Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives Social 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, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), 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,

banded gouramis?...and an angelfish not eating    1/21/12
i have a 35 gallon freshwater tropical aquarium that I have had running since i was 10 ( I'm 12 now ) . the aquarium contains 2 black tetras, 1 pearl gourami, 1 blue gourami, 2 harlequin Rasboras, one honey gourami, and one large angelfish. I had wanted to add some colorful Colisa gouramis to my tank and after reading about the seemingly cursed dwarf gourami, ( I had to learn that the hard way before i went and searched "dwarf gourami disease" online) i decided on banded gouramis. Since they grow quite large, will they bully the honey gourami? i think the banded gouramis would do this because they are Colisa, like the honey. (if they were Trichogaster, i would ask about the pearl and blue gourami).
<By their very nature, male Gouramis of all kinds are territorial and can bully smaller Gouramis, whether of their own species or others. In a big aquarium they may spread themselves out, but in your tank, adding a second Gourami species could be risky. Females are not usually aggressive, so they can be safer bets. But I'd recommend sticking with Honey Gouramis, keeping either a single male or some odd number of males 3 or above.>
also, i had purchased the angelfish about 8 days ago, and since i introduced him into the tank, he has not been eating. I noticed white stringy feces
<Ah, sounds like Hexamita infection.>
and he always hides behind an Amazon sword plant in the back. I have tried to get him to eat by feeding him freeze dried Tubifex worms, live brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and flakes, but he didn't eat anything. he hasn't been eating for 8 days now, so I'm getting worried. I thought maybe the angelfish is acting like this because he might be annoyed by all the commotion that goes on around him ( the Rasboras are extremely hyperactive). how could i get him to eat? any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks Andy
<Do read here:
Hexamita is quite common among farmed cichlids, and can only be cured with Metronidazole. Cheers, Neale.>

Fish inquiry... Tetra, small Characin sel., comp.   7/15/08 Dear Crew, I'm pretty new to the fish keeping hobby but I have been researching online. Here is my dilemma. I have a tank with Serpae tetras who keep to themselves (thank god), zebra danios, a rubber lip Pleco, and platys. <A "courageous" combination to say the least. Serpae tetras aren't my recommendation for the community tank, as you seem to realise.> I need a somewhat larger fish to be the so-called "attraction" fish but I don't know which kinds will live peacefully with my other fish. <With Serpae tetras, not much! The obvious choices -- Angelfish, Gouramis, etc. -- will simply be pecked to death.> I have a 26 gallon tank, its pretty tall and its a bowfront. I've been deciding between some kind(s) of gouramis, freshwater angels, or silver dollars. <No, no and no respectively. The Gouramis and Angels will be nibbled to pieces, and the Silver Dollars get far too large for a tank this size.> Which species is best suited for my tank and well get along with the tankmates; and if you have any other suggestions about other species please let me know. <To be honest, I'd not bother. I'd either up the numbers of the species you already have, or perhaps add an interesting catfish of some sort that can keep out of trouble. Serpae tetras for example look their best in big swarms of dozens of specimens, when their feeding frenzy behaviour becomes quite something to watch. Of course any catfish that avoids trouble, like a Synodontis, isn't going to be showpiece fish you're after.> Also, ever since I transferred a red wag platy over to the bigger tank, it has constantly been hiding even though none of the other fish harass it. <Almost certainly it has been nipped by the Serpae tetras and is keeping a low profile. Serpae tetras don't just bite the fins from other fish but also the scales, and such damage can be difficult to see.> Is there any way I can solve this problem? <Not really, no.> Thank you, Pierre <Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: fish inquiry  7/15/08 Thank you for that info. Do you think there are any tetras that I could replace the Serpaes with that would get along with angels or gouramis? I might decide to take them back to the pet store. Pierre <Angelfish will simply view very small tetras, such as Neons, as food, so you have to be careful. Certain other tetras, can be just as nippy as Serpae tetras and will nibble on the Angels and Gouramis. Black Widows (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi) and some of the other Hyphessobrycon species fall into this category. My honest recommendation would be to replace the Serpae tetras with more Zebra Danios. Here's the thing: if you have one big school of a schooling fish, it looks so much better than two small schools of different schooling fish. You would then have one species at the top (the Danios), one in the middle (perhaps a pair of Angels or a pair of Lace Gouramis) and then your catfish at the bottom. Instead of a jumble, you'll have an nice ordered arrangement. Otherwise, consider X-Ray tetras (Pristella maxillaris), Diamond tetras (Moenkhausia pittieri), or Lemon tetras (Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis) are excellent community tank tetras and the right size for your aquarium. But as I say, better to have twelve schooling fish of one type than six of two different types. