Cloudy eye is common in Betta fish. Luckily, it is easily prevented and treatable. Even though cloudy eye is easily treated, it’s a serious condition that requires immediate attention. Otherwise, your fish will suffer and possibly die.
What is Cloudy Eye?
Cloudy eye causes your Betta’s eye lens to become opaque or cloudy. Correctly diagnosing this disease is important to ensure the best possible treatment. Several different conditions can cause cloudy eye, which we will cover in this article.
Cloudy Eye Symptoms in Bettas
The most notable symptom of cloudy eye is the one that has given it its name – an opaque greyish film that covers your Betta’s eye. There is a possibility you may see a buildup of mucus as your Betta’s body begins to fight off an infection. Cloudy eye impairs your Betta’s vision, making it hard for it to swim and find food.
There are other symptoms you need to be aware of that could indicate a completely different disease, such as bulging eyes, or popeye, which are both treated differently.
Treating Betta Cloudy Eye
Cloudy eye is definitely treatable. Early detection and fast action will have your Betta healthy in no time! If you spot any symptoms of cloudy eye, follow the steps below to ensure a quick recovery.
- Remove your Betta from the community tank and place it in a quarantine tank set up with the appropriate water conditions, heating, filtration, lighting, and a structure or vegetation for your Betta to hide within.
- Your quarantine tank should be set up as normal, then add conditioned water and let it sit for 24 hours before placing your Betta in the tank.
- After the 24 hours have passed, you will want to introduce your Betta slowly to the quarantine tank. A good way to do this is by floating it in a bag on the surface for 20 minutes before putting it in the water.
- Add aquarium salt to the tank after the Betta has been added. Only one tablespoon per every 5 gallons is needed. Dilute the salt in a small amount of aquarium water before adding it to the tank.
- You will only need to add more aquarium salt during water changes.
- Meanwhile, you should be maintaining your main tank with frequent water changes, as well. Every three to four days, you should do a 50% water change for a 5-gallon tank. Similarly, you should change out the water in a 10-gallon tank by 30% every three to four days. With larger betta fish tanks, you can go longer amounts of time while changing out less water.
Test your main tank to ensure the water quality remains good. The ammonia level for your tank should be at 0ppm. Nitrites should be the same, 0ppm, and Nitrates should be no more than 20ppm. You will need to continue the water changes until the tank’s water quality reaches these levels.
Preventing Cloudy Eye in Bettas
One of the main ways to prevent cloudy eye is maintaining the water quality and ensuring it remains healthy and stable. When the water quality is kept at the proper levels, 0ppm for nitrite and ammonia, and 20ppm for nitrates, your Betta will be safe from cloudy eye. To ensure this happens, follow the steps below.
- Regularly changing your tank’s water will keep the water quality at healthy levels. For smaller tanks, the water changes need to be larger and more frequent. Whereas, for larger tanks, you will only need to perform a 25% water change each week.
- Maintain a clean tank. If you have a substrate, you should vacuum it regularly to remove feces and leftover food.
- Routinely clean the tank’s ornaments, including any silk plants.
- A proper filtration system is a must to ensure your tank is cleaned adequately. A good filter needs to be biological to remove waste, chemical to remove unnecessary chemicals from the water, and mechanical to remove any debris.
- Change out the filter cartridges as needed.
- Test the water quality on a regular basis to ensure the pH and ammonia levels remain stable.
- Do not overstock your tank. A general rule of thumb is only to have a max of one inch of fish per gallon of water. However, bigger fish need more room to swim.
Tanks smaller than five gallons will compromise your Betta’s health. They can survive in the smaller tanks, but they will not remain healthy.
Is Cloudy Eye Contagious?
Cloudy eye is not contagious. However, if the tank’s water conditions have caused one fish to catch cloudy eye, you can be assured your other fish will catch it as well until the water conditions return to a healthy level. Rapid actions are necessary if more than one fish in your tank develops cloudy eye.
Cloudy eye can also develop from malnutrition or a more dangerous illness. Test your water’s quality levels to rule out any other possibilities.
Is Cloudy Eye Fatal to Bettas?
Any illness that goes untreated in your fish can potentially prove to be fatal, although, cloudy eye is least likely to cause death. Your Betta will quickly recover as long as you adjust the water’s quality levels and treat your Betta.
However, if the symptoms worsen or additional symptoms occur, there may not be cloudy eye, and you will need to start investigating further. You can get a diagnosis if necessary from your local aquatic center if this is the case.
With rapid detection and action, cloudy eye is easily treated and should not prove fatal. Regular tank maintenance is a must for keeping the water quality at a healthy and safe level. Frequent water changes and a good filtration system will help you maintain the tank properly. A healthy diet full of protein will lessen the amount of waste put out by your Betta, helping to keep your tank cleaner.
Keep in mind that cloudy eye is very treatable, and it is not a death sentence for your fish as long as you catch it in time and treat it appropriately.