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FAQs on Colisa lalia "Dwarf" Gouramis of Many Names, Honey, Flames, Neon Blue,  Sunset Fire...

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

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


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>

Aggressive gourami 7/14/05 Hi Crew, The troubles started last week with the addition of the new male robin gourami <Is Colisa lalia... RMF> to our 40 gal tank. It housed 2 golden zebra loaches, 8 neon tetras, and a female robin gourami for almost a year. Thinking that she needs some companionship (her original partner has died a few month ago) we bought this male robin. Initially, she started picking on him, chasing off food, and off good spots, etc., which can be explained as she is almost two times bigger than him. In two days the situation has changed, actually, it has not changed much, but mirrored. Now it is our old gourami that is being chased, she does not eat much, hides in the corners, and looks fairly depressed. To add to the confusion, yesterday I noticed a strange behaviour from them, which seems to me sexual in nature. They stay together side by side; the female curls around the male and they stay for a minute or two, and then slowly swim in different direction looking slightly disoriented. After this the usual pecking continues. I am in a bit of a loss: whether I should bring the male back to the fish store, as female would not survive under such stress, or it is just the way their courtship is, or there is something I can do to make it work? Thank you, Kostya. <Mmm, you might try adding more plant or other hiding material, temporarily sequestering one or the other in a floating breeding trap, specimen container... even plastic colander... to see if they "calm down", otherwise I'd return the newest one. 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> 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)

Territoriality in small tank Hi Bob and crew, <David> Four days ago I added a pair of Colisa dwarf gouramis to my 12g, well-planted tank, which is also home to a male Betta and an SAE. Betta doesn't even seem to notice the SAE, and was very tolerant of some rasboras I had in there before. However (as I might have expected had I read your FAQs before buying the gouramis) the Betta is being quite aggressive towards the gouramis.  <Happens> For the first 2 days this was just occasional displaying behavior, but over the past couple of days, as the gouramis have started swimming around more, Betta has been hounding them regularly. No outright fighting yet-- in fact, if the gourami is resting in the brush and refuses to budge when the Betta approaches, the Betta will simply park himself very close and keep an eye on the gourami. If gourami is in open water, Betta will display, flick his tail, give chase. <I see> So this is just intimidation so far, but I am concerned it will escalate, plus it is obviously stressful to all parties. Gouramis are starting to peck at each other now too. <Also typical behavior> Before I return the gouramis, or (sigh) get another tank to isolate the Betta, I am wondering... if Betta's behavior is likely to mellow over time, or to escalate? <Good question... have seen both... But I am inclined to suggest you wait/see here... If the animals are not actually physically damaging each other... likely no real problem> ... if controlled overcrowding might help (prevent Betta from trying to establish territory)? <Good question too... I would not do this... overcrowd that is... as too likely your Betta will retreat into oblivion... look to getting some small "ditherfish" though... Maybe some Endler's or Platies (livebearers) or small danios or my three fave tiny barbs (Oligolepsis, Golds, Cherries)... a trio of any of these ought to do the trick. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Territoriality in small tank "Ditherfish"... I like that.  <Not original... don't know if anything I know is...> You say that barring physical damage this aggression isn't overly harmful, but isn't this stressful, for the Betta as well as his victims?  <Mmm, not really... stress up to a point is natural, desirable...> One of the gouramis seems to have a mild case of HLLD-- probably came with it, though I didn't notice, but seems like stress isn't going to help him heal... thoughts? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm  and beyond... Bob Fenner> 

LFS? Better Explain the Acronym! Why we Can't Breed Powder Blue Gouramis Thanks for the answer on Rams. What is the LFS? Also I do have another question. How do you know the sex differences in the powder blue dwarf Gourami? Hope to hear from you again! Karrie <LFS refers to local fish store. Powder Blue Dwarf Gouramis are a line bred fish. They are simply regular dwarf Gouramis with all the red bred out of them. I don't think they export females, but I am sure that they would breed with a normal silver colored female dwarf Gourami.-Chuck> 

Gourami-Betta compatibility Hi, I recently got a male Siamese fighter in a 2 foot tank and thought he looked lonely in there, so I put in some more plants for hiding spots, and got several dwarf Gourami and placed them in with him. So far they seem to be getting along fine doing their own thing. I figured that if the Gourami were going to show any aggression putting a 4 in they would hopefully take it out on each other and not the Betta. I shall let you know how it progresses. <Please do... sometimes Gouramis and male Bettas mix, sometimes they don't. Bob Fenner> 

