If your goldfish eye changes into a white or grey color, your goldfish may have a cloudy eye condition. There are multiple causes for cloudy eye in fish, but in general it means something is wrong in your aquarium, most common cause being poor water quality.

The most simple solution to cloudy eye in fish is to improve the water quality of your tank and ensure a good immune system.

But why did my goldfish’s eye become cloudy?

The goldfish eye becomes cloudy due to the opacification of the lens and cornea due to damage or irritation to the eye.

In this blog post, I’ll show the causes of goldfish cloudy eye and how to treat it in a detailed guide. Also, you can find more information on this goldfish care guide.

Why is my goldfish eye cloudy?

Goldfish eye cloudy

The cloudy eye is caused by the accumulation of mucus in the eyes and it will stress the fish so finding a solution is important for the health of your pet. Cloudy eye in fish is not contagious, but it is a sign that something is wrong in the fish habitat.

Cloudy eye is a disorder that is found in many fish and there are multiple treatments since it might be difficult to detect what exactly is creating the cloudy eye. As the name describes, a cloudy eye in the fish is the most common symptom associated with this condition. The eye turns white, as if it was covered by a white film.

There are many fish that can be affected by cloudy eye condition. Goldfish, betta, koi, and multiple other species are also affected. Any fish that has large eyeballs can be affected by cloudy eye, specially tropical fish.

This condition will cause a partial loss of vision or in more severe cases, make the fish blind. It can affect one or both eyes, but there might be different levels of reaction in each eye.

Cloudy eye can be treated, but if the condition is not treated in time, it can become permanent.

7 Causes of goldfish cloudy eye

The goldfish cloudy eye condition can be caused due to various factors such as poor water quality, bacterial infection, parasitic infection, injuries, low immunity, etc.

So let’s dig more about the causes of goldfish cloudy eye disorder

Poor Water Quality

The first cause for cloudy eye in goldfish is poor water quality. A small abrasion in the eye plus bad quality of water is the perfect combination for cloudy eye condition.

If the water in your tank is not cleaned, water accumulates wastes which create imbalances in your aquarium. Poor quality water may lead to various other problems such as spreading bacteria, high levels of nitrates and ammonia, low oxygen, etc.

High levels on nitrites, ammonia or chlorine can improve the chances of your goldfish having cloudy eye. Also, drastic changes in Ph can also contribute to the emergence of cloudy eyes in fish.

All these unaware factors will lead to fish eye cloudy disorder and it is a common sign of chronic stress caused by poor-quality water. Make sure your goldfish tank has good quality water, with regular changes to ensure it remains clean.

Bacterial Infections

The fish cloudy eye disorder can be caused due to bacterial infection and inflammation. You can see the milky shine on the eye and if it doesn’t clean within two weeks after following the recommended treatments, then it could be a bacterial infection.

Streptococcus bacteria is the major reason for the fish cloudy eye. This infection can affect both freshwater and saltwater. It could lead the fish to be blind and get them stressed. 

The bacteria infection on the eye can be treated with antibiotics. You may need to provide longer care for fish after their eyes cloudy problem is solved as this bacteria infection tends to reman and is difficult to remove altogether.

If your goldfish is swimming upside down, then read this article about swim bladder disorder.

Low Immunity

Research has found that low immunity can make the goldfish’s eye cloudy. You can prevent the goldfish from low immunity by improving their diet and preventing diseases from spreading.

If you goldfish has experience multiple diseases, it might be good to move your fish into a new tank with fresh water and feed them food and supplements according to time schedules, separate from the rest of the aquarium.

Don’t overfeed the fish because they may get stressed. Low immunity occurs due to poor maintenance of water and low-quality feed without any nutrition. To boost the immunity system of your fish, you need to maintain the water quality and give nutritious feeds and supplements.

You can see the list of nutritious food for goldfish


Goldfish eye cloudy

If you give them food without any time schedule, it will lead to more problems. Fishes are always hungry for food and when you go near to them, the fishes will start begging for food.

Cloudy eye can also be a result of bad diet. If the fish don’t have the required nutrients to have a good immune system, it can cause the fish to be more prone to cloudy eye condition.

You need to try some new brands of food for the fish if the goldfish eye is not recovered within two weeks.


Most of the cloudy eye in goldfish start from minor injuries in the eye and progress into cloudy eye if the injury is not cured.

Since fish don’t have eyelids to protect their corneas, a simple bump with an obstacle at your aquarium or pond can damage the eye and create a reaction. This type of injuries can cause damage to the eye that will lead to inflammation and eye cloudy disorder.

When tank mates try to attack the goldfish, they may have injuries like a tail bent, gills or on the body. This could also be a cause for goldfish cloudy eye.

Changing your goldfish to a new tank with free swimming zones may make sense to prevent injuries by bumping or fish fighting.


Goldfish eye cloudy

Overcrowding is also a cause of goldfish cloudy eye disorder. Having more fish in the tank can create more aggressive behaviour which in turn could result in injuries to your fish.

Also, having a crowded aquarium can lead to stress on the fish. Crowded aquariums are more prone to develop additional diseases.

Again, you may need to make a secondary fish tank for separating large fish from the community tanks and prevent overcrowding. Otherwise, it will lead to major problems such as stress, fish health, etc.


Some fishes have cloudy eyes naturally and it may be considered a genetic appearance. In this case, the cloudy eye may be a trait of your type of fish and would not be considered a disorder.

Make sure to research more to see if the cloudy eye in your fish could be of natural appearance.

How to treat goldfish cloudy eye disorder 

Goldfishes are the most adorable fish that everyone loves. But they can get infected by diseases very fast. So, you need to provide good care for the fish otherwise they will get infected by a lot of diseases such as swimbladder disorder, cloudy eye disorder, just to name a few.

One of the most common problems of a fish’s cloudy eye is the poor quality of water. Fish owners need to maintain the fish tank water quality and temperature. There are a lot of ways to treat the goldfish cloudy eye condition.

Improving water quality for cloudy eye in fish

To improve water quality make sure to follow some of our suggestions:

Set Ph to 7 and prevent drastic changes in Ph.

Ensure the aquarium is free of ammonia and nitrates to prevent fish cloudy eye. Also, when changing water, make sure to use a proper water conditioner to eliminate chlorine or pump air into the water to dissipate chlorine faster. Chlorine, ammonia and nitrates cause irritation to the fish eye and they may cause the cloudy eye to get worse.

Keeping a clean tank free of decomposing organic debris. Changing the filter will help to maintain the quality of water. It will clean the debris and reduce the bacterial spread in the tank. Clean the filter once every week and clean the algae from the tank.

Providing a healthy diet for cloudy eye

Make sure your goldfish have a healthy diet to ensure a great immune system. Rotate different types of food to make sure all your fish have the required minerals and vitamins. A good balance of nutrients helps your fish stay healthy and happy.

Remember that our main objective is to help your fish have a great immune system that can fight off diseases.

Remove objects and other fish to prevent injuries

In order to help your goldfish eye to recover, make sure to remove all potential obstacles to ensure the eyes don’t bump into anything in the aquarium.

It will also help to put your goldfish with cloudy eye in a separate tank, to make sure any of the other fish in the tank harm your goldfish eye until it recovers.

Antibiotics for cloudy eye in goldfish

You should expect that the previous suggestions should take about 2 weeks to show some results. If after doing the above methods, the goldfish’s cloudy eye disorder has still not recovered, you may need to see the veterinarian and ask them for recommendations on antibiotics available for fish. There are different types of antibiotics available on the market.

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