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: fish inquiry (Dwarf Gouramis, Angelfish, selection)   7/15/08 I'm going to exchange my Serpaes this evening. I think I will most likely go with the large school or danios and either dwarf gouramis or angelfish. I'll let my little brother pick. Thanks so much for all your help! Pierre <My advise to anyone is don't get Dwarf Gouramis (Colisa lalia, including fancy forms like "neon gouramis", "robin gouramis", and so on). Unless wild-caught or locally bred, which the ones in shops most certainly are not, these fish are extremely likely to carry an incurable viral disease known as Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus. One estimate by vets puts the incidence at 22% for Dwarf Gouramis exported from Singapore. Because the virus is extremely contagious, you only need one infected fish in a batch to ensure all the others get sick too. The number of Dwarf Gourami e-mails we get would astonish you, and they really are a complete waste of money. Almost every retailer I know dislikes stocking them because so many die in their tanks, but there is sufficient demand among newbie aquarists who don't know better that they remain profitable. It's a shame, because twenty years ago they were quite good little fish. Nowadays, you're better off with the hardier (if slightly bigger) Colisa fasciata and Colisa labiosus. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/dwfgdis.htm If you buy Angelfish, do remember these are territorial cichlids. You cannot sex them. But if you have two males, in a small aquarium they are very likely to become aggressive towards one another. If you buy a singleton, then there's an increased chance that Angelfish will "go rogue" and attack other fish in the tank, so that approach is not without risks. The standard way to keep Angels is to buy six specimens, let them pair off as they mature, and remove the four surplus fish when the time comes. Because Angels are such popular fish, rehoming adults is not difficult and any half-decent aquarium shop will take them off your hands. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: fish inquiry (Dwarf Gouramis, Angelfish, selection) 7/17/2008 Can the dwarf Gourami virus spread to other species of fish or only the ones in the Gourami family? <This is a complex question. The short answer is yes, the virus can spread to other species in other families. But so far as I know, the only scientifically documented example is where Dwarf Gouramis Iridovirus appears to have infected Maccullochella peelii, and Australian perch-like fish belonging to the Percichthyidae family. There are no reports that I am aware of where the virus has caused problems in other species of Gourami though. Hence my recommendation that Colisa fasciata and Colisa labiosus are safe, reliable alternatives. Yes, they aren't quite as colourful, but they are still lovely fish and much, much more likely to live long and happy lives. If you want a small, non-aggressive Gourami for the community tank, these are the ones to go for. Cheers, Neale.>

Sick Gouramis... Pleco comp.  -- 03/07/08 Hello, all. I've read a great portion of your website, mainly the Q&A section. I have searched in great lengths for problems similar to mine, but to no avail. However, I have gathered a great deal of knowledge about the hobby in general. <Very good; but please don't think that replaces buying a book! Before you buy a fish, buy a book -- there is so much to learn!> Apologies in advance, this will most likely be fairly long. Also, I am at great risk of sounding like some kind of *emo freak* as I never imagined I would actually get so attached to fish. <I have no idea what an "emo freak" is. Must be some sort of American thing.> Here goes: My hobby started with a Christmas gift. A 5 gal tank with built-in filter & light, hex shaped. <5-gallon tanks are known in the trade as "buckets". They're of no good for keeping fish, and certainly not by beginners.> Being ambitious and completely ignorant, I filled the tank and promptly added WAY too many fish. 2 Dwarf Gouramis, which died within days of what I have read to be Dwarf Gourami disease (brought on by ammonia poisoning, no doubt) and 5 (yes, ridiculously, 5) Paradise Fish - Blue variety. <Oops.