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FAQs on Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives Disease 1

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

Related FAQs:  Gourami Disease 2, 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,

Sick Kissing Gourami 10/27/08 First off I would like to say thank you for having a wonderful and informative site! <Very kind.> I have a 30 gallon aquarium that is home to 1 blue paradise gourami, 1 golden gourami, 1 opaline gourami, and 1 pink kissing gourami. I have had this set up for 7 months with the gourami's being happy and friendly. I have a topfin carbon filter and change 20% of the water regularly. <A good baseline for water changes is 25% per week, and the more the better, assuming water chemistry doesn't vary too much. Now, as for filtration, I'm not a big fan of carbon in freshwater tanks. Unless you specifically understand what it's for and what you're using it to remove from the water, you almost certainly don't need it. Carbon also needs to be replaced every 3-4 weeks: if you aren't doing that, it isn't doing its job. Bottom line, for most aquarists keeping freshwater fish, what matters is mechanical and especially biological media. The filter should be rated at not less than 4 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour, and ideally 50% more than that. Personally, I don't like those silly little "hang on the back" filters popular in the US especially; they're overpriced for what they are, and most seem to rely on filter medium "modules" strictly limiting the options available to the aquarist to expensive, space-inefficient modules. Great for the manufacturer and retailer, rubbish for the hobbyist.> Two weeks ago I tried to add 2 tiger barbs to the mix, but both died within three days of adding them to the aquarium, when I removed the bodies I noticed they both had a white cottonlike growth on their mouths. <Could be either fungus or something called Mouth Fungus, a bacterial infection also called Columnaris.> I looked up the symptom online, and finding it to be mouth fungus I promptly treated the tank with Tank Buddies Fungus Clear, which was recommended to my by the LFS. After a week everything looked fine. <Do remember carbon removes medications from the water. Another GOOD reason not to use carbon in your freshwater tank. Did you remove the carbon?> I checked in on my fish this morning and the kissing gourami's mouth was bright red and puckered out. He tried to eat with the other fish, but seemed that he could not take in the food. This afternoon I checked back in with him and now his mouth is very swollen and has a bloody look to it. He is sitting listlessly on the bottom of the tank. Please let me know how to help my fish friend! <Do review water quality first of all, as that's the thing that causes Mouth Fungus, Finrot, and Fungus infections. Next up, treat the tank with an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial medication (but nothing tea-tree oil based like Melafix or Pimafix). Remove carbon whenever using medications.> Many Thanks, Liz <Cheers, Neale.>

Kissing Gourami, Disease - 10/23/2005 I cannot find any information on my specific conditions of my Pink Kissers. I have 2 that are 4 to 5 " long, that I have had for 2 years very healthy until a few days ago, I did add a smaller pink kisser about 1 week ago. <Did you quarantine the new fish prior to adding to your tank?> Virtually overnight 1 started having signs of erosion around his mouth, his mouth looks like it is almost completing gone, now the others are having the same problem. How do I treat this and what is it?  <Uh, actually, the first question is what is it, THEN how do you treat it.... So, as for what it is, I'd prefer to have more information about your system prior to giving you some ideas, but I think it likely that it's a bacterial complaint of some sort, probably brought in by the new fish.  As for how to treat it.... Your first mission is to find out your water quality. Test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Ammonia and nitrite must be ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm - if this is not so, rectify with water changes. This alone may be all you need to do. If, however, you find that your water quality IS good, then you'll want to consider treating with a broad-spectrum antibiotic that treats both gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial infections.> I don't want to lose these beautiful fish! Help!  <Test and fix your water, first and foremost.> Debra <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Big Lack Of Info - Warning... Graphic pic! 10/18/2005 I just noticed one of my Gouramis on the bottom of my tank and its mouth looks like one large sore.  Can this be treated or is it better to remove the fish and put it down?  All other fish look fine.... <There is nowhere near enough information to go off here for me to give you any sort of a recommendation at all.  I know nothing about your system, inhabitants, maintenance practices, water quality....  without these vital chunks of information, there's really nothing I can tell you.  Please start by reading on WetWebMedia in the freshwater section.> Regards,  -Chris <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Dwarf Gourami Discoloration - 10/14/2005 Hi, I have a 2 month old 150L tank (see below for details) to which I added 4 dwarf Gouramis 5 days ago. I have since discovered that, contrary to the advice of the shop assistant at my LFS, they are likely to be aggressive especially because I have a feeling that they might all be males. <Entirely possible.> Three of them are 100% <As opposed to, say, 50%? And if they were 50%, would you prefer the front half, or the balk half? I imagine you mean they appear to be in perfect health.> and doing really well but one of them started making a bubble nest a couple of days ago and got quite territorial about his patch of water lettuce, chasing the others away and trying to nip them. <This is normal behaviour.> This wasn't a huge problem per se because he failed to catch any of them and none of them are showing any signs of injury or even stress. The thing is that the aggressor has got patches of discolouration on him that seem to have got worse over the last 24 hours. The patches are white in colour and vary from one to three mm in area. They are mostly around his head and shoulders and one on the end of his dorsal fin which is transparent.  He is swimming, behaving and eating fine (menu this week was Monday: Tetra Pro flakes, Wednesday: frozen defrosted bloodworm, tomorrow: blanched shelled peas. All supplemented with plenty of my plants!). The patches aren't raised or cotton woolly and don't match the descriptions that I can find on your site or any others so far. If anything they look like scarring (no scales are hanging off and I haven't seen any fall off) but I can't find any pictures of what Gouramis look like when they have scales missing. A Google search on "Gourami scales missing" gives a couple of hits for forums where people describe red patches where scales have been lost but the patches on my fish certainly aren't red.  Yesterday I tried to catch him to give him a time-out for a week or two in my old 10G tank (empty but for two very reclusive Kuhli loaches) but he totally eluded my efforts and I didn't want to stress him, however I did mangle his beautiful nest in the process. Since then he hasn't tried to rebuild it and his aggressive behaviour has ceased but, as I said, I'm still concerned because the discoloured patches seem to have gotten worse. I suppose it is possible that I am being obsessive because a couple of them were a bit patchy looking when I got them home and under my lights. The others have all flourished though. <Hmm.... Without actually seeing the fish, I'm not sure I can advise you well on this.... Were it me/my fish, I would probably be waffling between removing the animal to a separate system for observation, or leaving in the main system and just watching him closely.... I am uncomfortable advising you to do either of these; leaving the fish in the main system is a risk if he has anything communicable, but removing him is an unnecessary stress if he just happens to be a slightly discoloured fish by nature.... I would be really torn, here. If in doubt, I suppose my "default" is to remove the animal to a quarantine system to be on the safe side.> Any ideas? I don't want to medicate until I have a better idea of what's up <VERY good.> with him and also medication would mean that the 10G would be converted to a QT tank and I'd have to catch the Kuhlis (not easy, they're like greased lightening) <True enough!> and transfer them. In the absence of any other clues it seems to me that the patches are where the other fish have retaliated to his aggression but I only have a year's experience so am certainly no expert and would really appreciate your thoughts. <You could be entirely correct, here.> TANK SPECS: 150L Tropiquarium Fluval 4 Plus filter Nutrafin CO2 Layer of JBL Aquabasics complete substrate covered by layer of Aquagrit 1 x LifeGlow and 1 x PowerGlow bulbs on from 9am-12am. Plants: Red Water Rose, Hygro polysperma, Pygmy Chain Sword, Bacopa monnieri, Ech Tenellus, Vallisneria Corkscrew, Red Ludwigia, Rotala macrandra, Ambulia aquatica, Hair Grass, Cabomba Aquatica, Vallisneria Torta, Elodea Densa, Floating Water Lettuce, Red-stem Milfoil. 2 x cardinal tetras, 3 x rummy-nosed tetras, 3 x black Neons, 2 x dwarf bristle nosed Plec, 4 x dwarf Gouramis. Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 25mg/l pH: 7.6 <Ammonia? If not zero, bring it to zero with water changes. I imagine you knew that already, though.> 20-30% water change every 10-14 days, last done yesterday. <honestly, all sounds good to me..... aside from the discoloration. Weigh the pros and cons, and consider whether or not to remove the fish for observation at this point.... There are many possibilities of what this might be, ranging from the fish's own personal coloration to minor damage to bacterial disease; I would treat this as a "watch and see" situation, either in the main tank or in quarantine. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

My 3- spot Male Gourami Has a Torn Tail! 10/9/05 Hi, I have a 29 gal tropical tank, well established with a variety of fish living comfortable for the past 3 years. This is a very natural tank, and my fish are extremely healthy, breeding and living peacefully. The tank is not overcrowded, has proper ph, and my fish are properly fed.  However, this evening, I was doing my regular once or twice per month vacuuming, when I left both ends of the hose in the tank to let the fish de-stress for awhile before I continued. The vacuum was not suctioning, but my male 3 spot Gourami, 4 inches long, decided to investigate the vacuum and got himself up into the wide plastic tubing, about 2 inches in diameter.  I lifted the tubing up and he swam out, however, later in the evening, I noticed he had a vertical tear in his tail, next to his body, about half the width of the tail. What should I do, if anything?  I have had him for years, and his name is Jackass because for a long time he was really very aggressive. Now he is a great friend. I don't want him to suffer, and I don't want to lose him, please help! Thanks, Bunnie <Sounds/reads like this is some sort of mechanical injury... it should heal of its own accord with just good general upkeep, feeding. I would not "add medicine" to the water. Bob Fenner>

Re: My 3 spot male Gourami has a torn tail! 10/10/05 Thanks for the reply, Bob. The section of tail has fallen off over the weekend. He is still swimming happily, and eating well, and the wound seems to have begun healing. I appreciate your response. Have a nice day, Bunnie <Thank you. Gouramis are good healers, regenerators under healthy conditions. Yours should re-grow the fin in time. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Gourami growths  10/4/05 Hi - I had a question about my male blue powder dwarf Gourami. He has two lumps on each side of the top of his head. He looks like he's about to sprout little horns or something:) <Not good...> He also has a dark spot towards the top of his tail fin. He acts fine, and I'd like to get him a mate - but I want to make sure nothings wrong with him first. Thank you, hope you can help. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GouramiDisFAQs.htm Bob Fenner>

