Help Female Pearl Goruami With Unknown Growths

MissHope

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Hello! I am a new member, and this is my first post on FishLore, thanks for having me. I was hoping to receive some help with a potentially ill, new female pearl gourami.

Tank
Water volume of the tank: Quarantine 5.5 gallons
How long has the tank been running: About a month
Does it have a filter: Yes, Aquaclear 20 on max flow and a sponge filter with air pump
Does it have a heater: Yes, 100W Aqueon preset heater
What is the water temperature: Between 77 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit
What is the entire stocking of this tank: 6 juvenile L144 plecos and 5 young Female Pearl Gouramis (all are about 2-2.5 inches in length each)

Maintenance
How often do you change the water: At least every 72 hours, more often if ammonia is over 0.5
How much of the water do you change: 50%+ every water change
What do you use to treat your water: Fritz complete, a double dose with the water change and another dose between to ensure any water toxins remain neutralized.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water: The tank is bare bottom, I water vacuum any waste accumulated at the bottom of the tank first, and then chase any larger particles that remain in water column.

Parameters
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish: Yes, with the sponge filter, and then added old filter from betta tank with new media a few days ago.
What do you use to test the water: API Freshwater Master Kit.
What are your parameters
Ammonia: 0 to 1.0 ppm (depending on time of day and how soon after a water change)
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: <5.0 ppm
pH: 8.0

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish: Twice a day for the pearls, I leave blanched vegetables or Repashy gel food in for plecos, taking any leftovers out within 24 hours.
How much do you feed your fish: I try to feed what they can finish in 10 minutes for Gouramis (one mini cube of frozen food or about a midsize pinch of dry food) and leave stable food in almost constantly for plecos.
What brand of food do you feed your fish: Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Formula for Small Fish, San Fransisco Bay Brand Frozen Cyclops mini cubes, and a mix of Repashy gel food (2 parts Morning Wood to 1 part Bottom Scratcher and 1 part Soilent Green), besides fresh vegetables (cucumber and carrot)
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods: I feed frozen in the morning, the dry Fluval bug bites in the afternoon.

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish: Since August 8th, 2019
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms: Noticed upon arrival of shipment, August 8th, 2019
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms: One of the five female Pearl Gouramis came in with what appeared to be a small growth on her back, where the dorsal fin meets the torso, on the side near her head.
Have you started any treatment for the illness: I immediately quarantined the fish with a combination of Aquarium Solution’s Ich-X, API’s General Cure, and Mardel’s Maracyn I (not II). I only put in a single dose per water change, to not overload the fish with a buildup of medicine since the filter currently holds no carbon.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase: Yes, but it has either developed more growths, or the other growths have grown to be visible since her arrival.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all: Behavior matches that of the other female pearl gouramis, she is eating well, and is willing to nip at other fish to protect food or establish dominance. More spots have developed on her dorsal and analfin, that appear to be white or a pale grey color, similar to that of the first and largest growth spot.

Explain your emergency situation in detail:

I ordered a large shipment of fish and have distributed it between two tanks I reserve for quarantine. After acclimating the fish and adding them to the tank, I noted that one of the female pearl gouramis arrived with a small “deformity” on her back, where the dorsal fin meets the torso, on the side near her head. It was not a very large deformity and I was unsure if it was a growth or perhaps a dislodged scale from a fight with another pearl gourami. I performed my usual dosing of medicine and added java moss and hornwort to the water to help with comfort, waste management and oxygen levels besides the filter and decided to keep an eye on it before deciding if I needed to intervene or change medicine. After almost a week, the growth has not shrunk, nor grown significantly much, but I noticed other spots have developed on her dorsal and analfin. These growths are not present on her pectoral, ventral, or tail fins, and none of the other gouramis have developed any visible growths. The growths appear to be pale, either white or a grey color, and are “solid” looking, rather than very fuzzy or cottony, though they are so small it may be hard to identify exact structure. This gourami also shows no sign of distress, lethargy, or loss of appetite. Besides the growths, she seems perfectly healthy. I attached photos of both sides and a semi-frontal angle of the fish in question, each with a copy plain for a clear view and the other with red circles around the suspected growths I can see. Sorry if they are a bit blurry, she is an active fish and it is a crowded tank, I tried to take the best shots I could and sorry if I messed up in attaching them. I am hoping someone may help me identify what these growths may be so I may accurately medicate the fish without making her and the other fish stressed or ill. Thank you for any help or suggestions you may have.