Dwarf Gourami compatibility in a 10 gallon tank I'm setting up my first tank (10 gallons) and I'm trying to pick out a group of fish that will get along and be happy. Ideally, I'd like a Blue Dwarf Gourami, a couple of Sunset Fire Platys, a small school (5 or 6) neon tetras, and an Oto or two for housekeeping. Obviously this will be a little on the high end of the inch/gallon rule but I'm prepared to make more regular water changes. Will these fish all get along? <Should, yes> Will 10 gallons be enough for them not to feel crowded? <Mmm, not much, no> Also, will the Gourami become aggressive since it is by itself? <Not likely... Colisa lalia can be picky, but mainly this happens with a mix of sexes/individuals of their own kind> I made that mistake while cycling my tank with a single red eyed tetra who constantly nipped at the two smaller platys that it shared the tank with. Thanks so much for the assistance. <Thank you for writing, expressing your earnest concern. Bob Fenner> 

Adding after Upgrade We've got a 20 gallon tank, newly established (converted from a 10 gallon tank) that has 4 black tetras, 2 tiger barbs, a golden algae eater, 2 hatchet fish, and we just introduced 2 juvenile albino Corys. All of our fish are fairly small, the longest being the golden algae eater, about 2 inches. We recently saw some neon blue dwarf gouramis at the pet store and thought they were very nice looking fish, but were concerned because our black tetras tend to get nippy when they see larger, bright or shiny fish. The 2 barbs (contrary to standard tiger barb behavior) are pretty much completely oblivious to other fish except each other, and the hatchets just hang around the top. Do you think the dwarf gouramis would have a problem in this setup or not? Greg and Debbie <Many tetras can be a little nippy but the Gouramis should be OK. Not sure how long since the upgrade, but wait at least a month before adding any more fish. You should be testing to ensure you are cycled. If all is good then go ahead and add the gourami. Another pair of Corys would be great. They like being in large groups. Get all the same species. Don> 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>

Please help fast!!!!!!!! (overly aggressive Honey Dwarf Gourami?) <Might be in reference to Colisa chuna> hi I have a honey dwarf Gourami that I have had for about a year and a half. I just moved it a couple days ago to a ten gallon tank a much larger one than before. I put some tetras in the tank with him and he did nothing. he began attacking the glass and I noticed that he could see himself. I went to the pet store and they said I needed another Gourami in the tank.  <Whoa... what was the reason given for "needing another Gourami"?> I put another Gourami even a little larger and now all it does is attack the larger Gourami. I also have a Bala shark in there he is small however and my Gourami attacks that one to. I don't know what to do. I want it to not be lonely and stop attacking the walls but I cant put any other fish with it. <Really... a Honey Dwarf Gourami, Trichogaster chuna? Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anabantoids.htm I was also wondering if you could tell me how to tell the males from the females. maybe I have two males. <Perhaps... but if two or one they shouldn't cause much damage if this species...> I really need help please write me back as soon as you can so I can fix this problem and all my fish can be happy. thank you my e-mail address is XXX <I see it above in the address tray> thanks <Don't worry if the species is what you mention... the agonistic behavior should/will settle down soon. Perhaps consider adding something in the way of "dither-fish"... like small Danios, rasboras, the easier going barb like cherry, checkerboard, gold... see the WetWebMedia.com site re these choices. Bob Fenner>

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> Gage here, just drinkin, dreamin, and answerin emails. <Sounds familiar>   I was wondering if I could enlist your help in a couple of matters, and was hoping that this would not get posted on the daily's.  I've got a couple of emails in my box that I am not sure about. <Okay.> First off is regarding Gourami Fry with Ich.  Will a regular dose of meds kill the youngans?  I was thinking maybe a half dose, and some aquarium salt? <Better to use/suggest elevated temperature (about 85 F.) alone... sans med.s. The higher average kinetic energy will do the trick.>

