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FAQs on the Blue, Three-Spot, Gold/en, Opaline, Even Albino! Gouramis, Yes, The Same Species, Trichogaster trichopterus,  Disease/Health: Social  

FAQs on Trichogaster Disease: T. trichopterus Disease 1, T. trichopterus Disease 2, T. trichopterus Disease 3, T. trichopterus Disease 4,
FAQs on Trichogaster Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Infectious, Parasitic, Trauma, Treatments

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

Related FAQs:  Trichogaster trichopterus 1, Trichogaster trichopterus 2, T. trichopterus ID, T. trichopterus Behavior, T. trichopterus Compatibility, T. trichopterus Selection, T. trichopterus Systems, T. trichopterus Feeding, T. trichopterus Reproduction, Gouramis 1, Gouramis 2, Gourami Identification, Gourami Behavior, Gourami Compatibility, Gourami Selection, Gourami Systems, Gourami Feeding, Gourami Disease, Gourami Reproduction, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish,


Three-Spot Gourami's "swollen stomach" and a "big red wound" on its right side. 6/16/11
Hello Crew,
Your team has done a wonderful job of helping fish enthusiasts. Now I needed help regarding my three spot Gourami. My fish has a big red wound on its right side and its stomach is swollen.
<Yikes... I see this in your pix>
Firstly around 6 months ago, there was just a little red mark that remained whatsoever I did, and was constant (neither healing nor deteriorating).Till then I had two Three spot gouramis. But then one of my Gourami got a sort of pop eye and it ultimately resulted in its death. I used Epsom Salt as advised by you but still its condition did not improved.
<... the environment...>
Now my this Gourami is suffering from I don't know what kind (bacterial, fungal or viral) of infection.
<Likely secondarily bacterial...>
My aquarium stock
1 Three-Spot Gourami
1 Butterfly Koi
<Needs much more room>
4 Indian Roofed Turtles
<Need to be housed in their own system>
2 Silver Dollar
1 Iridescent Shark
<Misplaced here and almost everywhere employed in the trade. See WWM re... grows to about four feet in the wild>
1 sucker-mouth Catfish

And the temperature is maintained around 25-27 Degree Celsius(78.8 Degree Fahrenheit). The tank has a capacity of 175 litres.
I have installed two internal filters that have a turnover of about 1800L/h.
And I change 50% of the water in about one or two weeks.
<I'd change half this amount every week>
The infected Gourami always remains in the top corners of the tank without any movement although it eats food happily. I have tried using the anti-bacterial medicine but still there has been no improvement.
<Likely the total bacteria count in this system is very high... a matter of the amount of life, foods, wastes...>
I feed them freeze dried blood worms, pellets and turtle food. They are also given boiled peas in the winter season. I have these fish and turtles since the past 2.7 years and I really do not wish to lose them. I have attached the pictures so that you can be more sure of what kind of infection is this. The first picture shows the two fish together and the last picture shows the overall tank and the second picture is of the sick fish. Please do not go by the date of the last picture as my camera's date was not set. And I am sorry for sending such huge files but I can't find the option in my camera to make them of smaller size.
Thank You
<Do take to heart my comments re moving, separating your livestock here.
What you have is an untenable, crowded mix. Bob Fenner>

Re: Three-Spot Gourami's "swollen stomach" and a "big red wound" on its right side.
But Sir,
What is the solution to heal my fish? The environment in which I treated my fish was Temperature:31 Degree Celsius
Place: Bucket
<I want to be clear, and unfortunately blunt w/ you. There is little chance of this fish's recovery under the present circumstance. IT needs to have the turtles, carp and Pangasiid cat removed immediately... in other words, only improving the environment will forestall its loss. BobF>
Re: Three-Spot Gourami's "swollen stomach" and a "big red wound" on its right side.
Sir I will surely do what you said but I want to tell you that these fish are quite small.
<... Nalin, you sent an image of all in your tank. They're not small, but Bonsai'd... being poisoned/dwarfed by their own waste concentration>
So will they still cause a problem?
<...? Already are... The Trichogaster you wrote about...>
And can you please suggest that where can I send them.
<To other, larger systems>
Also which fish will be suitable with Gourami ?
<Please learn to/use the search tool and indices on WWM...>
Do you think that turtles might have caused this damage?
<Possibly directly, assuredly a contributing cause indirectly. B>
Thank You very much
Re: Three-Spot Gourami's "swollen stomach" and a "big red wound" on its right side.
Thank You sir for your valuable response. I couldn't use the search tool because the page said that my computer was sending automatic traffic and that Google was sorry about that.
<Sorry re... we are trying out a new search tool... and it IS broken>
And as you said I will find a big home for them.
<Ah, good. Thank you, BobF

