Am I doing the right thing? Help me save my fish pls.

  • #1
What is the water volume of the tank? 40 gallons
How long has the tank been running? Since beginning of July
Does it have a filter? Aquaclear 60 gallons with baffle &sponge filter
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 75
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
2 pearl gouramis, 7 rummynose tetras, 2 female Bolivian rams, 6 Cory panda, 2Nerites and some pond snails

How often do you change the water? Every 5 to 7 days
How much of the water do you change? 40%
What do you use to treat your water? Seachem Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Only hover the dirty areas since I have leaf litter.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? API Master test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: I keep it below 20
pH: 8.2

How often do you feed your fish? Twice a day
How much do you feed your fish? What they can eat with no left over on the ground after
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Omega one, Hikari Micro pellets Fluval Bug Bites, Tetramin Flakes
Do you feed frozen? Yes, Brine shrimp, Daphnia, krill, blood worms
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? Bloodworms, Brine Shrimp

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 8 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Last week
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Had 3 gouramis, 2 males and 1 female unfortunately that is what they turned out to be when older. They were fine as juveniles and then 2 mated. After that the female who was much larger started terrorizing the 2 males but mostly the one she mated with. It was terrible and I tried to rehome one male because things were really getting out of hand. An acquaintance who breeds fish decided she wanted the female and I was left with the 2 males. Unfortunately by that time the one male the female was always after was not doing well. Clamped fins, tail down, hiding beneath a log at the bottom of the tank and not eating. Then I noticed that when he was coming up for air he would Ram the pogostemon octopus and slam himself against a leaf. Also all of a sudden he curves his body and swims very fast splashing water at the top of the tank. After researching I figured he probably has parasites. Can’t buy meds here in Canada but after searching I found a drug company in the US that ships to Canada and was able to order 2 one ounce bottles of Prazipro for a healthy shipping price.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? As soon as meds arrive by UPS so soon.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? He seems to be a bit better now, started to eat a bit and I haven’t seen him flash today.

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now) see above. The Rummynose are doing great and have colors Rudolph would be jealous of. I have seen the not dominant female Bolivian flash a couple of times and one panda do a little shimmy dance. The other male gourami has also flashed a couple of times and raced across the tank. All fish are beautifully colored and don’t look sick apart the one male gourami who is doing a little bit better since the female is gone.

so what do I do? Treat the whole tank with Prazipro as soon as I receive it? Anything else I can do in the meantime? My last water change was 2 days ago. Do I need to do more?

Include pictures

  • #2
Hi, if all the other fish are good & the male gourami is starting to pick up I'd hold off the medication, just keep your water really clean, don't do anything to stress the gourami out & keep a close eye on it. I'd only use the medication if it starts going down hill again.

  • #3
Yeah stress. Battered fish syndrome. Happens with my angels sometimes over the years they mature, one gets the brunt of the abuse and targeted and they shut down sit there and won't eat, it takes a while to unlearn the fear and realize the abuse is gone. He'll go back to eating and swim around more and more and lose the stress and the fins should open back up when he does and his health improves.

Might be parasites, but if so, medication likely won't fix it unless the reason the parasites became a problem is addressed, the stress allowed the parasites to get out of hand. But I don't think it's parasites, I think it's fear and paranoia that the bully fish is still there waiting to pounce somewhere. It's got to sink in that nothing is out to get him anymore.

Just keep the water clean clean and low nitrates for a while and he should perk up and relax. look for other signs of parasites besides behavior to be safe but not sure that's the issue at all by what you described.
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  • #4
Thank you so much both of you, I will follow your advice since he seems to be improving a little bit everyday since I rehomed the big female and the other male gourami is also more active as well. They are starting to swim together again a little bit as well. I am testing the water everyday and it’s super clean. I will keep observing and try often to feed him during the day and hope he gains weight and becomes his old self again.
I will keep you posted, thank you again.
  • #5
take feeding slow and easy, more isn't better when they haven't been eating and can hurt them further, just more food available more often in small quantities until he normalizes on eating, don' try to feed until he's full, it won't work. he'll pick here or there and it will normalize over time and then he'll get back to regular feedings and put the weight back.

parasites, internal parasites are usually long white stringy poops and a sunken in belly and a lack of appetite, but stress can cause the lack of appetite also, so can overfeeding and they lose interest in the food because they are always full and don't go after it with the same vigor.
splashing at the top could be anything, usually if external parasites they will rub or scratch on objects or the substrate to scratch the itch. and if externial it's pretty noticable.

Good to have treatment on hand in case you were to encounter a parasite, especially considering how hard it is to find where you are, but by your description, I don't think it's a parasite. Just an unhappy fish due to a tankmate.

You said you were keeping nitrates at 20, if you have time, if you could get it down to 10, it would be beneficial to avoid bacterial infection in the weakened fish during recovery. 20 is fine, I just like to get it lower when fish are "off" and let the max be 20 and it seems to help with recovery and repair of damage to the fish.
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  • #6
Here he is before and after the bullying.
I followed your advice and gave him a bit of Hikari Micro pellets which are his favorite food after bloodworms and he had 3 or 4 bites. Hope he makes it, he’s a beautiful fish and was so friendly before. I want my old friend back, he was and still is my favorite of the 3.


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  • #7
Actually the picture is blurry, but he's not looking too bad, fins aren't as bad as I'd thought they would be when you said clamped fins. He's stressed and unhappy, but most of it is him not flaring and being boisterous as he should be. he's being reserved and submissive.

That will work out in time, his stomach doesn't indicate parasite from appearance. Check for long stringy white poops, if that's not happening, then it's likely not parasites at all and just depression/anxiety.
He will recover with time and start flaring again once he's comfortable that he's safe, he'll even start tossing the feelers forward investigating things again. He will adjust in a couple weeks I think and get back to normal I think, just keep an eye if he isn't improving or declining (declining being more serious than it just taking longer to recover)
His color is good, his shape is good.
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  • #8
You are right, heck’s starting to un-clamp his fins now! I’m so relieved, he had been clamped tight for a week now.
I never saw any white poop or stringy poop at all on none of my fish. So yes, he IS getting BETTER! :):):):):)

Thank you again, I feel so much better. I really am in tune with all of my fish and can tell right away when one is not is usual self.
Also, I do tend to worry a lot. :D


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