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

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

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

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


THREE SPOT GOURAMI... red fins      4/29/17
Hi I need help with my three spot Gourami , recently I treat her with Seachem Paraguarí and she get more sick after the treatment. She had little ragged fins and sometimes flash against the decoration so I thought she has
some kind of parasite, so I treat her with SeaChem Paraguarí.
<Not a bad choice at all if you're dealing with White spot or Velvet (the usual reasons for 'flashing') and Finrot (the usual reason for raggedy fins). So if used as directed, you should get good results.>
After the treatment its over she still seats in bottom of aquarium facing the back of the aquarium. Only comes out when was feeding time. She develop red fins and tail, but to extreme redness .
<This sounds very like Finrot. Let's recap: Finrot is something that happens after something else has damaged the fish (often fighting or fin-nipping, but can also be environmental, for example exposure to water that is too cold for the species being kept, or non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels, which can bring on Finrot very quickly). Finrot is basically just bacterial that otherwise consume decaying organic matter infecting areas with dead/dying cells, such as wounds. These wounds become congested with blood because of all the bacteria, and what you see is red patches alongside white patches (dead tissue) and decay (raggedy fins).>
She stop eating , I don't know what to do., I change the water very often now so she gets little better but the red fins stays.
<Something is causing this. While Paraguard and other anti-Finrot products usually work very well, they can't stop the problem re-occurring if the conditions aren't right. Review, urgently. Water quality problems are
probably the number-one reason for Finrot; any ammonia or nitrite level that isn't zero is bad, and even "low" levels can cause Finrot if the fish is exposed to them for extended periods (i.e., days or more). The second
most common reason for Finrot is fighting and/or fin-nipping. Three-Spot Gouramis are mildly aggressive, so if you have two or more males, they will sometimes chase one another if they feel cooped up. Other gouramis and even cichlids like Angels will sometimes interact this way too, so review your stock list and look for possible problems there. Next up, fin-nippers.
Serpae Tetras, Tiger Barbs, and Black Widow/Petticoat Tetras are probably the "top three" fin-nippers aquarists buy without understanding this, though a few other tetras and barbs will sometimes be nippy if they're bored or not kept in sufficient numbers.>
Her front fins was flicking fast sometimes and she still flashing against the decorations. she's in separate tank right now I'm doing partial water changes everyday . Please help me, I really don't know what is wrong with
her. you think maybe she was poisoned by the SeaChem Paraguarí, or maybe she's sensitive to this medication?
<Do see above.>
I will really appreciated if somebody contact me its really URGENT
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: THREE SPOT GOURAMI      4/30/17

Thank you for contacting me. I have only one Gourami and three 1 inch very young albino Corydoras, there is no other fish in the tank. I have clear for life 20 gallon tank. Recently I put gravel in the tank, before that I have bare bottom tank. Maybe the gravel is the problem, my ammonia is 0 and nitrate Is 0. Nitrate barely 10.
<Which all sounds fine, and I can't think why gravel should be a problem.
It can be for burrowing fish like Spiny Eels, but not midwater things like Gouramis.>
I maintain this tank very well I try to do everything right. The pH is 7.2
maybe I am doing something wrong I don't know that's why I contact you guys.
<I'm drawing a blank here!>
I have this Gourami for 5 years she never was sick in till now.
<So not too old.>
She was living along in 20 gallon, I thought she was lonely so I buy 3 albino Corydoras,
<It's possible they brought in a disease with them, such as Whitespot or Velvet. This, in turn, can lead to Finrot if not treated. I would medicate for both, and hope for the best. Will make the important reminder to REMOVE CARBON from the filter; oftentimes, when people medicate and their fish fail to improve, it's because they left carbon in the filter! Carbon
removes medication, preventing it from having the desired effect.>
The temperature fluctuating, at night when was cold drop even 5 or more degrees and I have good heater so I don't understand.
