Gourami (2)

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Snow slider, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Snow sliderNew MemberMember

    I am new to this forum and a newbie to the fish tank as well.

    Last night we lost a Dwarf Gourami as he was on the bottom breathing heavily and his tail was torn up (tail rot?)

    So I took him to Petsmart and they refunded the cost of the fish but also has water tested and the PH showed high as well was ammonia .5 if that sounds right and all they said was the ph was high. I bought the reducer product and will retest the water on Wednesday and see if more adjustment needs to be made.

    But in the mean time the other two Gouramis have very light sections of their tails looking like they are having problems as well and one of them seems to be always near the bottom of the tank. So I bought a 10 gallon tank and am running just an airstone in it and have adapted the two to it and am treating them with lifeguard. After doing this I now read that gouramis do not get along as they were all males. The two seem to be fine together though. When I get the water tested in two days I am going to get a test kit but I am color blind to a certain extent so reading a color comparison is not going to be easy but can be overcome.

    What is the likely hood that these two will get along? I have not seen any of them fight or bite each other and am hopeful they can coexist.

    The main tank (55)has to live plants in it

    I am just a a bit upset that we were sold three gouramis and nothing was said about them not being compatible.

    Feeling a bit overwhelmed as it seems everytime we turn around we are buying more and more stuff.

  2. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    welcome to fl. poor water conditions are probably a large part of the problem. In my signature is the link to the nitrogen cycle. Please consider reading it. :)

    Also, chemically balancing your pH can lead to a crash of your tank, as it can be unsteady. Most fish will adapt to your water's pH as long as it is steady. I suggest you return the pH product to the store. There are natural ways, such as adding driftwood, to lower pH.

    I know you don't have a test kit, and you feel like you are spending tons of money (been there), but it is really worth it to purchase a good liquid test kit such as the API master kit. Once you have an understanding of your tank's water and the cycle, you are going to want to know for sure what your parameters are. The API is accurate and reliable, which the strips aren't.

    You should do water changes to keep the ammonia levels down. A good conditioner that will also detoxify ammonia in your tank is called Prime, made by seachem.

    Prime and the API kit are probably the 2 most commonly recommended products on this forum.

    Anyway, before I totally overwhelm you, I say read up on the nitrogen cycle. :) Good luck!

    edit: It may seem like I'm not addressing your ill fish, but most often, getting the tank cycled and the water under control will fix illnesses.

  3. Snow sliderNew MemberMember

    I am pretty sure the 55 gallon has cycled as there is some algae in the tank.

    I have been doing water changes with a Dr. Foster faucet vacuum thing form a faucet. Was doing 10 gallons per week and then the pet store suggested no more than 25% per month (today).

    Replaced the filters last week and did one on monday then the second one on Sunday.

    I will buy the master test kit on Wednesday. I also have to live plants in the tank as well and am wondering what I should test for in that as well.

    Is 10 gallons per week change to much? Water is very clear but that I am sure does not mean it is good.

    I already put the pH down API in the tank and ammo lock API in as well. Removed the filters and bagged them in a zip lock bag.

  4. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore
    I'm so sorry about your fish. :(
    While I agree with Meenu about the effects ammonia can have on your fish, I'd like to suggest you google Dwarf Gourami Disease to see if any of the symptoms look familiar.
    Before I scare you, there are some species that are immune.
    What kind of DG do you have? Ho long have you had them?
    They pretty suseptable to bacterial infections.
    It's a shame, they're beautiful fish with great personalities.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  5. Snow sliderNew MemberMember


    This is what they look like. I need to start writing down names when I buy fish but we are not getting anymore until we get a handle on this. I have seen several articles about these of course after I bought three of them.

    I must say though they are not as vivid blue as this picture is.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  6. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Here's a basic explanation of the cycle:
    Your fish produce waste, which is ammonia. Ammonia is lethal for fish, but a beneficial bacteria grows on your tank's surfaces (mainly the filter media) that converts the ammonia into nitrites, Unfortunately, nitrites are also lethal. Another good bacteria converts those to nitrates. A low level of nitrates in a tank is acceptable (under 20). Some live plants will process nitrates.

    Ultimately, you want your water readings to be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and less than 20 nitrates. If you have any ammonia or nitrites in your tank (which you do), your tank is not cycled. That means that there isn't a big enough bacterial colony to eat all the harmful waste byproducts yet. Algae is common in an uncycled tank, as is pH fluctuation.

    Your goal at this point is to get your tank cycled. 10 gallons a week is definitely NOT too much for a weekly water change in a 55 gallon - in fact, most will say it isn't enough.

    I would say the first thing to do is to stop listening to the pet store people. Almost every person on this website has gotten rotten advice from them. I think most have their hearts in the right place, and just don't know better. Some just want to make more money, and the more goofy products they can sell you, the more money they make. And a very few actually know what they are doing and will give you sound advice. Unfortunately, the advice you are getting isn't good.

