Cloudy Eye on Rainbow Fish

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Posted 9/7/2009 7:25:53 AM
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OOOps, some one said I posted this too a salt water message board. And thanks to the individual who replied.

First, I'm sorry for the long message!

My favorite fish- out of several dozen, (5 inch turquoise rainbow) has a significant issue. It developed velvet about a week ago, and was moved to a "hospital" tank immediately, along with three other Rainbows that were showing a very mild infection. For two days I tried a proprietary treatment, with the main ingredient Victoria Green. I noticed small lesions and cloudiness on both eyes of this particular fish during the inital treatment, and he seemed disoriented, and would not feed. Perhaps temporary blindness.??

After three days with very little improvement, I went to my LFS and they recommended Binox (nitrofurazone), and raising the temp to 84. They also suggest a concurrent dosing with an antibiotic to ward off any opportunistic bacterial infection, and one table spoon of aquarium salt per 5 gallons. I used Maracyn. All patients improved quickly, including this one with the eye problem Three days later the velvet is virtually non-existent. After a few more days in quarantine, I was going to move them back to the display tank, and was jumping with joy!

However; yesterday, I noticed one of the turquoise's eyes is COMPLETELY clouded over. The other eye appears unaffected. It's very difficult to see, since he seems to want to keep his "good eye" pointing toward me during exam. It's looks completely opaque, and doesn't appear to be swollen in profile.. or notably concave either. I'm really afraid he may have lost it, which just makes me sick to think about.

Hospital tank-- 20 gallons, 25% water change daily, fresh water dosed with medications to maintain the proper concentration. Heavy aeration.
pH 7.5, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates all below detectable levels

Is there any way to diagnose and treat the problem if it is not too late? Would Maracyn 2 be a better choice? ... Any and all constructive advise will be GREATLY appreciated!
Post #189370
Posted 9/7/2009 8:09:51 AM
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You're welcome, and hopefully you will get a few more responses with it posted here (our saltwater sections don't get a lot of traffic lately).

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Post #189373
Posted 9/7/2009 8:13:09 AM
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Oh, and here are the pertinent parts of my original post to you, to get everything together in this post:

Cloudy eye is one of the mildest infections that a fish can have, and often the worst outcome (assuming there is no concurrent infection of something more deadly) is the fish losing an eye.

My advice is that if the other issues have cleared up, I would start doing water changes and running carbon to remove the meds, because it may potentially be all the harsh medications that are starting to irritate him. Then I would throw the infection a curveball by switching to a different, but milder, anti-bacterial medication like melafix. This one is a mild broad spectrum antibiotic that is less likely to irritate sensitive fish, and it tends to work well for minor infections like cloudy eye. If you still have the other fish in there and they are healthy it might be time to move them out, but the melafix treatment shouldn't hurt them as long as none are labyrinthfish like gouramis, bettas, or paradise fish. Good luck, and keep us posted with how things are going.


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Post #189374
Posted 9/8/2009 8:59:02 AM
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Hailey, thanks a million for your reply. I've done two 25% water changes. One in the PM yesterday and another this AM. I plan to go out today and get the Melafix, but already there has been a significant improvement. The iris of the affected eye is now somewhat visible, but the rest is unchanged. It is now half-hardily feeding. A few live brine and frozen Blood Worms.

Your comments certainly allayed my worst concerns yesterday!
Post #189417
Posted 9/8/2009 4:18:13 PM


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Hailey's suggestion of water changes and using activated carbon seem the best to me too. If a fish has only one eye cloudy it usually means that there is a minor problem, such as it may have banged that eye etc. Tossing all of those chemicals into the tank is, IMHO, not a great idea. Unless you know for sure what you are treating for, all those meds can be counterproductive. And adding salt is never a good idea. All it does is to take a stressed fish and stress it more.

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Post #189442
Posted 9/9/2009 5:43:20 PM
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Melafix ROCKS
Post #189483
Posted 9/9/2009 6:13:29 PM
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I take it that it's working? It may just be all the water changes too. At any rate I see good things in this fish's future.

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Post #189485
Posted 10/5/2009 5:57:50 PM
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Just a little update and an opportunity to thank all who posted suggesting solutions.  I think the eye, or the largest majority of it disintegrated, but the melafix halted the progress of the disease almost immediately.  I looked on the internet for resources.  It's amazing how many scientific studies are in the works using fish eye regeneration. 

At any rate, it would appear the eye has regenerated to about half it's original size, and continues to grow.  He also seems to have visual function in it, and it "moves" in the socket as he scans around the tank. He feeds like crazy, even catches morsels on his "bad side", leaving me to think it is functioning.  I've rotated a 5 day course of Melafix, with a 5 day rest, 40% water change and retreated for... humm I'm thinking about four cycles.  He appears as happy and healthy as ever, even showing the "color flashes" of yellow over turquoise that makes me a huge fan of the breed.  He goes back in the show-tank tomorrow!

Hurray for Melafix!

Just sign me the grateful guy!

Post #190468
Posted 10/6/2009 3:22:09 AM
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That's great! It's nice to hear the success stories once in a while...often when things go well people stop posting about it so you never know.

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