Injured Opaline Gourami? 4/3/11
Heya crew!
<Hello Selena,>
I've been having some problems with my Odessa Barbs.
<Puntius padamya; generally a very peaceful species, and among the best of the barbs for community tanks.>
They keep chasing and (I'm pretty sure) attacking my other fish.
<Hmm'¦ would keep an open mind on this.>
My tank is a 55 gallon fresh water tank that is home to 2 Opaline Gouramis,
<Trichogaster trichopterus; males of this species are notoriously aggressive towards one another and sometimes towards other gouramis as well, male or female.>
2 Odessa Barbs, 3 Dwarf Gouramis
<Colisa lalia; these will likely be bullied by the Trichogaster, and mixing the two genera is generally not recommended.>
and an Algae eater.
<If this is Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, prepare for trouble! This species is very aggressive and one of the least suitable fish for community tanks widely sold.>
My levels are as such; pH -- 7.25 , Nitrite -- 10-15 , Nitrate -- 0 , and Ammonia -- 0 . The last water change I did was two weeks ago; it was a 50% water change.
<All sounds fine.>
I know that Odessa Barbs are school fish,
but each time I bring home more Barbs, tragedy strikes. The first two times I lost Barbs was due to my pump.
<This shouldn't happen'¦ barbs can swim well, and unless your aquarium filter is insanely overpowered for the size of the aquarium, healthy barbs should have no trouble keeping out of the inlet. In almost all cases where fish *seem* to get sucked into filters, those fish were already weak or dead, and merely drifted in.>
The piece that sucks in the water fell off and well... killed my smaller fish. After this happened twice, I went out and bought some Aquarium Silicone to firmly attach the tubing to the pump.
The third time I lost potential Barbs mates was after I brought home two more Barbs. These Barbs didn't even make it until the next morning. Both died and the LFS lost some of their Barbs too.
<Shop elsewhere? Puntius padamya isn't delicate, but it is a subtropical species, and needs to be kept between 20-25 C/68-77 F. Some aquarists (and retailers, it has to be said) assume the species is a tropical one, and keep it much too warm. This stresses them, and in the cramped conditions of the average aquarium, they don't last long. Aim for >
Anyhow, after this I gave up on having more than 2 Barbs. I've been trying to find homes for 2 I own instead. In the meantime though, they have been chasing each other and my other fish on a daily basis and occasionally nipping at my poor Gouramis.
<I see.>
My Opaline Gourami has been chased quite frequently and I'm not sure why they pick on him. He is the biggest fish in the tank (4-5 inches) and spends most of the day in his ship. Two days ago I noticed that his side fins were red (close to his body) and I got concerned.
<Could be the barbs, but normally barbs nip the ends of fins, on gouramis, especially the pelvic fin "feelers". I'd be sensitive to the idea that the two Trichogaster are attacking each other, because these can do more serious damage to the base of the fins, which is what you see on your specimen, with the blood at the pectoral fin base.>
When I tested my water, it was perfect. Since he didn't look sick nor showed any signs of fin rot, I decided to play the waiting game. Today his one fin is all red and bloody looking. The other fin is redder than two days ago, but isn't as bad.
<You might try a preventative for now, like Melafix, but in good conditions and with the cause of damage removed, this should heal. If you see any sign of Finrot, then switch straight across to using a suitable antibacterial or antibiotic.>
I tried taking some pictures but ended up having to make a video and take pictures of the video to get an image that wasn't blurred. I attached two pictures for you and I hope they help. I'm guessing that my Barbs did this to him and in which case, is there anything I can do to make my Barbs less aggressive? If this isn't my Barbs and it's some kind of illness I haven't heard of, do you have any advice? Thank you very much for your time, Selena
<Some bad choices in terms of tankmates, Selena, and I'm fairly sure this isn't an "illness" so much as a social problem of some sort. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Injured Opaline Gourami? 4/3/11
Hello again,
<Hello Selena,>
So I got some Melafix this morning and added 5 teaspoons to my tank (55 gallon tank.) Now it says to remove the carbon insert if possible.
My filter/pump is a Whisper EX 70 and as such all three stages are combined into one insert.
<Oh; this is why I do not recommend people use filters that don't allow them to remove carbon. In any case, if the carbon is more than 4-6 weeks old, it's effectively "dead" so far as absorption goes, so forget about it.>
The top of the water is now getting bubbly/foamy'¦
<Happens with Melafix.>
Should I turn my pump off and remove my inserts completely? Or should I leave them in and running?
<Removing more than half the biological filtration at once will of course create major water quality problems. Understand that, and act accordingly. I'm not familiar with your particular filter, so you'll have to work out the details yourself!>
Please let me know, Selena
<I do note you haven't said anything about fixing the social problems in your tank. Melafix isn't a cure-all (Bob would say it cures nothing, and creates it's own problems)<<I would; it does. RMF>> and relying on this, at best, very mediocre medication to make everything all right in your aquarium isn't going to work. Cheers, Neale.>