<Indeed. How big is the heater? While a 50W heater is fine in a warm room, if the room gets cold at night, the "next size up" would be better, so 75W.
For one thing, a heater that has to work very hard (stays on for longer) is a heater that'll break down more quickly.>
She's progressing a lot her front fins it's almost clear, but tail stays little bloody. Is longer I am on the Gourami subject What can I use with gouramis and Corys, I really don't know what medication could be use with them since they are labyrinth fish.
<Both Corydoras and Gouramis will be fine with all the usual medications. I would tend to avoid copper and formalin with more delicate species, such as loaches, but the aquarium companies will have tested their products against the commoner fish like yours.>
I was searching all over the internet can't find anything. I would Like to treat them with more natural approach. I have Ich attack which is 100 % herbal.
<Unfortunately, these "natural" products don't work reliably. Melafix for example probably does more harm than good because by the time people write to us, their fish have gotten no better, even worse, after a week or two of treatment using Melafix instead of an antibiotic.
So, break out the good stuff! In the US, the old Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 combo works well against a range of bacterial infections, while Whitespot and Velvet medications of
all sorts are in the shops. Here in the UK, I use two European products, eSHa 2000 for Finrot and eSHa EXIT for Whitespot and Velvet.>
Can I use that with for Corys and gouramis? And can I use salt with them.
<Yes; the old salt/heat method will work well against Whitespot and to some degree Velvet; do read:
Do understand salt will help against Whitespot and Velvet, but has little/no impact on bacterial Finrot.>
Thank you so much, Sincerely Angelica
<Welcome. Neale.>

Re: Platies and Gourami poorly   8/5/09
Hi there again!
A quick update.. I am not having much luck sadly.. Last week I lost another Danio, and a rosy barb, both had a dropsical appearance for a few days before they died.
I still have several platies with white tufty bits, one is bottom sitting a lot, and another appears to be 'wasting' as previous platies that died did.
The moonlight Gourami still is not eating (that I have observed) and still has an ulcer on the lower lip. There also appear to be slight white 'tufts' appearing on the sides of the Gourami, although the fins are unaffected on any of the fish.
<Very odd. I fear that you do have one of these "primary" rather than "opportunistic" bacterial infections. These are very difficult to treat, even with antibiotics (which in the UK you can only get from your vet).>
I have been testing the water every day and have not seen any detectable nitrite or ammonia, nitrate is very low at between 5 and 10. I have got the U2 filter going (no detectable U2 in my tank no, that Bono is
banished..)(sorry..) without the carbon in it.
<If ammonia and nitrite aren't issues, then consider other factors. Could anything poisonous have got into the tank? Insecticides? Paint fumes?>
Yesterday I completed a 3 day course of eSHa, but this seems to have had little beneficial effect. Now we are going on holiday late Friday, and I am very concerned - a neighbour is going to be feeding the fish for me (they have done it before for us),
<Wouldn't feed the fish at all for a week, if that's how long you're gone.
The risks outweigh the benefits. Fish can go two weeks without food if they must, often longer.>
but I am really concerned to make sure that I leave the correct instructions, and of course I can't observe or treat the fish whilst I am away for a week.
<Indeed. Hence, not feeding the fish at least means nitrogen cycle problems aren't something you'll have to worry about.>
Any thoughts? I thought the fungus type stuff I am seeing would be affected by the eSHa but it does not appear to be. It is on the body of the fish - in one case near the eye, another near the tail, on another it is little patches over most of the fish. I am all out of eSHa now, should I get some more and keep on dosing in case this helps? Bearing in mind that I treated the tank only just over a week ago, in an attempt to get rid of this fungus or whatever it is.
<Any chance of a photo?>
Your help is very much appreciated.
<Did you try daily saltwater dips of the infected fish? This is quite good for removing a variety of symptoms, even if it doesn't cure the underlying problem. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Platies and Gourami poorly 08/05/09
Thanks for the reply. I am so worried about leaving them all.... Think I need a webcam!
