Popeye is a condition where the eye protrudes from the socket. It can affect a single eye or both eyes. Along with the eye “popping” out of the socket, the eye can appear cloudy or bloody. This condition can cause your fish to eventually lose its eye or go blind.

If both eyes have the condition, then the chances are there is an underlying infection, if the condition is only in one eye it is likely to have been caused by an injury.

In my case, the injury was caused by a fight to the death with my Golden Algae Eater, the Gourami was the survivor… just! But he now has a fairly nasty case of Popeye.

Popeye caused by a fight with another fish
Popeye caused by a fight with another fish

To be honest, I am not overly sad about the Algae Eater, he wasn’t my choice of fish as he came with the tank, and I was already worrying about having to re-home him once he got too big for my tank. He enjoyed sitting with my Red Tailed Shark in a little cave, and I am sure the Shark misses him, but for now I have to focus on trying to save the Gourami and its eyesight.

My chosen treatment method is twice daily to remove the fish from the main display and give him a bath in marine salt & anti-bacterial. He sits in the salt for 10 minutes and then 20 further minutes into the anti-bacterial.

I am 4 days into treatment, so I can’t be doing too badly as I was fairly sure after day 1 he was going to die. Today he has picked a bit at some of the food that has been offered, but he is no where near his normal “pig-ish” self!

After his bath he does seem to perk up for a while, but after about an hour he just goes and sits in a low flow area of the tank. If I am honest, if he does survive this ordeal, I doubt very much he will recover his sight in that eye.

If the treatment doesn’t work, you can expect another blog post… Fingers crossed this is the last you hear about it from me!