What causes popeye in betta fish and how can you prevent it?

In this post, we will answer the question “What causes popeye in betta fish and how can you prevent it?”. We will also discuss popeye symptoms and how to treat them.

What causes popeye in betta fish and how can you prevent it?

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to establish a single cause of popeye. Popeye can be caused by a variety of things, and if you don’t treat them right, the problem will only become worse. 

Popeye is a disease that can affect any type of fish, not just bettas. Exophthalmia is the scientific word for it. Popeye, on the other hand, is when the eye protrudes due to pressure behind it. It’s an illness that’s better avoided than treated. Bettas commonly die if left untreated, but all hope is not lost.

Unilateral popeye’s causes 

If you observe your fish has unilateral Popeye (just one eye affected), it’s possible that it’s not an infection. The most prevalent cause of one eye edema is a physical injury. A fish may become entangled in anything, get into a struggle with another fish, or be caught in a net that is excessively rough.

If your betta is in a tank with other fish and only one of them has one-sided Popeye, it’s almost certainly the consequence of physical trauma. 

Bilateral popeye’s causes 

If you detect Popeye in both of your betta’s eyes, it’s very probably an infection of some sort. Parasites, fungus, or bacteria can all cause infection. If you observe that your betta is also suffering from another ailment, you may be sure it’s caused by an infection. 

What are the Popeye symptoms in bettas? 

Apart from the most evident indication, if your fish has Popeye, there are several others. 

Eyes Protruding 

One or both of Popeye’s eyes will pop out, which is the most noticeable indicator of his presence. If you only detect this indication, you can be assured that your betta is infected with Popeye. As previously said, one or both eyes may be protruding, and you must address each situation individually. 

The colour of their eyes had changed 

Your betta’s eyes may also change colour in addition to bursting out. They can appear blurry or milky (when the cornea has burst), but they can also appear bloodstained. The most typical association of a bloodstained eye is with physical aggressiveness. 

The eyes have a white ring around them 

This is something to keep an eye out for early on, and if you do, you might be able to cure Popeye before his eye pops out. If you notice a white ring around the pupil of your betta’s eye, you should begin treating it for Popeye. 

Other illness symptoms 

When your betta’s Popeye is infected, he’ll show some of the common symptoms of the disease. You will experience a lack of energy and a loss of appetite. He may also appear to stay in one spot more frequently and try to avoid other fish. 

What is the most effective method of curing Popeye in betta fish?

If your betta has Popeye, you’ll have to treat it differently depending on the conditions. The way you handle Popeye who has been injured physically differs from how you treat Popeye who has been afflicted with sickness. 

Popeye was affected by physical harm 

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do if you believe Popeye is the consequence of physical damage. Fortunately, because your betta is not in a potentially hazardous environment, this form of Popeye is less likely to result in death. The following are the measures to take: 

–       Drain 10% of the water from your tank and deposit it in a container. 

–       Place your betta in the container and add Epsom salt to it. If there is a suggested amount on the bottle, as well as instructions on how to use it, follow those instructions; if there isn’t, use 1 tablespoon per gallon. Remember to dissolve the Epsom salt before pouring it into the container. 

–       Place your betta in the container for 10 minutes before returning it to your main tank. Always keep in mind that it will need to be acclimatized for a few of minutes before being returned to the main tank.

–       Make sure the container is afloat in your aquarium to keep the water warm. 

Infection was the cause of Popeye’s death

If your betta has contracted Popeye as a result of an infection, the therapy will be different. 

The first step is to transport your betta to a quarantine tank. After you’ve removed your betta from the main tank, you should do a complete water change. Other fish will be less likely to become infected as a result of this. 

Begin administering ampicillin and aquarium salt to your betta. One ampicillin tablet should be administered for every ten liters of water that is utilized. Before adding ampicillin to your tank, make sure you combine it with a tiny amount of aquarium water. If you’re unsure about the dosages, consult a doctor. Dosages will vary depending on the drug. Once every three days, replace the water completely and add ampicillin and aquarium salts to keep the aquarium healthy and happy.

