like - when I started trying to improve his environment, he just feels worse instead :(

Last edited by Alexandrite; 03-02-2011 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:27 AM   #6 
Alexandrite
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Fishie update... Enzo still not eating. :(
Half-heartedly swims toward the food (after a minute or two of it being there) tries it, then spits it out again. There are pieces he hasn't even touched that floated down to the bottom :( He hasn't even tried a tasty freeze-dried bloodworm.

I'm going to do another water change shortly to clean out the un-eaten food, and add some salt - I got aquarium salt, as the pet store said it's the same as epsom salt but more refined and better for fish?? Is it okay to use instead of epsom salt??

His friend Fabio in the aquarium is active, bubblenesting away and eating quickly like always. Such a contrast.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:36 AM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate) and aquarium salt (Sodium chloride) are two different products with two different actions

You usually can't find Epsom salt in pet shop-usually it will be found at most stores that have a pharmacy dept.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:09 PM   #8 
Alexandrite
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AAARGH... why do people in pet stores not know this and confuse fish newbies like me :( It's even labelled, helps restore electrolytes, recover from infections etc...

I'll try to look for the RIGHT salt today...

Just a question out of curiosity, HOW exactly does the epsom salt work on the fish? Being freshwater fish, they would never normally see any type of salt?
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:47 PM   #9 
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Actually some salts contain components that fish also get in the wild. That includes potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, etc. Considering the pop eye is retention of fluids behind the eyes, you need to ease out the osmoregulation by providing the fish much needed components such as magnesium sulfate. That will minimize the amount of fluids in effect.

This is also the same with goldfish. When goldfish have dropsy, the first thing we do is increase calcium up to 250 ppm. Considering the calcium concentration in their blood is also 250 ppm, this allows the fish to osmoregulate more easily and thus, do not need to use much energy into it. Energy loss can only make them succumb quickly to dropsy.
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