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>

Mixing Gouramis <Ananda here today answering freshwater fish questions...> I hope this isn't a stupid question, but I've surfed all over and still am uncertain if mixing different breeds of Gourami is ok. <I've seen a 29 gallon tank with three different species of Gouramis. One was sufficiently nasty that he had to be put in the "penalty box" tank, but otherwise they were okay together.> I have a new pair of Sunset Fire Gouramis in a 28 gallon with a baby clown loach (2 inches).   <Please get your clown loach a pair of buddies -- these are schooling/shoaling fish and much happier in groups of three or more. And it's very cute to watch them all pile up on top of each other to sleep at night.> The tank is established (the prior tenants are now at home in a 60 gallon).  I know I have room for other fish, but want to make sure is don't upset these cool fish.  The store where I got these also has Power Blue and Gold gourami's.  Would introducing another pair or two create havoc? <Well, perhaps temporarily, as the existing fish look at the new fish and say "Hey, what are you doing here?" From there, it depends somewhat on the individual fish. But I think you could add another pair or two of Gouramis. More on Gouramis and there relatives at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anabantoids.htm and the associated FAQs.> Thanks! Beverly Vance <You're quite welcome. --Ananda>

Gouramis In A Group Dear Anthony (just a wild guess here), <Oops- Anthony's cheerful(?) colleague- Scott F. here> My 30 gallon freshwater tank finished cycling almost 3 weeks ago.  It now houses 3 platys, 1 balloon molly, and one female Betta.  pH is 7.8, temp is 79 F, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are 0.  By choice I have only artificial plants.  I would like to add two male dwarf Gouramis - are the Gouramis a good choice? <Dwarf Gouramis are among the most peaceful of all fishes-great choice for a mellow community aquarium.> Will two males live together peacefully (I want two males because they are prettier than the females and I'm not interested in having the Gouramis reproduce)? <Well, in my experience, it's better to keep these fishes in small groups, like 2 females and 1 male, or 3 females and two males. Keeping two males together seems to result in one harassing the other into submission, in my experience. There also might be some occasional aggression between the Betta and your Gouramis.> I've read they like plants floating on the surface - I'd rather not have this (even artificial ones).  Will they be miserable without that? <No- they should be fine. In nature (and in the aquarium), they often rely on floating plants to provide an area for building their nests and depositing eggs. They appreciate the cover, but it is certainly not necessary to have floating plants for these fishes.> Should I add some aquarium salt to the water?  How much?  What brand? <Personally, I'd skip the salt> I thought I'd also get 2 or 3 Corydoras sterbai as scavengers -  are they suitable tankmates for this group? <sure- these are great fish in their own right!> I would not plan to get the new additions all at once. <Good plan-build up your population slowly> Thought I'd start with the Gouramis if you give me the go ahead.  Any thoughts would be appreciated. <With the above caveats, I'd say that they would make great additions to your tank! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Judy

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>

Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami I will setting up a 15 gal tank and plan on having neon blue dwarf Gouramis in it and was wondering how many I should have.  I know that the Gouramis are very territorial in nature and should I plan to put only 5 or 6 in them.  I will have a lot of hiding places and will solve the problem of them beginning territorial. <These are called "Dwarf Gouramis" but they can still get 2-3 inches long so even 5 or 6 is probably too many. The blues do tend to be one of the least aggressive but in a 15 gallon tank, no more than 3 or 4 is recommended. Ronni>

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>>

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>

Dwarf Gouramis, Small Fish, Big Attitude II Thanks for the reply Gage--I double checked this morning and it definitely is not Ich, since there are no salt like particles on the his fins or flanks. <Rad> It looks more like some scales or color is missing on one side, half the size of a pencil eraser.  After some research yesterday I thought it might be some form of fungus, but there does not appear to be any sort of cottony substance on him so that doesn't appear to the case. <This is a wait and see situation if you ask me, could be a wound from the aggression that will heal on its own, or it could get infected. Lets hope for the first situation.> The addition of the plants seem to have halted the most aggressive fin-nipping going on, so I am going to hold off and see how things progress. <Good Plan> I would really like to upgrade my tank to a larger one, but really don't have any room for it in my apartment. <Get rid of the TV?  Maybe the Couch? Do you really need that bed? HA HA HA. -Gage> Thanks Matt

