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Pangasius Catfish's Eye Fluke Pang has never really settled but for several months had hidden most of the day, lying on gravel, and come out to feed and swim for about an hour a day. He prefers to push the other fish out of the way and grab a plecotablet, then take it to his corner to eat in private.

On 2003-01-23 I noticed that his right eye was swollen and suspected it was "popeye". As this can be a symptom of internal bacteria I dosed the tank with antibiotic, however this did not seem to help.

The eye became more swollen, and looked like there was a layer of skin over the eye, full of liquid - rather than the eye itself being pushed out which is what I understand popeye to look like.

There was also a white wiggly line inside the swelling. At this point, Paul Mellors (via Usenet) advised me that it was an eye fluke. The image is blurred but the fluke is the white bit in the top left.

I treated with Sterazin, a fluke treatment which involved dosing the tank 4 times over 10 days. During these ten days, Pang's eye seemed to be worsening until around day 8, where it was very swollen indeed and he could not see, bumping into things.

By 2003-02-13 (three weeks later) the swelling had reduced considerably to a slight clouding over the eye, and a tiny white dot where the fluke had been. Pang can see again, as he has stopped bumping into things, and is slightly more active as well. Thanks to all who advised me on this issue.

By 2003-02-20 his eye has not only cleared up completely and looks normal (and to think I almost put him down!) but he has also stopped being nervous, started bullying other fish for their food, and fleshed out a bit, I'd estimate a 30% weight increase this week alone. At last he is well and thriving.

If you are thinking of buying a Pangasius catfish for your tank - please don't! I bought mine on bad advice. Not only do they grow huge (a few feet long in the wild) but they also are highly strung and panic easily, and they are very succeptible to disease as mine have proved. There are loads of more suitable fish!

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This page last updated: 19 July 2004

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