I have sent a couple of pics of the platies. The Gourami was having none of it, and since he's not coming out for food, taking his picture was not very easy.
<Often the case...>
It has been some 5 or 6 weeks since I did some painting - as per the last two times, one small Gourami died a few days after painting, despite my best efforts with fresh carbon and airing the rooms / keeping relevant doors shut (I was painting the staircase). This issue started around 2 weeks ago I think.
<I have painted around fish tanks, and by using carbon and switching off air pumps you can minimise the risk. Opening all the windows should help.
But air-breathing fish may well be at particular risk.>
I will not bother with the fish feeding, as we are only gone for a week - just make sure they have a water change before we go.. I may ask the neighbour to check for dead ones though.
<Good plan.>
I do hope I don't lose the Gourami, he's our favourite. I have had him two months, he arrived with the platies which appeared to have fin rot as soon as placed in QT, the fin-rot that took two treatments of eSHa to clear. I wonder if they have brought an infection with them?
<It's worth understanding that Finrot is an opportunistic infection caused by bacteria latent in all aquaria. Fish don't "catch" Finrot from each other; they simply become vulnerable to these ubiquitous, opportunistic bacteria because of environmental issues or physical damage.>
They were in QT for three weeks in all, which I figured should be OK.
Anyhow, pictures attached - hope they are not too large. The most obliging fish has patches around her eye and on top of her head. The Gourami has a few similar bits on his side, which are harder to see.
<The Moonlight Gourami simply looks as if its been fighting, and with appropriate Finrot medication plus good diet and water quality, this should heal nicely. The Platies also look to have an opportunistic infection. With Platies, hardness and pH are important, and it also helps not to keep them too warm. A greens-based diet will be of benefit. All in all, these look like fish that should heal properly, assuming external factors permit that.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Blue Gourami with sores   4/26/09
To start, my tank is 55 gallon with 2 silver dollars, 3 clown loaches, and a Pleco. The water parameters are within normal limits.
<Meaning what? The reason I ask is that some people assume that 0.5 mg/l ammonia is "within normal limits". It is not. Just to recap, for this selection of fish, you MUST have the following: 0 ammonia; 0 nitrite; anything between pH 6-8, but it must be stable from week to week; and a hardness level around 5-20 degrees dH. There should be no salt in the water.>
I have many fake plants and several large "rock" forms, so there are many places for the fish to hide. About 2 months ago my Blue Gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus) started to develop sores on it's body. I first
put in one of those all inclusive formulas. I don't remember what it was off hand. That did nothing.
<Usually don't.>
Then I started to use Tetracycline( 3 days), because at the time, the store was out of Maracyn-II, but that created such high foam(3-4 inches), the fish were unsuccessfully trying to jump up over it to get to the surface.
I got some Maracyn-II and started using it. Unfortunately, then we went away and the "sitter" continued to use the meds as instructed. And did one course of treatment. Then another 10 days passed until we got home. The
sores were still there and there were more of them. I then treated with both gram negative and gram positive, Maracyn and Maracyn-II for 2 courses of treatment, because it was working so well; and the sores were healing up and no others were appearing. After the treatment, I did water changes and returned the filters, as instructed. 5-6 days later the sores started to reappear. Now I've been treating for another 2 courses, but still getting new sores. Other than these sores, the fish is behaving normally and eating fine. The sores are very raw looking, various tones of light pink to dark pink. Then look translucent. I'm at a loss as to what to do that could stop this. Would also like to know you're best guess as to what it is.
<Unfortunately, you've done everything that would be expected to fix Finrot and other opportunistic bacterial infections. I fear that you're dealing with a Mycobacteria-type infection. Historically these were called "Fish
TB" but they're not the same diseases. In any event, infected fish rarely recover. Typical symptoms include lesions, wasting, and lethargy, and the usual fish medications (including antibiotics) have no effect.
Realistically, the sensible thing to do is to isolate any suspect fish to prevent infection of other fish, and if the infected fish fails to respond to medications, it should be euthanised.