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>

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

Crowded aquarium? Good morning, <Good afternoon, Sabrina here> I am writing about my six gallon Eclipse aquarium I have had up and running for 6 months.  I initially cycled the tank with a flame dwarf Gourami, and after the appropriate time added another blue dwarf Gourami and two very small albino Cory cats.  At the beginning, I noticed the flame dwarf ( which was slightly larger than the blue) seemed to be the tank bully, which I chalked up his being the first in the tank.  Recently I have noticed the roles have reversed and the blue is now larger, the flame having lost weight.  At the same time, I have observed the sizable growth of the two Cory cats, who are now probably at least  1.5 inches each.  So my questions are these: first, it is necessary, as I suspect based on the typical rules for fish keeping, to remove one or more of the fish because of the size of the tank? <I do not feel that two Gourami and two Corydoras is too much for your system.> second, should it be one of the dwarf gouramis because they seem to have such an antagonistic relationship? <I do believe that you should remove one of the Gourami, but not due to crowding issues - this aggression will continue, probably worsen significantly, over time.  Chances are that you have two males, and tensions will always be rather nasty between them.  It could conceivably get bad enough that one is continuously injured, or worse.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Thanks,  Matt

War or peace in the tank? (10/11/03) Hi everyone, <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> My wife just picked up a male Betta and was wondering if she could put him in her 5 gal tank with her male ram & dwarf Gourami without any problems. <Um, not likely at all. The Betta and Gourami are both Anabantoids, and are very likely to go to pick on each other. Also, the tank is fully stocked with just the ram and Gourami -- in fact, I'd rather see those two fish in their own, bigger tank, at *least* 10 gallons. The 5 gallon tank would be great for the Betta, either by himself or with a few ghost shrimp or algae shrimp (the latter also called "Amano" shrimp) to help clean up the place. Besides, shrimp are cool. :-) > THANKS in advance - DS <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Colisa lalia Hello Bob, <Bonjour Claude> It has been a long time since the last... I have received a inquiry from a visitor of the French section. He asks me of we (you, of course) have anything about specific "Colisa sp.".  He is specializing in mutations of Colisa lalia.  He was very admiring over the "Anabantoids" but he found it not specific enough. Read you and best regards to your and your entire crew (MK) Claude <Merci mon ami. I do wish I could take the time to study and write up the human history of the delightful "dwarf Gourami" and its many sports. Does this writer have specific questions re this species of Colisa? Robare Fenner> Re: Colisa lalia, WWM en Francais Thanks Bob, I'll ask him about specific questions. By the way, I have received many compliments about the site. Let's not talk about the site himself but about the articles.  All the visitors but one (not happy about American cichlids, he says it is dirt...(sic)) find those are very worthy.  And yet my opinion is that your knowledge is a standard for the hobby.  It is for me a great pleasure to popularize it to the French talking hobbyists . Greetings and thanks Claude <Outstanding. Am very glad you are able, willing to aid in the dissemination, help of offering the content en Francais. Au revoir my friend. Bob Fenner>

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>

Dwarf Gourami - Male or Female?  Pregnant? Hello, <Hi!> I'm an extremely concerned parent of a beautiful cinnamon dwarf Gourami that I do not know the gender of. The sign at the pet store said it was a male, and I have also read that females will appear silver in color. <Less red, at the least.  Males are far easier to find in our hobby.> Mine is fully cinnamon. <Heh, that's my favorite word for the day, now!> But yet it has a bloated belly. It has increased in size each day, which a normal parent would think it was pregnant, correct? <Actually, there can be other causes for this.  First and foremost, overeating, and also very likely, constipation.> (Should I put it on birth control?) ;) <He/she needs a stern talking to, at the least!  :) > I was hoping that it was female and pregnant because I wanted little grandchildren of my own. <Well, even if he is a she, and is full of eggs, he/she/it would still need a male to help release, then fertilize, the eggs of this bubblenesting fish.> Please help me. This is a serious issue. <It is, indeed.  Is he/she pooping?  If not, you're probably looking at constipation.  I would recommend reducing the amount that you feed him/her; fast him for a few days, and feed only foods high in roughage content, like thawed frozen pea (squeeze it out of the shell), adult brine shrimp, or daphnia, and when you do feed these, do so sparingly.  It would also help to add Epsom salt to the tank, at a rate of one tablespoon per ten gallons - this is usually the first thing to do in constipation cases, as it can be very serious indeed, and it will help relieve pressure on the fish, and help pass any blockage in the gut.  I would also recommend increasing the veggie matter in your little pal's diet once this has passed.  Blanched zucchini, cucumber, and spinach are just a few goodies to pass along to him.  Or her.> I've included a picture of my little SPECIAL BOY (or girl)!. Please get back to me on the gender please. <A good picture, but is there any way you can get one of him with his fins very spread?  It does look like a male, to me, for the coloration and the point of his dorsal fin.  If he is a she, and he/she is with egg, you should see a white "dot" in front of the anal fin indicating that she is full of eggs.> Thanks,  Amy and Belle Gourami :) <You bet!  Wishing you and Belle well,  -Sabrina 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>>