Gourami With Bacterial Infection  9/28/05 Hey gang. My dwarf Gourami has an injury that doesn't seem to be healing, I'm not sure what to try next. I've had this fish for approx. two weeks. On purchase, he had some red colouration around his bottom lip, which I thought was part of his normal colouring. However, it's slowly getting worse. The skin around his bottom lip has a "bloodshot" appearance to it, and it appears as though the flesh around the lip area is disintegrating. I've been able to look very closely, and there doesn't appear to be any fungal-type growth. It's just as though the skin is sloughing off. The fish is eating and behaving normally. A little info about his environment: cycled 10 gallon tank, shared with one other male dwarf Gourami and four Cory cats. He's been chased around by the other Gourami a little, but I've seen virtually no actual aggression between the two. We've been treating with Melafix, but not surprisingly, it's had little effect. Any suggestions you may have for further treatment would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! JM < This is a bacterial infection that needs to be treated with some heavy duty antibiotics. First do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. A separate hospital tank would be best. The water should be around 80 F. Treat with Nitrofuranace. These infections can be very difficult to cure so early detection and treatment is essential.-Chuck> Blue Dwarf Gourami  9/28/05 Hello I have a healthy 37 gal tank well established - current inhabitants same for 9-10 mos. Of late - into the fourth week - one blue dwarf Gourami has been laying on his(?) side in the front corner of the tank appearing dead.  He has piled rocks into the corner - whether by design or incidental to laying there moving fins I don't know - but a good sized pile has accumulated.  He interacts with other fish, swims around apparently healthy throughout the day - perhaps 25-30% of the time and eats well.   No chemical changes, but about 4-6 weeks ago I lost a b.d.g. for unknown reasons and with no precedent behavior - was it his mate? < Probably not.> Is this grief?   < No> He has had no physical changes with the exception that he MIGHT be missing one whisker - I can't honestly tell but I believe both are intact.  Thanks very much. < These little guys come from slow moving water with lots of plants in which to hide. Fast moving tankmates quickly intimidate these little guys into hiding. Add some floating plants and see if that makes a difference. Stress may lead to disease.-Chuck> Sick Golden Gourami  9/9/05 Hello, I have operated aquariums for over 10 years. The current one is 4 years old. 60 gallons. Fish: 4 red dwarf Gourami, 5 tetras, two large Danios, one large angel and two golden Gouramis. It is the female Gourami I am worried about. I know I have a male/female as I can tell this from the dorsal fins. I observe my fish every day. The problem I have is with the female Gourami who now just lays on in the corner or somewhere on the bottom. The male will still come to it and it will swim elsewhere. It is getting weaker every day as it hasn't eaten for some time now (close to a month). Yesterday, it was laying on its side. I watched over the months as the male would chase the female. I thought they were mating. I have had these Gouramis for 7 years (they came from my other tank). They are quite large - probably around 4 - 5 in. I did a partial water change this week to see if things improved. My water levels, ph, etc. are normal. I have observed the chasing for some time and the fact that this female hides and stays away from the male. I guess another step would be to put it in another tank which I unfortunately do not have :-( Can you please help me rescue my wonderful golden Gourami :-)  Thank you. <... seven years is a good long while for this species to live... and a month w/o eating... I might try an immersion/bath in some tank water, with Epsom Salt added... a level teaspoon in a gallon volume... for about an hour... Hopefully this general cathartic will "stir" your female Trichogaster to more activity... Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Golden Gourami  9/11/05 Hello Bob, Thank you for your reply. Interesting suggestion. I will give it a try. How long should I leave the fish in this "Epsom water"? Also, is "tank" water regular water ? Thanks again. Cheers, Orysia <Is in the original post (below)... yes to using tank water, about an hour. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Parasite or bacteria? Gourami illness  9/8/05 I have read your FAQs and have done some of my own research and am still  not sure what I have going on with my dwarf Gourami. "He" (still not sure of  sex) lives in a 10 gallon tank with two white clouds and a male and female  black skirt tetra. I feed them flakes and blood worms for treats. No live plants and I change the carbon filter every 1-2 weeks. This is my first tank and I have quite a bit to learn. He has developed what looks like a small abscess (whitish  in color at edges), approx 4mm in diameter on his side underneath the fin. I  have noticed that if the carbon filter is slightly dirty the abscess has a small  red spot protruding from it (looks like a blood vessel possibly). This goes away  when the filter is changed, but the abscess, although it appears as if it  healing, is not going away. <Good description, observations> I am nervous to just try anything without really  knowing what is going on. <Ahh! You are to be congratulated here> I can't decipher whether is a fungal or bacterial  infection or something else that I haven't happened upon. <Mmm, true fungal infections of aquarium fishes are indeed rare...> Any information that  could be more specific would be a great help. If I need to provide you with any  additional information, please let me know. I really appreciate your time on  this. Thank you. Please respond to XXXX if possible as I am  using a friend's account. Sincerely, Allison Savage <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GouramiDisFAQs.htm as you will find, Colisa lalia are prone to this sort of "anomalous" complaint... can be "cured" by successive treatment for both gram-negative bacteria and protozoan infections. I wish you and your Gourami well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Parasite or bacteria? Gourami illness  9/12/05 Mr. Fenner, I am afraid I didn't make it in time. I lost my Gourami this morning. I appreciate once again your info and if I encounter this problem with future Gouramis I will know how and what to do in a timely manner. Sincerely, Allison Savage <Sorry to read of your loss. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Big, smooth yellowish patches on pearl Gourami  9/8/05 Help!  I just put my obviously ill Pearl Gourami, Celeste, back into my big tank with everybody else.  I'm resorting to desperate measures (which could in themselves prove to cause more illnesses/ fatalities) to save her. When Mister (my male Gold Gourami) was the sole survivor of a nasty bacterial outbreak &/or New Tank Syndrome in my 10 gal. (one year ago)  it was amazing. <Too small a volume...> He did have fin rot so the LFS recommended Tri Sulfa capsules which I administered in a 2.5 gal. hospital tank. He began to rock back and forth and freak-out a few minutes later so I quickly filled a bucket with H2O( & Nov Aqua) for keeping him until I cleaned the others out. His condition worsened as he didn't eat for four weeks. The fin rot was consuming him so, during that month I tried a 30 second salt tonic (which flipped him out as if it burned), <Did> waited a week and began giving him Maracyn for 10 days without success. It was heartbreaking to watch him dwindle away. His eyes looked crazy or full of terror as the rocking became stronger and more spastic, like a medical seizure. Out of desperation I bought Finnoohlala, my female Gold Gourami, and put her in with Mister as soon as I got her home.  My prayers were answered as it took like maybe 30 min. for him to recover... I kid you not. His feelers still haven't completely repaired but almost. Thanks to your website I now know that he probably had Gourami Disease. You're site is the ONLY source I've found with any reference to this disease. Thank you.   Anyhow, in an attempt to have similar success with Celeste's condition I returned her to the big tank. These weird patches on her are round, smooth and large. they seem to be erasing or removing the color from skin and fins. On her body they look beige-yellowish where she should be silver with a black stripe. On her fin the affected spot becomes transparent. I first thought I noticed one about two months ago on her forehead. It was very faint and no-one else saw it. My friends and family convinced me to leave the fish alone and stop obsessing. Over the next month or so sometimes I thought I could see it other times not at all. Two weeks ago I went to Utah for 5 days and returned to a disaster.  My mom over fed them while I was gone and there was a plethora of little white worms on only the glass. Although confident that I had gotten rid of the worms with an algae scrubber, gravel vacuum  and 30% water change I went and bought four Aeneus Catfish just in case.  While they were in quarantine I thought I saw more  faint patches on Celeste and the one on her head looked yellowish. I went on-line to research what it could be, without success. By morning (last Thursday) she was fine again. Friday I was unable to inspect her until after midnight when I definitely saw a couple of patches including the one on her forehead. I transferred her to another tank (un cycled) on Saturday. I was gone all day Sunday and had my Mom babysitting the fish with instructions not to feed. When I next saw Celeste she was covered with patches and the bowel movement was lighter colored than the tan it had been the previous week (which was different than the typical orangish brown she normally has). I have Rheumatoid Arthritis which has locked my knees in the bent position making walking difficult and extremely painful.  This sounds like a lame excuse but my parameters test kit is down stairs where I cannot get it till mid tomorrow. So, my question is this..." Can you tell from the photo(s) what could be wrong with Celeste"?   <Mmm, no... but is likely more environmental than pathogenic... do you test for water quality? Oh, I see some of this below> By the way it's a 29 gallon tank, Marineland type C Power Filter with Bio Wheel, I keep it between 78-80 degrees F and perform weekly 15% water changes with Nov Aqua treated water. Tank inhabitants: -2 Golden Gouramis,  1 Pearl Gourami & 4 Aeneus Catfish I'll get those parameters ASAP.  Thank you,  Sara <Sara, do test, have your water tested for nitrate concentration... consider adding some live plant (even simple floating types) to improve water quality. What do you feed these fishes? Do you have non-freshwater decor items? Something "too much" or "too little" in their world is at cause here. Bob Fenner>

