Colisa lalia, C. chuna... "Dwarf" Gouramis of Many
Names, Honey, Flames, Neon Blue, Sunset, Fire...
FAQs on Dwarf Gourami Disease:
Dwarf Gourami Disease
1, Dwarf Gourami
Disease 2, Dwarf
Gourami Disease 3,
Dwarf Gourami Disease 4,
FAQs on Dwarf Gourami Disease by Category:
(Virus, Bacterial, Fungal),
Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives,
Genera Ctenopoma &
Dwarf Gourami Identification,
Dwarf Gourami Behavior,
Dwarf Gourami Compatibility,
Dwarf Gourami Selection,
Dwarf Gourami Systems,
Dwarf Gourami Feeding,
Dwarf Gourami Reproduction, & FAQs on:
Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting
Oh yes; Colisa are easily subject to velvet, Whitespot, Costia,
Hello, great site, I am treating dwarf gourami for internal parasite,
<Which one? There are several different types! Each requires specific
treatment. What works for worms won't work with Hexamita, for example.>
lost three fish, using tetra all in one treatment, been treating 8-9 days
<Anything sold as "all-in-one" isn't likely to be entirely reliable, anymore
than a medicine sold at your local drugstore that promised to be a cure-all
probably won't be much use.>
have malachite green but don't want to use in tank, maybe a dip if possible?
<Dips of any/all kinds are for treating external parasites. Of no value at
all if you are genuinely dealing with internal parasites.>
<Again, useful for treating external infections in specific situations
(Whitespot comes to mind) but otherwise either useless or even harmful.>
did a big water change
<Always useful, provided not diluting any medication: would recommend only
changing water (at least) 24 hours after dosing tank, so that each dose of
medicine has time to work.>
two days ago and continued using tetra , help is needed, I get bad info from
<I'm sure there's variation, but on the whole, the big pet store chains tend
to have sales clerks rather than actual experts, so unless the clerk you're
speaking to is a genuinely experienced hobbyist -- and some are -- I'd tend
to "trust, but verify" any information shared by most of their staff.>
Thank you so much, I'm Ray, hope to hear from you soon.
<Let's return to the sick fish, the Dwarf Gourami, what was called Colisa
lalia for many years, but is apparently Trichogaster lalius. This originally
lovely fish has been mass produced and inbred over decades, and the
resulting specimens are very poor quality. Viral infections ("DGIV" or Dwarf
Gourami Iridovirus) that cause wasting and lesions are extremely common,
nearly universal in some cases (the ones exported from Singapore are
notorious). There's no treatment. Furthermore, when stressed, these
fish appear to be extremely prone to Mycobacteria infections. Again, there's
no treatment. Symptoms including wasting, lethargy, spinal deformities, loss
of colour, and eventually death. Nothing you dose the
tank with will help. Now, you haven't told me what symptoms your fish has,
nor what you suspect the fish to be suffering from, so I can't really offer
any advice. But as a general observation, Dwarf Gouramis (unless locally
bred) are best avoided in lieu of much hardier, but similar-looking, species
such as the Thick Lipped Gourami and the Banded Gourami. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Parasites 7/20/19
Hello, thanks so much for your help,
I have a powder blue dwarf gourami left, my fire just died, my honey died,
and my neon died...
<These are all varieties of Colisa lalia, or at least hybrids between that
species and Colisa chuna. Either way, not much to choose between them in
terms of healthiness. All best avoided, really.>
I have an opal and another type I forget, but two are not dwarf, and a Cory
<Opaline Gourami is a different species, Trichopodus trichopterus, that is
usually hardy but sometimes aggressive.>
They had clear poop lines, long, didn't eat..hid... Acted old and crippled.
<See previous emails re: this symptom. Cheers, Neale.>
Ailing Gourami 1/18/2013
Hi. Hoping you can help me again, my Gourami has small white spots on he’s body almost
Ich looking but I don’t think it is Ich, I had Ich twice before from introducing infected fish into the tank (learnt that lesson) but this looks different.
