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FAQs on Colisa fasciata, the Giant Gourami

Related Articles: Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives,

Related FAQs: 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,

giant gourami diet       12/7/19
Hi Neale,
I hope all is well,
Firstly - thanks again for your advice the other week on the giant gourami.
It took a while but I am pleased to say he is now fully healed. I am also pleased to say he is thriving.
I have been feeding him mainly different pellets and some fruit. A combination of:
1. Vitalis Pleco pellets
2. Hikari Algae wafers
3. Grapes (on occasion)
4. Banana (on occasion)
5. Mussels (on occasion)
I have read conflicting reports as to whether they are herbivores or omnivores. I was hoping you could advise on what an ideal diet would be? I know it should be varied and not feeding the same thing every time, but not sure what an 'ideal' diet regime would look like?
I was thinking of making defrosted frozen veg a 'staple' of their diet, but then I am not sure what veg they can and cant eat, and also whether that would be suitably nutritious if it formed the majority of their diet?
Also any other pellets I should add into the mix? Given his size there isn't that many veg based pellets on the market that are big enough.
The other point is how much to feed? He eats a lot very quickly, I know there is a '5 minute rule' in terms of feeding how much they could eat in 5 min.s, but If I let him he would probably eat an entire bunch of bananas in 5 min.s which can't be good for him!!
Thank you!
<Hello again! These fish are absolutely omnivores. So your menu should fit the bill never nicely. In terms of bulk, green foods are probably the ideal, but some protein-rich foods, like the mussels, will help keep him growing nicely. Koi pellets would probably make an inexpensive staple, so certainly try those. Now, when it comes to feeding, plant foods (which contain little protein) can be left in the tank indefinitely. Often, fish wait for them to soften up anyway, so it can be some days before they eat tougher plants and fruits. I agree, five bananas is probably overkill, but letting him eat half a banana a day wouldn't cause any water quality problems because there's so little nitrogen in such foods. Experiment, and see what works for you! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: giant gourami diet      12/9/19

Thanks as always!
<De nada, Neale.>

Sick giant gourami       11/14/19
Hi Neale
I recently rehomed a giant gourami into my monster tank.
The poor thing has a weird cut/chunk missing type thing on one side of him and some white fungus looking spots on the other side. Pictures attached.
I have never seen anything like these white spots, I don’t think it’s ich. I am halfway through a course of Waterlife Myaxin but doesn’t seem to help, it’s actually getting worse I think.
He’s happily eating etc.
Any suggestions?
<Hello Nathaniel. This is some sort of bacterial infection, though the white specks are slightly mysterious. Do these look like bubbles of dead tissue? If so, then yes, bacterial in origin more than likely. A decent antibacterial (such as eSHa 2000) should do the trick, though if a vet can prescribe antibiotics for you, so much the better. If the white things are more crusty, off-white in colour, and look like drops of molten wax, then I'd lean towards a viral infection as well. Some viral infections are rarely fatal in fish, such as Lymphocystis, but are impossible to treat directly. They can heal after some months (even years) of good conditions. A few viral infections, such as Carp Pox, are potentially more immediately lethal and need veterinarian intervention. Still, let's assume it's bacterial. The shape of the wound suggests physical damage, and I wonder -- is there a Common Plec in the tank? These can (and do) 'latch' onto slab-sided fish given the chance, rasping away at the mucous. Otocinclus are notorious for this, too, largely because they starve in most tanks. Some Loricariidae are very safe, Panaque for example, being pretty much herbivorous, but the more general purpose Plecs are distinctly hit-and-miss in tanks with Oscars, or really anything big enough to support their weight. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sick giant gourami       11/14/19
Thanks for your reply,
Nothing in the tank to latch on, having looked closely these white things look a bit like blobs of cotton wool - does that sound bacterial?
<More like fungus. Very common on infected wounds. Distinctly tufty, furry appearance. Do look at pictures online or in fish health books.>
Can I get antibiotics from any vet?
<In the UK, yes, absolutely. But finding a 'fish vet' locally is often hard.
It's worth a call to your local vet if you already have one for a cat or dog, and discussing the symptoms. I've done it once before, and got some erythromycin this way. It's a hassle to be fair, and if the fish is hearty and feeding, I'd probably try a course of eSHa 2000 first and see if it helps.>
Thank you
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sick giant gourami       11/14/19

