What is the Treatments for Popeye in Betta Fish

Popeye is a fish disease, which may pose risks to fish health problems. It is also known as exophthalmia. Generally, Popeye will lead to swollen or bulged eyes, you can see the fish with big eyes. More seriously, fish may suffer decaying eyes, blindness, or even death. So here is this article, we are going to discuss some basic information about Popeye in betta fish, like the causes, how to treat Popeye in betta fish, and prevention. Rant over, let’s dive in.

Popeye in betta fish

In general, betta fish may get Popeye on one eye (unilateral Popeye) or two eyes (bilateral Popeye). Next in this part, let’s take a look at the causes and symptoms of Popeye in betta fish.


Eye injury or trauma, and infections are two main causes of Popeye in betta fish.

Sharp rocks or other aquarium decorations are potential reasons for injury. You should avoid anything that would cause damage to your fish. Instead of sharp objects, soft ones are excellent alternatives. Also, fish fights can be another cause of injury. Accordingly, you should pay attention to fish compatibility when introducing new fish. Once you find incompatible fish in the tank, separate them into different tanks as soon as possible.

Besides that, Popeye may be the result of infections by parasites, fungus, or bacteria.

Common symptoms of Popeye in Betta fish

  • Color changes in fish eyes: Color changes in fish eyes usually mean unilateral Popeye. Commonly, the color changes range from red to milky. Correspondingly red eyes or cloudy eyes.
  • Bulge or protruding eyes: Bulge eyes may be the result of the build-up of pressure behind the eye.
  • White spots or a white ring on fish eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stay on the bottom of the fish tank
  • Stay in the same place in the fish tank for a long time
  • Avoiding other tank mates
  • Lethargy

Is popeye fish disease contagious

Whether Popeye disease is contagious or not is determined by the cause of Popeye. Specifically, if your bettas get Popeye due to injury, then the Popeye disease would not be contagious. However, if the betta fish Popeye is caused by infections of parasites, fungus, or bacteria, the disease would be contagious under this circumstance.

How to treat popeye disease in betta fish

The treatment can be varied from the cause of Popeye. Once you find the root cause of the popeye, take the necessary steps and start the treatment.

Treatments for Popeye in betta fish

Commonly, no matter what are the reasons for Popeye, it is recommended to separate the fish into quarantined tanks. Moreover, changing the water is necessary. Next, we will share some specific cures according to different causes.

(1)Cures for Popeye caused by injury

Prepare another fish tank, and add aquarium salt or Epsom salt to the tank. Generally, just follow one tablespoon of Epsom salt for one gallon of water. Then move your betta to the tank until the salt is dissolved completely. After that, bathe the fish in the water with salt for 10–15 minutes. During Epsom salt baths, if your fish is about to lose consciousness or suffer breathing problems, you should remove them from the salt water and put them back in freshwater as soon as possible. Additionally, never use salt to treat betta fish over 10 days.

(2)Cures for Popeye caused by infection

In this case, it is recommended to set up a quarantine tank and isolate the infected fish first. Then it is vital to change the water of the original tank, which is helpful to remove parasites, bacteria, and fungus in the tank. After that, antibiotic medication to the quarantine tank, like Ampicillin. Usually, just follow one tablet of Ampicillin for 10 gallons of water. You should change the water of the quarantine tank twice each week. Plus, treat the betta with Ampicillin again after changing the water.

In addition, if you want your betta get recover sooner, just add some Indian almond leaf to the quarantine tank. The leaves are natural antibiotics, which are beneficial to heal the betta fish.

To conclude, facing Popeye caused by infections in betta fish, it is feasible to apply for medicine, like antibiotics, antifungals, or antibacterial medication.

Prevention for Popeye in Betta Fish

Though there are effective treatments for Popeye, it is best to prevent it. After learning, we know that the reasons for Popeye infection include poor water quality, bad living environment, injury, and infections. The following are some pointers.

  • Never overstock in betta fish aquariums.
  • Never add aquarium decorations with sharp edges.
  • Quarantine new fish before introducing them to the aquarium.
  • Create a great filtration system. Bacteria would accumulate without sufficient water flow. Also, clean or replace the filter media regularly. And check the filtration system once a month.
  • Monitor the water parameters, including water temp, pH level, ammonia level, nitrite level, nitrate level, etc.
  • Change the water regularly. For instance, once a week.
  • Keep betta fish aquariums clean. Remove unnecessary substances, waste, or fish feces with a gravel vacuum during water changes.
  • Never overfeed.

In closing

Popeye disease is not fatal for betta fish as long as the Popeye is not a secondary bacterial disease or the fish does not get treatment in time. Just keep in mind – prevention is better than treatment. It is painful for fish to get the disease.

That’s all for today. And What Is a Good Way to Keep Betta Fish Happy gives more info about betta fish keeping. For additional cures for Popeye in betta fish, please feel free to leave messages in the comments. Finally, thanks for your reading.

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