Betta Fish Cloudy Eye: What You Need To Know

You need to know how to take care of your Betta if problems arise. Betta fish cloudy eye is one of the conditions that can happen to your pet. Here we will help you learn all you need to know about a cloudy eye and how to deal with it. In most cases, you can prevent it from happening and in others, it is easily treatable. Anyways, take it seriously and help your pet. 

The disease causes your Betta’s eye lenses to become opaque and look like a cloud, therefore the name cloudy eye stands. As a warning, you may notice that there is a change in clarity, shape or color of the eye. There are a number of causes so it is of most importance to reveal the right cause and provide the most effective treatment. If you act in time, reveal the right cause, the disease is in most cases treatable and your Betta will make a full recovery. 

betta fish cloudy eye

There are many different reasons that can cause a cloudy eye but, in all cases, it begins with poor quality of water. There is only one exception to this and it is if your Betta has cataracts. These two conditions can be easily confused because they look similar, but cataracts can appear only if your Betta is old. If this is not the case and you have a young Betta then you can elicit cataracts from the list. 

Top 7 Causes Of Betta Fish Cloudy Eye

We have provided a list of the top seven causes of a cloudy eye so hopefully, you will find out enough to prevent it from happening. 

Reason 1- Infection

Keep in mind that the underlying and number one reason for the majority of problems is connected to water quality. If you do not maintain the tank properly it reflects the immune system which weakens and as a result bacterial infection happens that can cause a cloudy eye. If left untreated, bacterial infection can cause your Betta to become blind. A bacterial infection usually occurs due to waste accumulation and high levels of ammonia and nitrogen. Bacteria grow and they cause severe damage. With regular water changes and proper filtration, you can avoid waste buildup and remove ammonia. A bacterial infection causes a cloudy eye but they can also cause gill and fin infection and inflammation. 

Another problem with a dirty tank is flukes that cause parasite infections. No matter how clean you keep the tank there will always be flukes and you will never be able to remove them entirely, but with poor water quality they can harm your fish and cause infections. Flukes in a small number do not affect the tank but if the outbreak happens it can be very harmful to each and every inhabitant of your tank. Parasites usually get into small blood vessels after injecting them through food which contains them. A variety of diseases can arise and one of them is a cloudy eye which is a mild disease compared to the damage they can bring, even death of the fish. 

If you have to deal with an infection, antibiotics will do the work, but primarily you need to deal with the tank, purify the water, remove harmful bacteria and parasites, and make sure that all the elements are properly balanced. Check the ammonia and nitrate levels that can be too high. In case you go with tap water, remove chlorine and chloramine using the water conditioner or carbon filtration. If you provide regular tank cleaning you will avoid waste building up. Quarantine your pet until you establish ideal water parameters and until the treatment is on. 

Reason 2 – Injury

If you notice only milky sheen that does not reach the eye pupil then you are dealing with an injury which in most cases isn’t severe. It mostly treats on its own if there are no other threats such as bacteria or parasites. Your pet has simply bumped on an eye or scratched against something in the tank. You should identify the object that caused the injury and remove it from the tank for further safety.

However not only decorations can cause injuries but there is also an option for the other inhabitant. It is very important to choose an adequate tank mate and to keep away other aggressive kinds from your Betta. 

Once something solid or another fish hits your Betta it suffers trauma. Cornea damage is a common type of injury where fish doesn’t see an object that is in the way clearly. 

If the cause of cloudy eye is an injury you needn’t worry much, in most cases it will go out of itself if your Betta is healthy and well-fed. 

Reason 3 – Cataracts 

Cataracts are connected to lens damage and the cause can be connected to infection, poor nutrition or genetics. But in most cases, cataracts are connected to aging. It causes a problem for a fish to feed and navigate. Operations performed in humans are not the option for a fish so there isn’t much you can do to help. The only option is to keep the water parameters perfect to avoid further infections. 

Cataracts caused by aging arise from several reasons. Some say that the disease develops because of a high content of proteins in their nutrition, others because of too much carbohydrates in the body. You can ensure preventing the disease by keeping protein and carbohydrates leveled in the diet but also providing the proper number of vitamins and minerals. 

If the cause of cataracts are parasites the eye is damaged from the inside and milky spots appear inside the iris and the eye becomes large. This is recognized as a Popeye. If the cases are eye flukes there is nothing to be done and it leads to certain blindness. 

Reason 4 – Poor diet

Food is essential for any being to survive and the same goes for fish. Many conditions and diseases may occur if they are provided with a poor diet and one of them is a cloudy eye. Improper or bad diet affects the immune system first. Further on it weakens the immune system and ensures that it remains susceptible to risk factors, bacteria and infections. 

