Help! Fat Dwarf Gourami And Anorexic Dwarf But Doesn't Meet Other Disease Symptoms



I have been reading this forum for 6-7 months while creating my 75 gallon tank and while the forum has been extremely helpful in some cases, it has been extremely confusing in others.

I have 5 dwarf gouramis in the 75 gallon tank, an orange/sunset (the issue fish), a pearl, a honey, a blue and a opaline. (I found out that the blue and opaline are NOT dwarfs, as the LFS guy said, so they will be getting their own tank soon...too aggressive in this tank).

I also have what I sadly call my terminal hospital tank that has two neon dwarf gouramis and a powder blue...well, HAD a powder blue. Those three gouramis I am POSITIVE must have had dwarf gourami iridovirus or internal parasites (or a wasting disease?)

At any rate, I have have two issues; we can start with the "terminal" tank.
When I first started purchasing dwarf gouramis, I seemed to be losing 1 every week or two and didn't understand why. I did a ton of research and found the common illnesses and that apparently they are not EASY keepers due to this. I was actually given a very nice compliment by a professional breeder/seller when I sent him pictures of the ones in my 75 gallon tank saying that they looked great and I was doing an amazing job with THOSE gouramis.

However the terminal I started buying the various colors of dwarf gouramis, it seemed like I was buying a hospital tank every two weeks to put one in because it because anorexic for a lack of a better term even though it was still eating and pooping and active. I read and read and read online and my fear was the disease spreading to my (seemingly) healthy dwarfs, so I initially started them each in individual hospital tanks, then I ended up with so many hospital tanks that I bought a large tank to put them in. (I literally had 5-6 QT tanks spread everywhere in my kitchen).

When they were in individual tanks, they eventually seemed to become the right "weight" and size and healthly and at first I would put them back in the big tank, but then the same thing would happen and I would take them out again. This happened enough times that I simply decided to make a permanent large tank not only to make sure they were eating but to protect my other fish.

So out of the two neons and the powder blue, the powder blue and 1 neon/striped got to a nice size again and appeared healthly (but I decided no more putting them back in the big tank), but the other striped neon dwarf still looked anorexic and you could literally see bones.

There are not ick indicators, no external parasite or fungal indications, poop always seems when I Google online, anything that mentions skinny gouramis doesn't perfectly fit their symptoms.

I just bought Prazipro and want to treat the terminal tank with that, though I am terrified of killing fish (as I have done in some cased of medicated...the fish would suddenly flip out going crazy then die).

I have also read about treating certain things with aquarium or epson salt, But again, scared this may kill them.

My crazy healthy looking powder blue in the terminal tank randomly died the other day which devastated me because I though the strongest would survive... and yet my weakest, skinniest fish (I've name little nemo) is somehow still alive.

My SECOND issue is the EXACT opposite.

In my 75 gallon tank my two dwarf neon/striped gouramis seem a nice weight, not FAT, and not anorexic. My dwarf orange/honey gourami looks like he swallowed a golf ball for at least two months, and then the full size opaline and blue (the gourami with the spot(s) both are roundish, but that may be just because they are full 6" size gouramis and that's how they are supposed to be? They look NOTHING like the orange dwarf.

Again, no other fish seem sick, water parameters are perfect (I test 2-3 times a week because I'm neurotic, haha), I don't see ANY external lesions, no works coming from anywhere, normal poop, no lesions, he/she eats... and has been an active swimmer until this he/she seems to lay on the bottom of the tank either balancing on his two fins to stay upright, or leans against decoration.

I'm preparing myself for him/her to die but even if he/she does die, I NEED to figure out what this is so I can prevent it.

So I am asking for help with two things:

1) The amazingly fat gourami (smooth round on both sides, no poked out scales, normal poop, eats)
2) The amazingly anorexic dwarf gourami in the terminal death tank that I have ZERO clue how he/she is still alive. Eats, swims some but not crazy active, no lesions, no visible worms, normal poop.

I'm going to try to add pictures of them...

The fact that the "gourami expert" who saw the gouramis in the large tank commended me on how well they looked and how difficult they are made me feel good, but the two left in the terminally ill tank (and now dead big blue from that tank) make me feel bad.

My assumption is the two in the terminally ill tank can never go back in the big tank and that BIG orange is going to the big tank in the sky soon...

Mostly I want to figure out WHY he got so fat, but with none of the other common symptoms I've read about.

I have literally stayed up unt 4-5am reading and researching for over 80 hours since I starting the fish hobby 5 months ago and I CANNOT figure out what is going on with little nemo nor big orange. But mostly I do NOT want to kill a very pricey set up of fish. If I need to pull ALL the gourami, dwarf and regular out of that tank and make a gourami tank, so be it, although I really want the 75 gallon tank to be my "wow, centerpiece, colorful, not usual LFS" tank. But I would rather fish not die than have an eye catching tank.

Any recommendations about using Prazipro, metaflex, epson salt, aquarium salt, or metaflex either? And treating the entire 75 gallon tank for safety's sake or not? I have 8 corydoras, so I would need to pull them out, as I have seen how sensitive they are to certain meds.