> I did a very limited amount of research and learned that for the fish I currently had still living, I needed at least 20gal. <Not a chance. Paradisefish are mutually aggressive, and males are very much "one to a tank". They will also fight with other similar looking fish, including, I dare say, Gouramis. Paradisefish are not community fish and are never, ever recommended for beginners by sensible aquarists.> After several fights with the hubby, he finally bought me a 29gal. I filled it, moved the fish in, and started reading about the cycling process. This is when I started to feel like a serial killer. I read that Paradise fish are actually very forgiving in regards to water quality, and if you are going to be cruel enough to cycle with fish, they are ones to use. <Up to a point this is true, but even hardy fish can be killed by high levels of ammonia and nitrite. That's why you need to have your nitrite and ammonia test kits, and as soon as you detect more than 0.5 mg/l of either, you do a BIG (i.e., 50%) water change. This may well be as often as once a day for the first couple of weeks!> So, I did frequent small water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrites down, and eventually, the tank cycled. It has been steadily 0 ammonia & nitrites, and low nitrates (10 or less) for at least a month now. All my fish actually did great. I got a black Sailfin Pleco for the algae problem. I read up on them, and saw that they will "suck" on sick or slow fish, but mine seem to be active and very quick. <The Sailfin Plec is likely Pterygoplichthys pardalis or similar. These are HUGE fish and require tanks 55 gallons upwards. Completely unsuitable for this system. In any case, they have no positive impact on algae. Think about it for just one second: algae grows when the water has fertiliser added, i.e., nitrogenous wastes from the fish. Add more fish, the water is more fertile, and the algae grows faster. Add a huge catfish, and even though it's eating algae, it is also eating catfish pellets and vegetables, so will be making the water much more fertile. It's a case of one step forwards and seventeen steps backwards. There are only TWO ways to control algae: use lots of fast-growing plants, or use elbow grease and a scraper. There is nothing else. Nada. Nix. Nyet. Non. Nein.> Then... got up one morning, and one of my females looked like she was missing scales. She was still acting normally, so I added some Melafix, as it supposed to help with missing scales and Finrot. <I'm not impressed with Melafix. Because it's cheap and "New Age" people buy into it, but it isn't any more effective than any other cheap, New Age medication.> It only got worse from there. When I got home that evening, it was an open (almost looked to bleeding) wound. I searched the internet, and closest thing I could find was AEROMONAS (hole in the side disease). <Hole-in-the-Head is not caused by Aeromonas bacteria. These are different syndromes. Almost certainly you're dealing with a plain vanilla Aeromonas infection, what on a human would be considered sepsis. The skin is damaged, and otherwise harmless Aeromonas bacteria get into the wound and cause serious problems. Long term: death through blood poisoning. Use something like Maracyn or eSHa 2000 to treat.> It seems, though, that this is more commonly associated with wild or farm fish. <No, the problem here is more than likely physical injury and/or poor water quality. I hear what you say about the good water quality stats, but the overwhelming experience of most newbie aquarists is variable to poor water quality, e.g., by overfeeding, under-filtering, or overstocking. So take a conservative approach, and assume the worst case scenario.> I moved her to the 5gal (now hospital tank, also cycled) and tried feeding her anti-bacterial food (soaked and broken up first). She wouldn't touch it, and developed dropsy that night. She was dead the next morning. <I bet.> Next was one of the males. I tried parasite treatment on him. Dropsy, and died within a day. <When masses of fish die for seemingly random reasons, the problem is 99.99999% likely water quality, water chemistry, or poisons. So: check water quality, and do a 50% water change daily until thing settle down. As for water chemistry, check the pH isn't fluctuating wildly. Fish are somewhat tolerant of the "wrong" pH and hardness relative to what they prefer, but what they can't abide is changing water chemistry. Finally, consider poisons. Things like paint fumes can quickly kill fish. Small children are apt to dump things in fish tanks, so it's important to make sure that doesn't happen.> Now my second female has a hole on either side of her body, well behind her gills, mid-body. Also - a large hole, as if something is eating away at her, on her anal fin. it is near her tail. She is now in the hospital tank, and I ordered Maracyn Two, which is on the third day of treatment, and no change, only getting worse. <Stop moving the fish to the 5 gallon tank. Pointless. Such a tank is a death trap itself. Treat the whole tank with Maracyn. Be aggressive with water changes (big, often). Study water chemistry and quality closely. Above all: DO NOT FEED the fish.