Injured dwarf Gourami & adaptation questions  9/5/05 Hello.  I stumbled across this website this evening and know I will be a regular reader from now on.  I read lots of other letters on your site after doing a search on Gouramis but didn't see anything pertaining to my Gourami's particular injury. Here's some background.  I bought a 55 gallon rectangular aquarium and considered carefully what I wanted to put in it.  I decided to go with a tank of tinies and have so far successfully kept together nine neon tetras, eight long fin red minor tetras, and seven Lampeye tetras.  The minors chase each other but there is no nipping - all fins are intact (considering when I compare pictures in a book the dorsal fins are normally slightly jagged compared to some other types of tetras), and no chunks are missing from any bodies.   I cycled the tank with two goldfish and then moved them into a twenty gallon tank by themselves. <Want to make a note here for others edification... not a good idea to use goldfish in this fashion. They are almost invariably vectors of pathogenic disease... easily transfer to such new systems> In the 55 gallon tank I have two twin Whisper 60 power filters, each one pumping 330 gph.  My ammonia and nitrites have always been zero, my nitrates around 40, and my pH at 6.8. <Please read re nitrates on WWM... best to keep under 20 ppm> With the large tank (for three schools of tetras), stable water conditions and filter overkill, I wanted to add a fourth species to the tank and added four male dwarf Gouramis three days ago.  Compared to the various larger Gouramis, they seemed peaceful enough to put with the tetras.  Also the tank is big enough that it seems they should have enough room not to be aggressive with each other even though they are all males.  I've been worried about one of the Gouramis.  He hangs out at the top back corner of the tank underneath the filter in a diagonal position with his mouth about a 1/2 inch below the surface touching the glass. His mouth and fins move but he stays in the same spot. So far I've been feeding the same TetraMin tropical flakes I've been using, but crushed because of the tetras' small mouths.  The other three Gouramis eat them readily, but the flakes float right beside the one in the corner and he doesn't react at all.  Both of his pelvic fins look fine, so I don't think he is having trouble sensing the flakes.  I tested the water conditions and found two major problems.  I forgot that I had vacuumed the gravel two days before I bought the Gouramis and my nitrates were at 180. <Yeeikes!> I think that if I hadn't vacuumed so recently my biofilter would have been able to handle the additional fish.   My ammonia was at .25 <Should be undetectable...> and my nitrites were at zero.  I checked the pH and was shocked to find it had dropped down to 6.0.  Is that because of the high nitrates? <These are tied together...> I haven't noticed any large pH variations in my tap water so far and haven't added a buffer. <Your source water is obviously of low alkaline reserve> To start fixing things I added five-and-a-half scoops of proper pH 7.0 per the directions, waited an hour and then tested again.  The pH had improved to 6.4.   <You want to change pH slowly... best with small water changes... the addition of a bit of sodium bicarbonate dissolved in the new water...> Then I did a 12 gallon water change to dilute the nitrates.  I waited an hour (BTW, how long after a water change should I test again), <A few hours> checked and the pH was still 6.4 and the nitrates had dropped to 80.  I know that the pH still isn't high enough and the nitrates are too high, but I'm afraid that I'll stress my fish too much if I fix things all in one night. <You are right here> I'm planning on changing another 12 gallons each night and adding the prescribed amount of pH 7.0 until things get better.  Is this the right thing to do? <... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwph,alk.htm and the linked files at top> Which is the lesser evil, a huge change in pH and nitrates at one time, or enduring a couple more days of diminishing bad conditions? <Depends... in this case the latter> I'll also be careful not to overfeed. <Good... and add some other food type/s... frozen/defrosted, to your mix> So back to the listless Gourami. He is still in the corner and not moving around after I changed the water. After reading the other Gourami letters I realized that hanging out and not eating can be due to adaptation, but the other Gouramis aren't doing that.  Yes, they go near the top and sometimes get their oxygen directly from the air.  Sometimes all three do this and sometimes one prefers the bottom corner behind a decoration.  The two that stay high swim together like they're best friends. That behavior surprises me since they're both supposed to be males,  I've seen you warn in other responses that the male dwarf Gouramis can be aggressive, but my tank is big enough that the pair stays near the center and the others are two feet away on either end. <I don't think you will have aggression problems... for the reasons you state> They are the most peaceful fish in my aquarium.  Is this because they're still adapting and haven't gotten around to worrying about each other, or do you think they have enough room that they'll stay peaceful? <Mostly the latter... and the absence of females> The tetras all stay in the middle level, so the Gouramis are not competing with them for space (yet). Now for my injured Gourami, and it's not the listless one.  We had a disaster today.  I've been keeping an eye on the Gouramis since they're new and this afternoon could find only three.  After searching all over, including the floor, I finally found him stuck in one of my decorations.  It was an artificial rock formation with holes through it that fish could swim through.  One of the holes was smaller than the others, but I never thought much about it since the tetras could swim through just fine.  The Gourami is about 1.5 inches long, and he was stuck just past his right pectoral fin. His left fin was still behind the opening.  I didn't know what to do because both pulling him or pushing him out would have injured one fin or the other. My husband I consulted and decided to risk pulling the whole decoration (with fish) out onto the floor and breaking it with a hammer. We got him out with two mild blows and then back into the water within 30 seconds.  His dorsal fin is a little messed up, he has abrasions on his right side, and the right pectoral fin while there, doesn't move.  We have dubbed this fish "Lefty".  The other fins look fine and he swims around and eats.  He's one of the pair at the top and is acting normal.  What do I need to do for him? Is he likely to die?   <Hopefully will recover of its own accord> I've seen people refer to Melafix, but I'm not familiar with it.  Should I use that? <I would not>   The injuries they described were not the same as this.  I don't know what I should have done instead of using the hammer, but it's over and I can't take it back. Since I've never posted before, I don't know how long it takes to get a response and whether or not my letter is too long. Until I hear back I plan on doing the gradual water change, continuing the pH every night, and not doing anything about the injured Gourami.  I have no way to tell if he's got internal injuries, and if he does die that lessens the chance that the three remaining Gouramis will fight. If he survives and things stay peaceful then I hope to have a happy, stable aquarium with a "lefty" in it. I really appreciate your help in this and thank you in advance for your response. Lynn <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Possibly diseased Gourami? 8/7/05 Hi, I found your posts very  helpful in the past, and figured I would pick your brain for a situation that has developed in my tank. <Not much there, but go ahead> I recently purchased 2 blue dwarf Gouramis last week and placed them in a 29-gallon, well-established aquarium. One of the Gouramis has since passed away, from what looked like fin rot. <Yikes...> The other fish appeared healthy until today, when I noticed that 2 red spots appeared on either side of his belly right, directly across from one another, just above the fin line. The spots look like sores; no signs of fin rot, at least as of yet. I have never seen anything like the sores, and haven't been able to find any references to this type of illness. I'm going to move him to a hospital tank as none of the other fish are exhibiting any symptoms. What do you think this might be, and what would be the best way to treat it? Thank you, Amy <Unfortunately, Colisa genus Gouramis are notorious for "falling apart" this time of year... along with a few other seasonal far East imports... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GouramiDisFAQs.htm Bob Fenner> Sick dwarf Gourami 8/2/05 Hi Crew, My dwarf Gourami stopped eating about 10 days ago. Actually, she still shows quite a good appetite, but can not swallow: she takes food in the mouth and spews it back the same second. I have tried flakes, pellets, brine shrimp - her favourite - to no avail. Then I have noticed white (or colorless) stringy feces instead of usual dark brown ones. <Good observation> My guess was that it was internal parasites and I put her in a quarantine tank and started treatment with Metronidazole. <Ah, this would have been my choice as well> After 5 days of treatment as per package instructions there are no changes: she is still refuses to eat and produces white long feces. Otherwise, her behaviour is fairly normal. Water parameters are fine: no ammonia or nitrites, other fish appear healthy. I would greatly appreciate your help. Thanks, Konstantin. <Next to try is an anti-worm... vermifuge. I would look for Praziquantel... You can use the search tool on WWM to read more specifically re. Know that most if not all Gouramis raised in the Far East for the ornamental trade have these difficulties. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick dwarf Gourami update 8/6/05 Thank you, Bob. I have been now treating QT tank with Praziquantel for three days. Nothing has changed much, and I am afraid the time is running out. She still can not swallow and I do not know for how long she can go without any food. At the same time she looks and behaves hungry: with a sight of food she jumps to it, grab in her mouth, and then let go looking bewildered. And also, I have not noticed for a last couple of days white stringy feces she had before. Actually, no feces, period. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks, Konstantin. <Yes... have you added Epsom salt to the water? About a level teaspoon per ten gallons. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick dwarf Gourami update 8/7/05 No, I have not, but I will. Thanks. Konstantin. <Ahh, magnesium sulfate can be a very effective cathartic... I do hope it works for you. BobF> Sick Blue Gourami? Magnetic magic? 7/17/05 Hi, I have a blue Gourami and a flame Gourami in a ten gallon tank with an eco-Aqualizer and a Rena Air 50 bubbler. <I've got a magical pyramid on my head and an Eheim> The blue Gourami has been behaving strangely for the last few weeks.  It stays at the top of the tank with its head at the surface constantly and seems to be swimming awkwardly (as if it can't swim straight but with its head angled up always).  I've changed the water and noticed some fin and tail rot so I've been treating it with Mardel Maracyn-two for the last three days but haven't noticed much change.  The flame Gourami seems to be perfectly fine. Thanks for your help, Albert <... for? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gouramifaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sick Gourami What can I do to help out the poor Gourami? His eye seems to now have "popped" - it's no longer blood read and clear - there is a tear in the bubble and stringy black items are coming out. Is this a normal healing process? Should I move him to his own tank to heal and treat with Epson salt? I am still using Maracyn - Two and the ph was fine, but as you said, the ammonia was up... the water temp is 80. Thanks so much for your help! Victoria Barba < Move the Gourami to his own tank. If you see exterior signs of bacteria then I would recommend treating with Nitrofurazone. Internal bacterial infections with not visible signs of bacteria except the popped eye need to be treated with Metronidazole.-Chuck> Gourami Loss         Hi there, I have a 100G planted tank setup with Angel Fish, Guppies, Mollies, Plecos, Platies, and Tetra's.  I keep a regular check on my chemicals, and have always found that Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite to be at or very close to 0.0  My pH stays at a neutral 7.0.  I have had these numbers verified by three other sources.  About every three to four months I lose most, if not all the Gourami's for no apparent reason.  I then began checking my other chemical with additional test kits and found that this corresponded with a very high (off the scale) amount of Phosphate.  I usually do about a 30%-40% water change every three weeks with a dosage of Seachem "Neutral Regulator".  I found that if I do it more often or a larger amount, I lose the Angel Fish.  I currently run two Tetra Tec PF500's (I got a good deal on price) with "Chemi-Pure", "Phos-X", "Bio-Max" and the other slots taken up by the standard filter media.  I believe that the latest losses were due to me forgetting to change the "Phos-X" in time. My questions are: Are Gourami's particularly sensitive to Phosphate ?  Also with the loss of the Gourami's, I have no other loss... <Not particularly sensitive... and given your otherwise healthy livestock (thank you for the complete list), am given to comment that the root problem here is likely the initial health of the Gouramis themselves. Put another way, the other types of healthy fishes you have cover the spectrum of useful water quality that Gouramis enjoy/tolerate... and they are way too often bunk nowadays... Dying easily, imported, often "goosed" (treated with hormones to "color up") from the orient. Many do "just die" mysteriously... especially in seasonal changes in temperature> Is there a better way to Phosphate in check ? <Yes... to get, use a Reverse Osmosis device or other chemical (contactor) device. Some input here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/h2opurifiers.htm See the links at top> Any suggestions on equipment or maintenance changes ? Many Thanks... <Please see WWM re (the freshwater SubWeb)... Storing make-up water for a week or more in advance of your use might do all here to remedy the situation... Bob Fenner> Help! Sick Blue Dwarf Gourami Hi there-- <Hello> Recently I've had nothing but trouble with my 3 gallon Eclipse tank-- <Very hard to keep such small volumes stable> A bumblebee goby just died on me (had some kind of mouth fungus), <This is a brackish water species...> and now my Neon Blue dwarf Gourami has come down with something nasty-- the past 2 days I noticed his stomach started to bulge out, with his right side bigger than the left, and he suddenly became inactive, floating head up in the top corner of the tank. When he did start swimming around, he would swim like he had a twitch, and then occasionally slap his bulging left side of his stomach against the side of the tank, making a small *thud* sound. <Not good> I read up on your homepage and in the Gourami FAQ it sounded like a bacterial infection, so I searched local LFS's and bought the only medicated food I could find, called Anti-Bacteria, by Jungle. I gave that to him for two days, did a 33% water change, and he seemed to get better, even pooping more constantly (although it was a bit stringy). <Good choices of action...> I wake up this morning to see that his stomach is still bloated, more evenly, and now he is having trouble swimming. He seems to be weighed down by his stomach, struggling to swim over things and bumping into décor as if he was an over-weighted zeppelin. I just caught him resting on the aquarium floor, almost sideways(!!), breathing heavily. Other that the stomach, he appears to have no other external symptoms. <It's likely you read re this genus' trouble seasonally... particularly this species (Colisa lalia) "falls apart" in the warming months...> Please help quick! I don't wanna lose another fish... Terry <Please take another read through the Gourami FAQs files... And search for the Bumblebee Goby on WWM... you could try using Epsom Salt here, but I do not give your fish good odds. Bob Fenner> PS tank profile, Ammonia 0ppm, PH 7.2, Alkalinity 80ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 30ppm (after water change) Tank inhabitants-- Gold Dojo Loach, 2 glass shrimp, 1 Amano shrimp, 1 Oto (and the Gourami)

One Eyed Gourami Thanks very much for your info. It seems that my fish has lost his eye. It is an empty socket now. There is a very weird scar across that side of his head though. I can only imagine what trauma happened to that eye. Can't believe it happened so fast. I really appreciate the advice you have given so far. My Gourami is in a tank by himself, eating now and bumping into the plant that is in there. Should I remove all obstacles and/or should I place him back in the tank with the Parrotfish - his home for the last three years? He seems to be looking over at the Parrotfish like he's lonely. Will the Parrotfish attack him? The water is now at a healthy 74 degrees in both tanks. Again, I appreciate your continued correspondence. Victoria Barba Colema < Fish that have been injured tend to draw attention to themselves but acting strange. This strange behaviour implies a weakness that will attract fish looking for a quick meal. I would keep your Gourami separate if you wish to keep him.-Chuck>