Thanks Neale,
I have been treating with Myaxin from Waterlife (anti bacterial), still have 2 more nights to treat. Should I discontinue now or finish the course first?
<If the fish isn't actively getting worse, you may as well finish the course and see what happens.>
(Doesn’t seem to be doing much).
<My experiences with Myxazin have never been that great, to be honest. I find eSHa 2000 a much better bet, perhaps because it targets bacteria and fungi simultaneously.>
Would 3 days and 30% water change each day be a good enough separation?
<Likely so. Most fish medications are oxidised or otherwise metabolised by the bacteria within a day, or so I understand.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sick giant gourami        11/20/19
Hi Neale,
I hope all is well,
<All good, thanks!>
I used the ESHA 2000 last night (first dose) and I can see already an improvement this morning (thanks for the tip!).
<No problem.>
I wanted your advice,
It basically works out per the instructions that I would do a 20ml dose on day 1 and then 10ml day 2 and 10 ml day 3. So 20:10:10
It says on the instructions that if needed one can double the dose.
<Indeed. Have never done so. But would not expect them to lie about this!>
I used 20 mil last night (so a single dose), however I am debating, given the issue has been ongoing for a while, to use 20 mil tonight too? It says you can also extend beyond days 2 and 3 too, so I am thinking instead of 20:10:10, to maybe do 20:20:10:10?
<I would prefer to try the regular dose for the first 'course' of the medications. If the fish doesn't get better, repeat for another dose, rather than increase the dosages. The risk is that too much could stress
the filter bacteria, resulting in an ammonia or nitrite spike, which would undo all your progress.>
There is a catfish in there too which I know are sometimes more sensitive as they are scaleless but it says on the packet it should be fine and he doesn't seem bothered so far.
<Indeed; I have never had problems using eSHa 2000 with catfish.>
Please let me know your thoughts.
<Repeating courses, rather than increasing dosages, is my gut reaction if the fish is showing signs of recovery and still otherwise in good condition (swimming, eating, etc.). But if you felt a higher dose was warranted, I would not feel afraid to try, but would remove some filter media to a safe place just in case something goes wrong. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sick giant gourami    11/21/19
Thanks Neale
<Most welcome, Nate.>
Re: Sick giant gourami      11/22/19

Hi Neale,
Unfortunately whilst after day 1 things looked to be improving with eSHa, day 2 and 3 seem to have had little impact and in fact seems to have spread to mouth fungus. Shall I try eSHa again next week with a stronger dose given that day 1 things seemed to get a bit better (the dose is twice as high on day 1)?
<Yep, sounds like a good plan to me. Do a water change before running the medications though.>
Or is there anything else you can recommend?
<Apart from visiting a fish vet, nope, nothing better. Cheers, Neale.>

Sick Gourami    8/4/12
Hello, I have noticed that for the past week my Male Dwarf Gourami
<Not sure this is Colisa lalia at all; body shape looks "wrong" somehow; are you sure it isn't Colisa fasciata?>
has been looking dull in color and seems smaller in size.
He has been for the past 3 days or so, just staying in the corner at the top of the tank by the heater (The temp in the tank is 77).
<Kick the heater up a couple degrees if you can (though your mix of fish won't be happy about this, long term). Gouramis are very much "hothouse flowers" that enjoy the warmth. Take the heat up to, say, 28 C/82 F, and see what happens. If the fish perks up, then there's your problem.>
Also, he seems to still get excited by food, but when he swims up to it he doesn't really eat it, and then goes back over to the corner.
<A common problem. Can be it's bored with what you're offering. Try more variety, especially live brine shrimps and daphnia that act as a pretty good laxative too, clearing out the gut and making bloated fish feel more frisky.>
A little about my Tank; I have a 36 gallon bow front tank with 9 Glow Fish Danios, 3 Rainbowfish, 6 Neon Tetras, and 2 Male Gouramis (Which I realize now it may not be the best idea to have 2 males.)
<For sure.>
Oh yeah and a Pleco.
<Who is/will soon be WAY too big for this aquarium.>
No one else is acting or looking strange. I have had the Gourami's for 3 months together. At first they would fight and get territorial, however, after about a week and setting up the tank a little differently they seemed to be living together fine.
<Can happen.>
I have attached a picture, besides the dullness his stomach seems a little bloated and his back fins seems a little frayed.
<Could be "failure to thrive" -- a combination of stress (from the other male); monotonous/wrong diet; too cold water…>
I took the picture with my iPhone so it may not be the best quality.
<Indeed! Can't really see much of anything.>
I hope you can give me some insight or advice.
Thank you,
<Most welcome, Neale.>

