Dwarf Gourami floating on side at surface for 4 days!

GeorgeBT

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Good morning all!

I'm new to this forum and wish I'd never have to post asking for advice on fish diseases but here I am.

I have a beautiful Dwarf GouramI who is completely obsessed with food. To add to that, she's also very clever and knows that the area of my tank, marked with a red circle, is a dead spot just behind the outlet where there is very little surface movement. During feeding, my male GouramI and several Cardinal Tetras all dart around the tank skimming the surface for the food - Which if it helps with any answers is Dennerle Complete Gourmet Menu - But my female GouramI sits in this area of no current and munches through far too much food which collects there.

When I fed the tank on Thursday morning I watched her as she ate and ate at the surface before I popped a net in to remove the excess as I could visibly see her side was bulging, although I must confess this is most likely days worth not just that single feeding. However, a few minutes later I watched her swim to the surface and fall onto her side which she continued to do for the rest of the day. All the while, she was excreting large amounts of waste and I hoped perhaps by the following morning she would be swimming fine again and just needed to empty herself. As can be seen from the picture though she is still on her side. She has also constantly got long white stringy excrement coming from her. She looks like the swelling has gone down but is still very swollen, mostly on one side rather than the other. When she wants/needs to, she swims fine across the tank, but as soon as she stops she falls to the side again.

I have moved her into a quarantine tank on Saturday morning filled with 15 litres of water taken from the main tank during its water change. There is also an air stone in there. I added some API aquarium salt and some API stress coat to try and keep her calm but still no change. Yesterday I spoke with a Maidenhead Aquatics employee but unfortunately he was so busy he didn't have much time to offer advice, but did recommend trying AquaCare anti-fluke and wormer in case the long white stringy excrement could be an intestine infection. I'm not expecting that to work miracles and she be fixed by this morning, but I just wanted to find out if there is anything I'm missing which could help. I have a bag if Epsom salt arriving today from Amazon to try and relax the muscles and help with the constipation. I have tried feeding her a crushed up garden pea every day but she is just totally disinterested every time.

My tank levels are:
PH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0

Long term I know I've been overfeeding so the rest of the fish are now on a stricter diet. I'm also going to mix up their food a little bit and not give the granules every day, I have frozen blood worms, brine shrimp etc which I will mix in occasionally. Also some vegetation to help with their digestion and I know the ottos will love that too.

Many thanks in advance for any help and advice!
 

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EmbersToAshes

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I would stop feeding her completely for a couple of days and maybe keep trying to feed a blanched pea and hope for the best. Make sure the male GouramI doesn't bother her. (Side note... Are you sure it's a her I thought only the males had color like that) I personally wouldn't add salt, but hopefully someone who's experienced this can offer more advice. Your sure it isn't dwarf gouramI disease?
 
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GeorgeBT

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EmbersToAshes said:
I would stop feeding her completely for a couple of days and maybe keep trying to feed a blanched pea and hope for the best. Make sure the male GouramI doesn't bother her. (Side note... Are you sure it's a her I thought only the males had color like that) I personally wouldn't add salt, but hopefully someone who's experienced this can offer more advice. Your sure it isn't dwarf gouramI disease?
Thank you for your reply!

She hasn't eaten in 5 days now.. I'm not sure how long I should leave it before it becomes cruel to the animal just leaving her on her side. I have clove oil which I've used to put fish to sleep in the past but I'm just hopeful she will change dramatically at some point.

I'm going to persist and hope she eats a pea today. I gave her a salt bath yesterday for 15 minutes rather than adding it directly to the quarantine tank but so far has made no difference.

I'm reluctant to say if its DGD or not because I see no pineconing of the scales and no colour change. It just seems like it must be constipation as she was absolutely fine swimming around until she ate like a pig and now shes like this.

In regards to whether or not shes female, I believe their colours can vary alot. When determining male or female you look at size, dorsal fin and belly. The female is generally smaller with a shorter dorsal fin, but with a rounded belly. Which is what this particular GouramI has compared to the male.
 
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GeorgeBT

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Does anybody have any suggestions here? We are approaching the 1 week mark now with no progress at all and I need to know when its time to call it a day and put her to sleep.
 

EmbersToAshes

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That's really a personal preference. If you think she is suffering it might be time. I personally try and give the animal plenty of time to start showing improvement. But if she hasnt improved at all and you have a humane way to end her suffering I don't think anyone would fault you for putting her down at this point. I don't think fish perceve pain the same way we do but I'm sure they still hurt.
 

DoubleDutch

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GeorgeBT said:
Does anybody have any suggestions here? We are approaching the 1 week mark now with no progress at all and I need to know when its time to call it a day and put her to sleep.
Now ?
 

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