<Such white "dots" can be a few things... parasitic to "just" accumulated body mucus>
It started about 4 weeks ago with the Gourami flashing then one of my Cory’s started flashing also, apart from the tiny white spots on the Gourami there are no other visible signs, the Gourami now has one eye swollen with a small white spot on it. The rest of the fish apart from the Cory flashing seem healthy, the tank is not overcrowded and the water parameters are all good, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia are all 0 ph7, temperature 25c. Tank has been running for about two years. I have treated with NT labs anti fluke and wormer which is Flubendazole based
<A good choice>
4 days ago but the situation hasn’t improved, as nothing new has been introduced to the tank for at least 3 months I think this may have been bad advice from the guy at the aquatic shop. I have also crept the temperature up to 29c just in case it is
Ich, but none of the other fish are showing any signs. I would appreciate any advice as to what to try next as I am clueless as to what this could be.
<I'd try lacing some foods w/ Metronidazole... as long as you're trying most
Almost forgot the Cory also has a problem with he’s dorsal fin, it’s not ragged but it almost looks like someone has cut it from top to bottom with a razor in several places, it doesn’t look infected just the membrane between the spiny bits is missing, I only noticed this when he started flashing so may be connected. Thanks in advance,
<As usual I urge caution, less treatment than any... I'd do what you can to boost immunity (HUFAs, vitamins soaked into food) and be patient. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Gourami. 1/21/13
Hi Bob. Thanks for the quick reply, unfortunately the Gourami has taken
a turn for the worse, he is now spending most of he’s time sort of
sitting on the bottom of the tank and has rapid gill movement.
The Ich like spots are now covering he’s entire body and he’s colour
seems to be fading, he’s head seems to be turning much greyer than it
<... I'd be sampling, or taking the fish somewhere to have them sample,
look under a scope...>
Some of how he looks is very similar to my other Gourami that died about
6 months ago, could this be velvet?
<Highly doubtful. Velvet is so deadly it kills w/in hours generally to a
Is it possible for velvet to stay dormant in the tank for months?
P.S Sorry I forgot to add the subject line in my last e-mail in my haste
for some help.
<No worries. BobF>
Re: Sick Gourami. Colisa lalia, Ich - 1/25/13
Hi Bob, Well my Gourami is still alive, so it doesn’t look like velvet the
fluke treatment doesn’t seem to be having an effect, but at least he’s still
He’s eyes have clouded over and I noticed he’s feeler type things are
getting shorter and starting to split at the ends.
I have attached a couple of pics and thought you might recognise or at least
have some idea of what might be happening.
P.S Great site.
<This Gourami has multiple things wrong with it. For a start, it's got
Whitespot, so treat accordingly. It also looks to have Finrot, an
opportunistic bacterial infection. If you're in the UK (which your e-mail
address suggests) then I'd use a combination of eSHa 2000 and eSHa EXIT,
widely sold in aquarium shops at around £5 a bottle. They're reliable, can
be used together, and don't harm other fish or filters. Make sure to remove
carbon from your filter though. Why your Gourami is suffering these problems
is a whole other question, and unless the Gourami was recently bought (the
most common reason for Whitespot) then some sort of stress is to be
suspected (ammonia spike, heater failure, etc). Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sick Gourami. - 1/25/13
Hi Neale. Is there anything else you can think of that looks like white
spot, I do appreciate you taking the time to help me and I know it’s hard to
judge from a photo but I have my doubts about icy?
<Whitespot is very distinctive. Like salt grains on the fish. Velvet is
similar, but has a much finer grain so it's more like icing sugar. Often,
but not always, has a golden sheen to it, hence the "velvet" name. Finally,
there's Slime Disease (also known as Costia). This is another skin parasite,
but you don't normally see the parasites, just the dead white skin and
clumps of greyish slime as the fish reacts. It's trickier to cure, but can
be done using commercial medications (I've had success using eSHa 2000
alongside 2 to 20 minute seawater dips).>
I have had ich twice before in the tank both times through introducing
infected fish (stupid me) but this seems different.
There are 15 small fish in this tank none of the other fish show any sign of
ich, the last times I had ich most of the fish got it. I have upped the
temperature to 29c for the last four days which cured ich before where meds
failed, but to no effect.
<Do try the eSHa 2000; it should work against all three possibilities.>
This all started about three weeks ago and I would have thought that at
least some of the other fish would have been infected if it were ich. I
can’t think of any reason the fish would be stressed the water parameters
are spot on and I do a weekly 20% water change, the Gourami is the biggest
fish in the tank and very much in charge so bullying isn’t an issue and the
heater is fine, my tank maintenance routine hasn’t changed since I had the
Gourami, about 18 months now.