Fate of Gouramis hang in the balance Hey,  I have read through most of the postings and found some very useful information on what I thought was wrong with my fish. About three weeks ago one of my dwarf gourami's began laying around in the tank on its side, and then about a week later another one became twisted up, almost in the shape of a question mark and spends all of his time face down in the gravel. I double-checked all of the water requirements as you have suggested and everything is fine. I have a 20 gallon high, the ph is 6.8, the temperature is 82F, and there are no traces of ammonia or nitrates/nitrites. Is there anything I can do to help my fish?  < The fact that one fish had a problem and then a second has come down with something too makes me think that there may not be an environmental problem here but a pathological one. Dwarf gouramis as well as others seem to be prone to attacks by weird pathogens that come in with them from the fish farms in the orient. I would isolate that gouramis into a five gallon tank and treat them with a Nitrofurazone type drug as per the package directions. If the problem is internal then there is not to much that can be done for them.>  It has been several weeks and every aquarium store I go to just tells me to flush them.  < The medications will probably cost more than the fish. if the drugs don't work then you will be out both the price of the fish as well as the cost of the drug.-Chuck>  I just don't have the heart to do it, and since they still seem to get food they could probably live on in this sorry state for a very long time. HELP!!! Your site is a great resource and I appreciate the assistance. Thank you.  Mario.

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>

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>>

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> 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 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

Re: 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. Don>

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

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 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> My gourami fish Hi the other day I purchased two flame gouramis from my local pet store. Can you please answer the following questions for me?  How can I tell which one is a male or female? <Males are a bit larger, much more colorful, with unpaired fins that will be a bit longer, more pointed... they act a bit more aggressively than females... have the folks at the store where you shop show you these differences. Very often folks just get/have males with no females...> How can I get them two [sic] breed? <A bit involved, and best searched on the Net... under the terms "gourami breeding"... elevated temperature, a covered system (to prevent drafts... damage to young labyrinth organs, conditioning of adult breeders, their separation, joining... preparation of foods for the fry...> What other gouramis go good with them? <Other small Colisa, Trichogaster species> Which is the easiest gourami to breed? <Mmm, likely Macropodus species, Paradisefishes.  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>

Gourami Bubble Nest Hi Bob, I've got a 6-week old 29 gallon tank that has cycled successfully with Bio-Spira. So far it's had only two inhabitants, a neon blue dwarf gourami and a female Betta, who have been cohabitating nicely. Although Mr. Gourami likes to show her who's boss by turfing her around a bit, Miss Betta seems ok with it. Just today gourami has built himself a bubble nest and is definitely acting hormonal!   <Yikes... well, they are closely related...> More aggressive, jumping out of the water, things like that. Here's my two questions: since bettas and gouramis are both labyrinth bubble-makers, is this going to confuse them?  <Apparently so> Any chance he might get more aggressive with her to get her to mate, after all she's the only girl in town, AND she sucks air!  Just want to make sure she'll be safe. <Me too... all should be fine though> Also, I'm assuming that while he's doing this and guarding his creation this is probably not the best time to add new fish....yes? I was planning this weekend to add some Cory cats and a couple more female bettas?  Would this bother Mr. Boss-man while he's busy trying to procreate? Thanks for your advice.... Leslie <Actually... adding these other fishes my be a good idea... help diffuse, defuse Mr. G's amorous attentions... Bob Fenner>

