pop eye

Because my altums have suffered a tiny bit of neglect recently ( the kind of neglect that regular aquarium fish consider still luxurious conditions) a couple of my also ran altums ( 3 years old in a group of 11 in a 220 gal) overnight developed one pop eye each.They still behave perfectly normally ,eat well and swim around agressively enough but have one googley eye. The other eye can be nice and red. Anyone ever experience this and have a secret "cure". I do know that it is not so much a disease but a symptom of environmental distress. The water is 30C, about 150 microsiemens with a ph of 5.5 or down to 5ish.. The ph is always drifting downward at that level of TDS/KH so I just keep ahead of it with water changes.When I was out of town the ph dropped to 4 or even 3.85... but over my time taking care of them,I have never found that they care one bit about the ph slowly dropping. THey do dislike a ph of 7 in my experince and I never go there or higher...no matter what some people have found to the contrary.

I have redoubled my husbandry efforts but do know that that pressure behind the eye is not inclined to lessen. THe only fish I have ever experienced pop eye with are rams..it is quickly fatal with them.

Regards Al

Re: pop eye


I had an experience more than 20 years ago. Pop-eyes can have several reasons. The eye can be damaged, but it can also be an expulsion of the eye due to several reasons. Mostly it seems to be an internal infection and due to water retain or so, the volume is increasing and expulsing the eye. In my case it was an infection of the adrenal by ichthyosporidium. An infection by fish tuberculosis in the adrenal can also be the cause. These both diseases are forming cysts and the fish can live healty years or even hole his life. When a stress factor occurs, the disease can develop. This is the reason why it is associated with stress or unhealthy conditions.

I'm just telling you what was the root cause in my case. I went to a specialized veterinarian. Some fish were sacrificed (the weakest) to try to save the rest. Analysis of tissues were performed in a lab. Can't remember how much it costed, but it was still reasonable. Unfortunately, in my case there was no remedy possible. In the meanwhile, 20 years later, things might have changed. Maybe your case is totally different. I had Tangajika cichlids at that time and in such a tank there is always stress. Water conditions were optimum.

As long as they look healthy, there is probably nothing to worry about. Once they show signs of abnormal behavior, I should put them apart or help them out of their misery. If the fish dies in the tank, they can affect others. I don't want to create panic, but just want to inform you about one possible cause.

Re: pop eye

HI OK thanks It's in line but much more detailed an explanation than I have. If I wasn't dumb as hell I would sacrifice the eye popped ones to keep that core of 5 nice ones safe.

I also,in winter ,want to add my German ones to the tank as they will have grown large.I don't want hem affected either.

Thanks again

Re: pop eye


The veterinarian at the time told me that infection with those kind of diseases is only dangerous when the fish dies and decomposes in the tank, or if organs like intestine are infected. Problem with those diseases is that it can be present in a latent way during years, you don't see anything, the fish seems healthy.

Again, the cause in your case might be different and less serious. If you have the opportunity to have a diagnosis done by a specialized professional person (mostly this goes with sacrifying a fish), this may be of great help. I would just follow it up closely. As soon as the fish suffers, I would help him out of his misery.

Have other people on the forum had some experience with or have any knowledge about pop-eyes?