Cloudy Eye Fish Disease (Causes, Signs and Treatment)

Have you noticed that your fish is swimming oddly and bumping into things? Do their eyes appear white and clouded over?

It sounds like your fish might be dealing with cloudy eye.

If you’ve never dealt with it before, you might be wondering, is cloudy eye fish disease contagious? What are the causes? How do I treat it?

Keep reading to find out.

What Is Cloudy Eye?

Cloudy eye is exactly what it sounds like. It’s describing when your fish’s eye becomes clouded over, taking on a white or gray hue.

What Causes Cloudy Eye?

Cloudy eye may appear because of many things. It can occur due to injury, infection, parasites, or cataracts.

Your Fish Is Old

If your fish is getting old and isn’t presenting any other symptoms, it’s likely that they’re just getting old and developing cataracts. But, if your fish is young or showing other symptoms, there might be a deeper problem.


Injury is another common cause of cloudy eyes in fish. Sharp objects in the tank — like decorations — can scratch your fish’s eye and cause cloudy eyes. Your fish might also sustain an eye injury after fighting with a tank mate.


The most common cause of cloudy eyes in fish seems to be an infection resulting from poor water quality. Poor water quality in an aquarium will lower the immune system of your fish. This often leads to sicknesses like bacterial and fungal infections.

Dirty Tank

Fish produce a lot of waste, so it’s necessary to clean that waste. Don’t overcrowd your tank, and do regular water changes with a gravel vacuum.

Low pH

The number one cause of cloudy eyes seems to be pH that is too low. When the tank is dirty, it can alter pH. If the water becomes too acidic, we start seeing fish with cloudy eyes.

Cold Water

Having water that is too cold can also make tropical fish sick. You need to have a heater and thermometer to watch the temperature of your aquarium.

A Lack Of Oxygen

A lack of oxygen can also lower your fish’s immune system. If they seem to be struggling to breathe, you should add a bubbler to their tank.

A Lack Of Nutrition

Another common cause of cloudy eyes is a lack of nutrition. Many people don’t put much thought into the food they’re providing their fish. Just like us, fish need to eat the right foods. For example, goldfish are omnivores who need a combination of meat and leafy greens. But bettas can’t digest plant matter, so meat-based foods are best.

If you don’t give your fish the right foods, they may be lacking in certain necessary nutrients. A Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common causes of cloudy eyes in fish.

How Do You Treat Cloudy Eye?

The first thing you should do is place your fish in a hospital tank away from the other fish. You can then treat them with aquarium salt or Epsom salt. These salts work excellently for healing wounds and infections.

But, if cloudy eye appears because of an infection, you’ll likely need to use medication as well. Try a medication like Seachem ParaGuard, Seachem SulfaPlex, or Myracen Oxy.

You should also research the food you’re feeding your fish to see if it’s meeting their nutritional needs. If it’s not, you should change up their diet.

Is Cloudy Eye In Fish Contagious?

Cloudy eye in fish is not a condition itself. Rather, it’s a symptom caused by a bigger problem. The cloudiness might be due to injury, sickness, or infection.

So, no, cloudy eye is not a contagious condition. But, whatever is causing the cloudiness could be.


Cloudy eye is not a disease, so it’s not contagious. Rather, it’s a symptom that fish develop as a result of old age, injury, or sickness.

Luckily, cloudy eye is pretty easy to correct, so you can have your fish feeling better in no time.

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