Dwarf gourami disorder... and successful trtmt.   3/3/07 Hello BobF and crew, <Brian> I've seen a few reports of bloating in dwarf gouramis on the WWM Daily pages lately and wanted to report a cure of this using Metronidazole/Praziquantel medicated food and erythromycin in the water. <Please do!> One of two dwarf gouramis in a US 10 gal tank began showing symptoms.  The tank is well planted, pH 7.0, 4*dKH, 8*dGH, 10mg/L nitrate and no detectable ammonia or nitrite (AP liquid test kits).  Other inhabitants were four Brochis cats. <Need more room when grown...> The symptoms displayed (only the one male gourami had symptoms) were: First, he hung out at the top of the tank, gulping air, and then seemingly almost floating himself out of the tank with each gulp of air.  That lasted a day.  The next day he began laying on the bottom on his side, at about a 20 degree angle from horizontal.  This continued for a week during which I began a four week treatment with Jungle's anti-parasite food (Metronidazole/Praziquantel) consisting of three days feeding medicated food, then four days of regular food per week.  Halfway through the treatment, the dwarf gourami did not appear to be getting any better and had developed open sores on his side.  After much frantic reading, I came to the conclusion he was experiencing "dwarf gourami disease" a.k.a. "epizootic ulcerative syndrome", and expected to lose him very quickly.  I performed seven days of dosing 200mg erythromycin/day into the tank, and by day six he was eating and defecating again.  Completed the anti-parasite course, and he is looking very well -- no more lying on his side, very active and paying a lot of attention to the female dwarf gourami.  Through all of this, the female never displayed a single symptom that anything was wrong. <Interesting> Now, six months later, he is still doing well, only the slightest discoloration on his side where the sores were that I can only see in certain light. The Metronidazole/Praziquantel food plus erythromycin appears to be effective on this problem.  He (Lazarus) went from nearly dead to a continued healthy life. Thank you for your efforts at WWM, -Brian <Thank you for this important sharing, relating... You have very likely saved MANY Colisa lalia and hobbyists! Bob Fenner>

Re: Dwarf gourami disorder  3/3/07 Hello again BobF, <Brian> I never meant for the Brochis to be in the 10gal for an extended period of time.  It was a quarantine tank until the gourami got sick and the 29 gal the Brochis were meant to go to lost nine Corydoras in a very short time, losing both new young ones and a beautiful six year old C. julii.  Fearing a Corydoradinae-specific disorder the Brochis were never moved. <Ah, thank you for this. Understand that I (sense that I should) respond to such open statements for the sake of others reading... on the Net... all goes on for quite a while, circuitously... Just wanting to make useful remark re the genus...> Do you think the four fully-grown Brochis cats would be suitable tankmates for an 8" Chocolate Cichlid (H. temporalis) in a well-planted 75 gal tank? <Yes, likely so... This species of Neotropical Cichlid can be a "wild card"... some becoming quite agonistic... but the Brochis are indeed tough.... and I do think having a school of them will be useful here> The cichlid has been alone in the tank for 15 months, but seems friendly enough.  I've had to move Corys in the past whose fins were being nipped by a territorial Blood Parrot cichlid they had lived with for years, so I want to make sure the cats will be safe with the big H. temporalis. I really do hope some dwarf gouramis can be saved with the Metronidazole/Praziquantel + erythromycin treatment -- this fish's recovery was nothing short of miraculous. <I assure you... your observations will be of tremendous value to others>    I also found a very interesting reference while trying to sort this out - the American Society for Microbiology's 1974 "Evaluation of Aquarium Antibiotic Formulations" (Trust and Chipman, http://aac.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/6/4/379).  Reading through the concentrations required for effective inhibition of particular organisms helps in treatment selection. Thanks again to all the crew! -Brian <Ah, yes... the industry has had this sort of "wake up" call before... the occasional challenge to prove the efficacy of such "med.s"... I do believe this (legislature) is due. BobF>

Gouramis help????  - 03/02/07 We have a red flamed gouramis and its little belly is now swollen looks like it might pop.. we tried putting it in some water with Epsom salt witch isn't helping, we were also told to try tonic water witch almost killed it. do you know what it could be and what can we do.....please help <... the beginnings of sentences are capitalized... Tonic water? For the Quinine? No... Please see WWM... the Gourami Disease FAQs... BobF>

