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FAQs on Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives Disease 2


FAQs on Gourami Disease: Gourami Disease 1, Gourami Disease 3, Gourami Disease 4,
FAQs on Gourami Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic Treatments,


Related Articles: Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives, Genera Ctenopoma & Microctenopoma, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish


Related FAQs:  Gourami Disease 1, Gourami Disease 3, Gourami Disease 4, & Gouramis 1, Gouramis 2, Gourami Identification, Gourami Behavior, Gourami Compatibility, Gourami Selection, Gourami Systems, Gourami Feeding, Gourami Reproduction, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish,

My Gourami has brownish reddish blotches on him like blood under the  scales.   11/25/06 His fins are no longer translucent.  No other fish in the  tank are effected.  What is wrong with it?  Any ideas?   Jake King Bristol, IL <Have seen this sort of symptom again and again... And speculations that it could be resultant from Costia, other Protozoans, or fluke infestations, genetic anomaly, "dirty" water... Generally, whatever the real root cause/s may be, this condition will disappear of its own accord with maintaining these Gouramis in stable, optimized environment with decent nutrition. Bob Fenner>

Trichodina spreading rapidly in my Gourami tank   11/25/06 Hi everyone. <<Hello, Sara. Tom here.>> First I'd like to express gratitude to you guys for sharing your time and knowledge. Your website is truly fish lifesaving. Thanks. <<Were happy to help and your kind words are very much appreciated.>>   I have a 29 gal. tank with 2 adult gold Gouramis, 1 adolescent pearl Gourami, 1 young blue Gourami, 1 young gold Gourami and 11 aeneus catfish of all ages who are constantly reproducing.  Earlier this evening I noticed Jeb, my blue Gourami, slightly rocking back and forth. I immediately went to your website for info on treating Trichodina infestation. <<A conclusive determination of this would require a microscopic examination, Sara. Probably as good a guess as anything else but without visible evidence its still a guess. I mention this because, obviously, we first want to be sure of what were treating for or, as close to it as a reasonable person could conclude. Second, there are parasitic infestations that don't respond at all to certain medications which could leave us with a three-fold problem, i.e. we've incorrectly medicated our fish (never good), we've lost valuable time in a virtually worthless regimen and we've still got the original problem.>> Merely four hours later and all of my Gouramis are rocking back and forth and flicking against the filter intake. It's 2:00 am and the only thing I have on hand is "Tank Buddies - Parasite Clear Fizz Tabs" by Jungle Labs. Are you familiar with this remedy? <<The latest generation of this product contains Praziquantel, Metronidazole and Acriflavine. Sort of a shotgun-approach medication. Praziquantel may be toxic to Corys and, reportedly, isn't advised as a treatment regimen with young/juvenile fish. Personally, I wouldn't risk using it.>> If so, should I use it or wait until I can get something else? The box indicates usage for both external and internal parasites. The ingredients are based on dimethyl phosphonate and Metronidazole. If you have time to respond, it would be greatly appreciated. <<Since healthy fish normally deal with Trichodina at tolerable levels with no ill effects, an outbreak has some root cause that must be corrected before any treatment will be truly successful. I don't consider over-crowding to be the problem so Id turn to water quality as the source of the stress in your fish the reason for the population boom in the parasites. Change out 25%-30% of your tanks water and premix 4-5 tablespoons of aquarium salt to the new water before adding this back to the aquarium. While Corys aren't particularly tolerant of salt, this level shouldn't prove an issue with them and is safer, in the long run, than many medications would be. Of course, you'll want to monitor your fish closely for both the effectiveness of this regimen and for signs of stress in the Corys, specifically. Again, I don't consider salt at this low level to be a problem but fish have an amazing talent for surprising me.>> Thanks again, Sara <<There are more aggressive measures that could be taken here, Sara, but lets not go after the fly with a sledgehammer just now. If the infestation is, in fact, Trichodina, its probably the least of the common parasitic problems that our fish may have to face. Nothing to disregard, certainly, as the added stress can lead to bigger problems but, in itself, doesn't scream out for aggressive treatment. With a little luck, your pets should be back to normal soon. Best regards. Tom>>

Re: Trichodina and "Fizz Tabs" II   11/26/07 Hi. <<Hi, Sara. Tom again.>> Sorry to bother you guys again. <<No bother...>> I just read the article on DTHP which answered my question. So, I will go ahead with the Fizz Tabs. <<Keep a close eye on the Corys, Sara. Still need to find/eliminate the root cause as well.>> Thank you. Sara <<You're welcome. Tom>>

Re: Trichodina spreading rapidly in my Gourami tank III   11/26/07 Thanks so much, Tom. <<Happy to help, Sara. (Guess my response caught up with you, eh?)>> I won't use the Fizz Tabs but instead I'll try changing the water and adding the salt. I'll let you know how it turns out. <<I'd appreciate that, Sara. The Corys are still likely to be the "weak link" as they would with just about any treatment but I consider this the wiser way to go right now. For what it's worth, I use this concentration of salt in my community tank in conjunction with my regular water changes and my Emerald Green Corys (Brochis, actually) are fine with it. Please, do keep me posted.>> Sara <<Tom>>


Gourami With Internal Infection   10/29/06 Thank you for the time to read this. I have read all of you articles and have gotten enough knowledge to get me in trouble, lol. The "problem" with my Gourami is that he/ she ( I don't know the difference) has a swollen abdomen. The scales are not sticking out, the color still looks vibrant, has no trouble swimming, but looks like its breathing a bit harder than the rest, and none of my other 4 Gouramis have a swollen abdomen. I have seen no attempt to make a bubble nest and it seems to keep to its self in the plants. I check the pH all the time and do regular water changes, I have a planted tank, and this Gourami shares the tank with 4 other powder blue and red flame Gourami, 4 silver dollars, 2 angels, 1 dojo and 2 dwarf frogs. If you have another suggestions, please send them my way. And again thank you for all your help. Your web site is very informative! Thank you, Vicky < The swollen belly is probably from an internal infection. Isolate the fish in a hospital tank with clean warm water. Try treating with Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace or Clout.-Chuck>

Re: Gourami disease   10/30/06 Thank you for your help. Unfortunately, my Gourami had several more seizures and finally passed away. I did not have any extra lighting in the tank - all the lighting present was ambient light. <<Very sorry to hear about your pet, Vaikunth. Too often, sadly, there isn't anything that can be done. For what it's worth, you cared enough to try. Personally, I thank you for that.>> Thanks again, Vaikunth <<Tom>>


Catfish egg-release; dwarf Gourami mouth illness/injury   10/27/06   I am sorry if this is a repeat, but I can't remember if I already sent it. <Well, I've not seen it before, and if it was responded to, you've had received an e-mail...> Hello WWM crew. <Hello!> Your website is an incredibly useful resource, and I have used it on multiple occasions. <Excellent - that's what it is here for!> I have a 20g community aquarium. I thought it would have been done cycling months ago, but the ph is very low. <pH isn't affected by cycling - establishing the nitrogen cycle refers to a spike, then respective decline, in ammonia, nitrite and nitrate...read here for add'l info.:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm > I have a pair of platies, a pair of guppies, a pair of zebra Danios, a male dwarf Gourami, and a Corydoras catfish. Because of all the pairs, I also now have about 20 mixed livebearer fry. <Yes, this will certainly happen!> I also have a small amount of aquarium salt, and recently did a water change to help raise the ph. I realize now that the salt and jump in pH (about 5-6)... > 5.0 to 6.0, you mean?! That's a *huge* swing...too much for any fish to handle well. With regards to the aquarium salt, when you say "very little", I assume you dosed according to directions? Presuming this, the catfish (nor anyone else) should be harmed.  It's the pH that worries me...> ...could have easily killed the catfish, but instead, this morning I found about a dozen (the number has since decreased) small white eggs stuck to the filter tube, glass, and on various parts of my Swordplant. <Likely due to stress from the huge change in pH...> I am absolutely positive that there was NO male involved. <It's possible.> The conditions were hardly favorable, I did nothing to trigger spawning... <You actually did - by adjusting the pH so quickly, you stressed your livestock out...could have killed them...> ...though there may have been unintentional conditioning as all my fish have been on a diet of Tetra┬« flakes, frozen bloodworms, mall earthworms, and live baby brine shrimp (the ones that escaped the fry, that is, whose motto seems to be "eat until you can't swim, and then eat whatever swims to you". <Little piggies!!> I know that it is impossible that the eggs got fertilized, so why did she lay them? Is this normal? Could it hurt her? <The release of eggs itself won't hurt the fish, but as stated above, the large swing in pH could.  Stability in pH (as in temperature) is more important than precision, although 5.0 is very low.  I suggest you look into a product like Aquarium Pharmaceuticals "pH Adjust", add it to your water *prior* to doing a water change, then *very slowly* raise the pH by doing water changes (no more than .01 or so per day. Are you using tap water, or de-ionized or reverse-osmosis/de-ionized water? I use RO/DI, and a 5.0 pH is what the unit makes water at.  Either way, since your pH is this low, I would suggest using a quality supplement to increase it, as described above.  Kent also makes a quality product to accomplish this.> Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. John O. <Hope I've helped.> P.S. One more question: (that is somewhat irrelevant but of equal, if not more importance.) <Shoot!> My male dwarf Gourami has something terribly wrong with his mouth. For a long time, his top lip was swelling up, but he didn't act any differently, so I thought it was nothing. A chunk of the swelling actually came off, and the rest of his mouth is inflamed, falling apart, and growing strange puffy things. He hides a lot and does not make the usual clicking noise when he bites, it is now rather muted  I thought it could have been a number of things: the first thing I thought of was mouth rot, but I didn't want to medicate unnecessarily and endanger the lives of the other inhabitants, or kill off all the plants which have FINALLY rooted. Please help me. I would like to know - 1. What is wrong with my Gourami? <Could be mouth rot, mouth fungus, Lymphocystis (that's my hunch based on your description).  First off, you should isolate this fish into a separate quarantine/hospital tank - you don't want him to pass this along to other inhabitants.> 2. What medication should be used? <If it is Lymphocystis, you can't truly cure it, as it is viral in nature. However, based upon the lesion / "skin falling of" description, I'm concerned about secondary bacterial infections.  You must be sure to keep this fish's water *pristine*, and I'd suggest medicating (in the hospital tank only) with a broad spectrum antibiotic such as Spectrogram.> <NEVER medicate your main tank - this will kill your biological filtration and nitrogen cycle.  Once the Gourami is in QT, again, I think a broad spectrum antibiotic is in order.  Also, you may add MelaFix (along with the antibiotic) to promote regrowth of the fallen off area. 3. What can I do to alleviate the pH problem? <This is addressed above.  Also, the Gourami's immune system was also likely compromised due to the large pH fluctuations...you *must* ensure stability, as described earlier...> Any and all help will probably save a life. <I hope so - hopefully you've caught it in time!> Thanks in advance, John O. <You're welcome.  Hope I've helped.  Jorie>


