Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Medicine for Popeye

When this blue angelfish acquired popeye, I knew I had to act quickly.

Popeye occurs when one eye (and sometimes both) begin to swell significantly. It can be due to an injury or to poor water conditions. Since I change 25-33% of the water weekly and monitor the water quality, I knew it was more likely that this fish was injured.

The first thing I did was remove him from the community tank and place him in a 20 gallon tank by himself.

I added Binox to the water, which can turn the water a yellowish-green color. This is an antibiotic.

I also began feeding an antibiotic food. But his appetite was poor and I was concerned that he was not getting sufficient treatment.

I took a trip down to my friendly neighborhood pet shop, Carroll's Pets in Lumberton, North Carolina, where Shelli recommended that I add Maracyn Plus to the regimen.

Since I'd just added Binox the day before, I waited a full day before adding the Maracyn Plus.

I added three teaspoons the first day and one every other day for the first week.

Then I performed a 33% water change, added the Binox again (a half dose) and continued with the Maracyn Plus every other day.

The results have been terrific. This blue angel has almost completely healed and the addition of the medicine in the water also prevented any secondary infections. Secondary infections are common with ailing fish, because their immune system is down. It is often the secondary infection and not the popeye that kills the fish.

I will change the water again this weekend and make a decision whether to keep this fish in the tank for one more week or transport him back to the community tank, where three other angelfish are waiting. Because the others are males as well, I want him to be in peak condition when he returns. The other angels were from the same clutch as this one.

Angelfish can live to be 10 years old if given the right treatment and correct water parameters. This ailing angelfish is less than 2 years old.