Aggressive Gourami tank, Colisa lalia comp.   2/14/07 Hi everyone, <Erin> I absolutely love your site, and thank you for all the great Gourami information!  I'm a new tank owner with a 20 gallon that includes 5 Tiger Barbs and 2 Gourami (One Dwarf Red Flame, one Powder Blue, both male). <The same species, Colisa lalia> I've been scouring your answers on solutions to aggression because my Red Flame will not stop tormenting my Blue. <Both males? This is natural behavior> He chases him all day and head butts him but so far no visible fish damage.  I don't want to get rid of this beautiful fish, but I also want to protect my Blue and had hoped to add a couple more Gourami (maybe a Gold?).  I wanted to add one or two more males, <Uh, no> but seem to be finding conflicting information.  Would adding two more males diffuse the aggression or make it worse? <Likely worse> Would I be better off adding maybe 3 females (I've been reading that a higher female to male ratio may calm them)?, <Yes, this is best> or would that be a little too crowded for my tank? <Should be fine> I read your advice on sequestering the aggressive male in a floating  tank, which I plan to do, and adding floating plants...are these solutions better bets for fixing the problem than adding more fish? <Worth trying> I also had hoped to eventually add a couple of non-Gouramis, but now I am worried that my tank as a whole is getting too aggressive. <Just the gouramis toward their own kind, sex...> The Barbs leave the Gouramis alone, but will both aggressive species gang up on a new species?   <Mmm, no... but the Tiger Barbs can become nippy...> Can you recommend any other fish that might work well in this mix? <Small danios, rasboras... many small catfish species...> What type of algae eater would fare best in this tank? <See WWM re> Thank you so much, I'm sorry to add to your load of aggressive Gourami questions! Erin <No worries. BobF>

Dwarf Gourami fins turning black - 02/09/2007 Hi, <Melissa> Love your site.  I have 2 pair of dwarf gouramis in a 37 gal tank.  Two of them (one male, one female) have fins that are turning black. They are not torn or frayed, just "ink stained".  This is not normal, but I don't know what to treat for. Any suggestions? Thank you, Nalo Meli <Mmm... likely nothing amiss here... particularly if your other livestock appear fine... This is likely a behavioral change, expression... the two may well be engaged in a bit of breeding... Bob Fenner>

Sick dwarf Gourami Hi <Hello there> Your site is very informative. I have a sick dwarf Gourami who has been head standing for a week. <Yikes, not good>   I have a 30 gallon tank with 2 gourami's, 6 tetras. The water quality is normal. <...?> I've had these fish for a year with no issues. I noticed stringy white poop so I isolate the fish in a 5 gallon tank and treated with mashed peas first. No results. Then I tried Epsom salts, no result.  I thought I may be a bacterial infection so I treated it with Maracyn for 3 days, did a 30% water change.  The fish now has normal poop, however it is still head standing.  I'm continuing to treat it with the Maracyn for 2 more days as prescribed, however, I don't know what else to do for this fish.  Any help would be appreciated. Peggy <Mmm, could be the actual treatment/s that have led to this behavior, but if you'll give the WWM site a read over again for Gourami Disease, you'll see reference to an all-too-common incidence of a protozoan and treatment for same. I would do this here... Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick dwarf Gourami  2/1/07 The head standing started BEFORE the treatments soooooooooooooo.   I'll try the Flagyl <Real good. BobF> My Flame Gourami, beh.    1/27/07 I have a 12 gallon fish tank with 8 fish inside. For the past three days I have been experiencing an unusual behavior of my female and male Gouramis. I got them both at fish man center about a month ago. The male would proudly be in the center of the tank and the female would swim peacefully around. This three days their relationship changed. Now my male is hiding behind the cave and sometimes in the cave. If he comes out the female quickly chases him away. <Somehow this sounds all too familiar...> I do not see any nipping, I just see chasing. He seems to be scared. Than he is behind the cave I do not really see him, but in the cave it seems like he is in a sitting position. I checked all my chemicals in the tank. All looks normal. I do not know what has changed. I need help. Any ideas why this sudden change? <Not atypical behavior for Gouramis period... and if the other fishes aren't too large, not likely to become real trouble here in your twelve gallon system. I'd just keep an eye on them for signs of apparent damage. Bob Fenner>