Gourami disease   10/27/06 Hello, <<Hello, Vaikunth. Tom>> I have a blue Gourami which has been suffering from some disease for a month or so. It swims crazily and frantically almost like a seizure. <<I've seen this same behavior in Gouramis myself, Vaikunth, though the behavior, and the fish, were very short-lived.>> I don't know if it is a water issue - because I changed the water a couple of days ago and it still is having the problem. <<Without readings it's impossible to know if there's a water quality issue responsible for this. Frankly, I suspect not. Something that would be easy to do would be to reduce any lighting levels you have in the tank. I recently ran across a small item that suggested that bright, fluorescent lighting induced erratic, seizure-like behavior in some Gouramis and, after reducing the light level, the behavior completely subsided. It's also possible that this is a viral infection of the brain/spine though I've not seen this specifically tied to Gouramis. It's been suggested that this type of virus was introduced via fish that had been caught in the wild, however, so, once again, I don't believe this to be the case with your fish. Hopefully, reducing the lighting will resolve the problem your pet is experiencing.>> Could you help me please? Thanks, Vaikunth <You're welcome, Vaikunth, and good luck. Tom>>


Blue Gourami Stuck On Filter Intake   8/31/06 For the past few days, I noticed my blue Gourami's sides seem to be sunken in or as if he has become skinny. He is in a 29 gallon tank by himself. The water parameter seem to be fine and I feed him dried bloodworms (his favorite). Could this be internal parasites? How can this be treated. I found him 4 days ago sucked on to the intake of my filter (I thought he would be gone). He seemed unable to swim with control at first, but now his swimming seems to be better.  What do I do? Thank You < I think the trauma from the filter intake has damaged some internal organs. Gouramis have all their organs in a tight little bundle in front under the fish. They could have been pushed around all over the place and damaged. If he is getting better then I think time will tell if he recovers completely. Cover the intake with a sponge insert or strained to prevent further injury.-Chuck>

Sores on dwarf Gouramis   8/29/06 Hi there, <Hello> I mailed a few days ago about some red sores on my dwarf Gouramis and you kindly pointed me to some info on Hexamita.  I've treated my tank with a Metronidazole medication about 3 days ago but I'm not seeing any change in the fish. <Takes... weeks to show improvement>   They are eating and somewhat active, but they still have white and red sores, and the top fin appears as though it might be clamped.  Fish poops have been clear and white, and stringy, and the sores are on the base of tail fins, with white puffy areas on sides of the head, white patches on the top and bottom fins, and some holes in top fins. <Good observations, info.> How long should it be before I see a change, and should I dose with the Metronidazole again at some point? <Mmm, weeks and no> I've read that Hexamita is unusual in Gouramis, <Not so> and that maybe I should be treating this with Maracyn, <... the antibiotic Erythromycin? For what?> but I don't want to keep guessing.  I'm having an extremely hard time figuring this out.  Thanks for any advice you can give.  If I may ask, I wish to remain unpublished. Thanks again, B. <Won't be publishing your or anyone else's email address w/o their express consent. Bob Fenner>


Gourami help  8/28/06 Hi Folks. One quick question please. Re: 100 gal. FW well maintained and established. Nitrates have been <10 for about a month now. Tank currently houses 10 blue Gourami about 3-4 in. long with 2 males and 8 females. <Nice> About 3 weeks ago I noticed the females getting plump abdomens. Thinking that they were constipated, like Gouramis have a tendency to do, <Mmm... might be developing eggs...> I treated tank with Epsom salts @ 1Tbl. per 10 gal. as read on WWM. The males look great, but females are still fat looking. Is there any way that I can tell if they are full of eggs or are bloated/constipated? <Mmm, yes... for one, that only the females are so affected... and secondly, as they become very egg-laden you will see a small "white dot" protrude from each females vent...> Should I re-treat with Epsom salts...about 9 days since last treatment? <I would not> The females are trying to make bubble nests, but the males are not interested. Any advice would be greatly helpful. Thanks once again...DR <Mmm, please see fishbase.org re the species (Trichogaster trichopterus) life history... likely elevating the water temperature will "trigger" a change in the males' behavior. Bob Fenner>


Possible problem with dwarf Gourami?   8/2/06 Hi there, I have a possible problem with one of my dwarf blue Gouramis. I have a 55 gallon planted tank with 3 blue dwarf Gouramis, 2 zebra loaches, 5 Rummynose tetras, 1 Corydoras, 1 Pleco, 2 balloon rams, 3 male guppies and I have recently added 5 Odessa barbs. <May become too aggressive...> The tank is fully cycled, pH 7, temp 78-80F, weekly 20% water changes. I have 4 plants and two peaces <Homonym: pieces> of driftwood, which, I hope provide enough hiding places. All the fish appear to be eating nicely, but I just noticed that one of the Gouramis appears to have scales missing on both sides (there are reddish spots, not very distinct, but they were not there before). <... I really like Colisa lalia Gouramis... but really dislike their too-common health issues> I read on your webpage that it can develop into a serious problem for these species, <Yes> however I didn't find a clear answer as to what to do when that happens. Is my tank overpopulated? <No> Could Odessa barbs be a problem, since they appear to be the most aggressive out of all other fish? <Perhaps a small part, influence here, but not overwhelming> I haven't seen them openly harassing the Gourami, but once I introduced them into the tank Gourami began to hide more in the plants. Thanks a lot in advance! Natalia Zisman, B.Sc. <Mmm... if you can secure another heated, filtered system, I would isolate the mal-affected Gourami/s... and treat them with a Furan Compound (see WWM re dosage, regimen), and possibly Metronidazole for all... Bob Fenner>


Fat Gouramis   8/1/06 <<Tom here.>> Okay - I'm about to lose my 4th Gourami in the last few weeks. They puff up in the stomach area then go to the bottom, then die... What can I do about this? <<Brandey, the only way we can possibly help you is for you to help us. You've given us no information to go on other than your Gouramis are bloating and dying. That leaves about a gazillion possibilities open for us to "guess" at. Please send us your exact water parameters (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/ph levels), tank size, how long the tank has been cycled (if at all), filtration type, number of tank mates including types of fish, diet, frequency of water changes, etc. In short, if you even guess that a piece of information could be of help, let us know what it is.>> BP <<Be hearing from you. Tom>>


Is it going to die?   7/24/06 Hello to all of the WWM Crew! My name is Glenda and I am from Barbados, W.I. <Hi Glenda, this is Bob, currently in Hawai'i> I have a 25 gallon tank which contains 18 fish: 1 Paradise fish, 2 Black and 1 White Angelfish, 1 Black Ghost, 2 Upside-down Catfish, 2 Silver Gouramis, 1 Tetra, 2 Plecos, 1 Yo-yo Loach, 2 Honey Gouramis, 2 Rainbow sharks and 1 Albino shark. <Yikes, quite a collection... the minnow-sharks don't chase most everyone about? The angels may well cause trouble with growth/age...> My problem concerns the 2 Honey Gouramis which are young and about 2 inches long. <Maximum... for this sport of Colisa lalia> They are both lively and eat well. When I first bought them they were all one color; now they are changing into adults and getting their spots. Two days ago I noticed that one of them is missing a small part of his stomach his underneath fin has been bitten (or rotten away?) into a small upside-down 'w' shape. I was wondering if this is part of the transition stage, fin rot or could it be other fish attacking him? <Most likely the last... not part of regular development> They seem to get along quite well with the other fish and stick close to each other. He appears to be very well otherwise but I quarantined him this morning just in case whatever he has is contagious. He is not too pleased about that of course because he is not with his "brother" now. I had an older H. Gourami which died from fin rot about a month ago but I knew he was definitely sick because he lost color and stopped eating. I quarantined him and he died 19 hours later. Could this have anything to do with it? <Very likely so... I can only speculate, but this genus of Gouramis is semi-notorious for having Protozoan problems (Hexamita/Octomita)... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GouramiDisFAQs.htm and the linked file in the Diseases of Anabantoids linked above. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help.

Re: Is it going to die?   7/25/06 Hi Bob! I hope you are having a good time in Hawaii. <Oh yes, thank you. Very relaxing> Thank you for replying. The information you sent was very helpful and interesting. There's actually a picture of a Gourami with a spot like mine, and in the same place too, just that it doesn't have the eaten/rotten out 'w' shape. It is in the email from James "Blue Gourami injury or disease...." (8th one down) on 5/15/06. I think I'll try the salt thing too. He is still eating well and moving around normally. Swims up to the side of his (quarantine) tank like the others when he sees me coming. Why can't he just heal on his own? <Sometimes just such a persistent infection...> I hate to see his stomach looking this way. Thanks again. You are doing a good job. I'll let you know what happens. <I do appreciate this. Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Re: Is it going to die? Gourami gone   8/4/06 Hello Bob! This is Glenda. How are you? Just wanted to let you know my Honey Gourami died last night. He was a real trooper though - lasted 2 weeks, eating and swimming like nothing was wrong. I don't plan on replacing him yet. I want to let all the others adjust to this new tank for now. He is the third fish to die since I got them a bigger tank. Maybe they don't like it as much as I thought they would. :-) I even got them an Aquaclear 50 filter. Rather high-maintenance but my pet shop says it is better than the Lustar Hydro 1 sponge filter I was using before. <Yes, is> Sure is a lot more expensive so it better work! So, once again, thank you very much. Will most likely hear me again some other time. Seems as though I am not having much luck with my fish right now but I will keep trying. Bye. <Thank you for this update, sharing. Bob Fenner>


What's wrong with Yuna the Betta?  7/23/06 Hi, <<Hello, Veronica. Tom>> I have two Betta fish. One male (Tidus) and one female (Yuna). Their names come from a video game. I've had Yuna for a year and a 1/2 and Tidus for a year. <<Okay.>> I cleaned their tank yesterday. Lately Yuna has been lethargic and not eating. Now she's at the bottom of the tank. I tried bringing her up to the surface for air, but she didn't do anything! She dropped down to the bottom and acted as though she was dead. She looks healthy and I can't see anything wrong with her body except that she's slightly pale. Help!!! <<With some species of fish, farm breeding has done wonders for increasing the vitality and adaptability of the fish where keeping them is concerned. With Bettas, the downside of farm breeding is that their longevity has diminished as compared to their wild-bred cousins. In fact, the specific question of a Betta's life span seems to be one that I've yet to "lock down" to my own satisfaction. In Yuna's case, my first reaction is to suggest that she's simply old based on what you've provided. The lethargy, lack of eating and loss of color are signs of this. In addition, the period of time that you've had her, presumably without any other problems, leads me to believe this even more. Furthermore, given the small tanks that Bettas are typically housed in, I would expect that Tidus would have been equally exposed to any pathogens that might be affecting Yuna. This doesn't, on the surface, appear to be the case, though. All of that said, Veronica, I would make a couple of suggestions here. If you aren't adding aquarium salt to the tank, you might try this. Depending on the size of the aquarium, you might have to do some calculating but one tablespoon per five gallons should be appropriate. Also, you can try raising the water temperature a little. If it's not now in range of 82-84 degrees F., this is what I would aim for. You don't mention your pets' diet specifically however, I'd try enticing her with live foods if possible. Tidus and Yuna need "meat" in their diets as their digestive systems are not well-suited to vegetable sources. I'll keep a good thought for you that she perks back up.>> ~ Veronica <<My best. Tom>>