PS: I know the tank is small, I know it is overstocked, and I know I may be over feeding. This is, again, a quarantine set up meant for only 2-4 weeks, not the long-term living space for any of these fish. I test the water 2 to 4 times a day and keep a close eye on not only the test results but also the behavior of the fish to ensure they are not stressed. I regularly dose a water conditioner that neutralizes any toxins in the water, not just chlorine, and do an additional water change to keep any ammonia spike below 1.0 ppm. I also do not want to fast the fish since, in my experience, it has increased fish stress and death rates and I would rather keep them fed and do more water changes than to lose them from fasting. Please, if one must lecture me about water quality and tank size, do so in addition to making suggestions about what this condition may be, so I may medicate and potentially cure the fish to be put in a much larger tank sooner rather than later.


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MissNoodle

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Looks like fin rot (minor). Water changes should help it heal, i would do them every day since its a 5gal. A bit of aquarium salt would also help with healing it.

It can pop up due to water quality issues. I would up the water change regime and get some Seachem Prime to condition as it helps neutralize ammonia and such.

Given the tank size and stocking, i would also reduce the feeding to either 2 smaller portioned meals or one meal a day. That will help take some strain off the bioload
 

LeahsTank

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lymphocystis

Not fatal. Unattractive. Incurable. Will most likely come and go. Think cold sore in humans.
 
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MissHope

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Looks like fin rot (minor). Water changes should help it heal, i would do them every day since its a 5gal. A bit of aquarium salt would also help with healing it.

It can pop up due to water quality issues. I would up the water change regime and get some Seachem Prime to condition as it helps neutralize ammonia and such.

Given the tank size and stocking, i would also reduce the feeding to either 2 smaller portioned meals or one meal a day. That will help take some strain off the bioload
Thank you for the reply! I will start doing daily water changes and cut back on feedings, I will tentatively test the salt, since I do not want to harm the plants and the fish do much better with them in.
 
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MissHope

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lymphocystis

Not fatal. Unattractive. Incurable. Will most likely come and go. Think cold sore in humans.
I was worried it may be lymphocystis, thank you for the assessment. I am getting differing information online, but I was hoping you may have advice on the likelihood of it infecting other fish and if I should separate her or not. Thank you again
 

LeahsTank

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I was worried it may be lymphocystis, thank you for the assessment. I am getting differing information online, but I was hoping you may have advice on the likelihood of it infecting other fish and if I should separate her or not. Thank you again
I’ve heard (read) different opinions as well. I’ve only had one fish get it.

If I understand correctly, it is not contagious unless one of the “blisters” burst. Then it can infect the tankmates. Most of the time, with clean water and a healthy immune system, the outbreak will resolve itself.

I chose to remove my fish that had it because she didn’t seem to be improving and I was afraid it would worsen and spread. There must’ve been something else wrong with her and her immune system compromised. She stayed in qt for over a month without improving and began to lose a lot of weight. I finally euthanized her because she looked so bad.

If you keep the water clean and keep an eye on her, you can probably get away with not removing her from the main tank. But if any of the bumps start to look “irritated,” I would qt until the outbreak resolves itself.

Hopefully someone else has better advice on the subject. I just wanted to share my understanding and experience of the condition.

Also, I was out of town for 12 days while she was in qt. My hubby took over fish duties. Well, he did so,etching wrong with the water change in the display tank, and 13 fishies perished. So the fate of my rainbow with lymphocytis was maybe due to hubby. (But I won’t hold it against him.) I’ll just never let him touch my tanks again. :)

Good luck.

P.S. She is a pretty pearl.
 

JenC

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Welcome to Fishlore.

Diagnosing fish ailments is often tricky and you'll probably get differing opinions. That's good. The more people evaluating the situation and sharing ideas can help you research and come to your own conclusion.

From my perspective it doesn't look like fin rot. Lymphocytstis is what I thought as well: cauliflower-like growths. But I've never seen it in person, only descriptions and pictures online, and my knowledge about it is minimal.
 
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MissHope

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I’ve heard (read) different opinions as well. I’ve only had one fish get it.

If I understand correctly, it is not contagious unless one of the “blisters” burst. Then it can infect the tankmates. Most of the time, with clean water and a healthy immune system, the outbreak will resolve itself.

I chose to remove my fish that had it because she didn’t seem to be improving and I was afraid it would worsen and spread. There must’ve been something else wrong with her and her immune system compromised. She stayed in qt for over a month without improving and began to lose a lot of weight. I finally euthanized her because she looked so bad.