<Does sound weird.>
I have treated for fluke (Flubendazole) for a week and have just switched to
velvet and slime coat meds (Formaldehyde, copper EDTA) which I believe also
treats ich four day ago, but no improvement.
<Do bear in mind copper and formalin are both quite toxic, and can stress
your fish severely, making what was merely Whitespot to begin with something
much more serious.>
He is still eating well, and is moving about the tank but sometimes hides
for an hour or so. I know it’s not good practice to switch meds like I
have, but with no sign of improvement and the desire to help the fish I felt
I had to try something else.
Thanks again for your input. Chris.
<Hope this helps, Neale (who's been out of town a few days).>
Re: Icky Ich and honey Gourami prob.s (to Jeni please!). Treating Ich & a "Fat" Fish 5/10/07
Hi Jeni, It's Anna here again. Hopefully you remember my situation, my boyfriend put 2 Firemouth cichlids in my community tank.
<How could I forget!>
Well, as it turns out, their aggressive ways are the least of my problems. I have just noticed the dreaded white spots on around 3/4 of my fish (probably due to the unquarantined cichlids!!)
<Yup, what did I say? I hope he feels really bad... That'll teach him.>
It is very mild at the moment and I'm thankful that I spend at least an hour every day CLOSELY examining every fish for problems.
<That's great--and relaxing too.>
It seems I have caught it before it has become a killer. I immediately changed 50% of the water, cranked the temp up a couple of degrees, with the intention of bringing it to a peak of 87*F over the course of the day, and then added 12 tbsps of sea salt that is free of anti-caking agents and iodine, diluted in some aquarium water and added gradually over 5 hrs. I do have Corys, and I know they do not tolerate salt well but they seem to be doing better than any of the others. I also added some Stress Coat to relieve the poor little things a bit. I will be changing 20% of the water every day and carefully monitoring the salt levels. Do you think I am doing the right thing?
<Bump that up to 80% every other day & be sure to clean the gravel well as you are doing it, to remove the free-swimming parasites. Don't forget to replace the salt you remove.>
I have read many horror stories regarding meds and would like to try the natural option first.
I am really hoping the combination of salt and heat will kill the nasty little critters (Ich).
<It should. Watch for fish struggling to breathe & add an airstone if necessary.>
I have also just ordered a 9w (all I can afford) UV sterilizer http://www.fishlore.com/uv_sterilizer.htm (by Fish R Fun) from EBay, that will be delivered within the next couple of days. I have heard great things about them being used to combat Ich. It may be too late now but hopefully it will help prevent further outbreaks. Do you have any personal experience of using them?
<Sorry, I don't.>
I can't seem to find many people who have. All the fish seem to be tolerating the salt so far but it's early days. Upon checking up on them a couple of hours ago, I saw one of the Firemouths with something hanging from its lips. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be the tail of one of my beloved WG Neons (ARGH!!!). The other is now searching everywhere for its best mate and seems at a loss. Poor little critter, they were constantly side by side and sooo cute together.
<Awww... so sad. I hope the boyfriend really feels bad!>
As you advised, I will be returning them to the store today (as soon as I can catch them with the net, as I'm sure you know, almost impossible!)
<Try luring them out with food.>
Anyway, there is one last problem that's getting me quite worried. My female honey Gourami has been getting fatter for about the past month. She seems happy and has no prob.s with mobility. I am HOPING (as she's my fave fish) that this is due to her being laden with eggs and the male not having anywhere to build a bubble nest. Could that happen? Do they get fat with eggs?
If not, I'm guessing she may have internal parasites or worse, the onset of dropsy. Should I wait or treat with parasite medicine?
<Parasite meds need to be fed to the fish, by soaking their food in it. It can't hurt to treat everyone. Generally though, internal parasites leave fish skinny. Also, they have white, stringy poop.>
Anyway... Once again, sorry for the length! Thanks for your help last time and thanks in advance for any help with this!
<I hope they get better soon & you don't loose any more fish due to your boyfriend's "gifts". ~PP>
Sick dwarf Gourami
Your site is very informative. I have a sick dwarf Gourami who has been head standing for a week.
<Yikes, not good>
I have a 30 gallon tank with 2 gourami's, 6 tetras. The water quality is normal.