Make sure you don’t go longer than 10 days without taking ampicillin (or the recommended amount). After you’ve completed fully dosing your betta, replace the water once more and leave your betta till he appears to be recovering. Remember that Popeye’s eyes can take months to recover to normal. 

What is the most effective method of preventing Popeye in bettas?

The greatest approach to keep your betta from getting Popeye is to avoid it from happening in the first place. To do so, you should aim to avoid the two most common causes: physical harm and illness. Various approaches can be used to accomplish this. 

What steps can you take to keep your betta fish from being infected?

If you want to avoid illness, you’ll need to concentrate on increasing the water quality in your tank first. Your betta’s immune system will be harmed, and they will be stressed if the water is of poor quality. The following are some of the most common ways to improve water quality: 

Make sure your aquarium isn’t overstocked. Your filter will struggle to clean the water quickly enough if there are too many animals in your tank. Please keep in mind that every item in your tank contributes to the bioload, and if the bioload increases faster than your filter can eliminate it, the quality of water will begin to worsen. 

In addition, you should replace your water on a regular basis. Depending on the size of your tank, you may need to perform a complete or partial water change. More water will be drained from your tank, and you will be able to go longer periods between tank changes if your tank is larger. 

Any other fish in your aquarium should be removed from the tank and placed in a quarantine tank if it looks that they are ill.

How can physical harm be avoided? 

You should also aim to keep the amount of physical trauma to your betta to a minimum. The reality is that this is easier said than done, and there are a few things to look out for. 

Is it possible for a Betta fish to succumb to Popeye’s disease?

Popeye makes it difficult for a betta to perish from the disease alone. It’s fairly rare for eyeballs to become so injured that they rot out, but the bettas live. It may be more difficult to feed them if this occurs, but they can still live. 

Is Popeye a contagious disease? 

Popeye, like the last question, is not contagious. It’s doubtful that any other fish would capture Popeye if you removed a betta with Popeye from your tank and put it in a tank with excellent water conditions. If one of your fish gets Popeye, the others are more likely to acquire it as well. Because the viruses that cause Popeye thrive in arid environments. Popeye isn’t contagious, but he can infect other fish that live in contaminated water.


In this post, we answered the question “What causes popeye in betta fish and how can you prevent it?”. We also discussed popeye symptoms and how to treat them.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What causes popeye in betta fish and how can you prevent it?

What is the best way to treat a Popeye Betta? 

10 per cent of the water in your tank should be drained and placed in a container. Fill the container with Epsom salt and add your betta. There will be a recommended amount and instructions on how to use it on the bottle, but if not, you should use 1 tablespoon per gallon.

Is Melafix effective in the treatment of Popeye? 

API MELAFIX cure fish is used to treat bacterial diseases such as fin and tail rot, eye cloud, pop eye, body slime, and mouth fungus. As a general rule, all API fish therapies can be used safely in combination with one another as long as you follow the guidelines for both during therapy. 

Will Popeye be able to leave on his own? 

If the eye is wounded, it will usually recover on its own if the fish does not get stressed or acquire a secondary illness. While the eye heals, you can help the fish recover by providing palliative care with aquarium salt.

How long does Popeye take to disappear? 

The swelling might take weeks or months to go down, and damage to the fish’s cornea can take even longer to repair. Nevertheless, even if the swelling subsides, the fish’s eye may never fully recover from serious damage.

Is Epsom salt beneficial to betta fish? 

Epsom salt is also used as a laxative for Betta fish. The fish absorbs the cleaned water and uses it to eliminate waste. Betta fish is a type of fish that is found in The fish can also be given an Epsom salt treatment to aid with bloating and edema. Your pet’s size will return to normal when the amount of water in the environment decreases. 

Melafix or Pimafix: which is better? 

Melafix is a bacterial infection treatment that also promotes tissue regeneration. Pimafix is an antifungal and antibacterial medication. There is no single antibiotic or medication that can cure all bacterial strains. Melafix and Pimafix are both safe to use in fish aquariums and do not affect biological filters.


Betta Fish Popeye – https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/popeye-in-betta-fish-complete-guide/