Gourami Help!

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Sabi

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Hi,
My 'dwarf gourami' is hardly moving and staying in 1 place for most of the time. The other fish are starting to bite it, and when this happens it sort of 'falls on it's side.' The rest of the fish in the tank seem to be fine. Up until yesterday the gourami was still swimming around, although much less active than usual. What could be wrong?

Thanks for any help!
 

sirdarksol

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Sab said:
Hi,
My 'dwarf gourami' is hardly moving and staying in 1 place for most of the time. The other fish are starting to bite it, and when this happens it sort of 'falls on it's side.' The rest of the fish in the tank seem to be fine. Up until yesterday the gourami was still swimming around, although much less active than usual. What could be wrong?

Thanks for any help!
#1 question anybody's going to ask. What are your water readings?
Specifically, Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH (others, please add anything if I missed)? Also, if you are using municipal water, are you treating it for chloramine? How long has your tank been operating? How large is your tank and how many/what kind of fish do you have?

I discovered, the hard way, that gourami's tend to be more sensitive to ammonia. This actually saved the other fish from ammonia poisoning.

If you haven't done so, test your water. If any of the readings are outside of "safe" parameters, do an immediate 50% water change. If there's a lot of ammonia, I'd use something like amQuel to immediately deal with the toxicity of the water. Once you've figured out what's wrong, we can work on a more permanent solution, if there's one to be had.
 

bbfeckawitts

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Also if you don't already have a test kit, most here use and recommend the API Master test kit. They sell it at petsmart, petco, almost anywhere. Whatever you do, don't use strips, they give you false readings.
 
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Sabi

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Thanks for the fast response!
My NitrAte reading is 25mg/l ; PH 7.0 and teperature 23'c.
I cycled my tank in January and ever since been having a problem keeping my nitrate low, and do water changes at least 4 times a week. I'm afraid i dont have test kits for 'ammonia' and 'nitIite'
When adding municipal water i use a 'dechlorinator'.  My tank is  slightly bigger then 36.0 U.S Gallons.
I have...
2 red eyed tetras
2 white tetras
2 black tetras
4 glowlights
2 black phantom tetras
3 guppies
2 angels
3 swordtails
2 mollies
1  glass scissor tail
1 gold gourami
1 dwarf gourami
1 sucker mouth catfish.
 

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Well the reason for the nitrate problem is because your tank is way overstocked. I just did a quick count and guessed that you would have over 60" of fish when they all reach adult size and that's not counting the catfish as I'm not sure if you have one of the smaller one's or one of the one's that can reach over a foot in length. Even if all of the fish averaged 1.5" right now that would still take you to 39" of fish. They are going to get more and more territorial and it's going to be pretty stressful. Without knowing more about the Gourami (any discoloration, spots, cuts, heavy breathing, etc.) my first guess is that it is just stressed and not hardy enough to deal with it. Also Gourami prefer better water quality and it could just be the elevated levels of nitrates that are just getting to him (though 25 isn't all that high of a level). If you have a place to move him to, even if its just a bucket with some of your tank water and an airstone, it might help.
 

vin

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I agree with Luniyn....Your tank is well overstocked and I think it can be a combination of him feeling overwhelmed by all of the tetras species you have in there and the overload of the nitrates. Sometimes tetras can get nippy with Gouramis...Maybe he's just the tank target.....
 

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I hear the sweet, sweet song of MTS calling! If you have the money & space for another tank, you could divide your fish along lines of compatibility as well as make them happier and reduce the amount of cleaning and water changing and testing you'll need to do. That is quite a few fish and a beautiful selection and I know that I'd want to keep all of those beautys.

If you can't get another tank now and want to keep all of the fish, i'd recommend frequent water changes and testing to keep the levels from getting out of hand. More so as they get bigger. (You could also plan on a future tank or future home for some of them in time.)

What do you treat your water with? If you can get either Prime or NovAqua+, those are excellent for not only removing the harmful heavy metals but they improve the water.
 
