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Angelfish With Red Eye

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#1 michellec


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Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:20 PM

Hello All!

About five months ago I purchased a 15.6 gal tank and, after having cycled, proceeded to add new fish. Everything was going smoothly until about a month ago, when one of my angelfish got a red left eye. After having scoured the internet looking for answers to similar problems, the most likely reason turned up to be a bacterial infection, so I purchased some melafix and gave that a try. Three weeks and one bottle of melafix later, there has been no change in the condition of my angelfish's eye. I am wondering if the reason this happened in the first place, and maybe the reason why there was no improvement, is because my tank is overcrowded? I have 1 koi and 1 black angelfish, 9 neon tetras, 1 siamese algae eater, 1 albino pleco, and 1 albino catfish in my tank (the largest of all the fish being the algae eater and the koi angelfish). I have a biowheel filter and an airstone as well as many plants (which have recently started to decay due to very tiny spiral looking snails that I do not know how got in, or how to get them out of my tank), 1 spaghetti rock, 1 log, and 1 small ornament in the tank.

The koi is much bigger than the black angelfish and I have had him much longer, he is the one with the red eye. None of the other fish are showing any symptoms whatsoever. Also I have noticed that the substrate in the bottom of my tank (extra fine white river gravel purchased at Pet City) has turned pretty much brown on the side of the tank opposite to the filter, and always seems to have waste on the bottom no matter how many times you try to clean the tank (which I do a partial water change on once a week). In addition, my koi is also relatively transparent in that you can pretty much see his insides through his body when he is on his right side. For whatever reason, it is harder to see through him on his left side. Anyway, I am not sure if it is just myself being paranoid, but when his right side is facing me it looks as though his skin is raw where his anal fin meets his body, however I can pretty much see the blood vessels up inside his body anyway, but they look more red than usual. Also, near his gills, it appears to be raw but when the light hits it it looks shiny/metallic. I think he may have always been like that though and I am just blowing things out of proportion because I am worried.

Anyhow, if anyone can offer some advise to what I should do or if I am doing something wrong (which I can pretty much wager I am since I am new at this) I would welcome the suggestions! I apologize in advance for the lengthy post! I just wanted to be thorough!

I have attached a pic of his left side with the red eye (not very good because he was very uncooperative).



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Edited by michellec, 12 June 2009 - 03:27 PM.

#2 saz326


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Posted 12 June 2009 - 04:02 PM

Are you sure it wasnt like this when you bought him?

Eyes can have colouration different on one side to the other.. If it is remaining the same and the fish otherwise looks and behaves properly - then I'd try to stop worrying and simply keep an eye on it for a while.

...thats not menna be funnny ... "keep an eye on it..." :rolleyes:

#3 michellec


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Posted 12 June 2009 - 04:11 PM

He definitely wasn't like that when I bought him, he only developed it about a month ago and I have had him for almost 6 months! But I'm being assured it is not a bad thing by many people, and have found out that koi angelfish often have the red iris!

Thanks for your help! Now all I have to do is get a larger tank! =)



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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:02 PM

Your tank is overstocked.
Can you post water stats in ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph.

The koi it is an angel fish and not a cold water fish.

It sounds like septicmia to me.
Is there pool of blood in the eyes.
Any white specs behind the lens of the eye.
Any bleeding bemeath the skin.
Any signs of flicking and rubbing.
Do the gills look red.



Fish may have reddening at fin bases, blood streaks throughout the fins and body, small hemorrhages around the eyes. Dull listless behavior and lack of appetite may also be present.


Systemic bacterial infection caused by various bacteria, including Aeromonas, Pseudomonas and Vibrio. The illness is often brought on by poor water quality or as a result of parasitic infestations or other infections. These bacteria enter the blood stream and circulate through the tissues causing inflammation and damage. Inflamed blood vessels in the skin and at fin bases stand out. Blood vessel and heart tissue damage cause hemorrhaging and consequently leakage of body fluids into the abdomen, which may lead to Dropsy.


Water conditions must be improved for all fish in the tank, regardless of how many fish are infected. Check your water’s Treat with Kanacyn or Tetracycline as well as with a medicated food if the fish will eat. If parasites are suspected, all the fish in the tank should be treated with antiparasitic medication. Using salt to help restore osmotic balance might be helpful.

#5 michellec


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Posted 14 June 2009 - 06:31 PM

I am working on getting some of the fish into another tank, however, should I do that now if parasites are suspected? I am thinking not because whatever fish I transfer from the tank to a new tank could infect the other fish. Anyway, The blood I guess is pooling toward the bottom of his eye, it looks more like hemmorrhaging though, and there are no white specs behind his eyes. His fins are red at the base and there is streaking throughout his body, it is really bad toward the base of his anal fin. This definitely sounds like what the poor guy has. He is not really listless and he is eating well, but everything else seems to fit the description to a T. He does a lot of flicking from side to side, but no rubbing up against anything that I can see. The gills look red, but they always look red because he is very transparent.

I tested the water and the results were as follows:
pH - 7.6
ammonia - 0 ppm
nitrate - between 20 and 40 ppm
nitrite - 0 ppm

I would appreciate it if you could let me know if I should still treat for septicemia, which it sounds like I should, and what I should do about transporting my fish in the meantime!


Edited by michellec, 14 June 2009 - 06:32 PM.



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Posted 14 June 2009 - 07:24 PM

Septicemia hard to cure once it advances.
United States Marcyn plus.
UK Anti internal bacteria med by interpet.

Is it possible to issolate the fish as the bacteria from the fish can enter the tank and infect other fish.

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