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Pop Eye disease… Cares and Treatment

Pop-Eye or exophthalmia is an infection initially caused by bleeding due to the accumulation of gases in the blood vessels at the back of the eye. The accumulation of fluid caused by the infection can lead to separation and detachment of the eye in the fish. The disease can affect both eyes, although it usually affects only one. The affected eye can become cloudy due to damage to the eye, and can cause secondary infections in other parts of the fish. The Pop-Eye can cause septicemia and other organ failure, as well as parasite infestation and other diseases that attack the fish when its immune system is weakened.

Treatments for Pop-Eye Exophthalmia can take two or more weeks, because the cause of the condition is internal and requires more time to heal. For the treatment, antibiotics and medications with chemical substances that will affect the biological filter will be used; Because of this, we will use a hospital aquarium to medicate the fish. “If” you do not have a hospital aquarium, you can access the following link to follow the instructions for its installation:


Affected fish may show signs of vision loss and general lethargic behavior in its early stages. Affected fish may have cloudiness within the eye, bleeding, and mild swelling around one or both eyes. As the disease progresses, the swelling will become more apparent, and the eyes may show signs of tearing and detachment.


One of the main causes of Pop-Eye exophthalmia is the decline in water quality, either due to poor maintenance of the aquarium or a failure of the biological filter, and can be related to other disorders such as dropsy, kidney failure and metabolic insufficiencies that cause accumulation of fluids in the body. The Pop-Eye can also be caused by physical incidents such as: accidental blows that the fish receives when it jumps out of the water, tears in the eyes when they are handled with “contaminated” rigid meshes, and product of injuries they receive when they are attacked by others. fishes.

Cichlid in advanced stage of disease

Preparation of the hospital aquarium

The hospital aquarium should not have decorations or solid objects that the fish can trip over.

We can place plastic tapes fastened with lead in the corners of the aquarium, so that the fish can take refuge in it if they wish.

We adjust the temperature with a heater and set it at 26ºC.

The aquarium must have aeration provided through an air stone, but it must not have an activated carbon filter or a biological filter.


For the treatment of Pop-Eye we can use one of the following antibiotics: Ampicillin, Minocycline, Terramycin or Oxytetracycline and Erythromycin. We will also use Epson Salt and Methylene Blue.

Antibiotic – On the first day of treatment we will use 12.5 mg of antibiotic for every liter of water in the aquarium (500 milligrams for every 10.56 gallons of water), and from the second day we will use 6.25 mg for every 0.26 gallons of water (250 milligrams per 10.56 gallons of water). Ampicillin

Epson salt – 4 teaspoons (small spoon) for every 10.56 gallons the first day, and from the second day we lower the dose by half (2 teaspoons / 10.56 gallons).

Methylene Blue – 1 drop per 1.05 gallons of water on the first day, and 1 drop per 2.11 gallons of water on the second day (1 drop/2.11 gallons).

Water changes – 40% water change every day from the second day. The water for water changes must have the same temperature and the same pH.

Medicated food – We will not feed the fish during the first 3 days of treatment. On the fourth day we can feed it with some type of medicated food that contains antibiotics, or we can feed it with flakes or granules moistened with Oxytetracycline (10 mg in a spoon of water for 3 minutes). We can turn off the air pump while feeding the fish, so that there is no current or movement of water inside the aquarium. Remove uneaten food after 5 minutes.

Pop-Eye treatment can be short or long, depending on the stage of the disease and the lesions the fish may have at the time of treatment. The fish may have corneal damage, fluid buildup in the back of the eye, and infection in the eye socket. It is critical to maintain the quality of the water and a stable temperature during the treatment, so that the fish does not become stressed and can restore its defenses or immune system.

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