Sick Gourami, worm? Protozoan? Flagyl Hi there, <Hello> I have a Gourami that has developed a red pimple like sore on his head, which has a white string coming out of it. It seems apparent that it may be a worm, but I thought it was fungus and am using fungus cure. Just finished the second dose and no improvement shown. The other 5 Gouramis are fine, and the sick one is eating fine and behaving normally. Should I give this Fungus Cure more time, or should I switch to another method?  <This is very unlikely a fungus... perhaps a Octomita infection... you could treat with Metronidazole... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm.  Bob Fenner> 

Gouramis with multi symptoms? Colisa lalia import stock problem Hi people, <Susan> I know you've heard this a million times before but here it goes anyway (HELP I'm a total newbie and I'm killing my fish!). Story goes like this....  After finally setting up and stabilizing a community of fish in a 100? gal tank for a couple of months (current tenants: 2 small angels, 2 neon blue Gouramis, 2 tiger barbs, 5 black widow tetras, 1 sword and 1 Pleco) we decided to replace a couple of the original lost Gouramis and add another Pleco to help control the algae. I had a second 'hospital tank' set up ready and waiting to QT these guys as recommended. Two days after QTing them, the water became pretty cloudy (whitish) and I admit that I panicked and put the Gouramis into the general population. By morning the smallest of the two new ones had developed a red underbelly, approx. half the length of the belly and it extended upwards about 1/4th of the total depth of the body in a very elongated oval shape, and the discoloration extended into the lower fins. Not only just streaked but the color seemed to fully saturate the appendages. I assume (after doing some quick research) that this was some sort of hematoma or septicemia of some description. The other symptom exhibited was the rocking back and forth described as 'Gourami disease'. I transferred him late afternoon into my newly cleaned out hospital tank filled 2/3rds full of water from the big tank and 1/3 of dechlorinated water that I doctored with all that was available to me at the time "Tetra General Tonic". Well, I wasn't successful as by late that night he was found floating nose up but the top of his head was blackened. The 2nd new Gourami so far is fine, but day 3 one of the 'old' Gouramis is showing the same red underbelly and has been transferred into the hospital tank (I'll know more when I get home from work - am hoping NOT to see that rocking motion or him nose up!!). I've been desperately searching for medications I can buy online as much of what is discussed on these forums aren't available in the middle east (where I am living currently). I've only found one water test for ammonia and one for ph which I've not had a chance yet to do so I know that the big tank surviving and thriving as it has been up to this point has been probably more due to dumb luck than anything but... what happened to the Gourami has made me very aware of getting hold of the appropriate treatments for these emergencies. I don't have any of the numbers to give as I'm writing you from work. But my main question is first 'by the description does anyone know what really killed the Gourami' and second 'what would be the best meds or treatments in your opinion'. I've been sifting through as much info on your site as possible but I think the fish's time is limited and I'm feeling like I need someone with experience to tell me what's what! Thanks for any insights or suggestions you can offer! Sue <Thank you... for your concern, and writing so well. I want to impress on you that this "type" of Gourami, very hybridized Colisa lalia... sold variously as this and that dwarf Gouramis are VERY likely to die in the sort of fashion you describe. They are raised under "exacting" circumstances (in filth really) in the Far East and seasonally "break down" badly as you describe... people in the trade actually use the term "time bomb"... What am I trying to impart, state emphatically here? That by and large their loss has very little to do with anything (other than buying them) that you did or CAN do. So, first off... DON'T buy any more of this species. Now, it may seem counterintuitive, but other Gourami species are fine.... very hardy, disease-resistant by comparison. Don't know how much you'd like to hear/read re the "arrival/acclimation/curing" of Colisa lalia by importers/wholesale distributors, but I'd like to state it here for others use. There have been successful protocols of administering Furan compounds... at ten-twenty five milligrams per gallon, with half or so water changes (off line centralized systems) every three days for a good ten days... but who knows what happens to this dwarf stock afterwards? Look to other species for stocking your system. Bob Fenner>

By the Moonlight of my Gourami Thanks Bob, My remaining moonlight Gourami has developed a swollen protuberance above one of his eyes, a crescent 7mm long, 2m wide and sticking out 2mm from the body. He is swimming and eating normally. I've placed him in an isolated 20 Gal tank and begun treatment with Maracyn (sp?)<Maracyn, erythromycin> yesterday. Do you think I should be using Maracyn II? (Tetracycline)<Actually another antibiotic, but yes, I would use this instead... mixing some in with the fishes foods. This won't hurt the other fishes if they ingest it... nor will this complaint likely infect your other livestock. Bob Fenner> Your fish buddy, Jeff P.S. If he doesn't make it we can always have another party.... <Life to you my friend.>

Urgent!!!! Can you help me my male dwarf Gourami is sitting on the bottom of the tank and his breathing is heavy do you know what is wrong with it and how to cure it. Could you please reply quickly as I am quite worried about it. Thank you <Not a good sign... hopefully your fish is "just resting"... this species (Colisa lalia) can be hard to keep... Often imported with disease problems. You might want to look into feeding all your fishes in this tank/system an antibiotic-laced food for infectious disease (bacteria...). These are made by Tetra, HBH and others or you can "make your own"... as detailed here on our site: http://WetWebMedia.com/holedispnd.htm Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Gourami concerns I just bought a pair of dwarf Gouramis and the female seems to stay in the corner a lot what is the possible cause of this? Also are they easy to breed? thanks <Not a good sign that the female is in the corner... but maybe doing so from shipping stress. Please read: http://WetWebMedia.com/anabantoids.htm And get back to me if you have specific questions. Bob Fenner>

Furunculosis (likely Columnaris, as in Chondrococcus bacteria) I have one remaining dwarf Gourami that has Furunculosis. I've had 3 die from it. Thanks to your website, I've finally determined what the problem was and have been treating him with fabulous results. My question is, how long can I treat him with the medicine? As of this date, he's had 4 doses, can I continue until he's completely healed? <yes...and you should until the fish is clearly cured and then some. As with people, you will treat the condition with antibiotics for slightly longer than the malady is evidenced. Extra water changes just before each application of medicine will also be quite helpful> Please respond soon, Thankfully, Heather <with kind regards, Anthony> heather

Neon Dwarf Gourami Help My male Neon Dwarf Gourami seems sick. I have had him for maybe five weeks now he did fine and was really hardy ( I cycled my tank with him, my two female Gouramis, and a red tailed shark) but now he is just hanging out in the corner by my heater (the temp is fine its at 79 degrees) and doesn't get excited like he used to at feeding time (used to take Tubifex worms from my hand... also feed flake). Now he looks really skinny but his colors aren't fading or anything so I'm assuming he's not totally given up eating. What could be the matter with my fish? any ideas? Could it be my other fish I have 2 2.5' female Gourami's, 2' red tail shark, a 4.5' Black Ghost Knife, 2 1.5' clown loaches (which I'm treating for ich... but none of the other fish have the white spots that would suggest ich), and a 6' zig zag eel. <Ah ha! Either the medication (they're toxic to a degree to fishes) and/or a latent infestation of ich (the white spots are visible only in advanced cases... a reaction, mucus to irritation by the ich organism) is likely the root cause/s here. Please consult with the fine folks on our Chatforum as to how you might proceed: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ For me, I'd go with elevating the temperature of your system and leave off with any "medication" to treat your system. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help, Kevin

Sick Dwarf Gourami Hello, I have a 5 gallon fresh water tank in addition to my 72 gallon brackish. This week one of two dwarf Gouramis in the freshwater tank has become sick with Popeye. I have been treating the tank with Epson salts (as I read in the WWM Faq's for Popeye) and antibiotics. <Good treatment protocol. One note, it is better to use an antibiotic food versus medicating the entire tank.> The Popeye has effected one side terribly. The swelling has yet to go down. I've also been doing daily saltwater baths to try to draw out some of the fluid behind the eye. <This would not be my course of action. Popeye is not a terrible disease. Rather minor affliction that I would not treat so aggressively.> I've seen no improvement, it's only gotten worse. This morning I got up and he is leaning against the side of the tank, breathing with some difficulty. When I fed them however, he did make an effort to swim up to have a bite. I'm at a loss, I do not want him to be in any discomfort, but I have had other fish pull through with other conditions before, so I am not hugely sure about euthanasia. I am not sure what to do. Should I keep treating him or should I euthanize the poor soul. <I would not give up the fight just yet. Epson salt, medicated food, and a good water change/cleaning to ensure peak water quality would be what I would do.> Any help would be great. Thank you so much for your help. Take good care, Amy <You too. -Steven Pro>

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>

Sick Gourami I have a 10 gallon tank, with 3 Red Dwarf Gouramis and 2 Neon Rosy Barbs (also 1 Pleco). This is my first tank and I've had the same healthy fish in it for about 11 months. One of my Gouramis recently became sick. His mouth started to swell and now he can hardly close it. He seems to be staying close to the top and is breathing heavily, but is still trying to eat. My local pet store suggested drops that fight "internal infections and diseases" so I have started with the treatment. <does not sound like an internal problem.> I've never had a sick fish, so I'm not quite sure what to do. I've been doing research for a few days and haven't found much helpful information. Could you please let me know if there's anything else that I could try. Any info would be greatly appreciated. <This sounds like it could be a fungal infection.  If you are not already doing so I would be add salt to the water add about a tablespoon of aquarium salt per gallon.  Make sure your temperature is in the upper seventies without any major swings.  Also medicate with a medication that has both Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone in it. 3-5 days consecutively with small water changes daily just before the new dose.  Best of luck, and please check out the article below. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/fishdisho.htm -Gage>

Dwarf Gourami Hi, My girlfriend has a pair of Dwarf Gouramis. She is concerned that one may be ill. They symptoms include a darkening of the color to a darker shade of turquoise as well as much lower activity and labored breathing. The fish lies on its side on the bottom a lot and the movement of the gills is faster and deeper. There does not appear to be any fungus or worms or slime or anything like that on the fish. She did not mention weight loss or eating habits (I have not yet observed the fish). Any insight that you may be able to provide would be much appreciated. IT sounds odd to me that the color would deepen. Usually I would expect a sick fish to lose color. Maybe it is pregnant and about to release a bunch of eggs or something :) She has not had the fish long, maybe 6 months, but who knows how long the store had it. It was full grown when purchased.  Thanks again, Josh Moninger <Hi Josh, if there are no other outward signs of disease I would start by looking at the water quality. Pick up some test kits (ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, ph, etc) or have your LFS test the water for you.  Also, what size tank are we dealing with, what type of filtration, and who are the other tank mates.  Check out the link below for info on freshwater disease ID http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm Best of luck, Gage>