Gourami's Injury   1/23/11
Hi Crew,
Hope you received the picture. I noticed this cut which is above the fin on my Gourami a week ago. I thought it will heal by itself, but I have not seen any improvement. My tank is of 160 litres and I change the water to about 60 percent every week or so. And I also noticed the tail fin of my butterfly Koi has some blood in its veins. The temperature of the tank is always maintained to 29-30 degree Celsius. I got this bigger tank a month ago. The size of the previous tank was 80 litres. I have all these friends since the past 2.5 years. What should I do? Please help me.
I have four Indian-roofed turtles
1 butterfly Koi
2 silver dollars
1 sucker-mouth catfish
1 iridescent shark
<The injury on the Gourami is almost certainly caused by the turtles biting the Gourami. Turtles and fish MUST NOT be kept in the same aquarium. The bloody patch on the tail fin of the Koi is the early stages of Finrot, where bacterial clog up the veins in the fin membrane. Do understand your aquarium is too small for the livestock you have. Anti-Finrot medication should help both the Gourami and the Koi. Koi aren't really suitable for aquaria at all, but if you must keep them indoors, they need at least 350 litres of water. Pterygoplichthys catfish will need at least 250 litres, while Pangasius catfish are schooling fish completely unsuitable for home aquaria. Turtles need their own vivarium with dry land and a UV-B lamp for basking. Your water is rather warm. Review the needs of your livestock, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>

