Why Are My Piranha’s Eyes Turning White? {What Can You Do About It?}

Are you seeing your piranha’s eyes turning white or cloudy? Is this something that can be reversed or will it lead to more health problems? In this article, we’ll focus on your piranha’s eyes turning white.

Why Are My Piranha’s Eyes Turning White? Cloudy eyes are indicative of deeper illnesses. It’s a sign of infection or disease in some cases. Start with raising the temperature to 80-82°F and 1 tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons of water. Make sure the water is clean by performing a water test right away. 

What Is Causing My Piranha’s Cloudy Eyes?

Cloudy eyes on your piranha is most likely due to poor water quality. Here are some reasons why your piranha’s eyes are turning white or cloudy:

  • internal parasites
  • flukes
  • protozoa (Ich)
  • eye injury
  • ammonia/nitrite spikes
  • cataracts
  • lack of vitamin A
  • highly acidic water (high pH)

Piranhas are messy eaters. The bioload in the tank increases with added leftovers waste and debris. The water chemistry gets affected as a result.

Raise the temperature slightly while performing 25% water changes per week or more often when you notice a white film or cloudy eyes.

What Should I Do For My Piranha’s Cloudy Eyes?

Keep the following water parameters for your piranha:

  • pH: 6.5-7.8
  • alkalinity: 50 ppm to 140 ppm
  • nitrates: less than 5-10 ppm
  • ammonia and nitrites: 0 ppm
  • temperature: 75-80°F

You may not need medication if you can maintain clean water and clean out your filter. Keep the filter media’s beneficial bacteria to maintain a healthy nitrogen cycle.

Remove the carbon if you apply medication such as Melafix or else it will be absorbed right away in the sponge of your filter instead of being distributed across the tank for treatment.

Should I Add Salt To Cure My Piranha’s White Eyes?

Salt treatment may not necessarily be needed. If you do add salt, stick to the general rule of thumb which is:

  • 1 tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons of water. 

Raise the temperature to 80-82°F during this time as well. Do both gradually. Take a few hours to complete the full dose of salt and increase one degree per hour until you reach 80-82°F.

Why Did My Piranha’s Eyes Turn White?

You may have added new fish or decorations to your tank. You may have also transported or removed your piranha temporarily. Another reason is that you may have not cleaned out the leftovers of the last meal or two.

In a day or two, your piranha could have developed cloudy eyes. A treatment of salt of Melafix may help resolve the issue. Please do not overdose and follow the directions on the bottle of any medication. Also perform a 25% water change and vacuum the gravel at this time.

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Are My Piranha’s Eyes Burning From Ammonia?

Your filter or filters may be blocked. The beneficial bacteria may not be sufficient enough to break down or eat the ammonia in the tank. The spikes in ammonia could be causing your piranha’s eyes to turn white.

Perform a 25-50% water change, add Melafix and salt. Then raise the temperature to 80-82°F. Also remove the carbon from the filter during this time. Carbon is great for removing toxins, but it will also soak up the medicine in Melafix.

Your piranha should recover in 4-5 days of treatment.

Does My Piranha Have Popeye?

Popeye is a condition caused by fluid trapped inside the eye of behind it. The eye could get cloudy but it will also bulge out. It could be due to trauma, scratching or bruising.

Your piranha may have gotten into a fight or an accident. Feed nutritional meals during this time. You can soak its meals in Selcon or Garlic Guard to add vitamins and immune boosting properties to the food.

If the eyes don’t improve in the few days, you may need antibiotic treatment. Consult with a vet or look for products at your local fish shop to treat popeye.

Which Medicines Help With Cloudy Eyes?

There a many medical treatments on the market to help with your piranha’s illness or cloudy eyes. Broad spectrum antibiotics may not be needed.

Start with aquarium salt and raising the temperature. If symptoms persist, look for the following medications:

  • Coppersafe: helps with parasites, ich, flukes, anchor worms, velvet.
  • Maracide: assists with extra mucus, visible spots or worms, rapid breathing, flashing.
  • Melafix: antibacterial remedy for damaged fins, wounds, ulcers, fungus, fin rot.
  • Pimafix; treatment for fungal, internal and external bacterial infections.
  • Potassium Permanganate: treats pathogens and a wide range of infections.
  • Prazipro: Helps eliminate parasites flukes and tapeworms among other illnesses.
  • Tetracycline: Popular with bacterial infections, fin rot, frayed fins, inflamed gills, open sores.

Cloudy eyes could be a symptom of a deeper infection or disease. You may need to treat the tank or remove your sick piranha and perform medical treatment in a quarantine tank instead.


We hope your piranha recovers soon without the need to overmedicate. If you don’t notice erratic swimming patterns, lack of appetite or other wounds on its body, then you can treat the cloudy or white eyes on its own.

Raise the temperature slightly to 80-82°F and dose a little salt (1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of water). We hope this simple solution will resolve the issue in the next 4-5 days. Be careful when adding new fish or decorations. They may have been the cause for the cloudy eyes.

Always test the water and keep the tank, filter and gravel clean. Perform weekly water changes and continue doing your best to keep your piranhas thriving.


Thanks for visiting HelpUsFish.com for another article on Piranhas that we greatly enjoy taking care of in our aquariums. Check out more of our articles on the variety of aquatic life we research and keep. Bye for now!

Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.

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