Bettas are known for their vibrant colors, these fish are prone to a multitude of eye issues. There are several causes of fish blindness, among them cloudy eyes, floaters, bacterial infections, and tumors. The cloudy eye is by far the most prevalent.
In this article, we will discuss different causes of cloudy eyes in your betta fish, helpful treatments, and the appropriate care that you need to take in order to keep your pet healthy.
Causes: Why are the eyes of my betta fish cloudy?
Cloudy eye in betta fish occurs when there is a physical injury and irritation to the eye itself, bacterial infection, or when your betta has low immunity. To fix cloudy betta fish eyes, improve oxygen flow in the water, keep the water clean, and use immune boosters to fix their eyes naturaly.
Hygene issues like dirty tap water with chlorine can harm your betta and cause eye problems. Therefore, you need to check on the water quality that is used in an aquarium. Any physical decoration in the tank that may prick their eyes should also be removed if neccesary.
Betta fish have a specialized organ on their head called a labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe from the air above the surface of the water – unlike other fish. This organ is located above their eyes, and an injury to it can cause your betta to get cloudy eyes. The condition attacks both the male and female betta fish.
Here are the common causes of cloudy eyes in betta fish:
1. Temperature too low or high
Betta fish thrive between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit (24-27 degrees Celsius). If your tank is too cold, you may see signs of diseases such as fin rot or cotton wool disease. If it’s too warm, you may encounter ich or other parasites that thrive in warmer temperatures. These conditions can manifest in your betta through symptoms like cloudy eyes.
2. Low oxygen levels
Normally, betta fish have gill covers on both sides which allow them to breathe normally by extracting oxygen from the air that passes over their gills. However, when the fish’s environment is not well-maintained, there are low oxygen levels in the water which interferes with its breathing system.
Their gill covers may get into contact with a fuzzy white substance that does not allow oxygen to be absorbed into their bloodstream. This occurrence affects your betta fish’s eyes, making them cloudy. Cloudy eyes can also give Bettas’ a poor vision in darkness or when there is poor lighting in the tank.
Cloudy eyes may result from a type of parasitic infection that affects your betta fish. This condition is most frequently caused by the protozoan parasite, Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, or “Ich.” Both are common problems in aquariums that you can control with medicine.
4. Eye injury
Cloudy eyes on a betta fish can be caused by injury to the eye. It is important to know that even if the injury is dealt with quickly, there may be consequences to the health of your fish. You should seek more help from an aquarium veterinarian for better care of your fish.
Can a Betta Fish with Cloudy Eyes Go Blind?
Yes, a betta fish with cloudy eyes could go blind. In most cases, your fish will lose sight of its affected eye, but there have been cases where both eyes became blind.
The eyes may become sunken or even pop out of their sockets. It doesn’t appear to hurt your fish, but it can make them look less appealing.
However, some mild cases can seem serious issues and make you think your betta may be blind if their eyes are cloudy, but this does not always result in blindness. Immediate medical care is always needed to curb the condition before it gets worse.
How to Treat Cloudy Eye in Betta Fish
The most common cause of cloudy eyes in betta fish is a bacterial infection. It can affect one or both eyes. You may remain unaware that your fish has cloudy eyes because they move around so much and it isn’t easy to notice.
Below are some of the common techniques you can use to treat your betta fish after noticing its cloudy eyes.
1. Remove the Betta from the tank to treat the symptoms with antibiotics
The first step for treating a betta fish with cloudy eyes is taking it out of the tank and administering antibiotics to it. However, you must be sure that your fish has a bacterial infection that is causing its eyes to be cloudy.
You can get a prescription from an aquatic vet or research other symptoms to complete your assumptions. Remove the betta from the main aquarium and place it in a quarantine tank.
2. Rinse the Betta’s eyes with a saline solution
Rinsing your betta’s eyes with a saline solution reduces the effects of cloudiness. This acts as first aid that comes in handy as you prepare for further treatment if symptoms persist.
3. Treat for ick (Ich) by adding aquarium salt to the water
When added to the tank water, the aquarium salt creates a solution that develops your betta’s slime coat and reduces its stress levels. The ratio of water to the aquarium salt should be five gallons to one tablespoon. This procedure is effective in treating ich.
4. Raise the water temperature to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Maintain a standard temperature in the quarantine tank to prevent the condition of your betta fish from worsening. This also prevents parasites from multiplying and causing more harm to the fish.
5. Continue treatment for one week after all symptoms disappear.
After identifying a possible method of treatment, maintain the routine for one week as you monitor your betta’s health condition. Keep checking for the disappearance or fading away of the cloudy patches on your fish’s eye. Continue treating your pet for one more week after the symptoms disappear to rule out any possibility of its recurrence.
How to Keep Betta Fish From Getting Cloudy Eyes
A betta fish’s eyes are susceptible, so it is essential to keep them clean and free of disease. Bacteria and other harmful germs can build up in the eyes, causing cloudy eyes. It can be a common problem with both male and female betta fish.
Males are more commonly affected than females because they have longer fins that pick up more dirt, algae, and bacteria from the tank. You can do several things to prevent your betta fish from getting cloudy eyes.
Follow these tips to keep your betta fish from cloudy eye infection;
1. Proper Feeding
Make sure your fish is eating correctly by providing them with live or frozen foods. If a betta fish doesn’t get proper nutrition, they will be unable to fight off parasites and diseases that can cause cloudy eyes.
2. Maintain an ideal pH level
The ideal pH for these fish is between 6.5 and 7.4. Your betta tank should have a heater, filter, gravel bottom, and rocks or wood for hiding places. You should also change the water regularly to avoid changes in quality.
3. Maintain proper temperature ranges
Keeping the temperature at 80 degrees or warmer is crucial because Bettas can get sick if the temperature gets too low; they prefer it around 82 degrees F. Keeping their habitat clean, healthy, and well maintained allows you to enjoy your Betta for many years to come.
In many cases, betta fish with cloudy eyes can be brought back to normal health with a few simple steps. Fish like Black Ice and Yellowish Eyes should generally recover in just a few days.
But if the cloudy eyes have developed other symptoms, such as clamped fins, lethargy, or excessive staying near the bottom of the tank, the sick fish will likely die within a few weeks. If you suspect that your fish has another ailment in addition to cloudy eyes (or if it always stays at the bottom), take it to an aquatic vet for immediate treatment.