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FAQs on Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives Nutritional Disease

FAQs on Gourami Disease: Gourami Disease 1, Gourami Disease 2, Gourami Disease 3, Gourami Disease 4,
FAQs on Gourami Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, 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:  Gouramis 1, Gouramis 2, Gourami Identification, Gourami Behavior, Gourami Compatibility, Gourami Selection, Gourami Systems, Gourami Feeding, Gourami Reproduction, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish,

My Kissing Gourami is losing weight 03/04/2008 Hi, My pink kissing Gourami is loosing weight quickly. I have a 20 gallon aquarium with two kissing Gouramis (6 months), two gold Gouramis (3 months), one fire Gourami (3 months), a leopard bush fish (5 days), and a Chinese algae eater (three months) (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri). Everyone is under 2 inches except the algae eater he is about 2 1/2 inches. About a week ago I noticed one of my kissing Gouramis was loosing weight and yesterday I realized he was really skinny. Every so often he will go to the back corner of the aquarium and sit on the bottom. His eating habits haven't changed and I know that he eats well because he eats on a separate side of the tank than the other fish. He is not being picked on, and other than sitting on the bottom at times he's not lethargic. I have a 20 gallon Penguin 100 Bio-Wheel Power Filter, two 20 gallon AquaClear submersible heaters (it gets cold in my house and one was having trouble keeping up), and two aerators. It is pretty well planted with a big rock that has caves in it where the fire Gourami and bush fish like to hang out. I use API aquarium salt (1 tablespoon per 5 gallons), and one a week I use API Stress Coat and API Stress Zyme. My ammonia is 0, my nitrate is 0, my nitrite is 0, and my pH varies between 7 and 7.6. I clean my aquarium every other week and change 25% of the water using only distilled water. I alternate my feeding between TetraMin Tropical Flakes and frozen blood worms. I have had trouble with dwarf Gouramis in the past, but this seems to be a good group that gets along well with one another. I really love my aquarium and my fish and if I'm doing something well I want to know so I can fix it. Thank you for any help you can give me. Sorry if it's way to much information. Ryan <Hello Ryan. First let's be clear that your tank is overstocked with the wrong species. Gyrinocheilus aymonieri gets to about 25 cm and is a completely psychotic, non-community fish once mature. If there is a fish I would BAN from the trade, this would be it! Responsible for more terrified community fish than anything else I can think of. A nasty, nasty fish. The Pink Kissing Gourami Helostoma temminckii is another big fish, potentially reaching 30 cm, though 15-20 cm is more typical in captivity. While a tolerable community fish in jumbo systems, it simply isn't viable in a 20-gallon tank. It needs a tank something like 4 times bigger. Secondly, Helostoma temminckii is a very difficult fish to maintain in aquaria; it is at least partially a plankton feeder, and it needs to be fed a lot of food, more or less all the time. In big tanks this isn't so much a problem because there's enough filter capacity to compensate for that, as well as algae-covered surfaces for grazing. But in small tanks if you provide the fish enough food, you'll likely find water quality plummet. When kept in mixed communities they also tend to lose out at feeding time because they can't wolf down food as fast as the other fish. Seriously, they need to be getting 3-4 meals per day, and those meals need to be good quality algae-based flake foods. There must also be constant supply of green foods, such as blanched curly lettuce (not iceberg!) or Sushi Nori; tinned peas may be take, too. While it is possible your fish has some other "wasting disease", my gut feeling is that it is simply starving to death. You seem to be suggesting one specimen is fine but the other one is thin; because males are bullies, it is possible that the weaker fish doesn't get access to food as often as it needs. One last thing: why are you using distilled water in the aquarium? STOP! This is very bad for your fish. Just use plain vanilla tap water (not water from a domestic water softener) with suitable dechlorinator. There is no need to add salt. Cheers, Neale.>