Disease of my Dwarf Gourami Hi, I was wondering if you would be able to help me diagnose what my dwarf Gourami died of half an hour ago.  I have a 10 gallon tank with: 5 - Neon Tetra 5 - Fancy Guppies 1 - Male Dwarf Gourami Two days ago I noticed a small whitey patch, irregular in shape on the side of my Gourami's head. The patch wasn't smooth, more like cotton wool in water; waving in the current.  I decided to put him in a breeding cage that you can put in the aquarium, just so that he wouldn't come in contact with my other fish. Yesterday (a day later) he looked worse.  The white patch had increased in size slightly and there was a tiny bit of it on the top of one fin.  I quarantined him in another tank that day. <<It sounds like fungus. Im sorry to hear that he died. For future reference, one of the Mardel products (Maracyn, Maroxy, Maracide, etc) treats this but I cant remember which one exactly. Fungus Guard by Jungle will also treat this. Ive had the best luck with the one by Jungle.>> This morning the white patch was larger and looked like a scab: I could see a little red patch in the middle of it.  The white stuff was about 0.5 cm in diameter.  The fin that previously had the white patch on it was completely opaque  and shredded.  His other fin was perfectly functional and clear. Over part of his body was a mucusy white, not quite as white as the initial patch. He no longer made that crest on his back stand up and it was coated thinly will mucus.  His colour was duller and he mostly stayed sunken on the bottom of the tank, apart from making quick dashes to the surface now and then. In the end he lay horizontally on the bottom.  The white patch protruded from his scale approx 1/3 of a centimeter and was a cloudy white. <<Definitely sounds like fungus.>> Well, that's everything.  I know that I sound very concerned, it's just that I would like to know what I did wrong and hopefully save my other fish, so it won't happen again. <<Watch your other fish very closely and if they show any symptoms, immediately quarantine them and treat with a medication for fungus. Sometimes they will get it, other times they wont so its hard to say.>> Thanks Jess <<Youre welcome. Ronni>>

Yikes! ICK!!! Help!  I stocked my tank with 5 Gouramis, 1 male Betta, 2 Kuhli loaches and 3 clown loaches.   <<Just a note from experience here, watch your Betta with the Gouramis. The Betta may at some point eat the "whiskers" of your Gouramis or the Gouramis may decide that the Bettas fins look like a tasty treat. :o)>> At some point, ick was introduced.  I've been treating with a commercial product for the last 3 days, using their directions (the ick was minimal at beginning of treatment -  4 or 5 white spots total on clown loaches mainly).  What are my chances of getting rid of this nasty organism? I'd appreciate any info or advise you have to offer. <<Your chances of getting rid of it are actually quite good. Time/success will depend on what kind of commercial medication you are using. My personal favorites are Ick Guard or Maroxy but I've talked to many people about Ich and everyone has their own favorite. Just follow the manufacturers instructions exactly and you should see an improvement. I'm not positive here but your loaches may be a small scale or scaleless fish, if they are then the medicating rules are different for them. Many ich medications can be poison to scaleless fish. Do a search for clown loach using the Google search box at www.wetwebmedia.com to find out for sure. Take care! Ronni>> Thank you! Bev

A Disease In The Moonlight? Hello, I don't know if I'm posting to the right place. <If it's about something that swims, you're in the right place! Scott F. with you!> I would like to know what to do about my sick male moonlight Gourami.  I have a male and female in a 60 liter tank, no other fish. A couple months  ago my male started getting sick-his feelers became "floppy" and noodly, and now are about half their original size,  then his skin became brownish, now he's very very lethargic. Meanwhile the female is growing by leaps and bounds, she's very healthy and beautiful and aggressive to the poor guy.  At feeding time, she pushes him away! I sink some food in his quiet little hiding place behind the filter, and he barely eats.  The tank condition is fine, Ph good, I change the water once a week, temp. is about 26-27 C. Sorry for all the metrics, I live in France. <No problem> Any idea what's going on? I hope some one  can help, thank you very much, Kitk <Well, Kitk- it sounds like the Gourami is suffering from some kind of bacterial infection. This may have been brought about as a result of stress (possibly from the female's constant aggression..). Also, you may want to review your water conditions to make sure that ammonia or nitrite are not present, and that regular maintenance is carried out on this aquarium. You may want to separate this fish into a smaller aquarium for observation, careful feeding, and possible treatment. If the separation and good food/water alone don't do the trick, I'd start with a basic antibacterial substance, such as Methylene blue, in his water. See if that brings about some positive results after a few days or so. If this method does not seem to be working, you may need to look into a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Before using any medication, I'd look in the Freshwater section on the WetWebMedia.com site under "diseases", and try to verify what condition that you may be dealing with. Good luck!>

Ulcers on dwarf Gourami I have a 29 gallon tank that has been up and running for 4 years. I have 3 black widow tetras, 3 Serpae tetras, 2 hatchet fish, 2 red tailed Rasboras, 4 lemon tetras, 1 swordtail, 3 Corys, 1 Pleco, 3 neon tetras, 1 dwarf Gourami. I recently had 2 dwarf Gourami's but one just died. The water temp is 78, the ammonia is 0, the nitrite is 0, the ph is 7. Last week one of the Gouramis had like a lump by it's mouth just under it's eye. He was acting normally.  About 2 days later the lump turned into an ulcer. I treated the tank with penicillin. The ulcer got worse and small red blotches appeared near his tail  more towards hi underside. He also developed a lump on his back just in front of hi fin. He just looked so bad last night that I put him out of his misery. Now one of my Serpae tetras has like a whit spot on his body and a white film towards his tail. I got some Quinsulfex Quinine Capsules Formula M13 and starting treating the tank last night. Could you tell me what was and is wrong with my fish and am I treating it correctly. I do not want to lose the whole tank. Also, do you think I have overloaded my tank with too many fish? Thank you. Patty <It sounds like a parasite. Please check out http://www/wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm for info on the different ones and their recommended treatments. You do have a few too many fish in this tank. Not counting the Pleco you have between 35 & 40 inches and you should have a max of 25-29 inches. Ronni>

Gourami whiskers I have 4 Gouramis in a 30 gal planted tank with 15-20 freshwater plants and 2 big rocks with hiding holes and a loach cave for my 2 clown loaches. Also 2 Danios, 2 tetras, a Pleco to control algae and 2 rosy barbs.  all are getting along great and life is good except that I noticed that 2 of the Gouramis 1 dwarf blue, and one honey, have had one of there whiskers nipped.  Not completely off, but just shortened a little bit... like maybe a quarter of an inch from a 2 inch whisker.  Has been several weeks and it doesnt show any signs of infection as far as I can tell. My question is should this concern me as I havent seen any signs of other aggression or infection, and will these whiskers grow back and if so how long will it take to return to the size of the other whiskers. Thank you, Don Otey <Its hard to say what the culprit is here. It could easily be one of your other fish (my first guess would be the Danios or one of the other Gouramis). Unless it continues to get worse I wouldnt worry about it too much, just watch them to make sure they arent getting picked on. The whiskers should grow back in time but its hard to say how long. Ronni>

Sick kissing Gourami >Hi Bob, >>A minion by the name of Marina here. >I have a 3-4 inch kissing Gourami that is several years old. Last week he had a circular area on his side that was whitish in color. I changed 20% of the water and kept an eye on it. >>Do a larger water change.  You've mentioned nothing about using carbon, filtration, or water parameters, so I'll assume that you know to remove carbon when medicating, and that you also know that some meds can "knock out" a good portion of your benthic bacterial colonies.  This is another good reason to do larger water changes (50% identical, fresh water will help greatly). >This week it seems to have spread to the back 1/2 of his body on one side. He also has 1-2 raised bumps on his other side, about 2mm x4mm in size. He is eating and still "kissing" the other Gourami. He seems sluggish though and generally not too good. Two days ago I started a treatment of Maracyn II. So far this does not seem to be helping. >>We're really shooting in the dark, especially because I'm going by your description with no photos, and my book of fish diseases is in storage (curses!).  Do both a Google and Dogpile search, as you'll be in a better position to determine what best matches your fish's symptoms.  I would also, after doing that large water change, switch to Melafix, another broad spectrum antibiotic.  If you do NOT have live plants in the tank, I would add 1 teaspoon of salt (Kosher or marine salt mix) per gallon of tank water.  This will boost the effects of the antibiotic, as well as relieve a bit of the pressure on the fish's system (osmotic differences between fishy flesh and water).  Also, please delve into our library here--> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwinfectdisfaqs.htm >This fish has had previous bacterial infections that responded quickly to Maracyn II. What do you think?  Jeff Hulett Hawkeye >>I would try the other broad spectrum antibiotic along with the salt.  This is assuming that it's not a fungal infection (the Methylene blue would help address that), though I'm really not sure that's a possibility by your description.  Keep up the water changes, if he takes any fresh foods do try to stimulate feeding this way (bloodworms, daphnia, mosquito larvae, et al).  At this point it may be far too stressful for him to undergo a saltwater dip, so I don't recommend it.  Let's keep our fingers crossed!  Marina

Re: sick kissing Gourami >Thanks Marina, I will do a larger water change and try to send you a photo. I do have live plants in the tank. I did do a search, but didn't turn up anything. >>Then you won't be able to use the salt.  I did more searching, and the best I can find online is that it must be an infection, but at this point I can't even narrow down whether it's bacterial, fungal, or viral.  If you can set up a hospital tank for this fish, I would advise it.  This way you can help him with salt.  If you believe that it would cause really undue stress on the fish, then don't move him.  Other than that, my only other suggestions are to try different broad spectrums.  Here's a link to fish meds, uses, dosing, etc. --> http://www.petswarehouse.com/Fishmed3.htm and here--> http://www.petswarehouse.com/Fishmed2.htm >>Good luck, and keep us posted.  Marina

Re: sick kissing Gourami >Thank you Marina, >>You're welcome. >I spent some time looking at the fish with a magnifying glass and I noticed some white tuft stuff on one of the site. It was very small. After seeing that, I treated the tank with Rid Ich+, which is mostly Malachite Green. I also removed a smaller kissing Gourami from the tank to reduce stress on the sick one. I did this because, even though he was sick, he still "kissed" the other one, and frequently chased it around the tank. I also added a  tablespoon or so of salt. I did this last Thursday or Friday. Since then I've kept up the treatments once per day for both the Maracyn II and the Malachite Green. The fish improved dramatically with this treatment. >>FANTASTIC!  Boy, that is great news. >After one day the 2x4mm spot had shrunk 50% and the tufts were gone. His motion seems better and he seems to be getting better every day. Since he really didn't respond to the Maracyn II, I can only guess that this must have been fungal. >>Me too.  Again, let the happiness ensue!  You've found the trouble, and are treating with good success.  I have achieved my (the whole crew's, actually) goal. >I plan to discontinue you Maracyn II today and keep up the M. Green until he seems healed. >>Sounds like a good plan. >By the looks of his progress, this should only take a few more days. >>Could it get any better? >After that I'll reinsert the carbon in the filter.  I've included photos of the fish in its original sick state. You can see the discoloration on the back half of his body. This spread from the original circular site which was about 8 mm wide.  Thank you very much for your help with this. >>This is great, except that I can't seem to view the .jpg.  Bob?  Jason?  Zo?  Someone with more puter knowledge than me?  Well, the point is that the fish is on his way back to good health.  I'm very pleased with the news.  Marina

