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FAQs on Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

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


Related FAQs:  Gouramis 1, Gouramis 2, Gourami Identification, Gourami Behavior, Gourami Compatibility, Gourami Selection, Gourami Systems, Gourami Disease, Gourami Reproduction, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish,

Red Honey Gourami Refusing to Eat  - 12/12/06 Hi there ... my name is Dave and I have a male & female red honey Gourami.  I had them and a few other fish ( tetras, Corydoras, Plecos ) in a small 10 gal tank.  I recently got a 20 gal and set it up slowly transferring fish over. One afternoon when I had most of the fish in the other tank I noticed the gouramis breeding. <Neat!> I watched for a couple hours and they did their little dance and the male put the eggs in his small bubble nest. The next day when I turned the lights on the bubble nest was gone and he actually seemed fairly upset about it. <Happens>   Later that day I moved the rest of the fish to the larger tank in hopes that some of the eggs would survive ... but I never saw any baby fish. <Mmm... are very tiny when first hatch out... about four days in the lower 80's F...> All the fish seemed to be eating fine in the new tank.  Of course the gouramis were a little shy until they became accustomed to their new surroundings. Within the last week or so the male Gourami has not been swimming much that I can see.  He very seldom eats when I put food in the tank.  I think the last time I saw him eat was 2 or 3 days ago.  I occasionally see him swimming around a bit but he quickly hides and stays in one spot for long periods of time.  He seems to be able to swim away fine when he wants to though.   I've noticed a few of the fish (not him) scratching their gills against rocks or plants but it's not constantly.  I've not seen any Ich on any of the fish! Could there be some sort of parasite affecting his eating? <Possibly...> Or could it be some sort of emotional reaction to losing his babies?   <Hmmm, more likely the new surroundings, being moved here...> I've never heard of that with small fish before but ya never know! P.S.  I've also been doing frequent water changes in the new tank in case there's something in the water that's bothering him! <Mmm, I would hold off on this for a bit... make sure the tank is readily cycling>   Also ... I feed a variety of foods .. TetraMin, Frozen Brine Shrimp, Tubifex, Spirulina Discs, Shrimp Pellets. <Sounds good!> Any suggestions that you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks .... Dave B. <I would take a wait/see approach here with your Colisa gouramis... and consider setting up the smaller tank for some future breeding trials... Do read up ahead of time re culturing live foods... Bob Fenner>  

Re: Red Honey Gourami Refusing to Eat   12/14/06 Hey Bob, <David> Thanks for you quick response and suggestions!  I did notice him eating a couple pieces of frozen brine shrimp yesterday.  Maybe it's just the adjustment for him. <Yes> I've been trying to hatch brine shrimp for the last couple of weeks.   <A worthwhile experience> I'm on my third batch now ... it just doesn't seem to be working. <There are a few "tricks" one can/should prevail upon re Artemia... can be found on the Net easily...> I've had this small jar of eggs for a long time but I didn't think they ever went bad. <Mmm, can/do... with air, water exposure, time going by... some brands, years have little hatch-rate to start with... but do read re light bleaching technique, etc...> I'm now trying a method where apparently you don't need sea salt.   I've had the sea salt for about as long as the eggs so maybe it's no good !!    <Mmm... doubtful here> I found someone on the internet that was saying they hatch the eggs in just water and baking soda so I'm giving that a try! <Interesting. Please report back with your experience here>   Apparently the baby shrimp last longer in the tank with the fish as the adjustment isn't as harsh for them.  I've got a 2L plastic bottle sitting in the baby swordtail tank - to keep the eggs/shrimp warm - and an air hose going in to circulate the eggs. If this doesn't work I was thinking of getting some new brine shrimp eggs to try! <Good idea> Thanks again ... and let me know if you have any thoughts about the brine shrimp hatching.   Dave B. <What little I/we have is posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/artemiafaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Honey Gourami Refusing to Eat   12/17/06 Hi again Bob ... good news and slightly bad news. <Oh?> The bad news is that the brine shrimp didn't hatch ... or if they did they didn't last long. <Mmm, and do take care not to introduce the eggs/cysts themselves to the tank... gut impaction problems...> Some of the eggs looked a little puffed up and there were a few small fluffy white things floating around ... possible dead shrimp.  I think I'll just try some new eggs! <Good idea> The good news is the male Gourami.  After he started eating a bit he seemed to be coming out a bit more for some food.  I found a reasonably priced male dwarf Gourami at a LFS.  Not only are they very beautifully coloured I thought that it might stimulate the male honey Gourami to be a bit territorial. <Yes...> Well ... it seems to have worked!  Whether he just got over his little episode or the introduction of another male helped I'm not sure.  But now he's swimming around and eating properly. <Very good news> Thanks again for all your help and have a Merry Christmas!! Dave B. <And to you and yours. BobF>

