We have had Sparkie just over a month. He is acting totally normal, but I just noticed in the last day or so that one of his eyes seems cloudy. He has been in his new 6.6gallon tank for 6 days, today. Prior to that he was in a 2.5 gallon. The tank is not cycled, I would guess, even though I moved filter material from the old tank (that one was small so probably not fully cycled either). I have lots of plants and water quality has always been good. I have been careful about doing the recommended water changes and testing water quality so I'm pretty sure that is not the problem.
My guess is that he either injured his eye somehow (it was quite tricky trying to net him when I changed his tank last weekend), or, it is some type of illness.
I just did a water change and put in Epsom salts (3 tsp / gallon) to try to start treating this. I figure I will give it about a week, and if no improvement, move on to other meds - Kanaplex? Or... what? I'm looking for feedback on this treatment plan! I thought Epsom salts were a good place to start as I read a post from OFL saying they are safe for plants, and I have a lot of plants in the tank. If necessary I can move Sparkie back to his old 2.5gallon without plants for treatment, but it would be an inconvenience for sure, so if i can stick to plant-safe treatments in his usual tank I would prefer that.
Here's the questionnaire...
What size is your tank? 6.6 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One & Hikari pellets, occasional freeze-dried blood worms.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x/day, 5 pellets.
How often do you perform a water change? 1x/week 25%, 1x/week 50%
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? See above
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Seachem Prime, Excel for the plants
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Yes, I water test about every second day. I have API liquid Ammonia test but for nitrates and so on, I use strips. I know they're not as accurate, but it's what I have.
Nitrate: 0? Strip looked slightly pink-ish so maybe some low number.
Alkalinity: (is this KH on my test strip? If so, it's about 40).
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? One eye looks cloudy. He also has irridescent "patches" on his cheeks, which I am not sure if they are changing or not. Pictures below.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? It has not. He is very active and healthy. I even noticed he blew a bubble nest in his log last night.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 1-2 days ago, but I wasn't sure.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Epsom salts, 3 tsp / gallon
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, not in the month we've had him.
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea. We've had him a month. Probably came from Petsmart. (He was a gift).
Here are the pictures:
This is Sparkie when we first got him, for comparison. I think this picture was taken January 4.
Here he is from the same side, with the cloudy eye, today Jan 26. Wow, I just noticed he is looking a lot darker! What is that, just lighting, I wonder - or is his coloring changing? Hmmm.
Here he is from the front, so you can see the "milky" look on one side as compared to the other. I don't think the eye is swollen or popped out at all, it just kind of looks that way since the other is clear.
Thanks for any help or advice!