Only a vet can positively identify the disease, but from your photos and comments, Mycobacteriosis seems likely.>
I have included some photos. If they are too large let me know and I'll try to make them smaller. This is the first time doing this with photos for me.
I'm not sure what size works. I chose "medium", so I hope that it's not too big.
<Photos were fine!>
Thanks for your help.
<Sorry I can't offer much more useful advice than this. Funnily enough, the upcoming (hopefully, next week) issue of Conscientious Aquarist has a very detailed article about this disease, its diagnosis and its treatment by a
microbiologist. So while that probably isn't much help to your poor fish, you can at least stop by then and have a look at the photos and see if you agree with what I say here. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Blue Gourami with sores 4/26/09
Thanks for your help.
<You're welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Puffy Stomach 11/29/08 Hello, how is everyone? I was hoping that I could get a little help. I apologize if this has already been asked. I tried to comb through the previous questions but did not find an answer. I found my Gourami today with an extremely puffed out stomach. I'm not sure what type he is, I got him at the local pet store about two years ago. He is, I think, in a 30 gallon tank with two tiger barbs and two glass fish who have been in the tank for close to a year and one plecostomus who has been in for over 5 years. He is swimming, eating and acting completely normal. The feeding schedule, food and everything else has stayed the same. Is my little guy on his way out or can he be saved? Is there anything I can do in the future to prevent this from happening to other fish? I appreciate whatever info you can send me. We both thank you for your time. -Alexandria <Your Gourami is what's called a Three-spot Gourami, Trichopterus Trichogaster. There are various colours, and yours is obviously the blue sort, sometimes called the Blue Gourami. Anyway, it's difficult to be certain about swollen bellies. If you're lucky, the problem is constipation. Feeding with high-fibre foods (tinned peas are ideal, otherwise live brine shrimp/daphnia can work) will clear the blockage if you also add some Epsom salt to the water as a muscle relaxant (one to two tablespoons per 10 US gallons, dissolved into warm water, and then slowly added to the tank). http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/gldfshmalnut.htm If you're unlucky, the problem is organ failure, essentially allowing fluids to collect in the body cavity. This condition is often called Dropsy. You can sometimes improve the symptom by using Epsom salt as described above, but the dropsy itself isn't the disease, so you have to review conditions and try to figure out why the fish is sick. Poor water quality is the most common reason, with an internal bacterial infection being the cause of the dropsy. If you can treat with an antibiotic (such as Maracyn) while optimising water conditions, you may be able to fix the problem. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dropsyfaqs.htm  Cheers, Neale.>

Three Spot Gourami Gold Variation, dis.  11/26/08
I have a 55 gallon tank with 6 Gourami (2 gold, 2 blue, and 2 Opaline).
A rainbow shark and a Pleco. All the Gourami are female and have appeared healthy until about 3 days ago. I first noticed then that the one of the gold Gourami was not eating. The fish appears thin now and almost bloated in the chest area. There are no other symptoms that are physically noticeable. The other 5 appear healthy still and eat voraciously. The rainbow and Pleco also appear healthy. The gold in question has been in the tank about 3 weeks. It is not gulping air or swimming odd other than swimming less than it used to. It just kind of sits in the middle of the tank and occasionally going to the surface for air. The other gouramis leave it alone and periodically chase each other. The ammonia and nitrate are zero and the nitrates are at about 10 ppm. I have tried feeding brine shrimp and normally feed tetra min tropical flakes. I have also done water changes and tried placing the fish in water with aquarium salt added for an hour all to no avail. Any help or ideas you can give me would be appreciated.
<Sad to state, but all these sports of Trichogaster trichopterus have/show periodic "breakdown" syndromes... as yours seem to be displaying... There are some records of effective treatments, involving the use of gram negative and positive antibiotics... In the West, the ingredients in Maracyn I and II esp.... I encourage either just simple waiting or treatment per your perusal here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/ttricdisf.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: Three Spot Gourami Gold Variation 11/26/08
Thank you for your response. If he makes it through the thanksgiving holiday I will get some Maracyn and hope for the best.