    Cycling a tank with fish in it is harmful to the fish. The exposure to ammonia and nitrites burns their gills, and can kill them or leave them with permanent organ damage and shortened lives. The old-school method of cycling was to just leave the fish in the tank, hope they survived, and let the ammonia levels rise high to cycle the tank quickly.

    This method is considered by many to be cruel, as it clearly harms the fish. When you are not able to do your cycle fishless (which is what is recommended), because you already have fish living in your tank, a more humane method of cycling is to do daily partial water changes. If you do this, you remove some of the harmful toxin from the water, making it safer for your fish. It extends the time it takes to cycle, but is much less traumatic for the fish in your tank.

    If you do the partial water changes with the addition of ammolock or Prime every day, that's even better because then you leave the ammonia in the water for the bacteria to feed on, but you detoxify it so it hurts the fish less.

    Since the good bacteria live on the filter media, you never want to change this out completely. Just cut out any carbon and continue to use the cartidge. Many people only replace a cartidge once every few years. All you need to do is rinse the cartidge in discarded (dechlorinated) tank water every few months when it gets gunky. If you change the old cartidge and throw it away, you are throwing away all the good bacteria every few weeks.

    edit: I'm not familiar with this disease. I hope this isn't what did your poor fish in. I'm sorry if it did. :( I think the information I gave you will still help your tank, though, even if it was DGD.
    Lucy, leave it to you to come in here with a simple explanation while I type a novel :;laughing:whistling:
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  7. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Looks like my first one. My second was a Powder Blue.
    Personally, I'll never get another DG (Colisa lalia)
    I switched to Sparkling Gouramis (Trichopsis pumilus) They're immune to DGD.
  8. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    You have colisa lalia. As others have mentioned, they are susceptible to iridovirus (sp?), other diseases, and often are just generally weak. I'm sorry you're having problems with them but unfortunately, I'm not surprised. :(

    I agree that it's important to have a good grasp on the nitrogen cycle. If your tank is showing an ammonia reading, it either has not cycled properly or something has thrown off the balance to cause a mini-cycle. What kind of filter are you using and how often are you replacing the cartridges? Whoever told you that you are changing too much water is completely incorrect. I change 50% weekly on all my FW tanks and my fish love the clean water. 10 gallons a week is by no means too much, and you're probably looking at daily water changes until your biological filter (bacteria colonies) grow to the point where they can sustain your bioload. Also, I agree with the others that the pH down is not only unnecessary, but detrimental. Most fish can adapt to a wide range of pH levels, and it is better to not mess with it and leave it stable.
  9. Snow sliderNew MemberMember

    When doing daily water changes should I vacuum the gravel as well or is it better to leave that for bacteria?

    Also my filters have the carbon so should the carbon be emptied and replaced or just empty the carbon and leave it that way?

    I staggered the filter replacement by a week but from the sounds of it I should not have done that.

    The feeling I am getting poor advice from the fish store is exactly why I am here and thankful for everyones information.

    The other 15 fish in the tank seem great and very healthy at this time. I hope this continues.

    I will check for sure what fish it is on Wednesday when I get a test kit.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2009
  10. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    You don't need to vacuum the gravel every day, in my opinion. Personally, I would either wait to vac until a week or 2 after the cycling is complete, or if it becomes necessary, just lightly vac 1/3 of the tank per week.

    Carbon use is a personal choice. I don't like to mess with my filter, so I'm trying to go carbonless and see what happens. It's not a necessity, you can try without carbon if you want. I think no filter replacements is a better option (and less expensive) than staggering.

    I'm keep my fingers crossed for your fish. I hope they do awesome for you. Most of us have been there, with the stress of starting the new tank and not realizing what you are getting into. I can tell you that once all of this is done, your tank's maintainence will become easier and more of a routine. It's worth the work you'll go through now to have a healthy environment for your fish. Hang in there!
  11. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Petsmart usually doesn't have the scientific names.
    As said above it's a colisa lalia.
    The only reason I know the scientific name of the DG is because of the research I did after I lost my first one.
    Otherwise, I only know common names. lol
  12. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    You can use the carbon or not use it- that is totally up to you. Some say it will leech toxins back into the water if not changed every few weeks. IMO this is a marketing ploy by the companies that want to sell you more carbon- I've never seen any evidence that it leeches anything back into the water. When it's done it's done, but then just becomes more surface area for bacteria to colonize. Filter cartridges can be rinsed in a bucket of tank water during water changes if needed. There is no need to replace them until they fall apart.
  13. Snow sliderNew MemberMember

    I have a new API master test kit now and tested the water twice for Ammonia and both times we show right between 1 and 2 ppm.

    The fish store used test strips so as said here they vary in accuracy. The API liquid test was spot on both times. I had the fish store test the water that we brought in and then tested it twice with the new kit once home.
  14. Snow sliderNew MemberMember

    That is the exact name on the card at Pet Smart when I was there today:;hf

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