New Gourami in Trouble?   7/22/06 To WWM Crew! I have devoured your site and it has helped tremendously in my understanding and knowledge of my new aquarium and all fish.  Thank you so very much for your time and passion about fish!!!! <Welcome!> I have kept fish for years, but mostly a molly tank for kids or Bettas and am now a first-time "real" aquarium owner, fresh-water, 25 gallon tank.  My tank has been cycling since June 26th and I have several questions, a few out of curiosity, and two in particular because I just added a new Gourami to my tank and am not sure all is well. My water stats this AM are: 25 gallon Eclipse 2 Bio-Wheel System (flow 200GPH) PH 7.2 Temp 80 degrees Lighting Fluorescent  7am-10pm Ammonia between .25 and .50 <Should be zip...> Nitrite .25 <Ditto... these are deadly toxic> Nitrate 5.0 <Evidently cycling, beginning to cycle> new algae present <More evidence> Live and plastic plants (just added live ones this week) 1 partial water change 2 weeks ago (25% water changed) 1st Carbon filter change 2 days ago Live Bacteria added at start-up and when shark added 2 weeks ago <... better by far to wait on adding livestock till after no ammonia, nitrite detectable> 4 Serpae Tetras & 4 Lemon Tetras (started the tank) 1 red-tailed shark (added 2 weeks ago) 1 new Gourami (added yesterday) 1.  My Ammonia and Nitrite climbed the last two days is this from new fish and plant adjustments? <From the fish... and an incomplete cycle> 2.  I was sold shrimp pellets for my red-tailed shark at the LFS, which just  sink to the bottom and stay there.  He does nibble on them but I am concerned he will not be getting good nutrition? <Possibly... and these pellets are likely polluting the system> 3.  My red-tailed shark and the tetras got along really well for 2 weeks and within the last 3 days, the shark has chased them all around the tank into the plants.  Then he decided he wanted them out of the plants, too, but since they are now upward, he is pretty much happy with the bottom of the tank as long as they keep clear.  Is this just his way of establishing his territory? <Generally yes... but some individuals prove too "mean" and should be separated. Not compatible with many community fishes, particularly in small volumes> 4.  I REALLY wanted a Discus, but did not feel confident yet to experiment with one so went with Gourami.  At the LFS I was told it was a Sunset Male Gourami that would end up at about 6 inches.   <Mmm, not by this common name... this is likely a Dwarf... Colisa lalia> But, after research, it looks more like red or honey dwarf Gourami.  I can tell it is a male by the fins (See attached video and still photo taken this morning of Gourami). <Files were too big... and don't see that you re-sent re-sized as requested> My questions are:  what kind is it really?  I have seen conflicting info on keep in groups, only one male, keep several males, etc.  Do I keep this fish by itself, or add a companion female or male?  Which is the best?  Do I have <Take a look on the net, fishbase.org using the scientific name provided... best to keep in mixed sexes> enough space to add another one?   <Yes a twenty five is large enough>   Also, he seems to be exhibiting strange gill behavior (see video) where his mouth is moving rapidly and so are gills is this just stress from new environment or something else? <Likely the former only> Also, this morning I notice a few "bumps" on one side, not sores, not Ich-looking per say, but I do not recall seeing this yesterday.  He is swimming and eating so far, but I am a little nervous. <Fix the environment... see WWM re ammonia, nitrite, cycling...> 5.  My tank size, can it handle any more fish at this point? <No, fishes should not be present currently period> I would like to add a few Rasbora in a few weeks, or some other top-swimmer to complete tank, but am concerned if Gourami is NOT dwarf, I will have over-stocked my tank. <A valid concern> 6.  Finally, what is best diet for this community tank?  I have flakes and shrimp pellets, but want to make sure I have healthy and colorful fish.  I have read yes on brine shrimp and no on brine shrimp and yes to worms and no to worms, but in your experience, what is the best diet, e.g., how often and what variety.  Do I need algae pellets for the shark or Gourami? <A standard "stock" prepared food with bite-sized frozen (to be defrosted) meaty treat should be fine here. See WWM...> Thank you thank you, for your time and expertise.  I want to keep a good tank and healthy fish and appreciate your input! Corianne Durkee <Glad to proffer it. Please send along the re-sized (a few hundred Kbytes) image if you want a further ID... and read where directed. Bob Fenner>


High Mortality Rate, FW, poss. Hexamita/Octomita    7/1/06 My daughter has had her Eclipse 12 aquarium for a little over a year. We have a high death rate. <Not good> In 13 months we have had about 18 out of 25 fish die.  We test our water regularly at the local fish store and it always test at normal levels. <Mmm, you might want to invest in some simple test gear for your own, at-home use. Many important parameters can/do change in just the short trip to the store... And these tests, testing can be a useful element of education, sharing as well> Deaths include about 6-9 platies, 3 dwarf Gouramis, 2 albino catfish, 1 skirt tetra and 2 Rasboras. <A broad mix of tolerant species...>   Our original skirt tetra is alive after 1 year and 3 of the 5 Rasboras we bought are still alive after 6 months.  Many of the fish wasted away. Also some mainly the Gouramis had a hair-like excrement. <... trouble. This could well be indicative of a persistent protozoan parasite (Octomita/Hexamita...)> We finally treated for internal parasites.  We bought our first 2 fish from one of those large chains and believe it might have brought a parasite with it. <Given what you present here, I concur> We did two treatments ( 2 doses each I think) a week or two apart.   <With what medication?> Two fish died after that.  We did not add any fish for at least 2 month after that.  When we did add 3 guppies and 1 dwarf Gourami, the male guppy died after 2 days.  The Gourami died after we added 3 more guppies 2 days later.  I realize we added fish to quickly, but we were given the second batch.  I am wondering if these last two deaths are likely due to stress or are there other things we should try. <Possibly>   The male bloated before dying, the Gourami just died.  I am getting really frustrated and my daughter is getting very discouraged.  Can you give me some suggestions on how to reduce the death rate.   <A few things, yes. For one, if this problem is Hexamitiasis and unless it was eradicated through treatment... it's still there (a very common cause of continuing high losses from and through fish stores). I would treat your system with Metronidazole/Flagyl to be sure. Please see WWM re this anti-protozoal, its careful use, and Hexamita... and particularly here re Gouramis: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GouramiDisFAQs.htm and the next FAQ file linked above. Bob Fenner>


Flipper the Trichogaster, Octomita?   5/28/06 Hi, my name is Kristin and this is my first time writing to you. I have a twenty gal. tank w/ 2 beautiful Angels, 3 Serpae tetras, 1 clown Pleco and 1 regular Pleco. (I am very new to this scene, forgive my spelling on species). I use to have 2 pink kissers until 1 killed the other and then I removed the "Killer".  I have a ten gal. tank set up to house any unruly fish. ( Home to one monster Angel and 1 pink kisser and they get along well.)   Anyway, I added one beautiful turquoise Gourami (Flipper) and really enjoyed it. It seemed to get along well w/ the others. I decided to get another one.   Big trouble. From the moment I put it in the tank, it seemed unlike the other. Color was different and not at all as active. I am pretty new to this and figured he was getting acclimated. I later decided to remove the pink kisser as he was starting to pick on the newbie. After all the pink kisser had already killed one of his own. It was time for him to leave.  Anyway, symptoms of this new Gourami were, just hanging out in the bottom corner all the time, not moving around very much and finally, me noticing very long clearish white stringy poop. Lastly, stopped eating. Unfortunately, I think I acted too slowly. I set up a 4 gal. hospital tank and initially started treating for a bacterial infection, <Mmm, likely protozoan... Seasonal Octomita, import...> no real results, then I started treating for a fungus infection. Lastly, I gave a parasitic med a shot. He would sometimes appear better but just never ate. He died and I was very upset by that. I think I really gave it a good shot aside from not doing something sooner. Since then I have learned a ton more (Thanks to your website). NOW,  This is the problem. I just noticed in my 20 Gal. main tank, Flipper (the original turquoise Gourami) was excreting ( 2 times it length) a clearish stringy thing that had a black end. By that I mean, the very tip had a black head. To me it looked like it was a living thing and not "poop" at all. Could this be a worm of some sort????? <Possibly> I really think the second Gourami that I introduced was sick from the get go. And now Flipper has it!!!! HELP. I now have Flipper in the hospital tank and am feeding it Pepso food. Is this enough????? <Maybe> I am thinking that this food is just that. FOOD!!!!!! It may clear/clean out the intestinal tract, but will it actually kill whatever it has. I do think it is a parasite. The parasitic Mardel products I used didn't help the last guy. <Mardel Labs doesn't make parasiticides> I think it was Maracyn 2.    Can U help?????? Thanks a bunch  Kristin <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GouramiDisFAQs.htm and the next linked file above re Gourami Disease... I would finish treating with the Pepso Food, and try one treatment of Flagyl/Metronidazole (via food) here. Bob Fenner>


Dead Three-spot Gourami ... Mela "fixed"   5/26/06 Hello all! <Miss E.> I really hope someone can answer my question, although it's too late. I'm only hoping info will keep this from happening again! Here's my setup's in question: 20 gallon tank 1 angel 1 Gourami 2 tinfoil barbs <Mmm, will get too large for this size system> 1 sucker <Keep your eye on this...> 2 live plants (one which insists on floating around the tank and will not stay grounded!) Water all in norms now - there was a bit of nitrite but I did a gravel clean and water change and added salt and it's now back to normal. Temp is between 80-82 (hard to tell with my therm) 10 gallon tank 1 Betta Water fine, temp around 80 as well. I also did an ammonia test on both tanks and both tested 'safe'. This is what happened: My Angelfish has been pecking at my three-spot Gourami for about two weeks now, and I began to worry. Neither showed any signs of stress... <The pecking itself...> no ripped fins, no missing scales, eating and swimming normally. But, after talking to some people who had problems housing the two together in the past, decided it was much better to move the Gourami out. Sooo, I moved my Betta back into his five gallon that I had kept going (luckily!) and the Gourami into the ten gallon. I then left for work... When I came home everyone was happy in my 20 gallon, my Betta was flaring outrageously... my Gourami had large dark discoloration between his two spots! <Mood indicator... upset at being moved> I immediately tested my water... nothing  was out of whack, so with no clue what was wrong I treated with Melafix. <...> He was still swimming normally, so I fed him some dried bloodworms and a few flakes. And he ate them all with his usual slurping. This is also what I normally feed all my fish, except the Betta, but I digress. About 2 hours later he was dead. This is pretty much everything I have in the ten gallon: The usual aquarium gravel A ceramic coral 'thing' A ceramic alligator 2 'silk' plants <These are fine> I bought all of this at various pet shops, and Wal-Mart, all supposedly safe for aquariums. Well, that's the gist of what happened. I don't think I left anything out! Thanks for your time reading all of that ;) <... I suspect the "Fix" did your fish in... along with the stress of being harassed by the angel, the move into the ten. Bob Fenner>