I find your site a great resource. Keep up the good work.
<Thank you David. Happy holidays to you and yours. BobF>

Bruised Gourami 11/11/08 Hi crew! I'm sorry if there's a similar question already posted - I did try to check for one.  I have a sick Gourami - he looks like a blue Gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus? - but he's only 3 in long and definitely full grown - maybe he's a Dwarf? I included a picture of him (in the middle & one of his tank mates on the right and just barely one on the left of him). Also, I assume he's male because he's bigger than the other blue Gourami in the 20 gal tank. There is also one other honey Gourami(?) in the tank, some plastic plants & a cave. I've had the fish for about 2 years. A quarter of the water is changed every month or two - it's been about a month since it was last changed. The tap water is treated with pH 7.0, a chlorine/Chloramine treatment (Aquaplus), Cycle, and waste control before it goes into the tank. (But no water quality data, unfortunately). Today he's mellow (usually he's a bully), and he has what looks like bruising near and on his anal fin and caudal fin and he seems to be listing a little to one side. He is still eating. Any ideas on what it could be and/or how to fix it? Thanks! Melissa <Hello Melissa. The Gouramis in your photo are indeed both Trichogaster trichopterus, the Three-spot Gourami. Males and females are similar in size, but males have much longer dorsal fins, so are usually easy to distinguish. In any case, the red patches on the body and fins suggest Finrot. This is commonly caused by poor water quality. What worries me is that you only change 25% of the water "every month or two" -- this is not nearly enough! You should be changing 25% per week. I'm also concerned that you're randomly adding stuff but don't know anything about the water quality or water chemistry in the tank. Let's be crystal clear about this: adding stuff doesn't remove the need to perform, at minimum, occasional pH and nitrite tests. For example, adding a pH buffer is pointless and potentially dangerous if you have no idea what the baseline pH of your tap water is. If you're only changing tiny amounts of water, as you are, the pH level can (and probably does) change dramatically between water changes, even with the pH buffer added. "Waste control" whatever the heck that is doesn't remove the need for decent filtration and regular water changes.  So, bottom line, this fish needs treating for Finrot using something like Maracyn or eSHa 2000 (but not Melafix/Pimafix). Then you need to seriously review how you're looking after your fish. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Bruised Gourami 11/13/08
Hi Neale, Thanks for the quick response. <You are most welcome.> I checked my water today, and the nitrate levels were high (about 60 ppm - the tester said to keep it under 40ppm) and the hardness is awful - the house water softener must be on the fritz (I'll be getting a fix for the aquarium tomorrow). <Do not EVER use water from a domestic water softener in an aquarium. All domestic water softeners do is remove what is called "temporary hardness" from water. This is the stuff that makes limescale in pipes and appliances.  It does this by replacing temporary hardness with sodium salts. The resulting water is a weird cocktail of minerals including sodium chloride that fish would never experience in the wild. It is completely unsuitable for fishkeeping. Do not confuse water from a domestic water softener with actual soft water (rain water, RO water, or naturally soft water). ALWAYS use water from the tap that bypasses the domestic water softener -- likely the tap you get drinking water from. Three-spot Gouramis will tolerate hard, basic water just fine.> But the nitrites, ammonia, and chlorine were 0. You were right about the pH - the buffer wasn't keeping the water at 7.0 (it was just below 6) - but the changing the hardness of the water should help, right? <Provided you switch back to the non-softened water, the pH will presumably be around 7.5 to 8.0, which if you have hard water will be alongside high levels of hardness, in particular carbonate hardness. The pH will be very stable because the carbonate hardness will buffer against pH changes. So yes, I would expect 25-50% weekly water changes will keep the pH stable. This is crucially important to understand: most freshwater fish will adapt to any pH between 6 and 8, what they cannot stand is varying pH because this has a severe effect on their internal physiology.