Dwarf Gourami underfed because of its slowness   5/27/06 Hi Crew <<Hi, Tim. Tom here.>> I have tropical community tank with some dwarf Gouramis, silver dollars and various livebearers. <<Okay.>> I am concerned that the dwarf Gouramis are underfed as they seem to be very slow compared with other fish, esp. the silver dollars, when it comes to dinner time (as well as being generally slow at other times). <<Do your fish show signs of being undernourished, Tim, i.e. sunken sides as opposed to being "filled out"? I ask this because sometimes "perceptions" can lead us overfeed, which isn't good. (I occasionally hear from other members of my household that the fish "aren't getting enough to eat". The fish would also like me to believe this by the way they behave when I approach the tank.) :)>> Apart from separating them - which is impossible at the moment, since I do not have a second tank - can you please suggest anything I could do, e.g. are there special foods that only they like? Or any other ideas at all? <<Since tropical fish all seem to favor the same types of foods, it's not likely that there's any one particular food that your Gouramis will take to that the others won't. Presumably, you've tried "spreading" the food at feeding time to disperse it as evenly as possible so that everyone has a shot at getting their share. One idea that comes to mind - only because of personal experience - is to supplement the diet with frozen cubed foods, thawed first in a small glass of tank water. When brine shrimp/bloodworms, etc. are "poured" back into the tank, it disperses significantly (perhaps due as much to aeration/filter currents as anything else). The bottom line here is that all of the fish, regardless of speed, or lack of it, get enough to eat.>> Many thanks Tim <<I don't know if this "solves" the problem, Tim, but I hope it helps. Tom>>

My New Pink Kissing Gouramis... not eating, crowded behavior 8/20/05 Hello,  I'd like to start out thanking you for taking time to read this.  I have read through the questions about gouramis and haven't found any answers to my own questions.  Please keep in mind that I am new and my knowledge on fish is limited to what I've read on the internet.  Anyway, getting to the point, I have a two pink kissing gouramis in a 10 gallon tank. They are still relatively small, so I wasn't too worried about getting a bigger tank yet.  However, I have had them for almost a week and have yet to see them eat the tropical fish food flakes I feed them.  I have some live plants that I occasionally see them "kiss," along with the gravel and sides of the tank (They have never kissed each other, and I have no idea what they're little fishy genders are) <Not able to discern externally> and I thought maybe they were eating the algae and just weren't hungry when I fed them.  Is this normal? <Mmm, not normal in terms of health> If not, what would you suggest? <Try other foods...> I also noticed that, when I first brought them home, they were very close, and I never saw them apart.  My bigger one (affectionately named "Valentine" by my mom) seemed the be the protector of the little one (affectionately named "Kawaii" by me!) but now I notice Valentine chasing Kawaii around the tank quite a bit, especially when the aquarium light is off.  Hawaii will still follow Valentine occasionally when allowed, but I don't know if I should be worried.  Has Valentine acquired a "bully trait" that can cause Hawaii to become stressed? <Yes... you, they need larger quarters...> I have one more question.  I wanted to buy another fish, probably another Kisser, but I don't know if this will help the situation.  Is this a good idea?   <No> Would adding another Kisser make for more competition?  Or would it make for a happy little family?  Should I add another kind of fish?  I was thinking of a Rosy Barb or some Zebra Danios. <These are very good choices... but sooner... you will need a bigger tank...> Sorry for all the questions, but they've become my little babies overnight and I'm slightly overprotective.  Any answers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again for your time,                Kelly <Try some sinking wafers, algae-based, some pelleted (sinking) food... maybe Omega-Sea, HBH, Spectrum... Bob Fenner> Dwarf Gourami not eating Your site is great! Unfortunately I still have questions. I'm trying to save my little dwarf blue neon Gourami. <Fire away!> I think he may have internal parasites, and not sure how to administer medication, since he will not eat at ALL. The last time I can remember seeing him eat was at least a couple of weeks ago. He was being bullied by a larger dwarf Gourami.. to the point that every feeding the bigger one would chase him and he may have stopped eating back then. Took the big one back and got a female hoping he would be happier. Now she is wonderful and eating voraciously, and he is ill. He has the long white thread hanging most of the time... swims little, and eats nothing that I can see. Other than that nothing visibly wrong with him. There is some green algae, could he be surviving on that? I don't see how he's alive. <Is this fish exceedingly thin?> Main question (assuming it is parasites): what med.s would you recommend feeding him, and any suggestions as to how to get him to eat it? <Yes... Metronidazole/Flagyl. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm and the Related FAQs linked above> I've heard there is a new anti-parasitic gel out that is good. Could I do a quarantine with the gel and hope some of it will get into him by way of him swimming in it?? <Mmm, no, needs to be ingested> Today I got some anti-parasitic pellets, secluded him in a midsized net with the food, no dice. I even put a tiny piece of minced garlic in there with him (have been told it can help appetite)! Do you think I could continue secluding him in the big tank to treat him, or will this stress him further? <Not likely beneficial> Tank situation: 29 gal tall, 6 mo.s old, everything has been fine to this point. Have done irregular water changes every few weeks. Probably need to step it up, as nitrates have crept up to @30+. Nitrites are completely 0. Besides the two Gouramis there are: 4 zebra danios, 3 rosy barbs, and 1 Bristlenose catfish (@3-4"). (BTW I was sorry to read that the dwarfs are so disease-prone  :-( ... tank is too small to get the bigger ones... and they are so sweet!) <Mmm, actually... this tank could house some of the larger genera, species of Gouramis... more peaceful ones> Help, please? Thank you in advance!! <I would "lace" some of the more desirable foods (frozen/defrosted bloodworms, live brine shrimp, daphnia...) with the Flagyl... and keep offering, hoping this fish will take it. Bob Fenner>

