Cichlid Fish Forum banner

Aulonocara with cloudy eye

37332 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  valentina
Two days ago I noticed that my male Aulonocara orange-blotch had a cloudy eye. He is housed in a 92 gallon all male Aulonocara/Haplochromis tank. I know that most eye problems are caused by either poor water quality or aggression. I just checked my water parameters and they are: Ammonia-0 ppm, Nitrite-0 ppm, Nitrate-10 ppm, PH-8.2, GH-9 dH, KH- 8 dkh. While my hardness and alkalinity are a little lower than I like, I do not suspect that the cloudy eye is a result of poor water quality. The eye could thus be just a temporary battle wound that will clear up on its own or it could be an infection.

My question is should I assume the worst and start treating with medication or wait it out? My quarantine/sick tank is currently acting as a quarantine for some recent additions. Thus I would prefer to treat him in his current environment. He is still eating normally. Can I simply soak brine shrimp in Maracyn I (Erythromycin) and feed the medication? Should I also treat with Maracyn-two? Or, do you guys feel that I should remove the fish and do a more aggressive medication route?

Thanks for any comments! :)
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
If it's only been two days and the fish is fine otherwise, (eating and swimming normally, no white or gray fuzzy growth anywhere on his body), then I'd be more inclined to watch and wait.
Even though your water parameter numbers are good I still might up the frequency of partial water changes for the next couple of weeks as well as doing anything you can to improve water movement.

If there's an ongoing aggression problem and this fish is continually being chased or chasing then it may slow the healing process down. (Stress, re-injury)

It has now been 6 days since I first noticed the cloudy eye. The fish is still swimming and eating normally. The only observable damage to the fish is the cloudy eye. There does not seem to be any serious amount of ongoing aggression. Just the occasional chasing, but the tank is filled with rock to hide and swim through.

I think the tank has planty of filtration/ water movement (~10x). I have both a fluval 405 (340GPH) and a sump with a magnum 9.5 (750GPH at 5' head). I have performed two partial water changes this week. However, I leave tomorrow to go out of town for 6 days, and the fish's eye is still cloudy! My boyfriend will be taking care of my tank for me while I am away. He can probably do most simple things. Maybe a water change or two. I could separate the fish into a QT tank and have him begin some sort of treatment plan. The best solution (medicine wise for a novice fish keeper such as my boyfriend) is through food. It would be easy to have him presoak brine with meds and feed it to the tank.

What do you guys think I should do?
See less See more
The thing with cloudy eye is its a sort of watch and wait type of thing. Usually it will heal up on its own if the water conditions are good and the fish isn't under some sort of ongoing stress--such as being continually chased.
You don't want to medicate unless the eye appears to be getting worse or other problems develope for the fish. (loss of appetite, lethargy, any kind of growth anywhere on the fish's body).

Since you're going away you could opt to have your boyfriend feed the entire tank anti-bacterial food, but I honestly don't know if its necessary and really anytime you're treating a tank you want to have someone knowledgeable around just in case there's a problem with the treatment.

Another option would be to have your boyfriend report to you any changes in the fish while you're gone and only treat if things appear to be getting worse.

See less See more
After 13 days, there was no improvement in the fish's cloudy eye. I separated the fish into a 10 gallon qurantine and performed a 5-day treatment with Maracyn I and Maracyn II. There has been no change in the fish's eye. The fish is still swimming around and eating normally. The only behavior change that I have noticed is that it tends to always face the uncloudy eye at me. This has made it rather difficult to get good pictures. Here are a couple of pics:

What do you guys suggest as my next course of action?
See less See more
I think the fish may have lost it's vision in the eye. It certainly looks like it has, and the behaviour you describe sounds like it has. That shouldn't be a problem, I have a couple of older fish with only one eye. The finnage and colour look great on the fish, so I don't believe it's ill.
I had not thought of him simply going blind. Just seems weird because there was not a gradual change in the eye. It went from clear and healthy looking to completely white. :-? Should I try a different treatment just in case or just put him back in the show tank?

Thanks :)
It may be that the fish has lost it's vision in that eye and you won't see improvement and the fish will be/is fine but sometimes you do need to do two consecutive treatments with the Maracyns, (and really most meds) so you might do another round.
Another option is to treat with Metronidazole. Either in the water or getting the fish to eat the med by soaking it's food in it.

Metronidazole is effective against some bacterial infections and also protozoan infestations.

As a precaution for your main tank I would increase the frequency of your partial water changes for the next few weeks. Do 2-3 water changes a week using a good quality declorinator.

What a beautiful fish.

Thanks for the advice. I will go ahead and try one more round of Maracyn I/II, and soak some brine shrimp in metronidazole. Is there any way it could be the result of something other than simple blindness, bacterial infection, or parasitic infection that these medications would not be effective on? Are there fungal infections of fish eyes? Just trying to cover all my basis before I put a "potentially" sick fish back into my show tank.

Thank you so much for all the feedback!
Without looking at a tissue sample under a microscope it's impossible to say exactly what it is, bacteria, parasite, fungus or an injury. For the most part that's how most fish illnesses are that we diagnose here on the forum. We listen to the symptoms and get all the information we can and then go with the most likely answer. With cloudy eye its usually a problem with the water quality or a bacterial infection but it can be parasites. I haven't heard of cloudy eye being caused by a fungus but it's probably possible.

I would exhaust medication possibilities before returning this fish to the show tank.

Just noticed the same issue with my Benga Peacock.
Before I saw this thread I was wondering if he could have potentially injured himself by swimming into one of my plants leaf ends? Silly but they do have quite the point on them.
However in reading the above I think likely caused by aggression from the Ruby Peacocks that share space in my 55G.
Most of the time though the Rubies (3 of them) seem to swim together and the poor Benga tries to tag along but they dont want anything to do with him.
Unfortunately I dont have the option of a quarantine tank.
I have a Fluval 404 for a filter the water seems fine and these are the only fish in the tank currently.
Please let me know if you find a solution!
VTcichfan, it could very well be from an injury, but you want to watch closely in case it should turn into an infection.

If this is an all male set up, you will continue to have aggression problems with 3 male Ruby Red's in a tank that size.
After reading the above and looking through my fish treatment arsenal I removed the carbon from my filter and decided to start treating with Melafix to be safe rather than sorry.
Yeah darn Rubies! I even attempted to have the gal at the LFS pick me 1 colorful and two drab ones but about a week later they all colored up. I think they got an all male shipment. Two will be going back soon. Hopefully in trade for a Flavescent, Copadachromis trewavasae or Sp. Intermedius! :thumb:
Do have a question-Melafix advises to treat for 7 straight days then a 25% water change. I did a water change today before treatment when I removed the carbon from the filter.
Should I really wait the 7 days to do another?
Is 7 days treatment for the only one fish overdoing it?
No change in my Benga. :?
I have been treating w/ Melafix since Saturday.
Has anyone treated this successfully?
How long before I should see improvement?
Should I wait the 7 days as suggested on Melafix bottle before another water change?
5ml per 10 gallons seems like alot of treatment...
What can I do to stop my dog from gnawing at an old injury? She injured her paw a couple of years ago. Though the old injury is long healed she keeps chewing at it and aggravating the wound. We had to give her antibiotics recently. The only thing that is effective is the huge plastic collar. However, the moment we remove it, she is back to chewing. With the collar on, she has a lot of trouble moving around and keeps hurting herself. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.