Damaged dwarf Gourami   1/24/07 I recently purchased a male dwarf Gourami and since he has been in my quarantine tank has done nothing but swim up and down one of the back corners. <Likely reacting to its reflection...> He is eating good <Well> but his mouth near his nostril looks like he has rubbed it until it made a sore. <Common injury... likely occurred during shipping from the Far East...> There also appears to be a couple of loose scales on the other side of his face near the edge of his mouth. It is reddish and a bit swollen. <Bad> The pH is slightly over 7.0 and the tank was filled with purified water when it was started. <Mmm, do need some mineral content... I'd blend in a little tap...> Does this sound like he has just injured himself or should I be leaning toward getting some antibiotic or anti fungal medicine? <Furan compound likely here... Look on WWM re Nitrofuranace use in FW> I only have one quarantine tank and I am getting new fish soon and have no place to put them till this little guy gets better. Please help. PS I rescued him from a college dorm room where a girl had him in a bowl with no filter or air.   Stacey <I do wish you and your Gourami health, long lives. Bob Fenner>

Sick Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami    1/21/07 Hello to whomever is reading this!       I own a small (but good for a beginner like me) 10 gallon aquarium. I have had it for a week now. It is already cycled (thanks to the rock and driftwood that I purchased out of the tanks at the pet store) and seems to be doing well. <A good technique> My tank inhabitants include 1 veil angelfish (which I understand needs a bigger tank in about a year), <Mmm, before this...> 3 fancy guppies, <Whom the Angel will likely harass to worse> 2 Mickey mouse platies, 1 cherry barb, 1 bamboo shrimp, and finally, 1 neon blue dwarf Gourami. My dwarf Gourami seems to be getting aggressive and one of the Mickey mouse platies is missing a chunk of his tail. <Mmm... much more likely due to the Angel> When the dwarf Gourami goes after the other fish, he gets going really fast and then tips, but not totally on his side. The dwarf Gourami is in a 2 gallon tank now to make sure if he is somehow infected it does not spread to the rest of the bigger tank.    I know that you have better things to do than read this so thanks a lot.  Is there anything else you think I should do?                                                    Sincerely,                                                     Mike H.   <It may be that this little Gourami is indeed a "rogue"... I would trade it in for another at the fish store (maybe a pair... male and female... to have something for them to focus on) and continue to keep your eye on the Angel. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami 2  - 1/22/07 Hi Mr. Fenner    Thank you very much for the quick response.  I really appreciate it. In my last email I forgot to tell you what a great site you have! I got rid of the angel and am wondering with everything I have what other fish you would recommend.   I'm looking for some schooling fish but really anything you recommend would be fine.  The  dwarf Gourami seems to be doing better.  He is still in the 2 gal. tank I'll keep my eye on him.  Thanks again!                                                      Mike H.    <Mmm, some of my fave small barbs (gold, checker, cherry) or small Danios (pearl, zebra...) or... Please peruse the site... for, as you know... much, much more. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Gourami    1/5/07 Hey Crew, <Jessica> I'm sorry if this has already been asked, but I couldn't find the answer to my question. I have a 29 gallon well planted (plenty of hiding places) aquarium with no fish yet. I want to get some Dwarf Gouramis (Colisa lalia), Dwarf Loaches (Botia sidthimunki), and a school Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha). <A nice mix> I would like to have as many of the male Gourami as possible because they're the most colorful. How many of these Dwarf Gourami could I have in my aquarium without increased fighting due to lack of territory space? <Mmm, likely six... perhaps two males, four females...> Or if necessary, how many females would I need to keep also to decrease fighting? <A few more than the males> Also, will the smaller Rasboras be eaten?? <Not unless they were much smaller, no> Or are they ok to go with Dwarf Gouramis? <Highly unlikely> Thank you, Erin <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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> Dwarf Gourami beh.   9/21/06 Hi there, I have am fairly new to the fish keeping hobby so bear with me. I have a 90l Aqua one (620) fish tank that has been set up for about a month now. I have planted this fairly heavily but haven't yet upgraded the lighting (currently 2 18 watt light units) <Low intensity> currently I have in it 3 Zebra danios, 3 leopard Corydoras and... the problem: I also have 2 dwarf honey Gouramis they are both bright orange so I assume they are males, the smaller of the two keeps chasing the other around the tank although I cant actually see any damage to either fish yet. <Yes, typical> Is there some way of stopping this and is it going to stress the chased fish?   <Mmm, in this sized system... either to remove one, or add females> I would really like to keep them both but if its going to be detrimental to the fishes health I would rather take one back to the shop, assuming they will take it back. I have read somewhere on the net that if I were to get something like tetras it may calm them down is this likely and how many would fit with my other fish? <Possibly... though the Danios serve the same "ditherfish" function> Thanks in advance of your assistance. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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