I've had these fish for a year with no issues. I noticed stringy white poop so I isolate the fish in a 5 gallon tank and treated with mashed peas first. No results. Then I tried Epsom salts, no result. I thought I may be a bacterial infection so I treated it with Maracyn for 3 days, did a 30% water change. The fish now has normal poop, however it is still head standing. I'm continuing to treat it with the Maracyn for 2 more days as prescribed, however, I don't know what else to do for this fish. Any help would be appreciated. Peggy
<Mmm, could be the actual treatment/s that have led to this behavior, but if you'll give the WWM site a read over again for Gourami Disease, you'll see reference to an all-too-common incidence of a protozoan and treatment for same. I would do this here... Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick dwarf Gourami 2/1/07
The head standing started BEFORE the treatments soooooooooooooo. I'll try the Flagyl
<Real good. BobF>
Gouramis help???? - 03/02/07 We have a red flamed gouramis and its little belly is now swollen looks like it might pop.. we tried putting it in some water with Epsom salt witch isn't helping, we were also told to try tonic water witch almost killed it. do you know what it could be and what can we do.....please help
<... the beginnings of sentences are capitalized... Tonic water? For the Quinine? No... Please see WWM... the Gourami Disease FAQs... BobF>
Dwarf Gourami and Camallanus
<Hello! Sabrina, here.>
Thank you all for keeping such a wonderful and informative website.
<And thank you for the kind words!>
I have had two dwarf Gourami in a 5 gallon QT tank with an established sponge filter for approx 2 months. I plan on moving them to a much larger tank when I'm sure that they are disease/parasite free.
<Sounds like an excellent plan.>
About one month ago I noticed two tiny red threads (approx. 2mm long) poking out from the anus of each Gourami.
<Yikes, that does indeed sound like Camallanus.>
I ordered some Pepsofood and fed it for three days and then once per week as directed with no effect.
<Although Pepso food is very useful stuff, I do not believe it contains medicines effective against Camallanus.>
The fish still have a hearty appetite and do not display any unusual behavior or appearance.
<Always a good sign!>
Recently I was reading an article that suggested my fish were infected with the Camallanus nematode.
<Sounds like it. Though, is it possible what you're seeing is just feces? Some red-colored foods will give fish red poo, but the "threadlike" appearance you describe is classic of Camallanus.>
Many different medications were suggested on many websites like disco worm,
<Perhaps this was "Discomed"? Discomed, manufactured by Aquatronics, contains Levamisole, and should be effective against Camallanus.>
Trichlorofon, fluke tabs,
<Fluke tabs are/contain Trichlorofon. This substance should be avoided unless absolutely *nothing* else works; although it might be effective, it could be very toxic to the fish.>
<Likely would be effective, but will be very hard to find, I imagine. Try looking for the proprietary name "Panacur". However, this will be difficult to dose, as it is usually found sold as a goat or horse worming medicine.>
Levacide was touted as being the best cure for this problem.
<If you mean "Levamisole", as above, you can find that in Discomed, made by Aquatronics.>
I did some research on the web and could not find out where to buy this medication and whether or not it would harm the biological filter.
<Whether you use Piperazine or Levamisole (or even Fenbendazole), it should be administered via food, so it should not impact the nitrifying Ammonia is 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 10ppm temp 78F and 25% WC 2 times a week with dechlorinated water I keep heated and aerated in a bucket.
Has anyone had experience with this kind of infestation? Which medication would be most effective and where can I get it
<Either Levamisole or Piperazine should work for you. Most small, non-chain fish stores do carry Discomed (Levamisole); however, you can also find it available for sale at many online stores. You can also look for Aquatronics' "Pipzine", which contains Piperazine, and should also be very effective against Camallanus. If you have trouble locating either of these, you might try contacting Aquatronics ( http://www.aquatronicsonline.com/ ). I believe there is a store locater on their 'site, as well.>
Can snails be a secondary host?
<I don't *think* so; it is usually spread through feces, I believe. It would certainly be a good idea to prevent moving any life from the sick tank to another.>
Also, Camallanus I read is highly infectious.
<It can be easily spread if an infected fish dies and is left in the tank to be nibbled on, or also again, through nibbling on feces (Mmmm, feces), so it'd be a really good idea to siphon off any poo and gunk very regularly, even daily.>
If it has reached my other planted freshwater community tank (18 gal, 5 neon tetra, 1 SAE, 2 Otto Cats), what medication could I use with the sensitive catfish?