If you keep the water clean and keep an eye on her, you can probably get away with not removing her from the main tank. But if any of the bumps start to look “irritated,” I would qt until the outbreak resolves itself.

Hopefully someone else has better advice on the subject. I just wanted to share my understanding and experience of the condition.

Also, I was out of town for 12 days while she was in qt. My hubby took over fish duties. Well, he did so,etching wrong with the water change in the display tank, and 13 fishies perished. So the fate of my rainbow with lymphocytis was maybe due to hubby. (But I won’t hold it against him.) I’ll just never let him touch my tanks again.

Good luck.

P.S. She is a pretty pearl.
Thank you for the advice! I am sorry to hear you lost your rainbow, but I thank you for sharing your experience. I have been keeping a close eye on her and the other tank residents, noting any changes in behavior or if any additional growths are growing. So far, everything seems fine otherwise in the tank. I will make sure that if they get much worse or seem to threaten to "pop" that I isolate her. I will also keep doing research on the subject, but I do appreciate having someone directly look at this case and give their opinion on the matter.

Thank you again.

P.S. She is pretty My poor photos do not do her justice and I am grateful she and the other four pearls seem to be growing bigger, stronger, and braver by the day!

Welcome to Fishlore.

Diagnosing fish ailments is often tricky and you'll probably get differing opinions. That's good. The more people evaluating the situation and sharing ideas can help you research and come to your own conclusion.

From my perspective it doesn't look like fin rot. Lymphocytstis is what I thought as well: cauliflower-like growths. But I've never seen it in person, only descriptions and pictures online, and my knowledge about it is minimal.
Thank you for the welcome and for the second opinion!

I figured getting other viewpoints would be the wisest option, especially since trying to search for a diagnosis on my own usually ends up making me fear the worst (such as fish TB) and going into a spiral of panic or simply makes me confused with conflicting information and overlapping symptoms between each disease.

Even before posting this thread, I wondered if it was Lymphocytstis, though it is hard to match pictures online since my pearl gourami's growths are so small and most articles and websites show much more extreme cases. Thank you though, for offering your assessment, it helps me feel less paranoid about my tentative diagnosis.
 

LeahsTank

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Just for reference... here are photos of my rainbow.

Photo 1: This was when I first noticed the bump. As you can see, her bump looks a lot like your pearl’s bumps.


Photo 2: This was after she was in qt for a week or so. As you can see, the first bump on her dorsal ridge had gone, but a new “pimple” was coming up behind her peck(?) fin.


Photo 3: That bump kept getting bigger to where the fin was permanently stuck out perpendicular to her body.
 

JenC

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She is pretty.

I recently got my first gourami - also a pearl - and they really are beautiful fish.
 
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MissHope

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Just for reference... here are photos of my rainbow.

Photo 1: This was when I first noticed the bump. As you can see, her bump looks a lot like your pearl’s bumps.


Photo 2: This was after she was in qt for a week or so. As you can see, the first bump on her dorsal ridge had gone, but a new “pimple” was coming up behind her peck(?) fin.


Photo 3: That bump kept getting bigger to where the fin was permanently stuck out perpendicular to her body.
Those are useful, thank you!

I hope you don't mind me asking, do you know if the first bump, near the dorsal fin, had maybe fallen off, burst, just shrunk/faded, or did it just disappear? You said the rainbow lost a lot of weight, was she still eating or had she lost her appetite or the ability to eat/swallow? Besides the two bumps shown in the pictures, did the rainbow grow any small growths anywhere else, or was it seemingly one growth at a time? How long did you have her before she displayed the symptoms, and, just to make sure I understand what you did in your earlier posts, that none of your other fish ever showed signs of the same disease afterward?

Sorry for all the questions, I am hoping any information you have will help in case things get a lot worse with my pearl Gourami.

Thank you again

She is pretty.

I recently got my first gourami - also a pearl - and they really are beautiful fish.
They are gorgeous fish, aren't they? I got my male pearl Gourami, Gabriel, a few months ago and he not only grew into a beautiful fish, but he also had such a fun personality that it made me fall in love with pearl gouramis for good! I am especially fond of them using their ventral fins, which I jokingly call their "noodles", to explore and they even wag them against the glass when I approach, as if greeting me.

I really hope you enjoy your pearl gourami, they can be so much fun
 
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