PLEASE HELP! I know this is a lot to ask for a first time poster, but I have read forums on this website for months and NOTHING seems to fit my situation perfectly.

Thanks you so much!!


Looks like it could be protozoanparasites or anaerobic bacterial diseases. Stringie poo can come from overfeeding and white or clear string can be from intestinal infections. I would reduce the temperature, reduce feeding and try medications like metroplex and kanaplex. Increase temperature on parasites like ick but reduce temperature on bacterial infections. Overfeeding can lead to constipation and infection so monitor feeding amount. They shouldnt have a belly swell at all when healthy. Bloat and wasting are like two sides of the same diseased coin. Most "parasite" treatments will do some worms and flukes but not the gram negative and protozoa type. Check out General Cure from apI to hit parasites and bacterial. Metroplex and kanaplex are from seachem and aimed at the non-wormie infections from protozoa and bacteria.


Check and double check. Love amazon. Just bought metroplex, kanaplex (focus came with the set) and general cure by API.

I read what those were for, and I’m back to my original issue... the fatty fat fat orange fish doesn’t have the symptoms of treated by Kanaplex (dropsy, popeye, fin/tail rot, septicemica), nor metroplex (Cryptocaryon, Hexamita, Ichthyophthirius).

I just received Prazipro as well. Would that help at all??

And then I have Melafix and Pimafix too, but just from reading on them, they don’t seem like the right medication too.

I hate tooting my own horn, but the fish guy tooted it for me first, in being a rank beginner and jumping right into a large 75 gallon tank to manage water changes, water chemical balances, nitrogen cycle, and all the d@mn nights i’ve stayed up until 2-4am reading and researching OR in emergency situations, literally staying up until 3am several nights in a emote doing massive water changes with 2-3 gallon bucket per trip... I feel like for just starting this 5 months or so ago, I’ve learned A LOT, and feel like I should know how to figure this out, whether I need to isolate any fish (I did QT big orange just in case but if it’s parasites I’m WAY TOO LATE on that) and how th heck o save the fish. I’m practicallyvout if things to read on google not just about diseases but general care, needs, compatibility, etc.

It’s almost not fair (though that’s a childish thing to say). I’ve worked for referral specialist animal hospitals (oncology, cardiology, surgical specialists, you name it), I’ve had more animals that I can count my whole life, including a buffalo when I was little, currently have a Dacshund that should have died 3 times by now due to unknown diseases that I finally figured out and suggested to one of the 9 vets I saw in a year... I just don’t get why I have had fish completely waste away or look like a balloon animal he’s so fat (just dwarf gouramis) but they just don’t have all the right symptoms.

Like I said, sadly I think big orange is going to die from whatever this is, but I need to know so I can safeguard my 75 gallon tank. And I would like to know what the terminally ill tank with my poor little Nemo has that makes him anorexic (but god is he a fighter... at least 3 months like that).

I know meds are looked down on and WC are what most recommend all the time. Should I consider doing ANYTHING with my:

Aquarium Salt
Epsom Salt
Fish flakes with garlic

I tried looking for that super hard to find med for the parasite that starts with a C... like Callicous or something, but couldn’t even find that.

I just know too skinny/bony, sunken body is NOT OK, and so fat you can barely swim is not ok, and if any of this can transfer to my other fish, I need to know ASAP so I know if I need to treat the tank.

One last thing that may or may not be related but I think not. I have NEVER had a single Bolivian Ram sickly or die and today he started doing acrobatics, flipping upside down but mostly swimming in a rotational pattern head up, tail down, like a tornado. Never seen that before. I’ve seen swim bladder issues... this looked nothing like that. Started this morning, died around 6pm. Now I am paranoid my tank of expensive fish is going to get wiped out by something. I have the master water kit and ammonia is zero, nitrite is zero and there is some nitrite but I just ordered and received today something to put in my filter media for that. There’s a picture of my water test from yesterday.

But with these random things happening, water tests are doing me no good. I need like a fish disease test. Do a dipstick and it says “this disease/parasite is in your tank”.

Anyway, thank you for your suggestions. I should have those mess in two days.

If anyone can let me know if any of the meds I DO have would be good to use, please let me know.

Also, I worked REALLY hard and super late nights to get my ph, nitrate and nitrite back down (though still some nitrate)... before the nitrite and nitrate was actually off the master kit and dipstick color charts that I have and I let the fish store test it and they had never seen it. So now that it’s much better, I’m scared to do any large water changes if that is needed to treat any of this.

Any other thoughts and suggestions would be super appreciated!!

You can see from water tests, my fish should have ALL died from the last week of October through a couple weeks of November. I had this tank since June and my nitrogen cycle went through the process and everything came out perfectly until the end of October during one of my 2-3 days a week tests I was shocked to see the results. Somehow almost everyone lives and the water (the 4 picture collage dated yesterday is almost good again finally).

Sigh, sorry for being all over the place... I just want to ensure fish are safe, healthy, if Ineed to QT anything from the 75 gallon tankor treat the entire tank or the “terminally ill tank” any differently or different meds?


The dates for all those horrible water test results are at the top of each picture.


The dates for all those horrible water test results are at the top of each picture.
Oh gosh, Yea. Look at that rainbow. Glad that's past.

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