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Old 11-15-2013, 10:22 PM   #1
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Blue Cloudy Eyes - Starry Blenny

I bought a starry blenny 3 weeks ago. Its tank in the LFS was small and dimly lit. The fish was shy and difficult to observe because it kept darting into a hole of live rock. It appeared active and healthy from what I could see though. I bought it. Once I got it under my LEDs I saw that its eyes were opaque blue and cloudy. I've seen this before with puffer fish. I thought it was cataracts until I began to research it. Then I learned about parasites and poor water quality

The LFS said the blenny was appropriately sized for my tank - 24G nano - and that it would be a good addition. Once home, I began researching this fish and I got conflicting information on tank size. Depending on the source, they say anywhere from 20G to 30+ gallon. It's about 5" long. I tried to use one of those online stocking calculators to determine my capacity but they didn't include the starry blenny. I chose a similarly sized blenny and it appears I am about 96% capacity. The only other fish are a pair of oscillaris clownfish. Everyone gets along fine. I have no intentions of adding more fish. Then I have a clean up crew with a couple of snails, hermit crabs and a fire shrimp. I also have various coral that appear healthy.

I'm diligent on my water changes and do a 20% PWC every 5 - 7 days. I setup my tank over the summer and parameters are good and stable. The blenny is vigorous and an excellent feeder. When offered a variety of food, he goes for carnivorous stuff - which surprised me because I thought it was supposed to be an herbivore. This is my favorite fish, he's like a puppy, recognizes me and wiggles his belly against the glass when he sees me - he wants to be fed. When I put in a turkey baster filled with food, he hits it like a bass. Funny stuff. His weight is excellent and I have no complaints except for his eyes. This was the best picture I could take of him. Can anyone identify what is wrong with him? I have seen this before but am uncertain what the cause is.

I thought about returning him because of my tank size. However, I know my water quality/tank conditions/size are better than the LFS that I bought him from. I have no clue what sort of home he would go to... He appears to be thriving - it's just the eye thing that concerns me.

Here is a picture. Any input welcomed.

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Old 11-15-2013, 10:31 PM   #2
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Some people may say he is too big for the tank, but based on your stock, if it were me I would keep him. I for sure would NOT add anymore fish though.

I wish i could help with the eye issue, I dont have any real input as to what it is or how to treat it. :-(

Hope someone comes along who can be of more help. Good luck with him, they are awesome fish.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:00 PM   #3
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Some people may say he is too big for the tank, but based on your stock, if it were me I would keep him. I for sure would NOT add anymore fish though.

I wish i could help with the eye issue, I dont have any real input as to what it is or how to treat it. :-(

Hope someone comes along who can be of more help. Good luck with him, they are awesome fish.
Thanks. I'm over the moon with him. He's personable, out going, intelligent and just amazing. The perfect fish. If he were a tang, needing lots of swimming room I would reluctantly return him. But he's a percher and busy body (sits on his tail sometimes!). I've got lots of live rock with many holes for him to snake around in. He doesn't seem stressed - he seems genuinely happy. The LFS said I could add a 4th fish but I knew that seemed wrong and I'm glad I confirmed on my own that it was over stocking.

I found out that cataracts are rarely the cause of opaque/cloudy blue eyes. My secret fear is eye flukes but studying pics online, I don't know how I can tell for sure. He appears to see well. I watch his eyes track things in the water column and he doesn't miss his food. I'm hopeful that under very good water conditions, they will improve but I just don't know.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:26 PM   #4
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This may seem like a silly question, but are you looking at the eye in just white lights? It almost looks like glare in the photo from blue lighting. On occasion it almost looks like some of my fish have a cloudy eye but turns out to be just me. lol My blue tang had a cloudy eye a few weeks ago and after like 5 days it just went away. Not sure what his deal was, never had that before and hasnt since.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:42 PM   #5
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My cube has limited lighting options - moon lights and daylights. This is what the manufacturer says about my tank:

24-gallon
Dimensions:
18" x 19.6" x 19.7"
Capacity: 24 gallons
LED Bulbs: 13 total: 8 blue, 5 white
LED Total Output Wattage: 16.9W
Pump: 16 W SP1-1000
Power Supply: 110V, 60 Hz
Weight: 46.5 lbs
Cree LED modules provide 3 times more light output than older Nano Cube models' power compact systems. The lighting system uses an energy-saving electronic ballast for flicker-free instant starts and low heat production.
1.3W blue high intensity LEDs and 1.3W white high intensity LEDs have a 50,000-hour life span and stay cool to the touch.

To answer your question (I think), the lighting in this tank runs blue, even with the daylights only. The eyes have this appearance in both lighting options. The clown's eyes appear normal in comparison.

I'm glad your tang's eye issue was brief! Hopefully, this guy will have the same outcome but it has been several weeks since I brought him home. My camera sucks, by the way. It took lots of failed attempts to manage this shot. Otherwise, I would have posted sooner.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:57 PM   #6
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oh, i get what youre saying about your lights.
if its been a few weeks and he has stayed fine I might consider that it is permanent. But I dont think thats a really horrible thing. I had a firefish that got his lower jaw bitten off and he lived almost a year beyond that, just a "special" fish.
It seems you really enjoy him, dont let a little eye issue dampen that. If it gets worse or there are other symptoms is when I would get more concerned.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:07 AM   #7
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oh, i get what youre saying about your lights.
if its been a few weeks and he has stayed fine I might consider that it is permanent. But I dont think thats a really horrible thing. I had a firefish that got his lower jaw bitten off and he lived almost a year beyond that, just a "special" fish.
It seems you really enjoy him, dont let a little eye issue dampen that. If it gets worse or there are other symptoms is when I would get more concerned.
Wow. Lower jaw bitten off and he lived almost a year beyond that? Incredible story! You must have taken really good care of him. I'll post if more develops from this. But - I think you must be right and that it is permanent. However, on the bright side, he doesn't seem to mind. Can't help but admire how life perseveres and goes on despite handicaps.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:13 AM   #8
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Keeping a tank gives you a special insight into thing I think. That firefish would eat by ramming into food with his face, if it fit he ate it. I thought he was a goner for sure but he surprised me. And he never twitched or anything, seemed just fine, gave no outward appearance that he was hurt or in discomfort. Unfortunately, he disappeared after I did a rock re-work, I think I may have squished him. I never found a body or remains of one so i will never know. Just easier to blame myself I guess.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:22 AM   #9
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Haha - your firefish sounds like a fighter! That's great and something to keep in mind. I'm a sucker for the underdog. Great illustration of what can be accomplished when the will to live is there
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