<Certainly *not* Trichlorofon, that's for sure. Piperazine or Levamisole should be fine, though.>
Thank you in advance for your help. Michelle
<Sure thing. Wishing you and your Gourami well, Sabrina>
Gourami Fry with White Spot
Hi, I really hope u can help, I have 60 dwarf Gourami fry 10 days old. They have been infected with white spot disease from my other tank which is being treated successfully but what about my poor fry, some are dying. Is normal treatment to harsh and will aquarium salt help? thank you for any response Sophia
<Morning Sophia. I checked with Bob on this one, regular Ich meds would be too harsh for these little guys. Try slowly raising the temperature up to around 85. The elevated temperature alone should do the trick. Best of luck, Gage>
Gage here, just drinkin, dreamin, and answerin emails.
I was wondering if I could enlist your help in a couple of matters, and was hoping that this would not get posted on the daily's. I've got a couple of emails in my box that I am not sure about.
First off is regarding Gourami Fry with Ich. Will a regular dose of meds kill the youngans? I was thinking maybe a half dose, and some aquarium salt?
<Better to use/suggest elevated temperature (about 85 F.) alone... sans med.s. The higher average kinetic energy will do the trick.>
Dwarf Gourami not eating
Your site is great! Unfortunately I still have questions. I'm trying to save my little dwarf blue neon Gourami.
I think he may have internal parasites, and not sure how to administer medication, since he will not eat at ALL.
The last time I can remember seeing him eat was at least a couple of weeks ago. He was being bullied by a larger dwarf Gourami.. to the point that every feeding the bigger one would chase him and he may have stopped eating back then. Took the big one back and got a female hoping he would be happier. Now she is wonderful and eating voraciously, and he is ill. He has the long white thread hanging most of the time... swims little, and eats nothing that I can see. Other than that nothing visibly wrong with him. There is some green algae, could he be surviving on that? I don't see how he's alive.
<Is this fish exceedingly thin?>
Main question (assuming it is parasites): what med.s would you recommend feeding him, and any suggestions as to how to get him to eat it?
<Yes... Metronidazole/Flagyl. Please read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm and the Related FAQs linked above>
I've heard there is a new anti-parasitic gel out that is good. Could I do a quarantine with the gel and hope some of it will get into him by way of him swimming in it??
<Mmm, no, needs to be ingested>
Today I got some anti-parasitic pellets, secluded him in a midsized net with the food, no dice. I even put a tiny piece of minced garlic in there with him (have been told it can help appetite)! Do you think I could continue secluding him in the big tank to treat him, or will this stress him further?
<Not likely beneficial>
Tank situation: 29 gal tall, 6 mo.s old, everything has been fine to this point. Have done irregular water changes every few weeks. Probably need to step it up, as nitrates have crept up to @30+. Nitrites are completely 0. Besides the two Gouramis there are: 4 zebra danios, 3 rosy barbs, and 1 Bristlenose catfish (@3-4"). (BTW I was sorry to read that the dwarfs are so disease-prone :-( ... tank is too small to get the bigger ones... and they are so sweet!)
<Mmm, actually... this tank could house some of the larger genera, species of Gouramis... more peaceful ones>
Help, please? Thank you in advance!!
<I would "lace" some of the more desirable foods (frozen/defrosted bloodworms, live brine shrimp, daphnia...) with the Flagyl... and keep offering, hoping this fish will take it. Bob Fenner>
Re: Dwarf Gourami not eating
<Is this fish exceedingly thin?>
No, he isn't. Wasn't. He died today! :-((( He was plenty full-looking, which is another reason I thought parasites. The last few days he not only wasn't eating, but was really lethargic (in the corner 24/7) and then this morning he was TAIL UP! Had also noticed some 'furriness' along one side, I think it might have been scales coming off? Poor guy. What do you think the chances are something spread to the others?
<Mmm, actually depends on how closely "related" the others are... if this is/was a tank of Colisa genus Gouramis, particularly this species (lalia) there would be real troubles...>
None of the others got a hold of him or anything, but I'd hate to have another one do the same. Should I treat the tank with anything?
<I would not>
<Please hold off getting more Gouramis till later in the year (a few months). There is a seasonal pandemic... Bob Fenner>