Dead Three-spot Gourami (Bob Fenner) Hey, I'm still alive!    5/28/06 Thank you for the quick response, Mr. Fenner! <Welcome> From what I understand then, instead of trying to 'treat' my fish that look sick, I should first make sure I know what's wrong with them? Because that's excellent advice and I feel like an idiot! <Not an idiotic statement at all... Au contraire! Yes to the very important steps of careful observation and patience> I do have another question though: If I had left him alone to adjust, would it have been likely he would have survived? <Not able to state/guess... many such problems do resolve themselves on their own. It is my estimation that much more livestock is "bumped off" than dies, by "mis-medication", treatments by well-meaning aquarists, than by "natural causes". Bob Fenner>


Gourami egg laden... actually, no   5/25/06 Hi, I have an egg laden gold Gourami, and a male gold Gourami. <Okay...> I have separated them from their normal tank - they're in a smaller tank with a heater, filter, weeds, etc. The female is swollen from her gills to just in front of her black spot. The male has previously been blowing a bubble nest, but has stopped. The female has taken to lying in the weeds near the top of the tank - but moves around and swims and eats as normal. I reckon she's been egg laden for about 4 weeks - how long is the normal incubation period for Gourami eggs? Thanks! <This is something else... sometimes termed "Ascites", "Dropsy", "Bloat"... should be treated with an antimicrobial (in the food if this animal is eating), and Epsom Salt added to the water. Both are covered on WWM. Bob Fenner>


Gourami Dropsy Paranoia - 05/16/2006 Good Morning~ <Just about "good afternoon", now!> I've had 2 pairs of honey dwarf Gouramis succumb to dropsy usually after a couple months-and now I have a pair of Opaline Gouramis that I've had for over 3 months, and the male (smaller of the two) just died also, seemingly of dropsy. The remaining one seems fairly healthy, but does seem to be sitting on the bottom frequently. Her abdomen area seems a little enlarged, but I can't tell that her scales are sticking out at all.  My tank parameters have consistently been 7.0-0- <Ammonia and Nitrite at 0 PPM?  pH at 7.0?  I'm not exactly sure what 7.0-0- means> and nitrates never above 10....(12gal & 55gal).  My main question is, should I put the remaining Gourami in a hospital <Always QT sick fish, even if you don't medicate.  Protect tankmates from infection.> tank and medicate?....or am I overreacting?...Its driving me crazy that I can't seem to keep any of this specie alive for any amount of time. <Laying on the bottom/hiding is usually a sign that a Gourami is sick or being harassed.  Moving this one to QT would be advisable, it would not hurt to feed an anti-bacterial food as well.  Keep it in very clean water, this is often overlooked in QT tanks.> Thanks again for any help/feedback, I really appreciate any comments. Judy <Dropsy is a symptom of (usually) a bacterial infection.  Bacterial infections can almost always be traced back to stress of some sort... and stress can almost always be traced back to environment!  Something about their environment stresses these animals -- water quality is usually enemy no. 1, but there are others; tankmates, lack of/inappropriate decor, etc.  Gouramis can be a nuisance when it comes to infections, because they tend to withhold most symptoms until it is too late.  If you believe that you are doing everything right, you might consider looking for another source for your livestock; perhaps the wholesaler that your pet store buys from doesn't produce very good Gourami stock. Hope these suggestions help. Jason N.>

Gourami Dropsy Paranoia - II - 05/24/2006 Thank you Jason on the speedy response. <Sorry for the delay on this one....  Sabrina with you in Jason's stead.  I do hope the fish is still around....> Is there any recommendation on the medicated food.. haven't done this before.   <Having read the previous correspondence, I would urge you to consider using Epsom salt at a rate of one to two tablespoons per ten gallons in the tank that houses the sick fish.  This will help if it's something simple, like constipation.  As for medicated food, http://flguppiesplus.safeshopper.com/234/cat234.htm?676 does sell an antibacterial flake; I believe Jungle also produces one that can be found at some chain pet stores, now.> (I always think of my testing as: PH: 7.0; ammonia: 0; nitrites: 0 & nitrates 5.0 to 10-abreviation isn't always a good thing :-)) <Too true.> Thanks Again! Judy <Again, I apologize for the delay on this reply, and I do hope your Gourami has improved by this point.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>  


Blue Gourami Injury or Disease - I can't figure it out - Pics attached   5/15/06 Hi,   <Hello there> I have 2 Blue Gouramis about 2.5 inches long that have been in my 55 gallon tank about 4 weeks now.  The other day, I thought I'd try out some pinkish red tiger barbs.  Well one was a little psycho at anyone. <!>   That fish got sent to fish jail (breeding pen), however I noticed soon there after that my largest Blue Gourami had a red section on one side of his/her underbody.   <I see it/this> I don't know if it was there before I got the tiger barb, but it looks concerning.  I've read through all of your articles (awesome info) and still do not know how this should be diagnosed.  It looks like maybe it could be a nip from the fish, however, maybe it could be a disease?   <Perhaps... bacterial. But could be secondary to a physical break as you surmise> Tank parameters: 55 gal, 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrates, 0 Nitrites; water change occurred 3 days ago and was a 20% change.  Temp is 76 degrees.  Tank has small gravel, plastic plants, real plants and a large piece of driftwood across the tank.   Tank mates are: 2 (total) Blue Gourami's, 4 mollies, 5 gold barbs, 1 cherry barb, 2 very relaxed tiger barbs (pink), 4 high fin tetras (who hate the tiger barbs), 7 Bloodfin tetras, 8 Rummynose tetras, <Mmm, the Tetras like very different water than the barbs, Gouramis> 5 Cory cats, 1 platy and some small fish swordtail that is pregnant.  The blue Gourami's are pretty much the largest fish, but they are very cool.   On the blue Gourami in question, there now appears a white spot (hard to photograph) that looks like it could be scales re-growing, but I can't find any before, during and after shots on the net of this occurring. I have a 10 gal tank that I can get ready for a hospital tank (minus a heater for now) to put the Gourami into.  I also have some Melafix to use if this is the direction to go.  So my bottom question is. 1) Can you tell by the pictures what this might be? <Not conclusively> 2) Should I pull the fish to its own separate tank or wait to see if the scales are coming back and it heals on its own.   <Yes, I think I would... and add salt per WWM, perhaps Nitrofuranace to the water> Thank you, James PS.  If you are going to post a response, please email me, I'm trying to keep up to date on your site postings, but don't want to miss anything should I need to get this hospital tank going right away.   Thanks a bunch and keep up the good site. <We respond directly to all. Bob Fenner>

Gourami Complaints - Escape Behaviour - 04/11/2006 Ok here goes nothing. <Mm, more like something, really.> My 2 powder blue Gouramis just died. <So sorry to hear this!  Have you determined why as yet?> Now I have a gold Gourami trying to jump out of the aquarium and a moonlight who darts all over the place and then swims straight down to the bottom with his nose first and then darts right back to the top. The moonlight is showing signs of Ick <You must treat this, and quickly....   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm > but she also has a black spot near her tail fin. What could this possibly be? <The black spot may also be from the Ich; fish will sometimes get darker spots near wounds or where parasites are.  It may also be an ammonia burn, or something else entirely.  Impossible to say without seeing the fish or having a much more in-depth description.> Just to let you know my new live plants are all brown and shredded at the bottom of the tank if this can give you a clue to what is going on. <Some insight, yes.  The behaviour your Gourami are exhibiting is an "escape" behaviour - trying to get out to "better" water.  You really, really need to test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate immediately.  Ammonia and nitrite must be ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm.  If any of these values are "off", it can cause the behaviours you are seeing and ultimately kill your fish.  If these values are all correct, then it may be possible that some toxin has entered the tank.  In either case, bad water quality or toxins in the water, to fix this, do large water changes right away to try to get the water back to normal.  Good water quality is urgent, here, and may fix all of your problems (aside from the Ich).> Please help, thanks. <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>


Please help! Gourami with Ick Emergency   3-28-06   I think I may be losing my powder blue Gouramis to Ick. Last night I lost my CAE. <Other members of the Crew may be holding their breath to see what my comment here would be> I have a total of 8 Gouramis and they are showing small white spots tonight but they are very bad on my 2 powder blues. I rushed to Wal-Mart tonight when I got home from work (they were the only place I could go to at 11pm at night) and I purchased Wardley's "Ick Away". I followed the directions and removed the carbon filters but when I went to turn my filter back on nothing would circulate throughout it with the filters intact so I unplugged it completely. <Looking for surface agitation here, Jennifer. Filtration at this stage is unimportant> So my Gouramis are in the tank without anything circulating and I don't know what to do about that. I poured the blue solution into the tank and did a 50% water change with my gravel cleaner. Then I removed all my live plants. I read that the hotter temperature could kill the Ick so I placed my heater inside the tank. Well after a few minutes it started smoking and I husband unplugged it and said it broke. <From bad to worse is sounds like> So I added hot tap water mixed with fresh start to the tank in hopes that will bring up the temperature. <Won't do the deed for you. Temperature must be raised and held, preferably above 85 degrees F.> So the temperature is now at 78 in my blue watered tank without any circulation and my dying fish. Would someone please tell me what I can possibly do to save them. I have invested so much money and time into these fish and I need some direction please. Is there still hope for my fish? <If your fish are still alive, there's certainly hope. We've not alternative but to try. If you're prepared to spend the money, purchase a hang-on filter of suitable size (AquaClear would be my choice), a new heater (no preference here but I wouldn't skimp) and "aquarium" salt (not "marine" salt). Pull your current filter off the tank and install the new filter with no filter inserts. Do a 50% water change, vacuuming the gravel heavily, to remove as much of the old medication as possible as well as any encysted parasites as we might get lucky enough to catch. That done, install the new heater and slowly begin raising the temperature (1-2 degrees per hour) until the tank temperature is at 86-87 degrees. (Note: I'm not familiar with the Wardley's product however some Ich medications shouldn't be used at elevated temperatures which is why I recommend removing it.) Once you're reasonably satisfied that the old medication is out of the tank - as much as possible - we're going to do the water changes again, this time adding the aquarium salt at a dosage of 2-3 tablespoons per five gallons of water to the water-change bucket (not the tank!) - five-gallon buckets are typically sold at most LFS's and would serve well here. This process should be done slowly over a one- to two-day period to avoid "shocking" the fish. (Keep the tank water level a little lower than you normally would so that the output of the filter "disturbs" the surface sufficiently to increase oxygenation. This is very important at higher temperatures!) Now, catch your breath while I catch mine ;). Okay, the combination of salt and heat should be maintained for about 10 days. You may see a disappearance of the parasites in less time than that but it doesn't mean they're gone. In the meantime, keep an eye on your pets for signs of stress over and above what the Ich may be causing. Unlikely that this level of salinity or the elevated temperatures will do any harm to your Gouramis but let's "first, do no harm". If need be, do a small, unsalted water change but I don't think it will be necessary. At the end of this time, do water changes to remove the salt and "very" slowly lower the temperature back to normal. (Fish can acclimate to elevated temperatures faster than they can to decreased temperatures.) Also take notice that your tank will need to re-cycle as you might imagine. Bio-Spira (Marineland) can speed this up enormously. Pricey, but well worth the cost. Best of luck, Jennifer! Tom> Jennifer Groenendaal 