very serious

Trichogaster trichopterus, injured Pectoral fins?   12/12/10
Hi there
Please could you answer this question for me?
My Trichogaster trichopterus just somehow got himself stuck behind the internal filter. When we saw him he was thrashing about quite a bit so we rescued him and he swam off. Now I think he has injured both of his Pectoral fins as he is just using them for a few seconds, only using one, or not using them at all. They also seem to look slightly red (like blood) at the base were they join his body, I am not sure if they looked like that before, or have I just not noticed and am being paranoid because he was stuck?
Thanks ever so much.
<Hello Gemma. It's certainly possible for injured fins to look bloody. But provided you have good water quality -- i.e., zero ammonia and nitrite -- and your Gourami isn't being harassed by its tankmates and enjoys a good diet, it should heal by itself. Keep an eye on things, and if by tomorrow he's feeding happily and looks content, there'll likely be no need to treat. HOWEVER, fish don't normally get stuck behind filters or in filter inlets. Review your aquarium. Check the filter isn't excessively powerful for the size of the tank. Make sure it is properly put together, with grilles over filter inlets. Make sure the Gourami isn't being chased by nippy or aggressive fish -- Tiger Barbs, Serpae Tetras, cichlids, etc. Three Spot Gouramis, which is what you've got, are peaceful if female, but the males are pretty nasty. Check you don't have two males or a male who's decided to harass a female. I always recommend people keep females in community settings. They're quite easy to sex, the males having much longer dorsal fins than the females. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trichogaster trichopterus, injured Pectoral fins?   12/12/10
Thanks a lot for your advice,
<You're welcome.>
he lives with a very, very small Epalzeorhynchos frenatum
<Can be a bit bolshy, so be careful.>

and a Aplocheilus lineatus and that's it. The Shark is tiny and just minds his own near the bottom and the Gourami was getting on brilliant with the Killifish, until 2 days ago when I put some bloodworms in and they had a "fight" There was a little chasing and circling but no injuries.
<Ah yes. Aplocheilus are territorial
, and once they reach full size, about 10 cm, they can be somewhat scary community fish, well able to eat things like Neons. So while this combo should work, do make sure everyone has space. Aplocheilus will claim a 30 cm square area at the top of the tank, preferably with still water and floating plants. Gouramis want similar things, so there may be competition for space, most likely away from the filter outlet.>
They have been absolutely fine before and since and the tank is in the living room and I am watching it a lot of the time. They pass each other, stop for a while near each other and do not jump or swim away when the other is near. The filter is facing the corner which stops it from powering out and there is just a
gentle flow overall through the tank. The filter is also held in place with heavy bogwood so it can't fall or move. It is also definitely put together correctly with the grill etc. in place. I have seen the Gourami "playing" in the filter flow though, it seemed he was purposely swimming through it, Is that possible?
As I said it is wedged in the corner and there is really no need to pass into the flow which sort of goes out, hits the glass and then goes up. Thanks again
<My guess would be the Aplocheilus is making his dominance known, and until everyone accepts this, there may be a few bumps and bruises. Check the tank is big enough for all concerned, and if needs be, adjust the water flow to reduce current and then add some floating Indian Fern to create more territories at the top of the tank. That way, the Gourami and the Killie should ignore one another. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trichogaster trichopterus, injured Pectoral fins?  12/13/10

That is all very helpful and I will get on to it straight away, I have some stuff in my other tanks which I can use to create some territories, thanks.
<Has to be at the TOP of the tank. Floating plants are pretty well the only real option. Both Gouramis and Killifish define their territories based on surface-floating vegetation, so rocks or plants at the bottom of the tank are basically worthless unless they come up to the very top of the tank.>
The tank is 80cm long so hopefully it will be ok for them both?
<Each fish will claim a 30 x 30 cm patch of area under floating plants with low to zero water current. Doesn't really matter how big the tank is, providing you have two patches about this size and in a place with floating plants and minimal current.>
The Gourami seems to be very gentle and I have not seen any aggression at all from him but the Killifish used to be housed with a Honey Gourami which he chased a lot, hence the move to a larger tank with more suitable mates.
He is 8 cm and ate 2 Threadfin rainbows, which I thought would never fit in his mouth, they can definitely fit more in there than you think!
<Yes. That's his ecological niche!>
He is the greediest fish I have ever seen. Do you know how I can adjust the flow of the filter more? It is on the lowest setting already but I wondered if there was anything else I could do to decrease it a bit?
<Try directing the current at the glass or a tall rock that leans up to the surface of the water. Alternatively, use a spray bar and angle the outlet towards the glass.>
The Gourami already looks better than earlier, thank goodness and I have been watching them and the Killie seems to have claimed the filter area as his by the look of it, so that's maybe what happened.
Thanks for your time.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Gourami Eye Problem 10/31/2010
Hi Crew.
<Hello Nalin,>
From one or two weeks I have noticed a problem with one of my three spot gourami. Its Eye has become swollen and somewhat opaque. It is not able to see clearly with this eye. The picture in which its face on the right side is of the blurred eye and the picture in which its image is on the left side is of the normal eye.
<Yes, I can see the problem.>
My aquarium is of 80 litres and has the following creatures:
4 Indian Roofed Turtles
<Kachuga tecta, relatively slow growing, but gets to 8-10 cm within three years, so still needs 200+ litres.>