> After a water change the nitrates were around 20ppm & the pH was back at 7 (for now). By the way, Waste Control says it's an organic waste eliminator - I was told it was commonly used at the pet store. <Most of these bold-on goodies may have some marginal usefulness or no particular use at all. Buy them, don't buy them, as you prefer. But the critical thing is that you understand the essentials: stable pH, zero ammonia and nitrite, regular water changes. Get those things in the bag and you're fine. Aquarists living in hardwater areas have things easy, because hard water naturally prevents pH changes. So all aquarists in hardwater areas need to worry about is doing regular water changes and installing an adequate filter system.> I have begun treatment with Maracyn & will do more regular water changes. Me & my sick Gourami thank you very much for your help! <More than welcome. Good luck, Neale.>

One skinny Gourami, one bloated Gourami   3/3/08 Hello All! I'll try to be as concise as possible, I have a 40 gallon freshwater aquarium. The occupants are 4 adult platies, about 6 juvenile platies, 1 Opaline Gourami (the other is in sick bay), a Pleco and a Chinese algae eater (it was originally in a 10 gallon, but I knew it needed more room so I moved him to the larger tank). All water conditions are optimal, I do 25% water changes for 3 weekends , then a 50% on the fourth. I purchased these 2 Gouramis about 6 weeks ago, put them in the quarantine tank, and well, the bigger one started attacking the smaller one non-stop. Wouldn't let it eat, etc...(turns out they are both males) After a week of this I put the larger one in the 40 gallon. (I know, a little too soon) I feed them flake food most of the time, but every 3-4 days I give them blood worms and brine shrimp. I also add algae disks for the algae eaters, which the other fish eat on, too. Last week I noticed both Gouramis had long stringy feces (no color to it, just transparent looking), so long it would get caught on their feelers. Now the larger of the two is bloated, but the smaller one looks normal (I've managed to get him to eat some Tetracycline), but still no visible bowel movement. The larger isn't eating at all, but is still bloated, and I haven't seen any bowel movements from him in about 3 days, either. My question is: Is he just bloated/constipated, this all seemed to happen after the last time I gave them the blood worms and brine shrimp. Or is it more likely a bacterial infection? I've looked up Hexamita, and that is another place where I'm finding some confusion. Some sites list it as an intestinal bacterial infection with the symptoms I've listed above, but other sites call it "Hole in the Head" disease??? He doesn't have any holes in his head or body. He's just "stuffed" looking. No fins or scales are protruding, so I'm sure it isn't Dropsy. And all the other fish seem healthy. Oh, and as far as getting him to try a sweet pea, or eating medicine, he is having NO part of eating anything! (Just an extra note, he seems to be doing a lot more surface breathing than the smaller one.) Thanks so so much, I LOVE YOUR SITE! Nicki <Hello Nicki. First things first: when you say "Opaline Gourami" you mean Trichogaster trichopterus rather than the small Gouramis (often called Dwarf Gouramis) Colisa lalia? I only ask because the latter are notoriously prone to a viral diseases called Dwarf Gourami Disease that is incurable. The symptoms are very consistent: lethargy, loss of colour/appetite, sores on the body, swelling, then death. While it is possible that other Gouramis might contract this disease, particularly Colisa hybrids, I have not yet heard of Trichogaster spp. coming down with it. Now, I will say a few things about food: Freeze-dried foods do tend to cause constipation in some fish, particularly if used overly often. Live foods can be a potential source of infections. So while both these food items are popular with aquarists, they are not without risks. Moderate feedings of dried foods (including flake) with generous use of wet-frozen or fresh foods seems, to me, to be the ideal. In any case, if constipation is the problem (and it may well be) then use an approach similar to that outlined here for Goldfish: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm  You may need to focus on daphnia rather than vegetables as laxative foods, but tinned peas may be eaten. As for Hexamita or Hole-in-the-Head -- these are arguably the same disease, manifested in different ways. External infections cause pitting in the surface of the fish, usually around the lateral line, while internal infections cause wasting. Anyway, treatment is very difficult, though there are Hexamita-specific medications such as ESHa Hexamita Treatment (both forms), Metronidazole (for internal infections) and Quinine Sulfate (external infections). Treatment almost always depends on the fish being dealt with promptly; once established this infection is very difficult to cure. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: One skinny Gourami, one bloated Gourami 3/6/08 Thank you Neale! Yes, they aren't the Dwarf ones, they are a hybrid of the 3 spotted blue Gouramis. <Okely dokely.> So, an update: I managed to get the one in quarantine to eat the Tetracycline for 3 days as directed, and he finally had a real fish poop, no longer stringy and transparent. And he appears to be back to his old self again. <Sounds positive.> The other isn't eating anything! But now, I can see it is Dropsy, his scales are just now starting to stand out. I still can't get him to eat the Tetracycline. So I'm going to check out your site for more info, and make a trip to the Pet store for something that can be added to the water (I switched him into Quarantine, and the other is in the big tank now.) <Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dropsyfaqs.htm  Though realistically, getting small fish back from Dropsy infections is very difficult. By the time you see the fluid build-up, the damage has largely been done. I'd tend towards painlessly destroying this fish now.> I really do appreciate your site, it has been such a blessing! <Thanks!> I'll keep you undated! Nicki <Good luck! Neale.>

Re: One skinny Gourami, one bloated Gourami Hi Neale, I wanted to let you know that he did pass the following day. It was pretty sad, I was watching him and suddenly his swimming became "bobble" like, then he was on his side, just like that. I'm happy to say that the other is back to full health, and enjoying a life in the larger tank. :) I think the fact that he'd eat the medicine is the sole reason he made it. <Ah, too bad. Well, glad the other fish is feeling better. Good luck! Neale.>

Gourami disease? 8/1/07 To Whom It May Concern: <That would be me.> I have a 20-gallon tank with one angel fish, one opal Gourami, and what I think was called a tropical Gourami. <No idea what a "tropical Gourami" is because they're all from the tropics! But my guess would be some variety of dwarf Gourami, Colisa lalia or else a corruption of the name Trichogaster trichopterus, the common three-spot Gourami usually sold in its yellow or blue varieties. The Opaline Gourami is also Trichogaster trichopterus.> My angel fish and tropical Gourami are thriving, growing, and seem to be just fine. My opal, however, has been covered in what I can only describe to be an ever-increasing patch of fur for the past several weeks. <Fungus, Finrot, or "mouth fungus" (the latter neither a fungus nor confined to the mouth). Treat quickly, ideally with a combined anti-fungus/anti-Finrot medication.> I've treated the tank with anti-fungal, and after making two trips to the local fish store have come up empty-handed with ideas as to what this could possibly be (the local fish experts had no idea - they just kept giving me things to try). <Supplement the treatment of the tank with saltwater dips. Take some sea salt or some other non iodised cooking salt, add 35 grammes to 1 litre of aquarium water, and stir well. When dissolved, dip the fish into the salt water for anything from 1 minute to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The idea is to dehydrate the external pathogens and cleanse the skin (it's basically the same thing as doing a salt water gargle to heal a mouth ulcer, for example).> The opal is tiny in comparison to its tankmates (despite being brought into the tank at the same time), the pH/nitrate/nitrite levels in my tank are testing fine, and I add salt with every water change, as well as water balancing solution, and this little one gets worse (again, despite the other fish growing beautifully). <Please stop adding salt to the tank. It isn't required and it isn't helping. Freshwater fish don't need salt in their water (if they did, they'd be saltwater fish!). Now, what do you mean by "fine" when it comes to water quality and chemistry? Specifically, your fish need a pH between 6.5-7.5; 0 nitrite and ammonia; and less than 50 mg/l nitrate. When fish get symptoms of the sort you describe, it usually comes about one of two ways: poor water quality or as a result of physical damage. So, check off water quality first. Are the nitrite and ammonia values zero? Do you change 50% of the water each week? Do you add dechlorinator each time? As for physical damage, either the fish are fighting or you're handling the fish badly, e.g., when netting it. Fighting among Trichogaster trichopterus is very common: the males are EXTREMELY aggressive, and will attack most other Gouramis, not just their own species.