Re: Dwarf Gourami not eating > <Is this fish exceedingly thin?> No, he isn't. Wasn't. He died today! :-(((  He was plenty full-looking, which is another reason I thought parasites. The last few days he not only wasn't eating, but was really lethargic (in the corner 24/7) and then this morning he was TAIL UP! Had also noticed some 'furriness' along one side, I think it might have been scales coming off? Poor guy. What do you think the chances are something spread to the others? <Mmm, actually depends on how closely "related" the others are... if this is/was a tank of Colisa genus Gouramis, particularly this species (lalia) there would be real troubles...> None of the others got a hold of him or anything, but I'd hate to have another one do the same. Should I treat the tank with anything? <I would not> Thanks, Jennifer <Please hold off getting more Gouramis till later in the year (a few months). There is a seasonal pandemic... Bob Fenner>

Colisa on hunger strike  07/02/05 Hi crew, <G'morning> I have a pair of Colisa lalias in a 12g tank-- male and female-- along with an SAE, a male Betta, and a trio of platies.  For the past few days the female Colisa has been hiding out in a corner and hasn't been coming up to eat.  I've been able to get her to eat by pushing some food down to her, so I think that she is just being "shy".  She tends to get chased around by everyone else.  This was a problem when I first got the pair, but she's been doing fine for a few months now, and this has just been happening just in the past few days.  I did some replanting recently so perhaps this has triggered the problem. Tank chemistry is good... What can I do to minimize the aggression towards the female Colisa? <Get a larger tank, add more plants, decor for her to hide amongst> The male Colisa, SAE, and Betta all dump their aggression out on her.  What about getting a third Colisa-- I've heard that these do best in trios? <Not likely to work> If that's the case would I want 2M+1F or 1M+2F?  Or would it be better to try adding another trio of dither fish? <Perhaps this last will help... something fast like small danios, rasboras...> On another topic, I've been interested in adding an A. agassizi, but I'm getting conflicting advice on compatibility.  I know they are territorial with each other but not sure about compatibility with other dwarf cichlids like Colisa and the Betta.  What's your experience been with these? Thanks, -Dave <Generally mixable in a system, with a grouping of species as you list. Like warmer, softer water than your other livestock though. Bob Fenner>


Pink Kissing Gouramis not eating My kissing gouramis which I purchased two days ago are not eating flake food or brine shrimp.  The tetras and mollies I have in the tank with them eat fine.  It is a 55 gallon tank and the temp is fine.  What can I do to get them to eat? < Give them a few days to get use to their new surroundings. When they get hungry they will eat. There are actually very good algae eaters and are often seen "kissing" plants and rock when they are actually eating algae.-Chuck>

Re: Pink Kissing Gouramis not eating I didn't' find any info helpful there, and they are still not eating. Please help. < With no external symptoms then I am going to assume that they may be in the early stages of an internal bacterial infection. The best way to treat this is with Metronidazole. Do a 30% water change and service the filter. Vacuum the gravel if it has not been done in awhile before treating the tank.-Chuck>

Eat, Don't Kiss! Hello to all at WWM, <Hello! Ryan here> I bought 2 pink kissing gourami's 4 days ago and have them in QT by themselves but they are not eating.  I've tried reading over all the faq and am still at a loss.  They are in an established tank and all my water parameters check out okay.  I haven't noticed any white spots or any other obvious signs of illness only that they hang out on the bottom of the back of the tank.  I've tried offering frozen blood worms and brine shrimp.  Also I got some zooplankton all to no avail.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. <Amy, are there adequate hiding places for them to feel safe?  I like to keep a piece of PVC or some fake plants in my QT to reduce stress.  Was the brine you offered live?  If not, try that.  Brine shrimp are a poor substitute for real food, but seem to get almost any fish eating.  Small live worms may do the trick as well.  These fish are generally very hardy with an appetite to match-could you contact the LFS which sold you the fish and find out what they were eating previously?  Good luck!> Thank You, Amy