2 Silver Dollars
<10-12 cm is typical; 250 litres, minimum for these.>
2 Three-Spot Gourami
1 Iridescent Shark
<75 cm long when mature, and they get that size within a couple of years; 500+ litres.>
1 Suckermouth Catfish
<45 cm within two years; 250 litres.>
1 blood-red parrot
<20 cm; 200 litres.>
1 Butterfly Koi Carp
<60 cm; 500+ litres, though they do badly in aquaria and should be kept outdoors.>
I know that they are a lot but I have not faced any problems since the past 2 years.
<And now things are going wrong. You have too many fish in a small aquarium. Turtles and fish don't mix.>
I change the water every 3-4 days about 50% or more. I am in India so here I do not get water testing kits for either ammonia or nitrogen. I first discovered this problem when I was observing them. So I treated the water with some anti-biotic in order to avoid any infection.
<Adding random antibiotics is pointless. Get a nitrite test kit. If you can get antibiotics, surely you can get a nitrite test kit. Much, MUCH more useful.>
I also poured a few drops of general -aid medicine. I waited for two weeks but have not seen any improvement since then.
<Indeed not. And you won't see any improvement.>
SO I thought it would be better to consult you. I have installed an internal sedimentary filter that has a turn-over of 600 litres an hour. And the water remains constant at 30 degree Celsius.
<25 C would be better.>
The gravel is one and a half inches thick and has stones of medium size.]
<For an undergravel filter to work, the gravel depth needs to be 8-10 cm.>
I feed the fishes with freeze-dried shrimp and Tubifex worms and also small pellets. The turtles eat the turtle food and once in a while cabbage leaves. Thank you in advance.
<Your problems are entirely created by adding too many fish. Get rid of everything except the Gouramis. Treat the Gouramis with magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) at a dose of around 0.5 to 1 teaspoon per 20 litres. Once the Gouramis are healthy again, stock the aquarium sensibly as per 75 litres/20 gallons, described here:
Cheers, Neale.>