Blue Gourami Question Hello. Recently bought a 55 gallon tank, and got a variety of fish. <Greetings> 4 silver dollars 4 glass tetras 4 high finned tetras and 2 blue Gouramis I also have a Plecostomus <OK> Everything was working fine, until I noticed ich on some of the fish (silver dollar and tetra). I treated the water following the instructions, and still notice a white spot on one of the glass tetras. I hope this resolves itself, but I worry about one of my Gouramis. He lives around the plants, which is near the filter. He has been fine there, but now he seems to be caught up in the current. He tries to swim, but just lurches forward and back. The other Gourami chases him sometimes, and then he can move just fine... I'm worried if that is a problem with the ich, or something else. <You may need to re-medicate for the ich again. I really dont think the Gourami has a problem, most likely he just likes that spot and the feel of the current there.> Ph is set at 7 and I've been pretty regular on changing the water, although I haven't tested the ammonia. Any advice you have for a new fish hobbyist. Adam Sutherland <You probably should test the ammonia and nitrites but other than that, keep up the good work! Ronni>

Unhealthy Gourami? (06/29/03) <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> Hi! I was just wondering if it is unhealthy that my blue dwarf Gourami's poop is long and stringy (by long I mean about 4 times his length sometimes)? Weird question, I know. <Not at all a weird question -- a sign that you're paying attention to your fish! It could indeed be a symptom of a problem. It might be some sort of intestinal parasite, especially if the feces are a whitish color (they should always be darkish).> Also, if it IS unhealthy, what can I do about it? <I tend to use Metronidazole for this purpose. You might also try Pepso food. I've heard Disco-med also works for this.> I feed him flakes and he seems to be healthy otherwise. <Do give him a bit of variety in his diet -- at least use a couple of different types of flake. An occasional treat of frozen food or freeze-dried "treats" won't hurt, either.> Thanks for your help! Kelly <You're quite welcome. --Ananda>

Spotted Fish Hi, I have a golden Gourami in my tank and I have just noticed her having 2 black spots on her body, one by the tail, another in the middle of her body.  Those spots are on both sides and exactly in the same place.  I wonder whether they should be there ( I haven't noticed them before) or it is a disease. Other than that she seems fine.  I will be waiting for your answer <Lina, this is normal.  The golden Gourami, or Trichogaster trichopterus is almost always seen with black spots at the middle of the side and at the caudal-fin base.  It sounds to me that you have a perfectly healthy specimen.> Thank you, Lina

Gourami Problems Hi. Two days ago I got four male neon blue dwarf Gouramis and put them in a 10g. tank by themselves and I have a few concerns. first of all, they are all males, will that pose a problem? <they may fight... if it becomes a problem you will need to separate them> second, 2-3 of them seem to not be eating, <maybe they are stressed? did you check the water quality... were they eating when you purchased them?> and the one that does eat doesn't seem to eat very much, <some is better than nothing at all> I feed them TetraMin flakes, but they just sit there hiding or on the bottom, should I just change the food or what? <check the water quality> and also, one of them seems mentally challenged. I've noticed him shaking, darting around the tank and running into things and that sort of behavior. what is the problem and how can I cure it?<you can't they just have to adapt to their new living conditions> I've been having a little trouble with my water heater so the temp has changed some, could this be a problem?<possibly> please hurry back to me I am very concerned.<just keep a close eye on the fish and check the water quality... and read more on WWM about these particular species of fish and acceptable ranges of water quality, good luck, IanB> thank you, Drew

Gourami trouble Please Help, <Sabrina here tonight, I'll certainly try> Today I changed 1/4th of my 35 gal tanks water and every one was fine, tonight on the side of my Gouramis he/she? has red raised bump on the side of the body with a small white spot in the center, and two littler red spots by her face. Please help! I have searched the web and asked around, what is it and what should I do? <Well, first off, this sounds like some sort of bacterial infection.  As to what it is specifically, it could be early stages of septicemia, perhaps a wound that has been infected, possibly mycobacteriosis (fish TB), perhaps something else.  Start by isolating the sick fish in a separate tank, prevent the illness from spreading.  I would treat with Kanamycin sulfate, available as "Kanacyn" by Aquatronics, or perhaps "Spectrogram", which is a combination of Kanamycin and Nitrofurazone.  Do be certain to monitor your water parameters closely (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) and keep things stable to help the fish recover during treatment.  Hope all goes well,  -Sabrina> Thanks for your time,  Mary

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>

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<<

Dwarf Gourami and Camallanus Hi there, <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.> Trichlorfon, fluke tabs, <Fluke tabs are/contain Trichlorfon.  This substance should be avoided unless absolutely *nothing* else works; although it might be effective, it could be very toxic to the fish.> Fenbendazole, <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.> and Levacide.   <Perhaps "Levamisole"?> 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. <Sounds great.> 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* Trichlorfon, 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 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>>

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>>

Big Stomach Dwarf Gourami Hi, I have a dwarf Gourami and it's stomach is expanded (looks abnormal), suspect she has eaten too much or gastric problem. It always float at bottom and doesn't show much activity since last 3 days, I have reduced the diet but still not sure how will it recover? Can  you help me to give him some exercise to clean off his stomach. Please help, my another Gourami died last month with the same symptoms. <<Hello there. You can try to find a medicated food at your local fish store, this might help. Also, make sure your water quality is good, do you do regular partial water changes? If so, how often, and do you test your water? Test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. You may also feed some fibre, such as foods with Spirulina, or frozen daphnia. Do the scales stick out like a pinecone? If so, the infection is too far advanced to save the fish :( -Gwen>>

Lethargic Dwarf Gourami I browsed through some of your FAQ and couldn't seem to find the specific problem I'm having. One of my dwarf Gouramis (which we've had for around 6 mo.s and has always seemed quite healthy until recently) has begun to stay on the bottom of the tank or will wedge itself in a plant and lay there. It also doesn't seem to be eating. None of the other fish are showing symptoms of any illness. Its colour seems a bit dulled; however, I don't see any film/parasites/fungus on the fish. Any advice? It looks like it's dying and I don't know what to do. <<Hello. You will need to test your water, and let me know the results of the following: ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. You can get your water tested at most respectable tropical fish stores. Once we have established this, I can help you further with troubleshooting your problem, 90% of fish related illnesses are directly related to water quality issues. If you cannot get your water tested immediately, at least do a partial water change to help the fish until you can test it. In the meantime you may also add a bit of salt to the tank, aquarium salt is also found at your local fish store, add one teaspoon per gallon, gradually. Keep the salt in the tank for a few weeks. If you do water changes, the salt can be re-added to the new water. i.e. if you remove 5 gallons of water, replace it with 5 gallons of new water with 5 teaspoons of salt. Any top-off water (due to evaporation) should be freshwater only. Please let me know your test results as soon as you can. Thanks -Gwen>>

Moonlight Serenade Hi Bob, thanks for looking. My fish shows a rather strange scarring across the bottom part of the body, running along the top of the ventral fin. I've been in this hobby for over 15 years and have never seen this. I was hoping you could come up with some ideas. Water's good, so is the temperature; the pH may be a bit acidic. Thanks, Mauricio. P.S. the "infected" fish is a moonlight Gourami <<Hi Mauricio, Gwen here instead of Bob. I am unsure of what I'm following up on here. Do you have a pic of this scarring? Some background info, too, like tank specs: how many gallons, what tankmates are in with him, how often you do water changes, what are the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings, and what the fish is behaving like. Is it eating? Hiding? Acting normal? All of this info will help. Thanks, Gwen>> Lumpy Gourami - 05/31/2004 Hi!   <Yo!> One of our Gouramis has a small lump on the left side of his face, near his mouth.  It appears to be under the scales, as the scales seem to be pushed up.  Otherwise, he/she seems healthy, eating, generally enjoying life.   <Sounds possibly like the beginnings of Lymphocystis....  but also several other possibilities.> We have a 20 gallon freshwater tank with two Gouramis, three red/orange tetras, a catfish, an algae eater and two guppies.  The tank is about 5 months old and apart from needing periodic treatment for high PH, <Not good to have a tank on a pH roller-coaster....  how high is the pH of your tap?  Have you got any "saltwater" decorations in the tank (coral skeletons, etc.)?  Limestone?  Crushed coral or aragonite substrate?  Better to fix the source of the problem than treat symptoms of it.> tests normal in every other way.   <What readings do you have for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?  I suspect, if this is Lymphocystis, that there's a high nitrate reading involved?  Otherwise I might suspect another illness, perhaps bacterial or fungal in nature....> All the other fish look and act normal. What, if anything, should I do?    <Test those levels mentioned - if you find that you do have a high nitrate reading, work on improving husbandry - perhaps vacuum the gravel more often, clean filters, larger and/or more frequent water changes....  Lymphocystis can/should go away on its own as this happens.> Peggy <Wishing you and your lumpy Gourami well,  -Sabrina>

Listless Gourami - 06/01/2004 I have had a pair of dwarf Gouramis for about 3 months and they have been fine & healthy. However, for the last 4 days the male appears to be unwell. He is either sitting on the bottom or hanging near the top looking totally disinterested. At feeding times he initially attempts to take a flake but usually ends up spitting it back out and therefore quickly loses interest!  There is no obvious signs of disease other than his colours seem a little dull. <Dull color, listlessness - anything else, at all, out of the norm?  Even things that might not seem that big a deal can be good evidence to try and diagnose an illness.> However today I noticed the swordtails & platys keep nudging him, he responds by moving away.   <So he's still responsive, at least.> I have tried treating the water with anti-bacterial solution.   <Uhm, do you know what, precisely, you used?  Did you complete the treatment as directed on the package, or stop after the initial dose?> I have tested the water and all levels are okay.   <Mm, 'okay' is subjective.  Can you please let us know the readings you have for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH?  Also, how large is the tank, what are the other inhabitants, when was your last addition to the tank, how long ago did you last clean, and what is your maintenance schedule like?  Have you changed anything lately?  Food, dechlorinator, decor or plants, anything at all?> Please can you give me any advice as to what to do next, as I think he may be dying! <Unfortunately, with so little to go off, I can't give a lot of advice.  It never hurts to do a rather sizeable water change; that ought to be the first thing on your list; after that, I really don't have much to suggest.  Please do get back to us; I'd like to be able to help further.> G. Smith <Wishing your Gourami a swift recovery,  -Sabrina>

 Listless Gourami - II - 06/01/2004 Thanks for your reply, unfortunately the dwarf Gourami has since died!   Gill <I'm so sorry to hear that, Gill.  Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.  Wishing you and your fishes well,  -Sabrina>

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

Do you think the Gourami's fin difficulty warrants MelaFix? < No not really unless you see it fungused or diseased.> He's not hovering in the corner and appears to be okay, plus there doesn't seem to be any further damage at this time. My only other tank houses a Beta, and from what I've read, it certainly won't help me to put the Gourami with him, right? < The Betta will be very territorial and your Gourami will be worse off.> I guess what I'm asking....could this be a problem that could eventually cause bacterial problems within the whole tank? < Not really unless the fish becomes weak and sick from an infection.>   Also, I hate treating the whole tank with MelaFix when he's the only one that needs it. Please weigh in if you will.....Thanks, Cyndy < I would not treat the tank and concentrate on keeping the water clean.-Chuck>