A crucial component in a diet when it comes to the eyes is vitamin A so have it provided in the diet along with all other balanced components. 

Reason 5 – Skull structure abnormalities

There are cases when Bettas develop scales that are wrongly structured on the head and face. Having it wrongly structured they cause problems in feeding but also algae development along with the head or face. Cloudiness appears as a consequence and even though these cases are rare the condition needs serious treatment. 

Reason 6 – Stress 

Stress is one of the biggest triggers for a number of conditions and diseases when it comes to Bettas. It affects the immune system which weakens and stays open to the influence of external factors that bring further damage.  It is very important that your pet is stress-free for a healthy and happy life. 

Reason 7 – Cancer 

Cancer issues mostly happen to fish that live in the open and, in rare cases, it can happen to a fish living in the tank. It arises from increased exposure to UV rays and contamination with heavy metals. These tumor cells are mostly benign but if they are stuck in the eye your fish will drag them attempting to knock it off which will stress it and cause further problems related to stress. To prevent more trouble a procedure of eye removal can be done and your pet can carry on with its life. 

Betta Fish Cloudy Eye Symptoms

There are no doubts when it comes to symptoms, there are only a few that are connected to a cloudy eye and the first one is an opaque or gray layer over your pet’s eye.  The other thing that can be noticed in many cases is mucus matter, since the body is fighting against the infection. To clarify your doubts about cloudy eyes you will notice your pet having problems with swimming and finding food. These are all the symptoms connected to a cloudy eye so if there is something else that you notice there must be another illness. 

The other illness which is often confused with a cloudy eye is Popeye where an eye or eyes pop out, there is a white ring around the eye, the eye changes color along with the appetite loss and energy lack. So, you need to learn the symptoms of a Popeye, observe your pet and not make a mistake. 

How To Treat Betta Fish Cloudy Eye?

When it comes to treatment and a cloudy eye you can be relieved, it is treatable and, in most cases, if noticed in time your pet will recover fast. The immune system will hopefully fight off the disease and the problem usually clears out on its own. However, there are certain steps you should follow and adjustments to make if you are dealing with a cloudy eye. 

  • If there are more inhabitants in the tank it is better to move your Betta to quarantine until it fully recovers.
  • The quarantine tank should be carefully arranged and the water should be conditioned.
  • When moving Betta to a quarantine tank, acclimation is crucial and if not done correctly it will stress your fish more and cause more damage. 
  • When you put your Betta into a quarantine tank you should add some aquarium salt. The recommended dose is one tablespoon per five gallons depending on the size of the quarantine tank. Make sure you dilute it before you add it to the tank. 
  • It is advisable to add some API stress coats that will help in slime coat building up. 
  • After you deal with your Betta, go back to the main tank. Since a cloudy eye is mostly connected to water quality you need to test it for ammonia, and nitrite that should be 0,00 and nitrates less than 20 ppm.
  • If the parameters are wrong, you should perform a water change. If the tank is smaller by about 5 gallons you should change 50 percent of water. With bigger tanks, you could go with 25 per cent. Water changes should be performed until the water parameters reach the desired level.
  • In most cases this is all you need to do but if the problem doesn’t solve you should consult a vet and administer the prescribed dosage of antibiotics. 

How To Prevent Betta Fish Cloudy Eye?

It is not difficult to prevent a cloudy eye, so you need to do everything that you can to stop it from happening. We provided a list of things you should do if you want to prevent cloudy eyes.

  • Water should be tested at least once a week. Check the ammonia, nitrite and nitrates levels and keep them within borders. 
  • At least once a week clean the tank by removing the waste and uneaten food. Vacuum the gravel if possible to eliminate waste that builds up at the bottom. 
  • Perform a thorough cleaning of decorations, plants and tank equipment periodically. 
  • It is advisable to have a good filtration system which will do most of the work instead. If this is the case then maintain the filter periodically and it will do the rest of the work keeping your tank clean. 
  • Do not overstock the tank, the tank should be arranged so that there is enough free space for your pet. 
  • Do not keep a Betta in a tank less than 5 gallons, it is the minimum.
  • Provide a varied diet rich in proteins.
  • Remove all that can stress your Betta and make it vulnerable and weak. 

Final Thoughts

Finally, it is not hard to detect a cloudy eye just carefully observe your Betta. If it happens you need to react fast and check for water parameters first. The problem is usually there so, treat the tank and move your pet to a quarantine tank for further treatment. Use the aquarium salt and slime coat. The cloudy eye isn’t contagious and fatal but it can lead to vision loss. You can prevent a cloudy eye and many other problems by maintaining and keeping the tank clean.

Leave a Comment