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I'd like confirm that my tank being 48in x 18in (width and sides) and 18in from top to bottom, slightly bigger than a 36.0 u.s gallon? Doing a quick calculation last night, that was i came up with and wasn't sure if it was correct. I was led to believe that about 40 swordtail size fish can be kept in my tank.
I have put the gourami in a bucket, and in reply to Luniyn, he does not have any spots, growths or any thing to show disease. only bite marks since the fish bit him. Do i put medicine for torn fin? in the bucket?
If i am correct, and the tank is a 36.0, what is the smallest tank i can get? And how many can i keep in my presant tank?

Thanks
 

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https://www.fishlore.com/TropicalFishProfiles.htm - Fishlore has data sheets on many fish so that you can see how big yours get, along with much more information.

Red-eyed Tetras get to 3" each (you have 6" there)
White-skirt Tetras get to 2" each (4")
Black-skirt Tetras get to 2" each (4")
Glowlight Tetras get to 1.5" each (6")
Black Phantom Tetras - 2" each (4")
That's 24" of tetras.

Guppies get to 2" each - 6"
Mollies get to 2-4" each (so i'll use 3" for an average) - 6"
Swordtails get to 5" each - 15"
That's 27" of livebearers.

Gold Gourami get to 6" each - 6"
Dwarf Gourami get to 3" each - 3"
That's 9" of gourami.

The glass scissor tail & the sucker mouth catfish i'm not 100% sure of their size.. Do you mean Scissor Tail Rasbora and Pleco Catfish?
The Scissor Tail Rasbora gets to 5"
The common Pleco catfish gets to 18"+
That's another 23" of fish.

So, 24 + 27 + 9 + 23 gives you 83" of fish. If the pet shop told you that you could fit 40 swordtails in that tank, they were most likely just trying to sell more fish - 40 swordtails would need a tank almost 7 times as big (200 gallons).

A possible solution would be to leave the gourami and livebearers (36" total) in your 36 gallon tank. I'd recommend returning the pleco as they get so big and produce heavy waste and need a 55 gallon or larger tank. That would leave you with the tetras and scissor tail (29") so those would fit into a 29 gallon tank.

I hope that answers your questions. You'd have 2 good sized tanks, but both would be filled with beautiful fish and you could have room in them to decorate them nicely in the styles that you prefer.
 

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You are just slightly larger then 36 Gal there.... by about almost double. You have a 67 Gal US tank there ;D But no it still wouldn't hold 40 swordtails at 5" each, it would only hold 13. At this point since I'm guessing the fish aren't adult size yet, you are probably ok but you are near max even without fully grown fish and might need to start thinking about a second tank or some other options.

As for the Gourami, unless it's fins look torn up by more then just nipping I don't know that I would treat for fin rot. He's pretty stressed as it is and treating a weak fish with meds can sometimes be fatal. How is his apatite? Is he eating at all? You might want to try and get his spirits back up and have him able to hold his own. You might try something like vitamins in his food (if you have some freeze dried food that takes it the best but flakes will work too). . Hopefully with a little food and some good nutrients in his system he would pep up and be able to go back in the tank soon. By the way, did you put an air stone in the bucket with him or something to aerate the water? He will need at least that, and even with that he can't stay there for more then a few days since there aren't any good bacteria in the bucket the ammonia levels will start to rise. Also the more you aerate a bucket of water, the more the pH rises as well. So be sure to do some mini-water changes taking a few cups of water out of the bucket and adding a few cups of water from your tank to the bucket. This should be enough for a day or two of isolation. Also be sure the temperature of the bucket doesn't get too cold. After that you can introduce him back to the tank but first test the quality of his water compared to your tank. If the pH is different and there are levels of anything that aren't in your tank (besides the nitrate), then you should introduce him back into your tank like a new fish if you can. I.e. float him in a bag so he gets used to the temp (if different) and slowly bring the pH down in the bag by adding a cup of water from the tank every 5 minutes over the course of an hour (if the pH is drastically different). If things are pretty much the same then you can introduce him back and keep a watchful eye.
 