Sick Gourami  12/7/08 Hi! First, I have to apologize for my English as it is not my mother language (I'm from Croatia, Europe). <No problems. Your English is certainly much better than my Croatian.> 3 months ago I bought 4 Trichogaster trichopterus. The Trichogaster that I want to ask a question about had a small white bump at the base of the dorsal fin which was damaged, but I didn't see it until I got home. I put it in quarantine and treated it with 2 cycles of a wide spectrum medicine called Medimor by Aquarium Muenster (combination of Ethacidrinlactat, Tertamethyl-thioninchlorid and Acraflavinchlorid). Didn't help. So I changed the water, waited a week or so, and tried with Sera's Baktopur (Acriflavine, Methylene blue, phenyglycol) and Mycopur (Acriflavine, cupric chloride, cupric sulfate). <These are various antiseptics, widely sold in Europe because antibiotics aren't available in pet stores. To be brutally frank, they only work up to a point, and aren't substitutes for antibiotics at all. While useful for external infections during the early stages, they won't cure everything, and won't fix serious problems.> No use. Then I tried salt baths which (I think) made the problem worse because those spots spread all over her body, but then it might be from the stress. The disease doesn't seem to be infectious, all other fish are fine (I put her back into the main aquarium, because the small quarantine surely wouldn't help, and was lucky, I know I shouldn't do that). She has a very good appetite, swims well, doesn't hide, doesn't scratch against objects, doesn't have clamped fins, her faeces are fine. The spots are between 1mm and 4 mm big, they look like white lumps sticking out of her body and there are about 15 of them (I hope the photos will help although they're not very good), the skin around them looks pinkish. Her skin on other parts of the body also looks a bit damaged, but her fins (apart from the dorsal which didn't grow back) are all ok. I read everything I could find, posted a question on forums but I can't seem to find anything that looks like this. Maybe Lymphocystis? <Could be; certainly, gouramis do contract Lymphocystis on occasion, though not commonly. It could be something else though. Perhaps another virus? It doesn't look exactly like Finrot, though I'd be treating for Finrot/Fungus before anything else. In Europe, I recommend a product called eSHa 2000 for this; it's economical and very effective, and seems to fix a lot of different problems, including Finrot, Fungus and Columnaris.> The aquarium is 10 months old Juwel Rio 180, 180 l. It has 2 big Ancistrus and a lot of their babies, 7 Kuhlii loaches, 4 Microgeophagus altispinosa, 2 Siamese algae eaters, 2 small Botia histrionica and those Trichogasters. Water properties are stabile at: temp 25 C; pH 7,5; KH 10; GH 15, nitrites 0; nitrates 25. <One thing I would consider is physical damage. Certain algae-eating fish will "suck" at the bodies of other fish. In doing so, they pull up the scales, exposing the flesh underneath. The skin becomes infected, often looking "bubbly". Isolating the injured fish and treating for Finrot/Fungus will help, but long term the fish causing the damage will need to be rehomed. I'd be watching your Ancistrus, Crossocheilus, and Botia in particular.> I do 15 % water change weekly, with water that was left for 24 hours and treated with Nutrafin's Aqua+. I feed the fish with Nutrafin's Staple food in flakes, frozen bloodworms and frozen daphnia and my own frozen food prepared from cooked peas, carrots, hardboiled egg, bloodworms, powdered Spirulina algae ( I plan to add some garlic next time), and gelatin powder, all squashed into a paste. Please help as I (and everybody else I asked) have no idea what to do. Thank you!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: sick Gourami  12/9/08 Hi Neale, thanks for the quick response. Which antibiotic would you recommend? Because I can buy an antibiotic from my pharmacy if I say it is for my pet, or I can ask my vet to write a prescription. <In my fish medication book, a variety of antibiotics are recommended for ulcer-type infections: Furazolidone (20 mg/l), Nifurpinol (0.1-0.2 mg/l) and Oxytetracycline hydrochloride (20-100 mg/l). Use whichever, added to the aquarium water, and always remember to remove carbon from the filter while medicating fish. Use for 7-10 days, after which do a decent (25-50%) water change, and repeat medicating as required.> But if it is a virus, it won't help anyway. <Quite.> Oh, those Botia are in the aquarium since Saturday, so it couldn't be them, and I never saw either Ancistrus or Crossocheilus picking on her. <May happen at night, when you're at work... In any case, when I had Otocinclus catfish doing this to a large Awaous goby, it was many weeks after noticing the damage that I actually saw the fish "in the act"!> She is now in a 30 l quarantine tank, I'm treating her for fungus and Finrot, although not with eSHa because it is not available here, but I will try to buy it on the net. <Hope this helps, Neale.>

Gourami Problem About a week after Christmas(2003), I purchased two small Gold Gouramis a little under two inches, One slightly larger than the other. They had been gobbling down their share of Bloodworms and TetraMin flakes, the larger one had grown to about three and a half inches while the smaller one still remained small, but ate just as much as the other. About a week ago, the smaller one stopped eating and just stared out the front of the tank. Four days after he stopped eating, he/she just died, and I have No idea why. I checked the water and ammonia and nitrate was 0 and Ph was 7.4- Is that ok? They are in a 29 gallon tank with three platys, four mollies, two Cory cats, and five tetras and they all get along, especially the live bearers.  We went to PetSmart to see if the lone Gourami could survive by itself, and he said that they do MUCH better in pairs, although not a schooling fish so he would be ok. So we bought another, not knowing if it was a male or female. When we let it float in his little plastic bag, we noticed that once again, the Gourami was smaller than big fish of the tank. The new Gourami also had darker, more brown, markings and redder eyes. When we let him out of the bag, the old Gourami began rubbing against it and feeling of it with its little feeler thingy ma bobbers (don't have a clue as to what they are!!) Is that a way of breeding? I tried to find info on which ones are males and which ones are females and the old Gourami had a longer dorsal fin and it was kinda pointy, and the new one has a short fin. He did that until I fed them that night and the old Gourami chased the new one away from the food and hasn't had anything to do with the new one since except chasing it and I noticed a small tear on the new one's tail. Should I take the new one back before It kills or gets killed? Who caused the tear? Thanks for all your help. You site is on my favorites list! Rachel >>Dear Rachel; You mention testing your water for ammonia and nitrate, did you also test nitrites? Nitrite and nitrate are not the same thing, and I would recommend always testing for all three. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. You need to know the results for ALL three tests. You pH sounds fine. How often are you doing partial water changes? Please let me know all of this information :) Your gold Gouramis have feelers, most Gouramis do, and they use these to inspect other fish. It is quite normal, it's their way of communicating with each other. The tear in her fins could be caused by aggression, either from the other Gourami, or from one of your mollies. Just make sure you test your water, and that your water tests indicate good water quality, otherwise your fish can develop fin rot or fungus on the damaged fins. Good luck! -Gwen<<

Gourami Troubles Hello - Hoping you can help.  We have just recovered from a case of Ich in our tank - 2 survivors only.  1 Pearl Danio and 1 Gold Gourami.  After two weeks, we added a Pleco, 2 more Danios and through the recommendation at the pet store, 3 white balloon platys.  Everyone seems happy except that the Gourami is attacking the platys (one of them is pregnant).  The pet store staff suggested the Gourami would be fine on his own.  It has only been 24 hours since the platys went in the tank but they already seem stressed. Should I rid of the Gourami?  Should I get a partner for him?  Is it too soon and give them a few more days to adjust to the new attendees? Thanks for your help. Patty Despinic <<Dear Patty; what size is the tank? Tank size does play an important role in the aggression levels of fish. And gold Gouramis can be nasty. Adding another simply means you are adding another potentially nasty fish. They each have their own character, some are nasty, but some do fine in community tanks. As for the balloon platies (are you sure they aren't balloon mollies?) you need to make a judgment call...is the Gourami aggressing them to the point where their fins are becoming shredded? If not, try leaving them in there for a few more days, and see if the aggression lessens. If it doesn't lessen, you will need to decide if you still want to keep them, or return either them or the Gourami. -Gwen>>
Gourami Troubles II
Sorry-the tank is 30 gallons.   I have left them together for a few days and they are not really any better.  The balloon (mollies) do not have any physical damage but they are huddled together in the plant in the tank and won't swim the tank.  I have tested it by removing the Gourami for a short while and the balloon molly's demeanor changes quickly and dramatically. They are obviously much happier.  If I decide to get rid of the Gourami - any suggestions other than flushing him.  He was purchased weeks ago - I'm not sure they would take him back.  Is it safe to give him to a friend who also has a tank? Thanks for all your help. Patty Despinic <<Hey Patty, you should phone your LFS and ask them. Tell them the problem, and if they don't take back the Gourami, would they know of any other stores that would? I don't see a problem, most Serious Pet stores will take a healthy fish back. But yes, it is probably safe to give him away to your friend, too. Good luck! -Gwen>>

Re: Freshwater Tank question Chuck: In reference to this answer on the website, "watch out that ventral fin feelers don't get picked off by the faster moving fish"...I've noticed that my blue Gourami seems to have a section missing from his "plumage" Where is the ventral fin, and are the Danios or blue tetras the likely culprit, as they are the faster moving fish?  Also, if I increase my Danio school (I only have 3 now), do you think that stands a chance of decreasing the chances of this happening again? < These "feelers" that are characteristic of many Gourami species, are too tempting for other species to leave alone. The Gouramis often use these to poke and prod other things and they get picked off by the smaller faster fish like the blue tetras in your case. Adding more fish won't prevent this from happening again.-Chuck> Cyndy Monarez/Thomas Nelson

