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Freshwater Aquarium/bala sharks (popeye)


i upgraded from 55 gal to 75 gal a month ago..transferred 2 balsa sharks,2 gouramies ,2 rainbow sharks,2 plecos, for a month no problems at all ..4 days ago my wife liked these 2 parrotfish that i bought 5 days later my 1 balsa shark had it in 1 eye now both eyes..what can i do i have no Qt available.ive had them for almost 4 years please help me

Hi Jason

Popeye is a symptom, not a disease. Therefore it is difficult to treat without knowing the cause. In this case, I think it is likely caused from an attack. Blood Parrots aka Parrotfish are very aggressive and not compatible with any of the fish you transferred from the old tank. I would remove them from the tank asap. Depending on where you bought them, most fish stores will take them back within 14 days of purchase. If it passed 14 days, or the store will not take them back, you'll need to set up another tank for them.

You said you have no qt tank available....what is in the 55g that you transferred the fish from? It would be a perfect home for 2 Blood Parrots.

Now there is also a possibility that there are toxins in the water, or possibly even a bacterial infection causing the condition. Did you test your water? I would do a 25% water change. Then treat the tank with Maracyn and Maracyn II for 7 days, then do another 25% water change. Continue to test your water parameters.

Whether it was an attack or caused by something else, please rehome the Blood Parrots or you will eventually lose all of your fish in the tank. It is also a good idea to research fish prior to purchase to make sure they are compatible with your current fish.

Hope this helps, good luck!


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Richard Hight


I own and maintain several freshwater aquariums from 2 to 180 gallon. I can answer most questions about freshwater aquariums, including setup, cycling, maintenance, compatible tank mates, feeding. Moving? I've moved fish both across town and across the country and can help you get your little aquatic friends to their new home safely. I know and have experience with most freshwater community fish, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids. I don't answer questions about Goldfish or keeping Goldfish with Tropical Fish. I also don't answer questions about keeping crustaceans (shrimp, snails, crabs etc) with Tropical Fish, nor questions about saltwater fish or aquariums. I'm not available to answer questions on weekends, this is when I do maintenance on my own tanks.


Many years of personal experience with community tank fish, semi-aggressive fish (Barbs, Tetras, etc), Angels, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids.

HSG 2010-2011 prof

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