Re: Please help! Gourami with Ick Emergency   3/31/06 Hi Tom, <Hi, John> You have helped me to save the lives of my fish because of your prompt and detailed response. <If that didn't make my day, nothing will. Thanks> The first night I didn't think my 2 blues were going to make it but I woke up the next day and they were still alive, read your email, and bought a new heater. Now I did end up back at Wal-Mart b/c the closest fish store is almost an hour from where I live so I ended up with kosher salt b/c I thought I read here before that it can be used and didn't see any marine <aquarium> salt as you instructed. Is this ok? <Absolutely> I couldn't find a hanging filter but I am going to the fish store tomorrow as I have more time to purchase one. Tonight I did another partial water change and added some more salt, some more fresh start and pH adjuster. The temperature also reached 85. <Good! One or two more degrees wouldn't hurt but you should be in good shape> I got rid of all the live plants and took out all the fake plants and the fish started to seem stressed with all the activity going on with their tank and probably also b/c there was no more plants in there. <Understandable> The reason I thought they were getting stressed is because they pace back and forth really quick or swim up and down at the corners of the tank. <Not uncommon when fish are stressed> Anyways, I then soaked the fake plants in hot water and kosher salt and floated some on the water and planted some. They all seem to have their appetite back and are swimming normally. <Very good to hear> Except out of the 8 of them I still see a bump on the top fin of one of my blues and the other one still seems to scratch itself against the rock. <These guys sounded to be the worst infected and it may take a little extra time. Not to worry at this point> Would you like me to continue this for the next 10 days before removing the salt, adjusting the temp. back to normal, and putting the carbon filters back in? <Let me offer you an option here, John. When you're satisfied that the fish are clear of any infestation, continue this course of action for three additional days. If you've any doubts, then let's run with the full ten-day plan. Much beyond ten days and we start getting into a position where we may start doing more harm than good from a standpoint of stress on the fish. The higher temperature should certainly help to speed things up since Ich can rarely survive temperatures in this range and it speeds their life cycle up significantly. In short, the stage of life in which the parasite is vulnerable will develop much sooner than if we were treating a colder temperature environment, a pond, for example.> Thanks again for your time Tom and I hope to hear back from you when you get a chance!! <Happy to get back and keep up the excellent work. The credit really belongs to you! Tom>

Re: Please help! Gourami with Ick Emergency  - 04/04/2006 Hi Tom, <Hi, Jennifer> Not sure if you are able to help me at this point but my 2 powder blue Gouramis do not look like they are going to make it. I believe I completely got rid of Ick by following your instructions b/c I do not see anymore salt-like spots on their bodies but now I see small white patches of skin on them or maybe just areas where their beautiful blue coloring is faded into white. <Likely the result of wounds left behind after the adult parasites "dropped" off.> They are both at the top of the tank in the corner near the heater and moving slow and "tilting" to the side and they only move their fins when they see me come close by. Note that I have 6 other Gouramis-gold, opal, moonlight, and three-spot that seem to be just fine. <Glad to hear that, anyway...> Once I thought I treated the tank of Ick, I got the temp back to 80 degrees and put the carbon filter back in. I went to the pet store and they tested my water and told me my water was hard and needed to add bacteria, so I bought Stress Zyme and Stress Coat and added them in conjunction with each other into the tank. I also added a pH adjuster and new live plants to float on the top. <Jennifer, the activated carbon will probably "undo" any medications that you place in the tank. Cease the use of both for the time being.> The blues still didn't look good so I added them individually into a glass container with warm water, kosher salt, and some Ick Away. I kind of "dipped" each one in it individually and added them back to the tank. They still don't look good. Do you have any idea what else could be wrong? <Okay, let's start doing water changes - 20% every other day...starting now. Do NOT add anything more to the tank. (We need to get "control" over water conditions and the additives aren't helping.) Please, look into purchasing a water test kit. (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes a great "starter" kit and is easy to use and read.) The water changes will oxygenate the tank and control, if necessary, the toxicity of the water. We need to get your Blues under optimum conditions!> Thanks, Jennifer <Please, keep me posted. Tom>


Gourami Disease FAQ    3/27/06 Hi Robert, hope all is well with you. <Yes, Rachel, thank you> My name is Rachel Faith and I perused you and your compatriots FAQ posts regarding Gourami health with a predicament of my own and unfortunately wasn't able to find the information I was looking for so I'm hoping you'll be so gracious as to take some time and hopefully help me out. I have a 30 gallon tank that's been established for about 6 months with -2 rainbow barbs -3 Gouramis (1 moon, 1 golden, 1 "blue"-spotted Gourami) -1 male fancy guppy -3 small suckers (sorry, boyfriend bought them, don't know the type) <Perhaps Gyrinocheilus... do look this up and keep your eyes on them if so... often become aggressive> Yesterday I added 1 small golden, and 2 small blue (with the two "blue" spots, like the older one). I returned one of the blue the following day because she was too aggressive for the tank. I should have quarantined them, I know, but I decided against it because I purchased them from a very reputable fish store with strict rules about quarantining their shipments and selling fish who appear ill. <Unfortunately... Anabantoids aren't "what they used to be"... often bring in undisclosed problems that can only be addressed with quite long isolation (weeks to months...)> I know this likely was a bad move on my part, but unfortunately it's done. The three fish seemed and still seem almost unusually healthy, considering having recently been moved, based on their colouring, eating habits and behaviour. The fish that I'm concerned about is my oldest, the 4-inch blue. I noticed he became slightly lethargic a couple days before I added the new fish, but his condition has worsened dramatically today. He "rests" at the bottom of the tank and occasionally swims but him movements are jerky and the lower end of his body is sloped downward. He swims fine with his front fins but his upper fin (please forgive my lack of anatomical terminology) is clamped, as are his tail fins slightly. He seems to be using the weight (throwing it from side to side) of his back end to maneuver himself around. Something is clearly wrong with his body from midsection to back, but other than the downward slope of his torso (the appearance of which is exacerbated by the clamping of his upper and tail fins) there's no sign of injury or ailment based on physical appearance alone, even his colouring is not bad. I also have recently noticed that, mostly up against the walls of the tank, he makes a "switching" movement, throwing his front end and back end in towards each other. The movement has a compulsive appearance (like a "tick") but he doesn't do it all of the time. I have also noticed the older golden Gourami "resting" on a rock in the tank. I haven't taken any steps in terms of "treatment" but I noticed some small scratches on some of the fish earlier in the week so I added some aquarium salt and removed the filter carbon and added a dose of Melafix today. I tested the Nitrate, Nitrite, and Ammonia, and all of which are 0. Any information you may have for me is greatly appreciated. I apologize if my e-mail is somewhat rambling, I'm hoping to get whatever information in that may be of import. Thanks very much. Take care. Rachel Faith <Mmm, well... impossible to tell... even if the fish were in my presence, but the genus Trichogaster Gouramis are generally very tough once they reach this size, age... I do hope whatever is at play here is transitory. I would not move or "treat" this fish or the system given the symptoms you mention alone... not likely efficacious. But do keep an eye on all your fish for the possibility of pathogen introduction. Bob Fenner>

Re: Gourami FAQ   3/28/06   Hi Robert, <Rachel> Thanks for your reply, I realized there are a couple things I forgot to tell you, I apologize for having to write again. The Blue Gourami that I was initially concerned about is approximately 6 years old, and the golden is about four. When I checked the golden this morning, it was still "resting" and it's feces is long, white, and stringy and its tail fin had a few rather fuzzy looking red "spots" on it that look like growths or parasites. I removed it from the community tank and placed it in a "hospital tank" with tank water. I have some Pepso food leftover from about a year ago which I am hesitant to use, but I tried to feed her regular food and she won't eat, so I'll need to medicate with something that is added to the water I suppose. <The feces and other aspects of behavior do recall to me the possibility that this may well be a Hexamita/Octomita infestation... The Pepso Food should help, but I would avail myself of a one-time treatment of Flagyl/Metronidazole here as well> Again, any insight and/or advice you have would be greatly appreciated. The research I have done all seems to deal with "red spots" such as ulcers rather than what these appear as. While I've had to treat various diseases over the course of the years, I don't believe I've ever come in contact with this type and am at a loss. <This situation is actually not uncommon... unfortunately many cultured fish groups that come out/through Singapore have this protozoan complaint... active or as a practical "time bomb". You can search WWM to find many more related comments as well as treatment protocol information. Bob Fenner> Thanks again for your time, Rachel Faith

Re: Gourami FAQ    3/29/06 Hi Bob, thanks for your reply and info. I have a couple further questions. Jungle-brand "Internal Parasite Guard" is composed of: sodium chloride, <The vast majority...> Metronidazole, Acriflavine. Are you aware if this formula has a sufficient concentration of Metronidazole to treat internal parasites? <Has exceedingly little> It is all I seem to be able to get my hands on, although I have yet to contact a vet. <Good idea... even an MD...> Also, I noticed my moon and older blue Gourami with some small white tufts and mucous-like coating. I began treating the community tank with erythromycin and am feeding Pepso food as a preventative measure. I have just begun the erythromycin treatment and am wondering, If I am to use Jungle's Internal Parasite Guard, would it be wise to treat the entire tank, and should I finish the (5 day) erythromycin treatment before beginning the parasite treatment, stop it and then begin, or use them both concurrently? <I would do this latter, use both, now> Again, Thanks very much for your time and attention. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>


Betta Condition    3/27/06 Hi Guys, <Melissa> I have been reading your posts on your site and have visited several sites concerning Betta illnesses. My concern is my poor little Betta looks like a balloon. In all other aspects he is perfectly healthy (although just tonight I did notice some tattering of the pectoral fin on his right side). He lives in a ph balanced 10 gallon tank kept between 75 and 80 degrees F, with lots of false greenery, a castle, and a couple of pieces of slate to break up the flow from the 3 inch bubble bar and the filter (which I have determined needs to have a sponge sock put over it). Strangely enough, my Betta is afraid of bubbles if they aren't broken up. He just flips out. Before he lived in this environment <Natural... fear of the presence of another male> he lived in a 3 gallon tank where he did not do much of anything. Once he moved in here he was very ecstatic, but now I am worried because he looks like he could be a Macy's Day parade balloon. He still wants his food he comes to the top waiting for his pellets or bloodworms like usual (who says you cannot train fish?). <Not I> He still swims around like a mad fishie... especially when my cat decides he wants a drink from the flowing filter on the back of the tank ( which is a no-no but do cats listen?) <Only to themselves> So that is some thing that concerns me could the swollen belly be from something that was in the cats saliva that didn't get filtered out? <Doubtful... the condition, Ascites, "Bloat", Dropsy... can be caused by a multitude of influences... environmental, nutritional, genetic, bacterial, parasitic...> Or is he just constipated? <Possibly> What do I do if he does have dropsy? <Treat it with Epsom salt and a antimicrobial...> Where can I get that medication? <Fish stores most likely... the Net/etailers if you have time> I am watching him swim around right now happy as a lark and it is very strange to me that having that much pressure on ones internals wouldn't be causing more problems. He is about the size of a marble. This is not the first Betta I have ever had. The others I have had for all over two years and he is not even in my possession one yet. This is disheartening. Another question everyone else is talking about bubble nests... I do not believe any of my Bettas have ever made one is there a reason for that? <Perhaps no "releasing factor" (other Bettas about... try exposing this fish to a mirror for a few hours...). Bob Fenner> Melissa Ann Hawkins Cline Mount Vernon, Washington p.s. Sorry I forgot to sign the first email. <No worries>


