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Black Molly with 1 bulging eye

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by Kelly Preussner, Sep 7, 2019.

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  1. Kelly Preussner

    Kelly Preussner New Member

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    Hi, I am new to this & also new to the fish world. I woke up this morning to find my black Molly with 1 bulging eye & some white around the eye. I did some reading about pop eye & maybe this was an injury but I am not sure how to treat her since I don’t have another tank to quarantine her. I tested my water this morning & looks ok. It is almost time for another water change. I also recently added 3 new fish so now sure if that has anything to do with it. I read to add some aquarium salt so I did that this morning. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Here are my tank specifics:
    I have a 36 gal bow front that has been cycled since May. I have 1 black Molly, 1 gold/black Molly, 2 swordfish, 3 platy fish, 1 female Betta & 6 guppies. I also have a few nerite snails.
    I use the API freshwater master test kit & my PH is 8.1 (I know seems high but has fluctuated between 8.1 & 8.2 since the tank has been up & running. Amonia is about .1 slightly elevated probably from new fish, nitrite is 0 & nitrate is 5.0. Temp is about 78. I do have 2 moss balls, live plants, driftwood and 1 rock (probably why ph is higher). Did I forget anything? Thanks!!!
     
  2. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    Welcome to the forum.

    The bulging eye could be one of 3 things. It could be an infection... or it could be a damaged eye due to hitting some material in the tank, or a wound from an altercation with a tankmate.


    So... how do we deal with this. First, the pH is not 'high' for these fish, with the exception of the female betta, which is likely right at the top of her pH range.

    Second, the issue will likely resolve itself if the molly doesn't get reinjured, AND has clean water to recover in. Just like when we get a scrape or a cut, we need to keep the wound clean. Fish can't be covered with a band-aid, so we need to keep the water clean for them. That means - water changes - lots of them. Since you have no quarantine tank, that means water changes on the MAIN tank. I'd recommend at least 25% daily... but 50% would be better. FYI... 50% every other day is better than 25% daily.

    Third, the molly can benefit from a special 'bath' as well. This would be similar to the application of an anti-biotic cream added to a wound under a band-aid.

    I'll provide two links.
    https://www.algone.com/aquarium-fish-dips-and-baths
    https://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com/2009/07/fish-baths.html

    I'd stick to just a salt bath (this would be 'regular sodium chloride' but not with any anti-caking ingredients, non-iodized, etc.) IF you can't find that 'freshwater salt' from the fish store can be used. Follow the directions regarding the concentration. The good news is that mollys specifically can move from complete soft, freshwater, to full marine environments and can cope with those wide ranging water parameters for brief periods... though your tank water seems ideal for them.


    Good luck. And if I were you, I'd recommend rehoming that betta as female bettas can be as persnickety as their male counterparts. I'd generally recommend female bettas only be kept in 'over stocked', highly planted, smaller tanks in a sorority set-up... or singly, just as their male counterparts.
     
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  3. Kelly Preussner

    Kelly Preussner New Member

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    Thank you so much for all the information. I recently put a mesh bag over the filter because I lost a guppy whose tail got ripped off in the filter. The mesh bag has a draw string that has what could be considered sharp edges but it is in the corner of the tank. I do understand what you are saying about the Betta but she really stays away from the other fish in the tank. I am more inclined to think the mesh bag hurt her.

    Either way, I want to help her!! I am quite attached to my fish. So just to be clear, I get a clean container & add the aquarium salt 4 teaspoon to 1 gallon & leave her in there for 30 min. Then return her to the tank. Also do 50% water changes every other day for how long?

    Thanks so very much!!!!
     
  4. Kelly Preussner

    Kelly Preussner New Member

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    Sorry, 1 more question. In the dip do I use all clean water or 1/2 clean, 1/2 tank water? Also the article says 4 t salt to 1 gal but my salt container says 1/2 t to 1 gallon. I don’t want to kill her!!
    Thanks!
     
  5. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    It’s normally 1 tablespoon to every 5 gallons so I would go with instructions on package. Half dechlorinated water and half tank would be great. Biggest thing is keeping temp the same. Is it possible to add a pic? I don’t want to cause confusion so go with above advice. If it doesn’t improve in a few days then let us know. Epsom salt is often better for Popeye as it pulls the fluid off. That and some Furan-2 will help if initial treatment doesn’t work. Hope all goes well. Keep us posted.
     
  6. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    There's two different concentrations being discussed... that's why there are two different concentrations.

