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Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20580
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My Betta has one eye that looks like its covered in skin and

Customer Question

My Betta has one eye that looks like its covered in skin and I am worried he is turning blind. Any idea what it is and if there is anything I can do? The water parameters are fine and the tank is 32L.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

How long has this overgrowth been present?

Does it look fluffy or cottony?

What parameters did you check on the tank? How long ago were they tested?

Can you take a photo of this to let me see what you are seeing? To post a photo, you can use the paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello,The growth looked like a bubble on his eye when I first got him last year and now it is starting to look flat and milky.The tank parameters have not changed much in the past 6 months.
The current parameters are:
ph - 6.5
nitrate - 80ppm
nitrite - 0ppm
Kh - 0 ppm
Gh - 120ppm
Ammonia - <0.02ppmI hope you can help us out!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I'd note that if the nitrates are at 80ppm, that is too high. Ideally, we want this below 20ppm. So, it would be ideal to start small water changes (aiming to have changed 50% within the next 24 hours) or use a nitrate binder to get that level down.

Otherwise, this doesn't look so much like a skin overgrowth or even a bacterial/fungal overgrowth but instead appears to be corneal edema. This is essentially inflammation of the cornea in response to irritation and/or early stage infection. In regards ***** ***** latter, a concern would be pop-eye (which can affect one eye but can eventually affect both). Further to adjusting the nitrates, we may need to start treating for that eye. To reduce any pressure on the cornea from popeye, we can use a low dose of Epsom or aquarium salt in the tank (ie 1tsp per 5-10 gallons). To avoid disrupting the biofilter, you may want to just give him baths in this higher salinity water via a hospitalization tank. As well, we can also consider starting antibiotics (ideally a one in feed as opposed to treating the water) to counter any bacterial infection and preventing full-blown popeye. Common options for these situations would be erythromycin, minocycline or Trimethoprim/sulfadimidine. This may be carried by your local aquarium store, or you may need to speak to your local vet about these for Hank.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.
Hi Angela,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Hank. How is everything going?

Dr. B.