pearl gourami picking on banded Gouramis – 05/13/12
i am having a problem with my four banded gouramis (Colisa fasciata). when my pearl gourami started picking on them, i thought it was just some sort of territorial issue. but then when the gouramis started getting split fins and skin torn off, i went out and set up a 10 gallon quarantine tank.
<I see.>
then the day when the 10 gallon tank was finally done cycling, i saw a huge chunk taken out of one of the male banded gouramis tail. it was like a  rectangle-shaped piece that had been removed. so i promptly moved the banded gouramis to the 10 gallon tank. they all went straight down to the bottom. then the next day when i checked, the male gourami with the split tail was dead. the other male's colors were completely gone, just light silver. I was worried if this was a sign that this gourami might also die.
<Fish can recover from these sorts of injuries. Isolate (which you are doing anyway, it seems) and medicate for Finrot and Fungus.>
if i move the banded gouramis back to the large tank after they heal all their wounds, I'm worried that the pearl gourami will pick on them again.
is it ok to keep banded gouramis permanently in a 10 gallon aquarium?
<Not ideal, but do-able, and for sure better than keeping them with a psychotic Lace Gourami.>
any help is greatly appreciated.
<It's very rare for Lace/Pearl Gouramis to be aggressive, but it does happen. I do think this is something relatively new, perhaps because of inbreeding; in past decades this species was very trustworthy and an excellent community tank resident. With this said, males of any/all Gourami species have the potential to turn nasty, especially if the tank isn't big enough. I wouldn't keep more than one male of any Trichogaster or Colisa species in less than 30 gallons. Cheers, Neale.> 

Juvenile Colisa fasciata colouration and sexing   11/6/11
Hi crew.
Hope all's well. Thanks for a fantastic service.
I've trolled WWM via links and the search tool, plus the rest of the web, but can't find an answer to my query(s) - hope you don't mind my writing!!
<Is why we're here>
I picked up 4 banded gouramis (Colisa fasciata) yesterday and apparently got 2 males and 2 females. They're now in quarantine, preparing to be put into a 55 gallon community tank. I went for these after extensive research on WWM ruled out, among others, the seemingly cursed Colisa lalia.
To my questions:
1) They're juveniles I think, being around 4cm head-to-tail-base (caudal peduncle??),
<Yes... the standard length of fisheries biology/biologists>
but their colours are really washed out (see photos, which actually make them look better than they do in real light in the tank).
<Mmm, they're really just young... Will colour up w/ growth, age>
Should they colour up (if I treat them well!) as they grow to adulthood?
How long approximately until this point is reached (colours and adult size)?
<Ah yes... at another 2-3 cm. in SL and perhaps 4-6 months>
2) Also, I had a hard time sexing them when I bought them - they were even more washed out at the store (bare tank floor, mix of 50+ banded and three-spot gouramis in the dealer's tank). As a result, I tried to look for pointed vs. rounded dorsal and anal fin tips as per many sources (including WWM and Jorg Vierk's (spelling?) book on Anabantoids. Problem is, all the fin tips looked kinda similar. I believe this point of differentiation between the sexes also becomes more obvious with age.
<This is so>
For example, is the third photo attached possibly/probably/definitely a female? Or based on my photos, might I have four immature males waiting for their colours and pointed fin-tips to develop?
<Can't tell definitively (at this size), but this appears to me to be a female>
For reasons of behaviour and colouration of males, I really want an even split between the sexes. The dealer said we can go back and forth with individuals until we get it right.
<Ahh, a good dealer>
Your help would most appreciated with the above queries. Thanks so much for an informative, rigourous, useful and valuable resource.
<And you, Bob Fenner>

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