What Does Fish Eyes Turning White Mean {Are They Blind?}

Has your fishes eyes just turned white? Are you wondering what does it mean when a fish eyes turn white?

Is your fish blind? Do they have an eye infection? Do they need help

Yes, your fish will need help, You will need to take action ASAP before the whole fish tank could be infected.

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What Does Fish Eyes Turning White Mean?

Fish eyes turning white usually means they have parasites on them. These parasites will cause cloudy white eyes for your fish. The best way to remove parasites from your tank is to use a anti parasite treatment.

Cloudy eyes may also be a symptom of poor water conditions or improper acclimation.  Below is a picture of a fish in my tank that had a parasite in their eyes.

What Does It Mean When A Fish Eyes Turn White

Listed below are some common reasons for fishes eyes to turn white.

1. Poor Water Quality in the Tank

One of the common reasons behind cloudy eyes is poor water conditions in the fish tank. When the water these fish are living in increase in levels of nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia, it will make the fish eyes to become cloudy.

This condition is worsened when there are also:

  • increased levels of chloramine and chlorine
  • too much salt
  • pH shock
  • medications
  • temperature changes
  • high TDS levels

This causes the immune system of the fish to be vulnerable for any and all forms of diseases.

2. Infection

The infection is also another cause of cloudy eyes for most freshwater fish. This is usually a result of the infrequency in changing the water in the tank.

It should be noted that white eyes in older fish may be cataract and occurs as a result of old age. But if you notice whiteness in the pupils of the younger fish in your tank, it is definitely the cloudy eyes condition.

3. Malnutrition

When aquarium fish are not properly fed, their systems will not receive the necessary nutrient, giving rise to dietary deficiency. This leaves the fish exposed to a number of harmful diseases—including cloudy eyes.

If you notice in your aquarium, it could mean you’re aren’t feeding your fish well enough.

These are some common causes of white eyes in fishes. Early detection is key in giving your fish a shot at survival, and a treatment that will be successful.

YouTube video

How Do You Treat White Eyes In Fish?

There are a few things which you can do which include:

1. Carry Out Nitrogen Cycles Frequently

Nitrogen cycles are essential in keeping the ammonia level in the fish tank as low as possible. They also neutralize the toxins, converting it to harmless substances and reducing bacteria inside the tank.

Nitrogen cycles are to be carried out when the fish tank is emptied of aquarium fish. You can follow these simple steps below.

  • Pour chlorinated freshwater into the empty tank
  • Spray pieces of flake foods daily in the water till you discover an increase in ammonia
  • Continue to put food into the tank until you can detect an increase in nitrites. By then, the ammonia level will be reduced somewhat. As the ammonia and nitrite levels decrease, nitrate will start appearing.
  • The nitrogen cycle has been completed when the ammonia and nitrite levels are at 0 ppm.

2. Change The Water Regularly

Since poor water in the fish tank is a major reason for whiteness of eyes, you owe your fish the responsibility of changing their water regularly.

Frequent water changes will keep the pond clean, crystal clear and oxygen-abundant for the fish to stay healthy.

3. Carry Out Regular Cleaning

As you change the water in the tank, ensure you’re also cleaning it to good condition. You can use a gravel vacuum to clean out toxins including rotten feces and food stuck in the tank.

You can also take out the ornaments and other decorations. Give them a smooth shine before putting them in place.

4. Be Mindful of Medication Overdose

If you’re applying medication to the fish through water immersion, be careful not to overdose. Medications such as formalin in high doses can cause cloudy eyes.

5. Don’t Overfeed Your Fish

Another way to treat this condition to properly give your fish the required nutrient and vitamins-filled food. This will over time help with the health of their eyes.

You can spice things up by adding live foods like mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and daphnia once a week. You should ensure that you’re getting the best pellets for your fish to feast on.

6. Get a Good Filtering System

It is important to get an efficient filtering system for your aquarium. This filtering system features mechanical, biological and chemical functions.

While the mechanical filter removes debris, the biological filter sucks up biological waste while the chemical filter gets rid of harmful chemical substances.

Also, you should change your filter cartridges when and if necessary.

What is the Growth on My Fishes Eye

The white growth on the eyes of a fish can be also referred to as White Spot Disease. It is most likely due to the parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, simply known as Ich or Popeye


Ich Commonly occurs in tanks and small white spots appear on the skin of a fish. Sometimes it can happen in the eye of your fish. The parasite burrows underneath the surface and can begin to consume the flesh of your fish.


Another condition that may cause the white growth on the eye of a fish is known as Popeye. This is when the eye of your fish’s face swells and bulges from its socket. If you notice the eyes looking cloudy, there could be an infection, injury or poor water conditions.

How To Treat Growths On Fishes Eye

Unfortunately when your fish is carrying white spots in its eye, a parasite that has penetrated into it known as Ich.

The ciliate protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis or Ich parasite, infects plenty of fish in aquariums due to parasites being brought from other tankmates who were introduced into your tank.

  1. It’s always best to quarantine new tankmates in order to prevent them from bringing in parasites such as Ich.
  2. Examine your fish closely to make sure that the white spots are only localized on the eye.
  3. Specifically look around the mouth and gills to see if it has spread further.
  4. You will need to apply a aquarium salt and raise the temperature to counteract the effects of this parasite and eventually kill it off before it kills your fish.

Why Do My Fish Have A Cloudy Eye

The most common reason your fish will have a white / cloudy eyes is because they have an eye infection.

Other reasons include

  • Poor Water Quality: One of the most common causes of cloudy eyes in fish is poor water quality. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH imbalances can irritate the fish’s eyes, leading to cloudiness. Regular water testing and maintaining appropriate water parameters are essential to prevent such issues.
  • Bacterial or Fungal Infections: Infections caused by bacteria or fungi can lead to cloudy eyes in fish. These infections can occur due to injuries, poor water quality, or stress. Bacterial infections often present with additional symptoms such as redness, inflammation, or discharge.
  • Parasitic Infections: Certain parasites, like flukes or protozoans, can infect the eyes of fish, resulting in cloudiness. Parasitic infections may cause other symptoms such as scratching against objects, flashing, or changes in behavior.
  • Trauma or Injury: Physical injuries to the fish’s eyes, such as from collisions with objects in the aquarium or aggressive interactions with tank mates, can lead to cloudiness or damage.
  • Genetic Factors: Some fish species may have a genetic predisposition to developing cloudy eyes or other eye-related issues.


Taking care of the fish in our aquariums should be a priority. It is therefore important to carry regular checks on the fish to easily spot the cloudy eyes condition and respond before it gets out of hand.

The aforementioned control measures will guide you on what to do should such conditions arise or if you’re currently experiencing it.

Thank you for stopping by at HelpUsFish.com. We have plenty of articles on a wide variety of aquatic and marine life that may also pique your interest. See you again soon!


Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind HelpUsFish.com. I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.