Pale Gourami   3/25/06 Dear WWM, <Leslie>     My Gourami is in really bad shape.  I fully expected to find it dead this morning.  My husband insisted on taking it out of my daughter's tank and putting it in a bowl.  He is trying to treat it with Aquarisol. <Copper... for what reason?> I have been doing more reading and finding articles on Mycobacterium.  I have not seen any other fish with the same symptoms as the two Gouramis.  I have no idea what to do.  The Gourami is now so pale the stomach is pretty easily seen and looks like it has black spots on it.  I do not know if this means anything, but I thought it might help.  I am certain the fish cannot be saved, but I would like to make sure my other fish are not in any danger of this.      Thanks,   Leslie <Les... is this the extent of your message? Does the information below pertain to the current situation? There's not enough here to react to... Please read on WWM re Gouramis... Systems, Disease... and send more data. Bob Fenner>
Re: pale Gourami   - 03/26/2006 Dear WWM:    <Leslie>   The first message is at the bottom.  I did not receive a reply, so I added the top message and sent the entire message.  I am sorry for any confusion. <No worries. Thank you for the clarification> I was trying to keep things together.  I will attach the pictures to this message.  The fish died during the night.  I have no idea what my husband wanted to accomplish with copper.  I told him not to add the medicine, because it did not treat the problem with the fish.      <The copper itself could be a significant part of the loss here>   I have read your links on Gouramis and the problems with the fish sound a lot like Wasting. <A general, symptomatic term... but, of what cause/s?>   We have had the fish for about 3 months and was fine until recently.  It became pale and would hide on the bottom under the decoration or behind a plant.  It rarely moved around and would not eat.  Its' fins looked ragged, but I didn't know if that was a symptom or maybe my other fish nipping at it while it was sick. <Bingo> Based on what I have read on your website and others, I am leaning toward Mycobacterium as a diagnosis. <Possibly... though other root causes could exist instead, in addition. I would guess Octomita/Hexamita first here... but w/o microscopic observation, possibly culture, there is no way to tell> I am hoping you will disagree.  The other fish in the tank seem fine, so I do not know if I need to treat my tanks or even sterilize the tanks.   I do not even know what to do other than to soak everything in salt water.       I am sorry for any confusion.      Leslie <Once again re my spiel re Gouramis period. Many of these are imported with profound parasite fauna... and unless (and they don't) wholesalers, distributors go through extensive and somewhat expensive quarantine and prophylactic treatment... these fishes go on to having real problems, and yes, unfortunately spreading them to other fishes. I do wish for the "good old days" here, when many such fish groups were produced in the U.S. (mainly Florida) and the incidence of such Zoonoses, anomalous mortality was greatly less. Bob Fenner>

Re: pale Gourami, use of Flagyl    3/27/06 Thank you so much for your reply.  It was extremely helpful.  I had not even thought of Octomita/Hexamita.  I have been reading more about them on your website and other sites. <A too-common, recurring scourge in the trade> I am thinking of treating my fish and my daughter's fish with an anti-parasite fish food containing Flagyl as a precaution. I hesitate to treat my entire tank water and all, since Flagyl is also an anti-biotic. <Mmm, yes... but please do a bit more reading, re-considering. You need to treat all systems/water/fishes to deal with "once and for all"... and Metronidazole does not generally interfere (too much) with other microbial processes (like nitrification)> I do not want to have to re-cycle my tank if I can avoid it.  I also want to make sure I do not have to worry about her snail (Ampullaria) with the medicated food. <No> We just did a 25% water change on both tanks and vacuumed the gravel, so if I am going to treat something I would prefer to start it soon.      Thanks for all your help,   Leslie <A very good idea. Bob Fenner>

Re: pale Gourami    3/27/06 Thanks for the update.  I bought the only Anti-parasite medication for fish I can get here in the middle of nowhere.  It is a Jungle brand medication containing several medications including Metronidazole, Diflubenzuron, Acriflavine and Praziquantel.  I started treating both tanks tonight.  I hope this works!!!!      Thanks for your knowledge and patience.   Leslie <I'm rooting' for you! Bob Fenner>


Snakeskin Gourami Died   3/16/06 Can you tell me the cause of my snakeskin Gourami's death?  He was laying on his side in the bottom of the tank and his tail was slightly above the rest of his body.  When he tried to swim he would end up vertical with his nose down.  There was nothing visibly wrong with him like sores, bloating, etc. so I don't know what was wrong with him.  The only recent changes I had made to the tank were a 20% water change the previous day, trimming plants, cleaning the gravel, and re-adding a piece of bogwood that I  had taken out a few weeks earlier.  All of the other fish are fine and nothing was significantly different about the tank.  The water stats weren't perfect but they were good.  Why did he die?  My snakeskin Gourami ("Shark") was full grown and pretty old, although I don't know exactly how old.  How long do snakeskin Gourami's live? <A few to several years> Could he have just died from old age? <Possibly a contributing influence, yes> The only thing I could find with similar symptoms was fish constipation.  I thought this was unlikely because I hadn't fed him the previous day (how could he be constipated?), but I could find nothing else wrong so I put him in water with Epsom salts for 10 minutes.  I didn't think it could make him much worse so it was worth a try.  He died when I transferred him from the bucket with the salts back to the qt tank.  His snakeskin markings faded and he became very white.  Shark was my favorite fish and was the fish that really got me into keeping an aquarium.  I know he was pretty old even though I didn't have him for the majority of his lifetime.  He started laying on the tank and died all within one day and was my first fish to die in my 20gal tank.  Can you tell me what caused this, what I should've done, and if any of my other fish are at risk? ~Kim <Can't tell, don't know... perhaps an internal difficulty... genetic predisposition... Sorry to read/realize your loss. Bob Fenner>


Mystery Wasting Disease...  Help...!   3/10/06 I have a sick tank.  It's 55 gallon, all of my parameters are good: ammonia-0, nitrite-0, nitrates 20 - 40, <I'd keep under 20 ppm> ph-7.6.  Water temp 78 f.  Planted. UGF and jet heads. This tank has been up since last summer and has been extremely stable.  I had one of my original Gouramis die a couple of weeks ago.  I have no idea why she went, she was a red (honey sunset?) Gourami, and the only "sign" of illness she showed was losing all color the night before she died.  She was truly ashen and looked very "old."  Within a week of her death, her partner developed dropsy. <Mmm, well, this species, Colisa lalia, does have some standard "problems" nowadays...> He is still with us, but not doing well, so far he hasn't really responded to treatment.  Just a little...  He is in a 2.5 gal QT. Since he has been in quarantine, I lost one Bloodfin whose body became very sunken and bullet shaped, head very bony.  Best way to describe it is total emaciation.  Another Bloodfin has fallen sick with this, I unfortunately had to put him in with Gourami due to lack of another QT tank and in hopes of him responding to the treatment.  This morning I have another Bloodfin and neon that are showing early signs of this mysterious disease.  Fading colors, body shape thinning, hiding in plants, not eating. My LFS will give me some advice after seeing a water sample but not until then.  I can't make it there before the weekend. Any ideas? Thank you so much, Mary. <Mmm... your system may have a Mycobacterial infection... the same genus of microbe that causes TB in humans... I do encourage you to read: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=treating+mycobacterium+in+aquarium+fishes&spell=1 and consider a treatment with an efficacious antibiotic. Bob Fenner>


New Gourami Health   03/9/06 Hi, First let me say your website is great and has been really helpful. Unfortunately I am having a bit of trouble with a new fish and thought you may be able to help.  I have a 50/50 terrarium in a 15 gallon tall tank.  The water side is a bit over 3.5 gallons and planted loosely. I was told that this would be acceptable for a pair of dwarf Gourami's and had read the same, but if this is not so they can be moved, just prefer to have them in this tank. <Are they both males?  I would give that a categorical no.  My two male Dwarfs manage to find each other and nip at each other in a 55 from time to time...  Perhaps a single Dwarf would be better.  Even better would be a single Honey Gourami or Betta.> It is a single pair but after adding them they don't seem to be doing great, I have a Hydor exit 250 thermofilter in the tank and afraid it maybe to powerful, do these guys prefer water with movement or more standing? <Like most bubble nesting Anabantoids, they tend to prefer standing water.> Right now I do have him in quarantine with a slow drip from my healthy 29 gallon tank, hoping it will help him out some.  Is there any suggestions you can make?  I can not for the life of me figure out what is wrong with this beautiful fish and I want him to do well.  Thank you so much for your help. BTW Inhabitants: Land: -4 Fire Bellied Toads Water: -3 Bumble Bee Shrimp -2 Cherry <Cherry shrimp?  You might be overstocked just with the shrimp!> -1 Moss Ball -1 Small Mondo Grass -1 Micro Sword -Small bunch Frog Bit Ammonia = 0 Nitrite = 0 Nitrate = 20 ppm Hardness = 120 ppm pH = 7.2 Alkalinity = 180 ppm <These all look good.> Again thanks for any help you can provide. Greg Anderson <Jason>

Re: New Gourami Health  - 03/09/2006 The Gourami's are male and female, and maybe the water movement is the issue. <Water movement probably is.  See if you can come up with a way of making the water spill in more gently, or use some natural decor (I like slate) to redirect the flow so there are dead spots.  The Gouramis don't particularly mind living in a tank with a light current, they just need a few places where they can get away from it.  Regarding the two Gouramis, even though one is female, I still strongly suggest keeping only one in there.  3.5 gallons of water isn't much.> As for the shrimp they are all really small, do they get much bigger?  I ask this because my LFS told me they stayed small and that was my reason for picking those two species. <Both get to be about an inch.>   Thanks again, especially for the timely response. <Don't mention it, Jason N.>