COBettaCouple

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Luniyn said:
You are just slightly larger then 36 Gal there.... by about almost double. You have a 67 Gal US tank there ;D But no it still wouldn't hold 40 swordtails at 5" each, it would only hold 13. At this point since I'm guessing the fish aren't adult size yet, you are probably ok but you are near max even without fully grown fish and might need to start thinking about a second tank or some other options.
Thanks for the heads up on the tank size. Sounds like a perfect fit sans the pleco. 65" of fish for a 67 gallon tank. It might push it over a little, but a school of 3-6 otos would be a good replacement as far as algae control goes and they don't put out near the waste levels of a pleco.
 
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The gourami is coming on fine. He's eating and seems to be MUCH better!!
Thanks for all the help guys! And my apologies for the error on the tank size. Will keep you posted on him.
What i'd like to know now is what is the smallest tank i can get to keep some of the fish?
By the way my pleco is over 20cm and the best fish in my tank by far!
 

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The general rule is 1" of fish per Gal of water. So if you want to keep 1 fish that gets to be 2" long as an adult, then you need a 2 Gal tank minimum. Granted this rule starts to fall off with certain fish or fish that get very large. For example, if you had a fish that get to be 12" long, do you think he would be happy in a 12 Gal tank? Just so you know a 12 Gal tank would probably be around 20" long x 12" wide x 12" high, so in other words be couldn't even swim twice his length before he had to turn around. He'd be pretty unhappy to say the least. But you get the idea. So the smallest tank you could get would depend on the type of fish you wanted to keep in it.
 

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Luniyn is right.. from reading the information sheets on different fish, it seems like fish that get over 6" and especially over 12" need almost 3-4 gallons per inch due to their need for swimming room. that's what made us pass up plecos for our tanks.. we could have gotten dwarf plecos (4" or under on some varieties of those) but the small ones pretty much could care less about algae.. i'd still like a pair of zebra plecos though - so beautiful but with a matching price tag of US$200 each.

Sounds like you've had your pleco a while, so i understand that you'd want to keep him. Since you can keep all of the fish except him in your 67 gallon tank and stay inside the bioload, a 55 gallon might be what you'd want for him. That would be the smallest tank you could get and keep every fish and be inside the bioload of the tanks. You might be able to house the pleco in a 40 gallon tank if you find a tank that's longer in length and shorter in height. that could give him the close to the same length as a 55 gallon.. although the price might be the same on both of those.
 
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Hmmm. I see what you are getting at.
I'm afraid i cant possibly get a 55gal, so i'm going to have to let go of him.

As for the gourami, i was thinking of putting him back tomorrow as it'll be over 2 days by then.
He's much more active and the only thing i'm worried about is the bite marks on him. It's like white patches on his side, wont this get infected or something?
I've tried taking pics so that i can post it over here, buts it gets all bleary.
 

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I must say that I have to recommend the Rubber Lip Pleco. They are absolutely great! They get only 5 inches, and clean algae really really great. I just got one, whom I have named Lamar, and he is soooo great. Perfect for smaller tanks. He is about 2" now, can't wait til he gets bigger. If you get one you definatly won't be disapointed. Brianna
 

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You might try treating the water with something that enhances slime coating, like novaqua+ and adding vitamins, like vitachem if you can to help prevent infections.

Do you have a friend with a large tank or with a pond? Your pleco could live quite happily for many years in a nice sized amount of water like that.
 

sirdarksol

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FLBettaCouple said:
You might try treating the water with something that enhances slime coating, like novaqua+ and adding vitamins, like vitachem if you can to help prevent infections.

Do you have a friend with a large tank or with a pond? Your pleco could live quite happily for many years in a nice sized amount of water like that.
The pond would work, but under one of two conditions.
Either a) you live in a warm climate
of b) you bring the pleco in to winter.
 

COBettaCouple

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sirdarksol said:
FLBettaCouple said:
You might try treating the water with something that enhances slime coating, like novaqua+ and adding vitamins, like vitachem if you can to help prevent infections.

Do you have a friend with a large tank or with a pond? Your pleco could live quite happily for many years in a nice sized amount of water like that.
The pond would work, but under one of two conditions.
Either a) you live in a warm climate
of b) you bring the pleco in to winter.
true. I think of south africa as a warm climate, but is it always?
 
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