Sick Gourami Hello!  I've been reading through your FAQs and articles and I have found them very useful.  They have made my job a lot easier, because I just started fish keeping about a month and a half ago.  Anyways, here is my question.  I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank with two dwarf Gouramis in them for three weeks.  The water quality is ammonia=0ppm, nitrites=0ppm, nitrates=10ppm, pH=7.6.  I did a 30% water change last night and the nitrates dropped to about 5ppm.  Back to the question... About four days after putting the Gouramis into the tank, I noticed brown splotches on their heads.  That was the most obvious feature.  The splotches are not regular or in any particular pattern.  The splotches have been there ever since.  Last night, everything changed because I found one Gourami lying nearly on its side on the tank's bottom.  Its gills and mouth were flapping rapidly. Also, I noticed that their feces were awfully long and light colored.  On the other hand, this morning, the healthier Gourami had a dark feces trail. The sicker Gourami looked even worse.  What can I do about this?  Thanks a lot. <<Hello. Dwarf Gouramis are specifically prone to bacterial infections. You can try your LFS to see what meds they have in stock to combat external bacterial infections. Salt may help in early cases, as will Melafix, but if the disease has not been caught at the beginning, you may need something stronger. Good job on the testing, keep it up! -Gwen>>

Flame Gourami Help! My very 1st fish (purchased in May) was a Flame Gourami who lived happily until I got a 2nd Gourami (a Blue one). They lived together for about 2 months but the Blue Gourami was too aggressive and nipped at the fins of the Flame. Fearing this would be too stressful I have recently moved the Blue into another tank. This 10 gallon tank also contains 3 Tetras,  3 small Ghost Catfish, and now 2 new Black Mollies. The Flame Gourami appeared to be getting stressed from the other Gourami and began hiding and evading most of his day. Now ever though the Blue Gourami was removed, the Flame Gourami continues to spend most of his day hiding and rather than coming to the surface at feeding time as he used to, now "runs" and hides as fast as he can when I approach the tank, sometimes running into the side of the tank in his hurry to get away. Yesterday I found this Gourami laying on his side, seemingly gasping for air and I assumed he was dying. However he has moved around but now he is swimming around, but in odd ways, as if he is disoriented. He seems unable to stay right side up and even swims in corkscrews patterns to get around the tank. Looking at all your information about fish disease the only thing I can attribute this to is stress but other than staying away from the tank as much as possible so as not to care him, I do not know what else to do. He has no growths on his body nor are there any oddities about his general shape/appearance. He has some fins nips on his tail fin, which were from the other Gourami, but they have never affected his swimming before. His other fins appear fine. The blue stripe on his dorsal fin varies in brightness from day to day--but always has. The Ph level to the tank was a little acidic so I have fixed that and I increased the output to the filter to increase airflow into the water. None of the other fish appear to be bothered if it were a general tank condition issue. How can I de-stress my fish before it is too late or is there another explanation? <The stress may have weakened you fish and caused an internal bacterial infection. Do a 30% water change and clean the filter. I would treat with Metronidazole and leave the light off for most of the day unless you have live plants.-Chuck> Thanks for any help you can provide. KMR

Dropsical Gourami - 10/06/2004 My 80 gallon freshwater, planted tank contains six discus and two moonlight Gouramis. Everyone is happy, healthy, eating, and generally utterly normal--  but one of the Gouramis has, for the last week or so, developed the hugest belly I have ever seen-- like he swallowed a monstrous marble. He (it) doesn't have "pine cone" like scales, just this gigantic bulge. He's not eating for the past two/three days-- not surprising, I guess, with whatever's happening probably taking up all the room in his system and more. <Could be simple constipation causing these Dropsical symptoms, or could be something more daunting - internal bacterial infection, damage to or infection of the swimbladder....  For now, I would hope that it is simple constipation.  Quarantine the fish (carefully! Use a container to catch, not a net) and add Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to his water, at one or two tablespoons per ten gallons.  Do not feed for now, and see how it goes.  When you do begin to feed again, feed *only* foods of high roughage content: daphnia, adult brine shrimp, thawed pea with the shell removed....> I feel like I should take a pin to his side and deflate him, he's so bulgy! <Yikes, don't do *that*! ;) > Any thoughts as to what might be going on? (feed is one small feed of beef heart, one small feed of bloodworms and one small feed of frozen freshwater cuisine cubes daily, plus there's all sorts of natural greenery going on in the tank for anyone that wants it.) <Another possibility I see here.  Beef heart, though widely used by discus keepers, is a hotly debated topic - and I'm on the side that it should never, ever be fed to fish.  Mind you, though, there are plenty of folks much more experienced than I that use it regularly.  My reasoning comes from the fact that (as I understand it) this stuff will, over time, cause fatty deposits on the liver that will ultimately cause irreparable damage, and possibly kill the fish.  I am of the mind that fish that require meats in their diet should only be fed meats that are aquatic in nature - shrimp, fish, scallops, squid, worms, insects/larvae; plenty of good'uns out there.  It's not every day ya see cow hearts floating down the Amazon, to be nibbled by local discus....> The other Gourami is fine.... <Then, hopefully, just a simple case of Gourami constipation.> Judy Waytiuk <Wishing you and your bloaty-bellied buddy well,  -Sabrina>

Dropsical Gourami - II - 10/06/2004 Hi Sabrina, thanks for getting back to me... <You bet.> I tried the Epsom salts thing (and now have two quarts of Epsom salts to use in my bath-- the pharmacist burst out laughing when I said I just needed a few teaspoons for a sick fish.) <Hah!  Oh, my....  I'm sure that was an adventure!  I wish you'd have seen the look on my vet's face when I asked for a syringe so I could kill Aiptasia....  He was sure *one* of us was off their rocker.> Didn't work. A very wee bit of poop came out, but that was it. The little guy gave up the ghost overnight (I think, starved to death, since he/it'd stopped eating over a week ago). <So sorry to hear of this.> So I necropsied him. And strange it may be, but the huge bulge (about the size of those BIG marbles! in a wee, small Gourami) was WATER!! No sign of parasites or nothing'! Go figure-- may have been a birth defect of some sort. Have you ever heard of that? <Actually, likely this fluid was the result of an internal bacterial infection....  Did you perhaps see off-white lumps/granulomas on the internal organs?  Anything else amiss?  Any good pics/books to go off, so you might have an idea what something "wrong" might look like, and have something to use for identifying the problem?  There are a few *great* books packed with info available, and one that I like solely for the clear, concise photography (though the info is somewhat outdated).  Let me know if you'd like some recommendations.> BTW, your thoughts on beef heart are most interesting. <Ala Levar Burton, "You don't have to take *my* word for it".  From Bailey and Burgess' "Tropical Fishlopaedia", page 69, "It is best to avoid feeding mammal/bird meats to fish as this can lead to the accumulation of harmful fatty deposits in the liver and other tissues.  Despite such risks, the feeding of beef heart or liver is still advocated by many aquarists, but if, used at all, the golden rule is to feed such meats very sparingly.  On the other hand, fresh or frozen fish, shellfish, (e.g. mussels), and shrimps/prawns are excellent foods for fish."  Gratzek's "Aquariology" tome also cautions about the use of beef heart.  I'm sure others do, as well.  For me, I would rather treat my fish to some shrimp or scallop and not worry about it at all.  And again, many discus breeders recommend the use of the meat highly....  Why, I'm not sure, but they do.> I just may take that to heart, <No pun intended?> and feed them beef heart very, very seldom as a special treat, since they do go ape over it. <A good plan.  Do please be cautious.> Mind you, they go ape over all their food. <Sounds like a fish to me!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Blue Dwarf Gourami with Swollen eye Hi WWM, I am fairly new to keeping tropical fish, so apologies if this is a dumb question. This morning when I checked on my fish I noticed that one of the Dwarf Gouramis (affectionately named Bleu) has a very swollen left eye (it's actually like it's been mounted on a washer and stuck to the side of his head). He definitely WASN'T like it yesterday. < Probably a case of pop eye has started. Anaerobic bacteria has begun to grow behind the eye ball and the pressure that the bacteria have generated has begun to push the eye out of the socket. Treat with Metronidazole in a separate hospital tank.> He doesn't appear to be in any distress, although he is slightly isolating himself from the other fish. He came out for food this morning and ate as normal. He's quite shy anyway, and sometimes gets chased by one of the other Gouramis (Altogether we have 1 Indian Gourami, 2 dwarf Gourami, 1 golden Gourami, 2 leopard Plecos, 3 golden algae eaters, 10 assorted tetras and three zebra Danios) but much less so than when they were all initially introduced to the tank. We have had a few problems with the tank since building it up. We did have two angels (with 3 zebras, 1 Pleco, 1 Gourami and 5 neon tetras) both of which died 10 days after joining the tank (one of which was never found - assumed eaten). More recently we bought a Betta that was very beautiful but incredibly shy. After his first night in the tank I found him lying in the shadow of a rock. Worried that he was trapped, I put my hand gently against the glass to see if he would react, and he swam away. He spent a lot of time hiding behind the thermometer stuck on the side of the tank. That evening I was looking for him everywhere, and after a 40 minute search discovered him UNDER an ornament. There was a small gap in the volcanic rock/gravel and I just assumed that he was ok. The next morning I woke to find him in shreds. Half his scales were missing and his tail was non-existent. I immediately isolated him (in a vase - after reading an FAQ here) with new water. He died within an hour. My girlfriend decided that perhaps he was unwell prior to joining the tank, and so we took the plunge and bought another Betta. This one was entirely different, chasing the other fish around and flaring at them. Two days later, he too became reclusive, hiding behind the thermometer. This time I isolated him as soon as I saw the warning signs. He had lost a few scales but nothing as severe as the first one. He died within a couple of hours of isolation. < Bettas don't to too well in many community tank situations. Other fish that are faster continuously pick on the long flowing fins of the male Betta. Soon they have him herded into a corner and he doesn't come out to eat any more and the other fish become more bold and go after him.> A few weeks ago we bought 3 dwarf Gouramis and an Indian Gourami. After what appeared to be a fairly harmonious start to their life in the tank, overnight one of the dwarf Gouramis developed a fairly serious case of fin rot and loss of colour/scales. Not trusting my own ability to save him, I transported him carefully back to the shop for treatment. He died later that day. I immediately removed the carbon from the filter and put some anti-fungal treatment in the water. 8 days on from this and now the other dwarf Gourami has this swollen eye. I have changed 25% of the water every ten days for the last 5 weeks (due to the water going brown after the introduction of a log to the tank - which has since been removed). A couple of weeks ago I added some Filter Aid, after replanting some foliage and clouding the water. I have had the water tested every week by the shop, and all of the levels are normal. The only other significant factor is that the first Pleco we introduced (affectionately known as Limpet) has not only grown very quickly, but is leaving long strings of waste everywhere. They dissolve fairly quickly, but we have now introduced another Pleco and 3 Algae eaters, as we assumed that he has too much food to eat. We used to drop a sinking tablet in once a day, but have stopped using them altogether. < Find out what "Fine" means and what they are testing for. They should be testing for ammonia and nitrite (levels should be zero). And the nitrates should be under 25 ppm. Thing about how often you change the filter and try vacuuming the gravel next time you n\do a water change . You Pleco is probably one of the larger species that will take awhile to grow. The long stringy fecal matter is normal for and algae eating fish.> Am I a complete muppet? < NO just a beginner trying to figure out the art and science of keeping a freshwater aquarium. You are the exact reason that WWM exists. We try to keep new aquarists in the hobby one email at a time. Most of the crew has been in you same situation at one time or another. The best thing you can do is keep a log book on what you are doing and what fish you bought. Get a quarantine tank set up and going so you won't be introducing any new diseases into your tank once it is set and running right. You could get a book for quick references. The Barron's book series are very good books for the money and are a good place to start. Go to Marineland.com and look under Dr. Tim's library for info on filtration and water chemistry. These little things will help you understand why some things work and why some don't.-Chuck> Regards, Danny James Sick dwarf Gourami I have a 30 gallon community tank with various types of Gouramis, some Plecos, Corys and mollies, plus a large apple snail and some small Danios. Everyone gets along beautifully. My two dwarf Gouramis are acting peculiar. I think they're the same gender, but I don't know which. One hides all the time and rarely comes out from the driftwood, even for feeding time. The other feeds well, but looks to have a swollen belly and swims in a slanted position. His swimming is labored and he often rests against plants. Also their color sometimes looks drab. There are no other visible signs of illness (i.e. no protruding scales, ich, fin rot or damage, wounds). My water parameters checked out normal. Any ideas? < Could be an internal bacterial infection. Isolate the fish in a quarantine tank and treat with Metronidazole.-Chuck> - Sara Blue Gourami trouble swimming Hi Wet Crew, I have a 33 gal tank (3 yrs).  pH is around 7 and temp @ 74 degrees. Penguin dual BioWheel filter, plants etc.  I change about 1/3 of the water every three weeks. <Hello, Jorie here...sounds like your tank is well-established and stable - good deal.> Fish are 2x Blue Gourami, 1x Black Angel, 1x Chinese Algae Eater (who doesn't seem to eat algae), <LOL! I've got a Siamese Algae Eater who pretty much eats everything *except* algae!> and 1 or 2 glass shrimp.  All my fish seem to be fine except for one of the Gouramis.  It has trouble swimming and quite often just sits on the bottom with it's tail spread on the bottom of the tank.  It is eating, but struggles when swimming.  There are no abnormal spots or any visible fungus growth.  It's been doing this for about a week now. <First off, I'd suggest putting the affected fish into a QT tank just in case it has something capable of spreading to the others.  Also, if he's experiencing trouble swimming, a more peaceful environment without other fish to eat his food, potentially bully him, etc. would be good. Since there are no visible signs of illness except for the trouble swimming, could he have somehow injured himself...one of his pectoral fins, for instance? This once happened to a molly of mine and it rendered her pretty much incapable of swimming.  It could also potentially be constipation...is the fish pooping normally? You should be able to better determine this once the fish is in QT. Fasting and/or feeding a frozen, thawed pea works well for treating constipation, if that's the problem.  Finally, worst case scenario, it could be swim bladder disorder, which can be caused by bacterial or viral disease.  After you've ruled out the other ideas above, you may want to consider treating the fish with a broad-spectrum antibiotic (but only in the QT tank!)  I would resort to this as a "last ditch" effort...hopefully the fish is somehow injured and just needs some healing time in his own tank.  And, by the way, if you do notice that one or more fins are damaged, missing, once the fish is in QT, you could add MelaFix to the water to aid in the affected part's regeneration.> Thought the water change I did on the weekend might help, but I was wrong.  The tank does seem to be producing a lot of algae - water has a slight green tinge and b4 I changed the water and cleaned, there was algae visible on the glass. Any ideas? <With regards to the algae, I'd suggest cutting down on feeding and stepping up the water changes.  I have a 29 gal. tank and I change 5 gallons of the water every weekend.  When I have algae bloom problems, I'll even do 5 gal. twice per week. Also, is the tank in direct sunlight? This will cause algae outgrowths. Finally, what type of lighting is in this tank? Have the bulbs been switched recently? You could always add more plants (you mentioned this was a planed tank), as they'll use up more of the nutrients the algae needs to survive.> Thanks, Derek Horne <You're welcome. Good luck, Jorie.>