> One of the males left in the main tank now has a hole in his side, and the other has a hole in his anal fin, in the same exact location as the female. I have tried to take photos, and they just WILL NOT hold still long enough. If they won't eat the anti-bacterial food, and the Maracyn doesn't help, then I am at a loss. The girl in the hospital tank is developing fungus, and I don't want to treat for the fungus while still using the Maracyn, in case there would be a reaction. I am afraid that they are developing secondary problems due to all the HORRIBLE water conditions I subjected them to. If this is the case, do they stand a chance at all? <If you do precisely what I say, yes, some should recover, assuming any Finrot (for that's the issue) is limited to superficial tissues. But if the body cavity is infected, then realistically, no, the fish aren't likely to survive.> Just a mention - the sick female (now in hospital tank) was being harassed by the Pleco. He would attach to her, and she would shake him off, but he probably did the most harm while I was sleeping and could not monitor. Is it possible this is what is happening to the other? I can't imagine the Pleco would decide to attach to the anal fin, though?? <Obviously this Plec needs to go back to the pet store. This is non-negotiable. How, why it is sucking onto the fish is largely academic (though I imagine it is hungry because you are not providing the foods it needs).> OK, I drew a rough image with Paint, which looks like a child created (hence the file name "kindergarten fish") showing the same location all fish are developing the hole in their sides and fins. <Yikes!> I never dreamed I would feel so bad over fish, but they are part of family now, and I really don't want to lose them. What can I possibly do?? <Read, learn, understand.> Thank you much, Jiffy <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Gourami/Paradisefish problems  -- 03/07/08 Thank you, Neale, for your speedy response. <You're welcome.> It seems my worst fears are realized and I have done unrepairable damage to most of my fishy friends. :( <Quite possibly.> Emo = emotional basket case, which is what my hubby and most my friends think of me when I go on and on about saving my fish. <I see.> As of tonight, the 5-day Maracyn treatment will be completed in the 5 gal, and the girl is not doing any better. The reason I have been moving them is because the other fish seem to realize who is weak and pick on them. <Oh dear.> Since the treatment did not work on her, I will treat the remaining 2 (sadly, both males - maybe I need a tank separator) in the large tank. <Does sound a short term solution, at least.> The Pleco was purchased with the understanding that it would eventually be returned, upon aggression or growing to large for the tank, so he can easily be returned to the pet store. Once he cleaned the tank, I started feeding the sinking algae disks when I turned off the lights, and witnessed him eating voraciously. I have read that they attack sickly fish, and suspect this is the case here. <Loricariid catfish are classic opportunists (like humans) and they will have a go at whatever seems edible. That's their ecological niche. While they rarely, if ever, cause problems in tanks with healthy fish... in tanks where fish are dropping like flies, I dare say even the best behaved Plec isn't above taking advantage of the situation.> How long should I not feed? A couple days? the duration of the Maracyn treatment? <The latter at minimum. Fish can last a week without food, and after that week, feed small amounts once per day. No more.> Finally, what book(s) would you suggest? I will gladly purchase and read anything that will help me to better care for my fish. <Many, many choices. Go visit your local bookstore, and have a browse. Look for something published reasonably recently so that it is up to date in of filters, medications, etc. Don't be dazzled with pretty pictures -- some aquarium books that are "coffee table" type books look lovely to look at, but thin on information. Pick something that clearly explains about filters, water chemistry, disease and so on. If it has a section on community fish, listing their water chemistry needs, preferred temperature, social behaviour and diet then so much the better. You can use that to decide what fish you want to get next. But right now your need isn't for a book containing hundreds of fish or advanced topics like plants or cichlids; you want something focusing on the foundations of the hobby. Master them, and the rest of the hobby is pretty straightforward.> Thank you so much for your expertise, Jiffy <Cheers, Neale.>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: