Bulging Eyes in Goldfish: 3 Major Causes & Proven Solutions

Why is my goldfish eyes popping out? Do you have a goldfish that seems to suffer from swelling around the eyes and reduced mobility of its fins? If so, this could be a sign of bulging eyes in goldfish – a condition caused by either physical or environmental damage.

Luckily, there are ways to treat it and restore your beloved fish to its former health.

In this article, we’ll discuss what causes eyelid bulging in goldfish – plus how you can take steps to stop goldfish with bulging eyes.

Read on for expert advice on keeping your pet safe and healthy!

water temperature for a goldfish

Why Are My Goldfish Eyes Bulging?

Why is my goldfish eyes popping out? The goldfish is incredibly delicate, and it’s not uncommon for goldfish eye bulge occasionally. When this happens, the most common cause is trauma.

Goldfish eye popping out could be caused by a harsh bump, strike against something in the tank, or even being jostled too much when you scoop them up with a net. 

goldfish with big eyes

If your goldfish’s eyes suddenly bulge out of its head, you’ll want to check the water quality and chemistry immediately. Ideal parameters for a healthy environment include pH levels between 6-7.5 and temperature between 68-74 degrees Fahrenheit (20-23 degrees Celsius).

Make sure you check that there are no sudden changes in either parameter – if so, make adjustments as soon as possible; alternatively, if everything looks OK, then take extra care not to cause any further trauma in the future. 

Trauma isn’t the only factor when it comes to bulgy eye goldfish. Another potential culprit is conditions like dropsy or Pop eye goldfish, which can weaken your fish’s immune system and give rise to more serious issues which could lead to death if left untreated over prolonged periods; 

Observing any additional symptoms, such as scales sticking out (a common sign of dropsy), would also be helpful since they indicate underlying goldfish swollen eye problems that may go unnoticed otherwise! 

3 Common Reasons for Bulging Eyes in Fish

Why are my goldfish eyes are popping out? Goldfish eye bulging and cloudy eyes are usually caused by one of three main issues: Here are the three leading causes of eye swelling in goldfish:

1. Poor Water Quality – Poor water conditions, such as high levels of ammonia or nitrite, can cause damage to the fish’s affected eyes and skin. This can lead to bulging fish eyes and other health problems.

2. Eye Injuries – Goldfish are prone to eye injuries, especially when kept in an overcrowded tank. When this happens, their protruding eyes may swell due to protozoan infestations or mechanical damage.

3. Bacterial Infections – Bacterial infections are another common cause of bulging eyes in goldfish and can be triggered by poor water conditions, a weakened immune system, or stress.

How to Treat Bulging Eyes in Goldfish?

Regarding treating goldfish cloudy eye, there are many methods available depending on what exactly has caused them: antibiotics/antifungals will help treat parasitic infections. At the same time, dietary changes (i.e., adding supplements) also play a role in improving the overall health & wellness of your pet fish!

In extreme cases, surgery may even be required where other treatments don’t seem compelling – but always consult an experienced vet before considering this option!

While many factors can cause eyelid bulging in goldfish, the good news is that it’s usually treatable. Here are some tips for treating it:

1. Improve Water Quality – To protect your goldfish from getting bulging eyes in the future, keep their tank water clean and well-maintained. Test your water tank fish regularly for ammonia and nitrites, and perform regular water changes every two weeks.

2. Treat Bacterial Infection – If you suspect a bacteria infection is causing your goldfish’s eye-bulging, treating it with antibiotics or antifungal medications is essential. These can be purchased from a pet store or prescribed by a vet.

3. Use Medication – If the cause of your goldfish’s eye bulging is an infection, you may need medication to treat it. Some common treatments include anti-inflammatory and broad-spectrum antibiotic food.

4. Reduce Stress – Goldfish are very sensitive to stress, so providing them with a healthy environment and plenty of space to swim in their tank is essential. Avoid overcrowding the tank and ensure it is well-aerated with a filter system.

By following these simple tips, you should be able to help your bulging eye goldfish recover and return to a healthy state. Remember, if you suspect something more serious is causing the issue, it’s always best to seek advice from an experienced veterinarian as soon as possible.

It’s vital to ensure your fish receive optimal nutrition to maintain a robust immune system. Remember, Fed high-quality food is the key!

What is Goldfish Popeye Disease?

Goldfish eyes popping out is an infection affecting golden eels. It’s the result of bacterial infection “Aeromonas hydrophila.” The bacteria can also attack fish’s eyes. Pop-eyed goldfish have symptoms including red eyes, fish eyes bulging, and swelling. gold fish with eyes popping out is highly contagious in goldfish.

Goldfish pop eye disease can cause death when not treated with proper care. This term refers to bacteria that cause infection, most often in fish. The bacteria can cause eye swelling in the fish.

Is Popeye Contagious

Popeyes is not usually infectious. But the pathogen can quickly spread among fish by spreading bacterial infections.

The contaminated water can be caused by introducing a new fish carrying the bacterium or poor tank water quality. Therefore, keeping the tank clean and maintaining stable water parameters is essential.

Poor water quality can cause various common fish ailments; the goldfish eyes bulging is no exception. If more than one fish in your tank exhibit this symptom, it may indicate that something’s amiss with their environment.

Signs & Symptoms of Popeye Disease in Aquarium Fish

The defining symptoms of popeye disease are either a fish eye or eye slits in the socket. The bump may appear very faint or pronounced particularly early in the illness and may seem striking and appear swollen throughout.

Goldfish with the big eyes

The popeye fish may have other symptoms depending on the cause or severe nature. These symptoms may include redness around the eye, cloudiness of the eyeball, and an abnormal protrusion from either side or both sides of the eye socket.

It is essential to monitor the condition of your goldfish and get medical help if you notice any signs of popeye goldfish eye disease.

Causes of Popeye Disease

Why do goldfish have big eyes? Multiple factors may contribute to Popeye, but some causes are not fully understood or confirmed. Frequently, fish “Pokeye” causes injuries in aquatic aquariums if the fish are exposed or contaminated with bacteria.

In addition to bacterial infection, mechanical injury and environmental conditions can cause gold fish eyes bulging. Low oxygen levels, poor water quality, and high ammonia levels can hurt goldfish eyes and lead to issues like Popeye.

Dirty Water

Fishes react strongly to changes in water quality. Terrible water conditions reduce fish immunity and also allow bacteria spores to spread. Susceptible salmon can have fungal and bacterial infections. Prolonged exposure to dirty water can also cause severe kidney failure in fish eyes due to unhygienic conditions.

Bacterial Infection

Because of low water levels and poor immune systems, fish are susceptible to infection. If you have a bacterial disease in a fish, it may have a different bacterial infection. Bacterial illness is the 2nd most frequent disease in fish, and after Popeye, it has several other symptoms. The body has white skin and tails that look rotting off.

 Popeye Fish Treatment: How to Treat Popeye in Goldfish?

Treatments are dependent on the underlying cause of the Popeye. When eyes have become damaged, they usually heal by themselves, as long as the fish is free from secondary infections or stresses.

You can aid the fish’s recovery by using salt in aquariums for palliative care during healing. It also relieves swelling. It is also necessary to remove the tank decorations, which may lead to further injury.

Quarantine the Infected Goldfish

Until this is done, fish must be removed. Place in separate sanitary tanks with good filtration conditions. This quarantine tank helps to avoid the spread of disease and allows the fish to be monitored more closely.

Aquarium Salt Bath: (Add Some Salt)

It is best to treat fish with Epsom salt to reduce abrasion. Add between 1 and 3 teaspoons of Epsom Salt per gallon of water. It may help slow bruising for several hours.

If the weather stays constant, the corneas should regain their normal condition. During the treatment, give the fish the proper nutrients.

Aquarium salt helps to control popeye disease. A tablespoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water is usually recommended.

Treatment for Physical Injury

It won’t be possible when Popeye results in goldfish getting physical injuries. The eyes must all heal, and you must be sure the fish is not infected due to the damages that could accompany complications. You can use Epsom salt to help the fish with long-term recovery and bring down swelling.

Treatment for Poor Water Conditions

The best way to fix this situation is to keep the tank clean. Usually, partial water changes are performed periodically until all dirt and sludge are removed.

Then remove contaminated water immediately. It’s worth investing a few dollars in water testing kits. Make frequent water changes. Check the water frequently until it gets transparent.

What Is the Best Medicine for Fish Popeye?

KanaPlex™ is an effective and safe medication for treating Popeye in fish. Popeye, also known as exophthalmia or “fish bulging eyes,” is a condition resulting from the inflammation of the eye due to the invasion of microorganisms.

It can be caused by various parasites and bacterial or fungal infections, but it often occurs when there is poor water quality or environmental stress. KanaPlex™ contains kanamycin sulfate, which has been proven to treat Popeye in fish effectively. 

Kanamycin sulfate prevents bacterial and protozoan growth as it has antibacterial properties that attack disease-causing bacteria within your aquarium environment.

This helps prevent infection from entering your tank and attacking vulnerable fish suffering from popeye disease symptoms.

It’s important to remember that KanaPlex™ must be used according to directions on the package label to maximize its effectiveness against PopEye conditions in fish: 

  • Use one teaspoon per 10 gallons (40 liters) once a day for 7 consecutive days 
  • Keep tank temperatures at 78°F (25°C) during treatment (lowering temperature will reduce the effect of the drug) 
  • Replace 25% water twice weekly since this medication degrades quickly 
  • Do not mix with any other medications while using KanaPlex™ as it could react negatively with them  

If adequately applied, KanaPlex™ is an excellent choice for treating PopEye conditions in fish plagues within their natural aquatic environments.

I always recommend consulting with an aquarist-specialized veterinarian before administering any medication into your tank; however, if needed – then KanaPlex™ would be an effective and safe choice!

What Antibiotics Treat Popeye in Fish?

Kanamycin Sulfate, Chloramphenicol, and Erythromycin are the most common antibiotics used to treat Popeye in fish. Kanamycin Sulfate is the antibiotic most commonly used for treating Popeye, as it is effective against many pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, and protozoans.

It is also relatively easy to use as it can be mixed with water and administered over 7 days. Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic that can be used if Kanamycin Sulfate is not available.

It is effective against many gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria but can harm fish health in long-term doses.

Erythromycin is often used as an alternative to Kanamycin Sulfate if the latter is not available. It is effective against gram-positive bacteria but not as effective against gram-negative bacteria like Kanamycin Sulfate.

When using any antibiotic, it is essential to remember that the fish must be monitored closely for signs of distress or adverse reactions.

If your fish shows signs of distress or discomfort, you should immediately cease treatment and contact a professional veterinarian for further advice.

How to Prevent Popeye Disease?

Popeye is a common disease in fish and can cause serious health problems for your pet. You’re not alone if you need help preventing Popeye in fish.

This disease is unfortunately quite common, but there are some things you could do to protect your pet. Here are some tips for preventing Popeye in fish: 

Monitor the Water Quality

To make the tank water quality consistent with a standard, the water quality must be checked daily or monthly. Water tests can tell you how many dangerous substances are in the tank.

A similar procedure can be taken to keep the water temperature, pH, and other variables. Observing it will notify you when something happens so you can repair it quickly. Long-time exposure to dangerous chemicals can cause several illnesses.

Have a Big Enough Tank

Most people think that goldfish can live in small water bowls because their size makes them small. The bulging eyes goldfish do not need a water cylinder; it requires a filtering and heating system. Just like other fish, goldfish need careful care of their small water tank.

Perform Water Changes

Keep it fresh if you want a good chance at stopping the popes. Goldfishes produce large amounts of waste, which requires frequent cleaning to maintain the water chemistry. Perform periodic partial water changing so that no accumulation of dirt is found inside the tank causing damage.

What Goldfish Have Bulging Eyes?

What Is the Goldfish with Bulgy Eyes Called? Common goldfish (Carassius auratus) have bulging eyes, characteristic of the telescope eye shape associated with the fish species.

Telescopic eyes are caused by their genetics and allow them to have a wide field of view when searching for food or predators. However, this does come at the cost of being unable to focus on objects nearby.

Telescope Goldfish Eye Problems

Telescope goldfish can suffer from eye problems, including cloudiness and fish bulging eyes. This is usually caused by an infection or an improperly handled diet, but a genetic disorder can also cause it.

If you notice any abnormal gold fish with bulging eyes, take them to the vet for further evaluation and treatment.

Proper tank maintenance is essential to ensure your fish stays healthy—clean water, good nutrition (including vitamins), and routine checkups are critical to a long and happy life for healthy fish!

Why Do Fish Eyes Pop Out When They Die?

When a fish dies, its body begins to break down. This causes a decrease in the amount of fluid leaking surrounding their eyes, which in turn causes bulge eye goldfish.

The eye may also become detached from the rest of the infected fish entirely as it is no longer supported by the muscles surrounding it.

In some cases, goldfish with eyes popping out can cause other organs, such as their gills or intestines, to protrude outwards too.

Ultimately, this phenomenon occurs because there is nothing left holding up a dead fish’s body, and its organs don’t have enough moisture to stay in place on their own anymore.

Commonly Asked Questions about Goldfish Puffy Eyes (FAQs)

Why do some goldfish have big eyes?

Selective breeding! Goldfish like Telescope or Black Moor varieties have a genetic mutation for bulging eyes. This trait is popular but can affect their vision and swimming.

why goldfish eyes popping out?

why do goldfish eyes bulge? Goldfish eyes bulge due to popeye disease, caused by injury, infection, or bad water quality. If one eye is affected, it’s likely injury. See a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Why is my goldfish eye swollen?

why is my goldfish eye bulging? There are three main reasons goldfish get swollen eyes (popeye): injury, infection, or poor water quality. Observe other symptoms and tank conditions for a better diagnosis.

What is the black fish with big eyes?

The black fish with big eyes is most likely a Black Moor. It’s a goldfish variety known for its telescope-like eyes that protrude from its head.

Final Thoughts

How do you treat cloudy eye in goldfish? To conclude, bulging eyes in goldfish can be caused by various issues, and it is essential to understand the underlying causes to find successful solutions. Poor water conditions, like elevated nitrate levels, can disrupt a fish’s metabolism and even affect its vision. Overfeeding can also lead to too much waste in the tank, leading to poor water quality that can irritate goldfish bug eyes structure.

Similarly, eye irritation can be caused by poor filtration or if certain diseases are left untreated for an extended period. Fortunately, you can take several steps to prevent and address these causes, such as utilizing robust filtration systems, doing regular water testing, and closely monitoring your fish’s diet and overall health. By implementing these precautionary measures, you can ensure that your goldfish will have a healthy life free from goldfish bulging eyes complications.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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