Re: Blue Gourami trouble swimming Hi Jorie, Thanks for the help.  I bought a small tank (5.5 gal) and half filled with fresh water and half with water from my existing tank (balanced up the salt as well, of course).  Put in a couple of peas - they are gone now. <Sounds good, Derek...glad to hear it.>   The Gourami didn't seem to be damaged at all, nor did he seem constipated - seemed a bit thin actually - and didn't appear to be eating much.  It seemed to be having trouble breathing, so I put in these drops for fungus.  I was told it wouldn't hurt him even if he didn't have fungus issues.  Anyway, he seems to be doing much better now.  Swimming a lot stronger etc.  I'll keep him separate for another few days to see what happens. <Glad to hear he's improved.  Please consider keeping him separated for at least a couple of weeks, more conservatively (and the choice I would opt for) a month. If all's still well, then it's definitely time to re-unite him with his fishy friends.> Thanks again for your help!!!! Sincerely, Derek <Glad I could help.  Best, Jorie.>

Tumor in Gourami I have a male neon blue Gourami (Colisa lalia) sharing a 5 US gallon hex tank with 8 neon tetras and 2 albino Corys. <Maybe a little overstocked for a 5 gallon, but not bad> The tank has been stocked for 8 days, after fishless cycling, although I had the Gourami in quarantine for a couple of weeks prior to that. <Wow, a fishless cycle and QT! Your fish and I thank you.> Water parameters are fine, pH 7.6, ammonia 0, nitrIte 0, nitrAte 20. <Yep, All good> The other fish are all healthy. I usually feed OSI Staple Granules (floating/sinking), with occasional flake food, frozen brine shrimp, freeze dried bloodworm, and, 2 days ago, cooked crushed de-shelled peas and carrot. <A good varied diet. Outstanding! But I do wonder who is eating the vegetables. Corys and tetras are more carnivorous. The Gourami may take them. Be careful not to over feed.> For the last 2 - 3 days, the Gourami, Ginger, <A boy named 'Ginger'?> has been very quiet and not eating. His belly seemed a bit swollen and I suspected constipation or just overeating. However, the swelling is now larger and markedly asymmetrical, mostly on his right side, behind and slightly below his right pectoral fin.  Otherwise, his colour is normal, no sign of fungus, parasites, cloudy skin or eyes or raised scales.  He's just hanging around near the top of the tank looking uncomfortable. Could it be constipation, or intestinal blockage, internal parasites, internal infection or even a tumour? Please, any suggestions on what the problem could be and anything I can do about it? It's all happened in the last couple of days.  Thanks heaps! <Hi Vicki, Don here. It could be any of the things you mention, but the fact it is asymmetrical points towards a tumor. If so there is really nothing you can do for him. I would put him back in the QT and try a Metronidazole based med for internal parasites and cross my fingers. Good luck>    Vicki PS Queensland, Australia

Tumor in Gourami Hi again Don Thank you so much for replying so promptly. <My pleasure> It's just getting-up time here, and unfortunately I just found my Gourami Ginger dead. <Sorry to hear> I examined his internal organs (not fun, but I thought I owed it to him) and found what looked like a blood clot in his digestive tract. It was hard to tell, but I couldn't see any other signs of inflammation, white spots or whatever. His digestive tract was empty, so not constipation I guess. My concern now is whether an infection of some kind could have caused bleeding in his stomach. <Maybe, could also have been an old blockage/damage or infection> Is it best to just adopt a watch and wait approach with the rest of the tank? <Yep> I should mention that fish meds in Australia are fairly restricted for over-the-counter sales -- tri-sulfa and tetracycline seem to be the only ones easily obtainable, and I haven't seen medicated fish food at all. Thanks again for your help, and for the great web site. Vicki PS <Yes, I would just watch for any other problems. Please resist the urge to replace him. Frankly, I think he was a problem in the 5 gallon. Add another Cory if anything. Watch your nitrates and do water changes to keep them below 20ppm. Good luck and welcome to the hobby. BTW have you joined us in the forum yet? If not, please do. I'm "Fish Soup" in the forum. Hope to see you there. D

Sick Pink Kissing Gourami A friend recently gave me his a fish tank that had a very small fish and a Kissing Gourami. The fish sat in his office's lobby where almost nobody noticed them. I took them home and put them in the same tank they had lived in their entire lives, with the decorations exactly the same. The small fish is doing great and swimming all the time, the Gourami is sitting on the bottom of the tank with its fin and barely ever moves. When it does move, it swims around the tank once and goes up to the surface and shoots back down and sits on the bottom of the tank again. I first thought I had ICH, so I treated the water, but It didn't seem to help anything. What should I do? What's hurting my fish Thanks, Ryan <Mmm, well, Kissers do "sit about" quite a bit... If your tank is large enough (twenty or more gallons) and otherwise not overcrowded I would add another kisser... they're social... hard to "kiss yourself"... and this should stir the present one to be more active. Bob Fenner> 

Long poop on Gourami, not white, dark tannish color Wonder if it's normal for my Gourami to have a long trail of poop (about 1.5 times body length) trailing. It isn't white colored, it's a sort of darkish tan or very light brown. <Can, yes... depending on the food its getting> It's swimming around quite happily, color is good, but that poop, it's hanging there forever it seems (well it's been there over 15 minutes now). I feed my fish dried shrimp at least two times a week, sometimes more, so it should be getting enough fiber. Is this a sign of a parasite even though the poop looks the right color, doesn't seem hollow or stringy, but looks like a constant poop that is in dire need of being squeezed off. <I would not be concerned here. Bob Fenner> 

Injured Dwarf Gourami Hello. I have an injured Dwarf Gouramis. He was being attacked behind his eyes by a Platy. <Unusual> It looks as if its scales are gone and there are sores on both sides. I have it in a 10 gal. tank with a male Betta (with no problems. my Betta is mellow), 2 platies, 3 white clouds, 2 albino Corys, an angel fish, and a rams horn snail. My water is perfect condition. I took the aggressive platy out of the tank and have him in a bowl for the time being. The Gourami has been hanging out in the corner of the tank by the heater. Will he heal eventually heal and grow his scales back? <Likely so> I have started treating the tank with MelaFix. Will this help? <Probably more than hurt> Plus the angel has been hanging out on the bottom lately. Any Ideas what could help? <Time going by. BTW, the plural of Gourami is Gouramis, platy is platies. Bob Fenner> A Sick Red Gourami Bob - hope you can provide some insight. I'll make this short. Two days ago, my Red Gourami came out from behind of his hiding plant (which was unusual.) In looking closely at him, I noticed a dark gray area behind each gill. This, obviously, was not normal and I had no idea what it was. The only thing I put in the tank (10 gal.) to assist him was a recommended dose of "Melafix" that I purchased at the pet store. The only other foreign matter I had put in the tank was about a week ago when I added some Epsom Salts to a small breeding tank that had a constipated Guppy in it. (The Guppy didn't make it.)  Unfortunately, neither did my Gouramis. I had intended to totally change the water this morning, but when I arose, the Gourami had died. I'm just trying to figure out what possibly the gray areas could have been and what I should have done. I'd had the Gourami for about 6 months and he'd been very healthy.  Between the time I noticed the gray around the gills and it's dying was very quick. - 2 days. Appreciate any insight. Riley  <Likely the damage about the gills was environmental in origin... perhaps the treatments you added had something to do with this... maybe not... Many imported Gouramis (and livebearers for that matter) from the Far East suffer such mortalities... mysteriously. The best one can do is to keep systems optimized, stable and offer good foods. Bob Fenner>

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