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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I just noticed this morning that two of my Pristella Maxillaris Tetras have a large bubble attached to one of their eyes (the eyeballs appear normal however). I've listed all my parameters below as requested. The only thing new to this established tank are some live plants introduced 2 weeks ago and I switched my feeding schedule from one a day to two smaller meals per day. All the fish are well established in this tank which is 3 1/2 years old. Not sure what the bubble is or what could be causing it. I'm just finishing up a 75% water change but have not added any chemicals or treatments to the water. Oh, and I have attached a photo below that I think shows the problem well enough, I hope. Need to get a fix and a handle on this ASAP. It's got me really worried. Thanks SO MUCH for any assistance.

1. Size of tank? 72 gal

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? .25ppm
b. Nitrite? 0
c. Nitrate? 10ppm
d. pH, KH and GH? 8.2; 300; 300
e. Test kit? API Freshwater Master Kit and Tetra EasyStrips

3. Temperature? 76

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? Freshwater only

5. How long the aquarium has been set up? 3 1/2 years

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them? 4 Pristella Maxillaris Tetras; 5 glass catfish; 1 neon tetra; 2 Pelcos; 1 yo yo loach (about 36" of fish) They've all been in the tank for over a year.

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? All fish were placed in quarantine for 6 weeks prior to introduction to this tank.

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? Mostly real plants, i.e. Swords, Vallis (only food are API root tabs)
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? pea gravel substrate
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? 2 large aquarium rocks that have been in the tank since the beginning. Several large pieces of mopani wood that have also been in aquarium since the beginning.

9. a. Filtration? Fluval 450 with mechanical, chemical and bio filters
b. Heater? AquaClear 70

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? One 48" T8 ReefSun 50/50 full spectrum
b. Any sunlight exposure? Ambient with a short time of partial direct How long? 12 hours a day

11. a. Water change schedule? Once a week
b. Volume of water changed? typically 50%
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? tap water
d. Water conditioner used? Tetra AquaSafe Plus
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? weekly

12. Foods? Wardley Advanced Nutrition tropical fish flakes; occasional frozen brine shrimp; Algae Wafers
How often are they fed? Just changed from one a day to two smaller feedings a day.

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? Clear large bubble attached to one eye of two of my Pristella Maxillaris Tetras. The eyes appear normal however.
b. Appearance of poop? Normal
c. Appearance of gills? Normal

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? Just completed a 75% water change
b. What meds were used? none

15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.

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9,804 Posts
Pop eye isn't a disease in itself but a symptom of an underlying condintion. It could be bacterial or stem from poor water quality. It seems like you do frequent and large water changes but the fact that you have ammonia present in a tank that has been established that long is a little troubling.

Can you isolate the fish that are affected? You can try 1 TBSP of Epsom salt per 5 gallons in a QT tank and do another half dose on the 3rd day with frequent water changes.

I hope you're able to help them out. Good luck.

8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah the ammonia spike, which is unusual, has me puzzled; especially with live plants. I've never had ammonia spikes in the past and the only thing I can figure is my increased feedings might be leading to the spike. I'm going to take your advice and QT them in my isolation tank and treat them with salt accordingly. I'm going to return to my normal one feeding per day routine and watch my water parameters closely over the next week to see if things settle down. Thanks Romad for the help!
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