One skinny Gourami, one bloated Gourami   3/3/08 Hello All! I'll try to be as concise as possible, I have a 40 gallon freshwater aquarium. The occupants are 4 adult platies, about 6 juvenile platies, 1 Opaline Gourami (the other is in sick bay), a Pleco and a Chinese algae eater (it was originally in a 10 gallon, but I knew it needed more room so I moved him to the larger tank). All water conditions are optimal, I do 25% water changes for 3 weekends , then a 50% on the fourth. I purchased these 2 Gouramis about 6 weeks ago, put them in the quarantine tank, and well, the bigger one started attacking the smaller one non-stop. Wouldn't let it eat, etc...(turns out they are both males) After a week of this I put the larger one in the 40 gallon. (I know, a little too soon) I feed them flake food most of the time, but every 3-4 days I give them blood worms and brine shrimp. I also add algae disks for the algae eaters, which the other fish eat on, too. Last week I noticed both Gouramis had long stringy feces (no color to it, just transparent looking), so long it would get caught on their feelers. Now the larger of the two is bloated, but the smaller one looks normal (I've managed to get him to eat some Tetracycline), but still no visible bowel movement. The larger isn't eating at all, but is still bloated, and I haven't seen any bowel movements from him in about 3 days, either. My question is: Is he just bloated/constipated, this all seemed to happen after the last time I gave them the blood worms and brine shrimp. Or is it more likely a bacterial infection? I've looked up Hexamita, and that is another place where I'm finding some confusion. Some sites list it as an intestinal bacterial infection with the symptoms I've listed above, but other sites call it "Hole in the Head" disease??? He doesn't have any holes in his head or body. He's just "stuffed" looking. No fins or scales are protruding, so I'm sure it isn't Dropsy. And all the other fish seem healthy. Oh, and as far as getting him to try a sweet pea, or eating medicine, he is having NO part of eating anything! (Just an extra note, he seems to be doing a lot more surface breathing than the smaller one.) Thanks so so much, I LOVE YOUR SITE! Nicki <Hello Nicki. First things first: when you say "Opaline Gourami" you mean Trichogaster trichopterus rather than the small Gouramis (often called Dwarf Gouramis) Colisa lalia? I only ask because the latter are notoriously prone to a viral diseases called Dwarf Gourami Disease that is incurable. The symptoms are very consistent: lethargy, loss of colour/appetite, sores on the body, swelling, then death. While it is possible that other Gouramis might contract this disease, particularly Colisa hybrids, I have not yet heard of Trichogaster spp. coming down with it. Now, I will say a few things about food: Freeze-dried foods do tend to cause constipation in some fish, particularly if used overly often. Live foods can be a potential source of infections. So while both these food items are popular with aquarists, they are not without risks. Moderate feedings of dried foods (including flake) with generous use of wet-frozen or fresh foods seems, to me, to be the ideal. In any case, if constipation is the problem (and it may well be) then use an approach similar to that outlined here for Goldfish: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm You may need to focus on daphnia rather than vegetables as laxative foods, but tinned peas may be eaten. As for Hexamita or Hole-in-the-Head -- these are arguably the same disease, manifested in different ways. External infections cause pitting in the surface of the fish, usually around the lateral line, while internal infections cause wasting. Anyway, treatment is very difficult, though there are Hexamita-specific medications such as ESHa Hexamita Treatment (both forms), Metronidazole (for internal infections) and Quinine Sulfate (external infections). Treatment almost always depends on the fish being dealt with promptly; once established this infection is very difficult to cure. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: One skinny Gourami, one bloated Gourami 3/6/08 Thank you Neale! Yes, they aren't the Dwarf ones, they are a hybrid of the 3 spotted blue Gouramis. <Okely dokely.> So, an update: I managed to get the one in quarantine to eat the Tetracycline for 3 days as directed, and he finally had a real fish poop, no longer stringy and transparent. And he appears to be back to his old self again. <Sounds positive.> The other isn't eating anything! But now, I can see it is Dropsy, his scales are just now starting to stand out. I still can't get him to eat the Tetracycline. So I'm going to check out your site for more info, and make a trip to the Pet store for something that can be added to the water (I switched him into Quarantine, and the other is in the big tank now.) <Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dropsyfaqs.htm Though realistically, getting small fish back from Dropsy infections is very difficult. By the time you see the fluid build-up, the damage has largely been done. I'd tend towards painlessly destroying this fish now.> I really do appreciate your site, it has been such a blessing! <Thanks!> I'll keep you undated! Nicki <Good luck! Neale.>

Re: One skinny Gourami, one bloated Gourami Hi Neale, I wanted to let you know that he did pass the following day. It was pretty sad, I was watching him and suddenly his swimming became "bobble" like, then he was on his side, just like that. I'm happy to say that the other is back to full health, and enjoying a life in the larger tank. :) I think the fact that he'd eat the medicine is the sole reason he made it. <Ah, too bad. Well, glad the other fish is feeling better. Good luck! Neale.>

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