Honey Gouramis suddenly dying



What is the water volume of the tank? 120 liters/32 gallons
How long has the tank been running? 14 months
Does it have a filter? Yes, an Oase Biomaster 600
Does it have a heater? Yes, the one integrated into the filter
What is the water temperature? 23C
What is the entire stocking of this tank?
- 6 Honey Gouramis, now 3
- 5 Amano shrimp
- 20 Ruby tetras
- 10 Salt and pepper corydoras (habrosus)
- 1 Bristlenose pleco

How often do you change the water? Once a week
How much of the water do you change? 20% plus filling up evaporation
What do you use to treat your water? Prime, humic acids, RO filter
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Just the water, have a carpet plant

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? sera liquid test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0.1 (test kit shows this even on RO water)
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 6.8

How often do you feed your fish? Once every two or three days
How much do you feed your fish? Very little. Nothing ever really sinks to the substrate and if it does, the corydoras immediately eat it
What brand of food do you feed your fish? sera
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? Not in the past few months

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 13 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 3 weeks ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Death
Have you started any treatment for the illness? More frequent water changes
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? It does not move anymore because it is dead

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
So I have had this tank for a little over a year. Never had problems with anything. Water parameters are good, it's heavily planted so I never had any reading of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. I fertilize with Aqua Rebell Makro Basic, around 5ml per day. Both Tetra test strips and my liquid kit show no nitrite or nitrate at all.
3 weeks ago, I found one of my honey gouramis dead. One night before I saw it had some trouble staying upright and was resting on the carpet plant, but decided to wait to see if it would recover. A few days later, another one disappeared. Was eating perfectly fine and watching me the night before, then it was gone. Body probably disappeared somewhere between my cryptocorynes. Haven't seen it in about 2 weeks so I guess it's dead.
So I thought these were coincidences because my other 4 gouramis and all my other fish are doing fine. Water parameters are fine. Everyone was eating.
Today during my lunch break I was feeding and all four gouramis were eating. All good. Right now I found one of the males dead. No external injuries, no sign of ammonia burn or anything else - body looks perfect. Tested all the water again, all good and the other three gouramis are once again curious and looking at me.

Now, with three fish of the same species dying within 3 weeks, the probability of coincidence seems pretty low. I guess it's still there, I bought all of them at the same store on the same day. I'd still like some pointers at what else I could look at, what other tests to do. I don't have any idea about virus or bacterial infections; could there be one that only affects one species?

Thanks for reading and for providing help, hope you all have a nice weekend.


Did you paint or use perfume or so ?


Fyi... I can't seem to keep them alive in my tank either.
I hear they are hardy but not for me.
I just mark it up on a small list of fish that just won't make it long. Switch gears to a sp. That will be a good match.
  • Thread Starter


Had another one die today. Had my water tested at the store as well in case my test kit didn't work properly, but ammonia is definitely zero.
Really don't know what's going on, all other species are still doing perfect, just the honey gouramis are struggling.
Oh well, let's see how the last two survive.
  • Thread Starter



Here is a video of her swimming yesterday before she died. Does that help anyone with a diagnosis?


cschmatzler said:

Here is a video of her swimming yesterday before she died. Does that help anyone with a diagnosis?
That looks like what all my fish do right before they die, so I don’t think it’s disease-specific. I had honey gouramis and didn’t find any diseases that would affect ONLY them like this. I’m willing to bet they were a bad batch since they’re all from the same place and the same time. Organ failure, maybe? It definitely sounds genetic, which is good for you because you have them with other fish.

I wouldn’t just give up on the honey gourami spp. though, They were by far my favorite fish to keep so far with their unique personalities and how they interact with each other. Find a different seller and try again once all of these have passed imo.
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