Trichogaster trichopterus Hi, <Hello, Sabrina here> I was unable to find any good documentation about my Gourami.  I have 2 female three spotted Gourami and they have been living together for about 6 months.   <Trichogaster trichopterus is the Latin name - a Google search will yield great results, and here's the WWM article:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anabantoids.htm .> Living with them, I have a small school of tiger barbs.  The other day I bought a pink kissing Gourami.  Now one of my three spotted Gourami has turned very dark and his spots have faded out so that it appears as if it has no spots.  I suspect that it may be stress because the color change occurred within about 3 hours.  A bacteria wouldn't act this fast without harming any of the other fish right?   <It's certainly possible, but you're right on about stress, too.  Now you've just got to determine why the fish is stressed - illness, perhaps; or maybe being bullied by that new kisser.> Anyway, that fish now hangs out in the plants.  How should I go about diagnosing what is wrong? <A good starting point:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm  Other than that, observe the fish very closely, and separate to a quarantine tank if at all possible, for better observation and to protect the fish, also to prevent any possibility of spreading any illness to other fish.> Thanks,  Keeter <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Golden Gouramis, hlth.  1/27/08 Hi there! We have a new 72 gallon tank. Set it up, left it for a week, tested the water, and all seems perfect (nitrates, ammonia etc come up as ideal on the test strips) except it may be just a bit alkaline. Bought our first fish 3 golden Gouramis, 5 rosy tetras and 3 long fin Serpae tetras. <Serpae tetras -- Hyphessobrycon Serpae, plus related species in the genus -- are notorious fin-nippers. You can probably already see their raggedy fins. Anyway, they're not compatible with Gouramis. Unless you want Gouramis with nibbled fins, Finrot and Fungus. Please please please research fish before buying them. Lots of so-called "community fish" aren't.> Also moved a rather large (6") Pleco from a previous tank. All seemed well until yesterday, when one of the Gouramis colours seemed to start fading and the bottom edges of his bottom fins appear orangish. <Which "bottom fins"? If the pelvic fins (the "feelers") those can change colour according to sex. Certainly that's the case with Trichogaster microlepis. Not sure about Trichogaster trichopterus though. If the anal fin (the unpaired long fin between the "feelers" and the tail fin) then I'd suspect Finrot. The bacteria start by forming clots in the blood vessels, and these turn pink. Eventually the surrounding tissue dies, and the fins rot away from the trailing edge inwards. Treat at once, and remove the Serpae tetras, since they're as likely as anything to start Finrot in Gouramis. Finrot is normally caused either by physical damage (e.g., nipping) or poor water quality, so do also check the nitrite just to be sure.> Today, he didn't eat, even though he was at the surface of the tank, and then he went and hid at the bottom of the tank. The other two Gouramis seem normal and are eating and I haven't seen any sign of aggressive behaviour. I have no idea if these Gouramis are male or female or how to tell the difference. <Male Trichogaster trichopterus have much longer dorsal fins; the female's dorsal fin is about half the size, if that.> One other thing, the faded Gourami seems to be trailing a thin white poop. don't know if this means anything. <Can mean a variety of things. It isn't normal, but it isn't necessarily a disaster either. A more varied, high-fibre diet is probably the thing you need to do here.> Also wanted to ask about the Pleco. He has always been somewhat reclusive, but now that he is in the big tank, he has retreated into a hollow tower (I can see his fins, and they do move) and hasn't come out in about 3 days. Should I be worried about him, or is this normal? <Put some cucumber or courgette in the tank tonight. If it's been eaten by the morning, then all is well. If it's still there, then you may have a problem.> I am still feeding him with Spirulina tabs. Looking forward to your reply, Cheryl <Hope this helps, Neale.>

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