Opaline Gourami ... lumpy, spotted?  2/24/06 Hello WWM Crew~ Just brought home 3 Opaline Gouramis...and even though I really gave them the once over before I left the store...I'm now noticing a white spot or small lump on one of the guys  feelers/whiskers.  Would like to know if this is anything and what I would need to do. I have 3-2 inch Opalines in a 12 gal tank to quarantine the tests are: 7.2ph-0 amonia-0 nitrites-5.0  nitrates temp about 78 Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. <I suspect that you have little to worry about, probably just scarring.  A Gourami's ventral fins are notoriously good at getting nipped at, damaged on decor, filters, etc.  Keep an eye on it, if you are very concerned, you may wish to send in a photo of the troubled area.  Gouramis are quite sensitive to Flexibacter Columnaris, a bacterial infection that looks like a grey cotton or fungus.> I would also like to give thanks for the help I had gotten on previous posts...I'm still getting my feet wet, as it were...and the support and this site really mean a lot! Thanks, Judy <Jason N.>


Help Needed! Sick Gourami  - 2/15/2006 Hi! <Hello> I have a 20 gallon tank with 11 tetras (black skirt, white hi-fin, phantom, and bleeding heart), 1 Plecostomus, and 2 dwarf Gouramis (recently added 2-3 weeks ago). I change approx 20-30% of the water every week or two. The tank has been set up for about 4 months now, and I keep it between 78-80 F. Both Gouramis were healthy/happy until yesterday. In the couple weeks I've had them I noticed that both Gouramis blow bubbles at the top of the water and they are not as active as the tetras. All the fish also seem to get along fine, I have not had issues with any being too aggressive.  Last night one of the Gouramis was hiding for a couple hours, which had me really freaked out because it seemed as though he totally disappeared (this has not happened before... <Does happen with this species though> and turned me into a very stressed fish-mom)! When he/she finally came out of hiding I noticed some very odd symptoms. The abdominal area was very swollen. Also there was a somewhat dark gray discoloration beginning under the mouth, covering part of the lower abdominal area, and also on the front half of the bottom fin. The Gourami was also barely moving at all, seemed to have difficulty breathing, and rested on the bottom gravel (rocks) for a long time. I was told by the fish store that both were males, <Colisa lalia? Easy enough to tell apart... males are much more colorful, have longer, pointed unpaired fins...> but this made me wonder if this one could be pregnant. <Yes, possibly "with eggs"> I was up till at least 2am researching this online to try to find some answers. I did not come up with much. The best advice I found was to add aquarium salt (which I did) <The Tetras don't "like" salt... will tolerate a little> and raise the temperature a little bit. Please tell me what is wrong with my fish, and also what I can do to make sure my other fish stay healthy and do not get what this fish has. I have not needed a quarantine tank before, but in a few hours I will be going to buy one and whatever else you recommend. <... not enough information here. Have you read through WWM re Gouramis? http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anabantoids.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Thank you in advance. Heather S.

Re: Help Needed! Sick Gourami  - 02/16/2006 Thank you for the response! Both my Gouramis are definitely males. Before my last message I thoroughly looked through the WWM site, and did not find an answer. But I did learn that Gouramis are known to possibly contain diseases and should be quarantined first, which I will do in the future. <Good> After work yesterday I took my sickly fishy to my LFS (I am assuming that this is used as local fish store). I found out that he has dropsy. :(  I am not familiar with that disease but assume that it is a type of fungus. <Mmm, not a fungus, or related... is a condition due to fluids leaving cells for various reasons... increasing the intracellular pressure in the body... in turn resulting at times in a sort of "pinecone" appearance... due to scales sticking out... Often "caused" by internal bacterial complaints... not primary... These in turn caused by... water quality, stress, nutritional... inputs, deficiencies> Is there anything special I should know about dropsy? They told me it is not contagious <... depends on root cause/s. But Colisa Gouramis are very susceptible to such complaints> and gave me Maracyn-Two in the powder form. I began adding that to the water yesterday. Is there anything else that can be done to help him feel better faster (special diet or anything at all)? <Please use the Google search tool on WWM, using the terms "Dropsy, Gourami"...> Their normal diet is flakes and brine shrimp. I guess I just want him to hurry up and get well and not die on me. I am glad you have a site like this, it really helps new fish owners! Heather S. <Keep reading, searching. Bob Fenner>


Dwarf Gourami swimming troubles   2/14/06 We have had a pair of powder blue dwarf Gouramis for about a month in our established community 55 gallon aquarium.  One of the two has been swimming head down/tail up for about a week now.  No signs of disease, good color, and he is eating well.  He can pursue flake food and evade the other slightly aggressive Gourami when necessary, but it appears that his equilibrium position is head down / tail up at all other times.  Water quality is good, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 15 nitrate, 7.8 pH, 78 F temp.  We do 10-15% weekly water changes.  Other occupants are 5 Serpae tetra, 5 gold barbs, 5 zebra Danios, 5 Otos, and 4 Cory cats. Any ideas on the cause of the dwarf Gourami's strange swimming?  Should we be concerned?  Any actions we should be taking other than just waiting and watching closely? Thanks for all your help, past and future. <Colisa lalia do have more than a Gourami species share of such "complaints"... perhaps this problem is genetic or "just" developmental in nature. Could be its swim bladder was damaged somehow in handling. It is doubtful that the root cause here is "catching", but also that there is much you can do to promote a cure. Your system and stocking sound/read fine... I would keep feeding this fish as you have... and possibly isolate and treat it (with Epsom Salt and a Furan compound (Nitrofuranace would be my choice) if it should start appearing dropsical (bloated, with protruding scales). Often times this condition spontaneously remits. Bob Fenner>


Parasitized? Gourami question   2/9/06 Hi, <Howdy> I have a question about a few Gouramis that my boyfriend had purchased a few weeks ago - when they first were put in the tank, I noticed that one of the Gouramis (V) had whitish translucent raised circles on its head, approximately 3 mm in diameter.  In the center of each round growth there was a dark brownish line running down the center, but not extending all the way to the edges.  Both appear to have a gel-type texture.  Last night, one of the growths fell off and was presumably floating around the tank, though we couldn't see it.  However, this morning V no longer had any bumps on the head, BUT both bumps seem to have migrated to another fish (K)!  Can you tell me what this might be, and whether it needs to be treated? Thanks. <Might be coincidental... just markings... but could be an external (crustacean) parasite. A DTHP or Dimilin-based remedy will kill this pronto. Put these terms in WWM/Google search tool. Bob Fenner>


There's a hole in my Gourami   1/21/06 Hi Crew <Jody> I have two blue Gouramis in a 90 litre tank along with 3 tiger barbs, 2 angel fish, some neon tetras (numbers reducing daily), 2 sharks, 2 algae eaters, 3 coloured widows and 2 coolie loaches. <Going to be a bit crowded with growth> One of the Gouramis (to be known as Sharon) has developed a 'tumour' on her right side, just behind the gills, over the past two days. This lump has now turned into a hole, she is still eating and still behaving normally. There doesn't appear to be anything coming out of this hole, no fungus surrounding it and no parasites that I can see. It appeared quite suddenly and is getting progressively worse. We had plants in there, but for some reason they turned the water brown and have since removed them and completed a 50% water change. I've been reading your site to try to determine what the actual problem is, but I'm stuck.  The local fish shop has said that she may have been attacked by the other fish, but they have been happily living together for nearly 6 months. Is this possible? <Possible, but not likely. Unfortunately, Gouramis, especially Trichogaster as here (as well as most Colisa species) are "not what they used to be"... are prone to such tumorous growths> They get fed community frozen food, consisting of blood worms and the like and flakes every morning. I've now QT'd her from the rest for fear that if it is a disease that it may spread or that the others may end up killing her. Sharon has always been shy and like hiding behind the coral, but now I'm worried. Any advice you could give me to save my girl would be appreciated. Thanks Jody South Australia <Is likely oncogenic (not bacterial, parasitic), and nothing medicine-wise is advised. The other two prongs of health, providing good environment, nutrition are your avenues of sustaining this life. Bob Fenner>


Gourami missing tail, homonyms    1/19/06 I have a Dwarf Honey Gourami in a 10 gallon tank with a Platy, two Zebra   Danios, a guppy and an apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata I  believe).  This morning my Gourami's tail was completely missing.  All the tank perimeters were fine <And the parameters I take it> and I just want to know which  fish would have done this? I thought that it would have been the Gourami that would have attached <Or maybe attacked> one of the other fish, because I see him chasing them  sometimes.  Also, how can I treat this injury and will his tail grow back  at all? Thanks, Joe D. <Could be something other than aggression... but perhaps the Danios... You might try adding salt... Covered on WWM. Bob Fenner>


Side Floating Dwarf Gouramis... not a new variety  12/18/05 Hi, I have 2 powder blue dwarf Gouramis that seem unwell.  They were in a 10 gallon tank with 2 other dwarf Gouramis (a regular and flame) which were almost twice as big as they are, 2 Otos and a golden zebra loach.  About 3 weeks in the tank, one of the powder blues started floating on its side and couldn't find its balance. <Not good> It seemed very weak and would rest on the bottom of the tank a lot.  It was still able to eat though.  I notice a few nips in its tail.  A few weeks later it started to regain its balance a little but was never able to swim again as it used to.  Its pretty skinny and it swims with its fins and tail clamped.  The other one seemed to be doing fine.  But then about a couple of weeks ago, it started to do the same thing.  Floating sideways and not being able to swim about.  Sometimes I think its dying, but then it keeps breathing and is still alive today.  I thought maybe the other two big dwarf Gouramis were beating up on them so two days ago, I moved them to my 29 gallon tank, which has peaceful fish, (5 black skirt tetras, 1 molly, 1 platy, 1 Ancistrus, 7 cardinal tetras).  Today I found them flailing along, maybe worse than before. The other Gouramis didn't seem to be affected by this ailment even though the first one started the side floating about 3 months ago. What do you think is wrong with them and do you think they will ever get better? <Is likely either consequent to damage from shipping/handling (gas bladder problem), or an internal infection. Have you had these two more recently than the other two Colisa lalia? They're all the same species...> Can you please help me?   I really appreciate this service you have provided for all kinds of aquarium enthusiasts.  And I like to read what you've advised others too.  Thank you for your time. <L> <Mmm... well, there are treatments for the internal complaint... especially if they're feeding... I would try a one-dose treatment of Flagyl, aka Metronidazole... in their food (details re are posted on WWM)... If damaged otherwise, it's a matter of waiting/hoping they'll self-improve. Bob Fenner>


Re: Side Floating Dwarf Gouramis Dear Bob Fenner, <Lydia> Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.  My 2 fish died shortly after I sent the message.  I should have noticed earlier that their tail fins were rotting which I first thought was due to the nipping from the other 2 Colisa lalia, but I noticed they were more than just nips.  Anyway, I read somewhere that fin rot can be caused by stress, <Is a contributing factor, for sure> (which I think came on from the constant bullying) and that imbalance can be a symptom of fin rot. Anyway, thanks for your help and for the tip on the medication on internal damage. <L> <Peace, life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>