Pink kisser diet and general tank stuff. First things first, I don't have a digi. cam, so I'll describe Ivan's itchy patch in the best way I've thought of. Basically it looks like a patch of eczema on the outer 1/8 inch of his tail. Like this: <Unfortunately, the little diagram will not reproduce well for the FAQs, but with your new description and the diagram, I'm pretty sure you're dealing with fin rot.  Fortunately, this is easily treatable.> He actually nibbles off little flakes of it. He sits under the filter intake a lot and I've noticed little bits of it flake away and get sucked into the filter or fall onto the bottom of the tank. Problem is, since he's a Pink Kisser, his fins are very light colored; in most places they're very light whitefish, not quite clear, and I can't tell if he has any spots or not. He could be completely covered with them and they aren't visible Black construction paper behind the tank didn't help much either (he was scared of it).   <LOL!  Ivan the Terrible?  Or Ivan the Terrified?> I read the Ick page (thanks for the link) and I'm going to try getting a sample of his tail slime to take to the pet store or a fish vet (if I can find one). I'll take a water sample too, but the water here is different from the stuff I use at school. (Would the bottled "Betta Water" I've seen in pet stores help with changes any?) My biggest problem with diagnosis is, of all the Pink Kissers in the world and the hundreds of them turn that turn homicidal, I have to get the only one I've heard of yet that's a complete and utter coward. When I got him from the pet store he was in a 10 gal with about 40 other fry. He was one of the smallest in there and was getting chased around the tank (typical behavior for the kind). I took him specifically because he was little and needed out of there or he'd starve. Since then, he's been terrified of anything pinkish (including my hands), anything that looks like another fish (He saw a picture of a gold fish on a pet guide worksheet and hid until I moved it), and anything that moves quickly or reflects light (camera lenses, mirrors, watches, etc). <Ivan the Terrified, indeed!> I got a picture once from across the room with a zoom lens and hung it on my wall at school-- where its hanging now. I'll send a photo as soon as I can. <If it's possible, that'd be great, but again, I'm pretty confidant with the description you gave now.  To treat the fin rot, I would use a good antibiotic, like Kanamycin (Available from Aquatronics as "Kanacyn" in a gray box).  Use as directed, it should clear this up just fine.> He only sits (?) still in the open when he's curious about something (running water especially) or when he's hungry (which is any time he's not sleeping). The minute I move near the tank he hides behind his plants. <It might help to give him more hiding spaces.  Perhaps a few rocks or a cave, maybe some more plants like the anacharis/elodea for him to nibble on.  The idea behind this is that the more opportunity they have to hide, the less they feel the need to.  In my experience, this is almost invariably true.> Thanks for all your info and help. I appreciate it. <Sure thing - glad to be able to help!> Take care.  Becky              <You too.  Wishing you (and Ivan) well,  -Sabrina>

Gourami Won't Eat! Hello my name is Leah and I have just started fish keeping about a 1/2 a week ago. I have a 10 gallon tank and I have a Male Neon Blue Gourami and a Male Black Molly. It seems that whenever I feed my fish (TetraMin Tropical Flakes), the Black Molly goes directly to the food at once and eats, but my Gourami just ignores the food. Every once in a while, the Gourami will find the food to eat, but it will put it in it's mouth and spit it back out. I dunno what is wrong with the Gourami. The tank is normally at about 76-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Please help me ASAP! < Give him a few more days to get settled in. Try some live food like brine shrimp or black worms to get him going. If he still doesn't eat then he might be sick but  I am sure he will eat  something soon but they don't eat much. make sure you keep the tank clean and siphon out any let over food so it doesn't pollute the tank.-Chuck> Gourami stopped eating HELP!!! I have a 30 gal tank. Perfect water except cloudy- I put cloud reducer in last night. Opaline stopped eating this morning & not eating since. Shares tank w/ gold gourami, dwarf gourami, 2 swordtails, 3 Cory cats, 2 danios,& 1 Plecostomus. Have had all for over 2 months w/no prob.s till today. Usually feed them trop flakes & algae wafers, but gave them whole brine shrimp gel pack as a treat for the 1st time yesterday. Everyone ate heartily! Went back to flakes & wafers today w/no probs. All ate except the opaline gourami. Gold picks on him time-to-time, but otherwise peaceful tank. Has been up in corner for a few days, but ate when fed- till today. All tank mates look great w/no visible signs of illness or disease. Possible parasite? I'm baffled, PLEASE help! Michelle in N.C. <Very likely the feeding bout is due to the addition to the clarifying agent. I would not worry unless this fish is not eating a week from now. Bob Fenner>  

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