    1 - concentration for a TREATMENT BATH - that's the one in the linked articles. That is meant for a BRIEF (30 min) time as a special treatment for the fish. this is HIGHER than normal, and that's because its a therapeutic concentration, it is not intended to be used for a prolonged period. During that short time, external bacteria will be killed off, fluids will exchange and a slime coat will be encouraged to thicken (all will help ward off the infection getting worse).

    2 - concentration recommended by the manufacturer of the aquarium salt to be used in the MAIN TANK and to be used FULL TIME. Ignore this and do NOT use ANY of this salt in the main tank. Its unnecessary and will force you to need to keep this concentration the same with each and every water change for the life of your tank. Its not worth the hassle. (Also, your livebearers will be said to 'benefit' from salt in the tank. That's true, but its certainly not NECESSARY and salt should never be used in a freshwater tank FULL TIME. Its much better to be reserved for TREATMENTS. Livebearers like you have require HARD WATER. Salt is the lazy way of increasing the general hardness of tank water. The salt is unnecessary, and your water is already hard enough for these fish to thrive.)


    So, to the question at hand... yes, a BRAND NEW (no soap has ever been used in) a clear plastic (tupperware) container so that you can keep a close eye on the fish during these 30 minutes. Watch carefully that the fish stays swimming upright. If it 'falls over' and loses equilibrium, move it back to the main tank IMMEDIATELY.

    I understand your concern, but I think that the molly will be just fine. They are hardy fish when in hard water.



    Finally, in answer to the question "How long to do this?" - until the problem is cleared up.

    It should heal in about a week... and you should note healing starting in a few days. Pictures of the eye before treatment and after treatment each day will help you see if the condition is improving or worsening.
     
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  7. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    No. That's not correct.


    I would say, that the temp match warning is a good one @Kelly Preussner . The temp needs to be within about a degree... and make sure the salt is dissolved completely in the container BEFORE adding the fish.


    Epsom salt is a good option as well... again, make sure it is pure epsom salt with no additives like anti-caking agents, etc.
     
  8. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    I’m sorry...what’s not correct? The dosing instructions on the box?
     
  9. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    Yes. As pointed out, the directions on the box are not related to a therapeutic fish bath. Those directions are only relevant for full time use in the main tank, and should not be used.

    Salt is a treatment option for freshwater fish, but in my opinion, should never be used full-time.
     
  10. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    Gotcha. Just wanted to be sure I was on the same track. :)
     
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  11. Kelly Preussner

    Kelly Preussner New Member

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    Ok so have epsom salt & aquarium salt. It sounds like Epsom salt is better to use. So 4 teaspoons per gallon of Epsom salts in half tapwater half aquarium water. Leave fish for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes do I put the fish back in the aquarium or in more fresh water to “rinse” her off first? She is swimming around like normal. Will try to post a picture
     

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  12. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    I wouldn't worry about 'rinsing' her off before putting her back in the tank. Just netting her out of the main tank, putting her into the salt bath and then back is going to be stressful enough. Adding an extra step will just make it worse.

    Any of the salt that gets transferred to the main tank as a result of you netting and adding her back will be so minimal that when in the main tank the dilution won't affect anything.


    Now, regarding the likely cause of this, which may be the mesh bag... I'd recommend getting a small pre-filter sponge to put over the filter intake rather than the mesh, so that this doesn't happen again to any other fish.
     
  13. Deanasue

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    I agree. Some say you need to rinse the fish but I never do. After all, you are putting it back in water and not enough salt to make a difference. Since it is only one eye, it probably is due to injury. Have you tried tying a piece of panty hose on the filter?
     
  14. Kelly Preussner

    Kelly Preussner New Member

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    Thanks for all the help!! I really appreciate all the info!!! I think her eye looks better already! She did fine in the salt while I did a 50% water change. She is resting in the back of the tank which she does quite often. I took the mesh off. The reason I went with the mesh bag is because I was afraid a sponge or panty hose would get clogged on the outside. The mesh was even getting stuff on it. I might just leave it alone & see how it goes. I am not entirely sure what happened to my guppy’s tail anyway but I know it got caught & was not eaten so I assumed it was the filter.

    I will see how she is doing by tomorrow. If not better I will give her a dip/bath again tomorrow.

    Thanks!!!
     
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  15. Naughts

    Naughts Fish Fanatic

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    When you 'vacuum' the substrate you could also vacuum the sponge or panty hose so it is not clogged inbetween filter cleanings?
     

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