My Gourami is dying  12/14/05 Hi Bob, <Jason> I came across your site tonight and I thought I would ask a few questions. <Okay> I am relatively inexperienced although I have had some fish for over a year now. I currently have a 20 gallon tank with a pretty large Plecostomus. We also have a Dalmatian Lyre Molly and a Long Skirt Black Fin Tetra. Over Thanksgiving out neighbor way overfed the fish. <If only for a few days, best to not feed, rely on others...> The water was toxic when we returned, although all the fish were alive. I immediately did a fairly large water change. Within a couple of days, the Tetra had a puffy white growth on the tail and we thought we saw a few spots on the Molly. We figured ick or fungus. <Likely "just environmental", not parasitic, pathogenic> I treated with Rid-Ich.  A day later the Gourami stopped eating and began getting air from about the water surface. <Most likely from the medicine...> I treated the fish for 2 more days. The other fish fed normally, but the Gourami has continued to decline. I have moved the Gourami to a hospital tank and did nothing for a day. The condition continued to deteriorate. The Tetra has seemed to heal. The fluffy white growth on the tail has disappeared. The tail section after the growth also fell off. I will continue to treat with rid-Ich for a few more days. <I would not. Hold off> Now, the Golden Gourami seems to have balance problems and is unable to maintain a straight posture. He curls his body at the top of the water and floats on his side. He also curls when not moving. It also looks like his belly is swollen, so I thought perhaps Dropsy. I have been treating with Marycyn2 for 3 days. No improvement. The poor fish has not eaten in more than a week and looks pretty miserable. I have kept the water as clean as possible, removed the activated carbon and test daily. Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite do not show up. <Good> What else can I do? <I would try Epsom Salt... a level teaspoon per five gallons of actual volume of water> I'm starting to feel bad for this poor fish. How much longer should I wait? I have tried to get him to eat flakes as well as blood worms. He shows absolutely no interest in anything. I've been reading about salt??? Other treatments? PLEASE HELP!!! <Do administer the Epsom... a tried and true, and safe remedy here. Bob Fenner>  

Re: My Gourami is dying  12/17/05 I'm treating with salt and he ate some food this morning for the first time in almost 2 weeks! <Yay!> I also stopped all other treatment on the other fish and they are looking excellent. <Ah, good> A couple more questions, how long should I treat the Gourami with Salt? <A couple of weeks> Also, should I remove activated carbon? <Mmm, no... not in this case. The carbon will not remove the salt...> I am cleaning the water daily before I add salt, doing a 30-40% water change. Is that the best way to do it? <Yes. Bob Fenner>


Gourami at the Surface, but not Doing the Anabantoid Thing... 11/28/05 Hi <Hello! John here answering your query this evening> I have recently downsized from a 2ft tank into a corner tank. I used existing water & plants etc so although a new tank the chemical balance should be fine. <unfortunately the majority of biological filtration takes place in the filter, not the water. The plants will help, but unless you transferred your established biological filter media and/or substrate, your new tank may not be cycled> I have added a new dwarf blue Gourami to the existing community and it is spending all of its time at the surface. The platies & Neons are fine and the pump seems to be working fine too. The temperature got a little high so I have dropped it slightly - could this increase in temperature be a factor? <It is hard to say without knowing by how much and how fast> Also the pump/filter I have seems to have a tiny amount of water in the air tube that connects to a little twisting gadget that allows you to increase aeration. It seems to be working fine but am worried that the water is somehow impairing the oxygenation. Any ideas? <I'm having difficulty visualizing the arrangement. Is this an undergravel filter? If so, the air pump is for powering the filter and is only very marginally responsible for oxygenation. No worries here - however, if the air pump is below water level, you will need to use a one-way check valve to ensure the water cannot flow back down into the pump. If you are concerned about oxygenation, then you could add more flow to the tank by use of a powerhead> Thanks Frances. <Given the circumstances, I would test for ammonia and nitrites, and be prepared for your tank cycling. If none of the other fish are showing symptoms, it could be a health issue with the Gourami specifically, but my first thoughts would be that this is likely a water quality issue and you should look for answers there first. Best regards from Shanghai, John>


White bumps, not eating...  11/14/05 Hi crew, <Howdy> A couple of weeks ago I wrote y'all asking about salt treatments for what I thought might be the beginnings of an Ich outbreak in a 12g Fw tank-- I'd noticed couple of salt-like spots on the fins of one of my fish. I was advised that Epsom salts might work, so I added about 1.3 TBSP at the rate of 1/2 tsp per day. I stopped when the GH, which I normally maintain at 5-6 dGH, had risen to 12 dGH. The Ich-like spots cleared up within a few days, but then I noticed a small white bump on one of my Colisa lalias, at the base of the dorsal fin-- almost like a pimple. <Good description> I thought this might be a result of skin irritation due to the Epsom, or maybe even Lymphocystis. Two days later, the white bump was gone, but there was now a small hole in the dorsal fin, right above the spot where the white bump had been! This seemed unusual-- the fact that the white bump disappeared so quickly, and that its disappearance coincided exactly (time-wise, location-wise) with this small hole in the fin-- I started thinking maybe external parasite... <Mmm, likely so... or one that was subcutaneous> About a week after the white bump disappeared, the Colisa more or less stopped eating. This was 3 days ago. He'll come up at feeding time and nibble a couple of pellets, or pick desultorily at an algae wafer, but he's hardly eating anything. He's also spending a lot more time resting at the bottom of the tank than usual. Other than that I see no more white bumps, no more fin deterioration, no other unusual symptoms or behaviors. There is now a similar white bump on one of my platies, at the base of the anal fin. <...> Conditions in the tank are/have been very good: NH3=0, NO2=0, NO3<10ppm, pH=7.0 and stable. I've been gradually lowering the Epsom concentration with a 10% water change every 2 or 3 days.  The only possible clue here is that a Betta in a *different* tank has now stopped eating for the past couple of days, with no other evident symptoms, and w/ similarly good water conditions. I don't swap water between the tanks but I do use the same implements (droppers, tongs, hands) in both tanks. Any ideas as to what's going on here? Thanks, -Dave <I do hope (and share your concern) that this is not something pathogenic/"catching"... Is the Betta in a system that is heated? The seasonal cooler weather could explain its behavior. Platies and Gouramis do not "share" much of the same internal protozoan or "worm" parasitic complaints... Is the Gourami by itself... do better in pairs, groups by species... I would just continue to observe (unless you have a microscope?) your fishes at this point... as treating them "generally" is much more likely harmful than not. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Re: Betta, white bumps, not eating...  11/15/05 Hi Bob, <Dave> The Betta is in a heated/filtered tank, 78F. What's odd is that he has an appetite but is rejecting the food. He comes up to his usual feeding spot when I approach the tank, sucks in the pellets-- I feed him those Hikari Betta pellets-- but then spits them out, ingests/spits a few times and then gives up. I tried feeding him some bloodworms, which I usually do about once a week, and he did eat those. I was thinking maybe I'd gotten him "spoiled" on bloodworms <Happens> but I only feed them to him 1x week, and his rejection of the pellets was sudden, so I don't think that's the problem here.  I wonder if he might have some condition that would make it difficult for him to chew/swallow the pellets, whereas the bloodworms are smaller and softer. But what condition would cause this? <Mmm, a long-shot, but possibly damage from jumping, bumping into something hard... even a longer shot, a congenital defect developing...> I see no evidence of mouth fungus, inflammation.  I do have a M/F pair of Colisas. The M is the one I was referring to below, the F has had a persistent mild case of HLLD (likely due to stress, she gets chased by pretty much every other critter in the tank) but is otherwise healthy and eating.  <I see> If the white bump/hole in the fin of the M Colisa was caused by a subcutaneous parasite, then what would explain the lack of appetite? <Yes, could> Are there parasites that are both internal and external?  <Yes! Not uncommon for such "cycles" to include a "rupturing phase" to distribute new infectious stages> If this seems likely, then should I try feeding him food soaked in Flagyl or some other antiparasitic? <Worth trying, yes> Thanks for your help! -Dave <A pleasure my friend. Bob Fenner> 


Treating Columnaris in Dwarf Gourami - 11/09/2005 Crew, <Hello, Jason.> Yesterday I purchased two male Dwarf Gouramis who currently reside in a cycled QT of 10 gallons. To my dismay, when I checked in on them this morning one of them clearly had white fuzz/residue on its side. <Oh, dear....> After a bit of research I concluded that this fuzz was likely Flexibacter Columnaris, <Entirely possible.> a bacterial infection that, as per my understanding, causes fin rot, body rot and mouth "fungus".  <Essentially.> Now, I have a Betta that susceptible to fin rot, so I guess I am well acquainted with Columnaris. <Mm, possibly.... there are many other things that can cause fin rot.... bacteria and others.> My reaction was to treat both Gouramis with Tetracycline.  <IMO, a good reaction.> My fears were confirmed later on when the white fuzz developed into red sores on the side of the sick Gourami. Now both Gouramis are in the corner, panting near the surface of the water. Is there anything to be done aside from Tetracycline and hope for the best?  <Tetracycline is a good option. I would continue treatment with this for up to two weeks.... Kanamycin sulfate would be another good option. Perhaps my first choice would be Oxytetracycline in food. Be monitoring ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate closely; maintain optimal water quality. It would also be a good idea at this time to increase aeration to aid these fish in breathing a little easier.> -Jason <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>


Gourami Behaviour - Injury? - 10/26/2005 Dear WWM, <Sabrina with you, today.> Can you tell me what is happening with my Gourami? <We can try.> It started swimming like this this afternoon. It stays in a spot and then starts swimming back and forth in a kind of static motion (I've attached a small video of it to this email). <I see.... If an image is worth a thousand words, a video is worth 10,000. Thank you for this.> Do you think it might be trying to attract the attention of one of the other Gouramis (have got three of them)? <Mm, I don't think so. If this behaviour is constant, I fear there may be something wrong.> Do you think it may be sick?  <Perhaps injured.> I've checked the pH of the tank and it's around 7.5 and the temperature 27c.  <Ammonia? Nitrite? Nitrate? Test, and maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.> I've also go two Angel fish, 3 red tailed sharks, 3 Neons, 4 black widows, I think 3 bleeding heart tetras (look like peach coloured black widows) and a black tetra and they all seem to get along fine.  <I could not tell from the video how large the system is, but it seems to me to be too heavily stocked. My suspicion is that one of the other fish (likely another Gourami) injured this one.> Do you think it may be pregnant? <No.... I don't believe so. I would remove this fish to a separate quarantine system for observation for right now.> Thanks, -Chris Skjoedt. <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>


Girthy Gourami 10/25/05 I purchased a female gold Gourami and I think she's pregnant! Not sure yet though. Anyways, if she is pregnant, what do I do? There is no bubble nest because she didn't mate with my Gourami. Should I try to get one of my male gold/blue Gourami to mate with her? If yes, how do I breed them, every article says something different. Please answer. Yours, Fish Lover =) <If you profess to be a fish lover, you should have knowledge, trust of your knowing of these animals... Your one fish may be "egg-bound", and placing a male with it might indeed result in spawning... but it is more likely "constipated"... from mis-feeding, poor water quality, internal complaint/disease... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anabantoids.htm and the linked files above... Know thyself (and your aquatic friends), then love. Bob Fenner>    

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