> The opal eats little, sucks air from the surface occasionally, and has lost all of its color except for red near the tail (which is covered in the "fur"). The "fur" looks almost like spores of some sort, however it doesn't match the descriptions for Ich (which I've treated anyway with the anti-fungal), wiggly-worms, or any other pictures I've found so far on the internet. <Well, can't be certain without a photo, but highly likely one of the three diseases mentioned earlier. Dwarf Gouramis (Colisa lalia) also suffer from 'Dwarf Gourami Disease' which is a bacterial or viral problem (possibly both) and is incurable. Trichogaster trichopterus doesn't tend to get this disease, so we can probably cross that one off, but you might want to check out these two different species and see if you (your fish shop) have identified them correctly.> This brave little guy keeps fighting, and he moves quick when he needs to, but mostly he's just lethargic and hangs out well out of the way of the bigger two fish, either near the top or on the bottom of the tank. <Doesn't sound all that promising, I admit.> Any suggestions? Thank you! Amanda <Hope this helps, Neale>

Sick Gourami with red blotches.  9/2/07 Fist thank you for any help that you may give! I have read all four pages on "FAQs on Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives Disease". I have found a couple of entries that "may" be what I am going through but none seem to fit perfectly. This fish has had these red blotches for about a month now but was otherwise acting perfectly normal. Now she seems to be "ill". She is hanging out in the upper corner of the tank constantly. She is not eating as she used to. She seems to be breathing fast and the blotches which started as one on the side and have progressively multiplied and now she even has one around the bottom of her mouth. The blotches don't appear to be under the scales like they originally did but now kind of a crusty like surface appearance. We do 30% water changes and vacuum the gravel every three weeks and add 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of aquarium salt after the water change. We feed mainly dry tropical fish food and about once a week we give frozen blood worms. I have considered an isolation tank and medication but honestly I don't know what this is so I really can't treat it. I read on here before when the marks were under the scales that this was something that happened and it would get better but it doesn't seem to be getting better. Here are the tank specs. 30 Gallons Couple of live plants Carbon and natural media filtration 1 Gourami 1 Pleco 2 yoyo loaches 3 gold barbs 2 Black ruby barbs 3 Rosy barbs 1 Rainbow shark. Thanks again for any assistance that you may be able to provide. Jeremy <Hi Jeremy, your blue Gourami appears to have septicaemia of some sort. Even if its something else, at this stage in the game, it's likely to be untreatable. If it's a bacterial infection, you could try some industrial-strength antibiotic, such as Erythromycin, but obviously if its a viral infection, that won't help. As always, take water quality as the most likely "cause" of the problem, and review the pH, hardness, nitrite, and ammonia levels in your aquarium, and then act accordingly. An adult Plec, for example, will be heavily loading the average 55 gallon tank, let alone a 30 gallon one. Salt won't make a blind bit of difference and I have no idea why you're adding salt routinely to a community of freshwater fish. Not a one of those species wants salt, and most don't like it. You need to do 50% water changes weekly, not 30% three-weekly. Cleaning the gravel isn't something you should need to do that often (your plants would prefer you didn't). Instead, just "vacuum" up the detritus with the hose pipe as you siphon out the water. One last thing: do remember carbon removes medications from tanks. Unless you know (and understand) a reason to use carbon, in a freshwater tank it's largely a waste of space and money. Remove, and replace the space with something that will actually do something useful, perhaps more filter wool or ceramic media. Hope this helps, Neale>

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