How can I get my thick lipped gourami to eat?

Discussion in 'Gouramis' started by trainer25, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. trainer25New MemberMember

    I'm a longtime reader of fishlore and just registered to ask this question. I recently bought a couple of sunset thick lipped gouramis. I put them in separate tanks. One is eating fine and adjusted, but the other has yet to eat (it's been 3 days). I'm worried about it and it's the more brilliantly colored one (bright gold like a copper betta). It's in a moderately planted (plenty of floating plants and tons of polysperma) 46 gallon bowfront tank with 3 adult balloon mollies, a ton of molly fry, 8 cories and a bristlenose and clown pleco.
    The mollies are not agressive to it, but as you probably know, they are pigs. I've tried floating or dropping food - flakes, daphnia, bloodworms - right next to it and he looks like he wants to eat (sort of mouths like he's going for it) but then swims away. He hides half the time but does swim around and his colors are brilliant, no visible signs of disease. WAter parameters are what you would expect O ammonia 0 nitrites 20-30 nitrates depending on weekly water change, temperature 80, no salt, ph 7.2 way too low for the mollies I know. I am obsessed with this fish so I've been watching it and trying to coax it to eat but nothing.
    I feed the plecos and cories sinking wafers and I even turn the light on occasionally to check if he's eating any of that but I'm pretty sure he's not.
    Does anyone have any hints on how I can get him to eat. I know 3 days isn't worrisome but I have an ominous feeling. He was in a tank with a ton of blue gouramis, gold gouramis, dwarf gouramis (really overstocked) so he's probably traumatized, but he's 4" long, mature male and the biggest thing in my tank by far so I'm hoping he bounces back and eats.
  2. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi welcome to FishLore!!

    Could be he is picking at the food at night when you don't see him.

    Try soaking the food in garlic juice (no additives) or garlic guard.
    Fish usually go crazy for the smell.

    Good luck!
  3. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning and Welcome to Fish Lore!

    I second what Lucy has posted above. I use Garlic Guard twice a week on my fishes treats. They love it:

    "Benefits of garlic:

    Purifies blood; detoxifies; lowers cholesterol levels; lowers blood pressure; blood thinner; prevents blood clots; boost immune system; prevents heart disease and strokes; destroys cancer cells; muscle relaxant; antibiotic; antifungal; suppresses growth of tumors
    Using a medium size bulb; peel cloves apart, snip off ends; microwave cloves for 5 to 10 seconds to pop hulls; remove hulls; cut the length of the cloves in thin slices; place in cup of hot (from tap) water; cover, and let sit at room temperature for 12 hrs; mash the cloves and strain for immediate use; refrigerate until needed. good for two to three weeks.
    The longer the cloves soak, the stronger the solution."

    The information above comes from the link below:


    In addition to Garlic Guard, I also use Vita Chem for additional vitamins:

    Best wishes for your fish and I hope you enjoy the forum!

  4. OP

    trainer25New MemberMember

    Ken and Lucy,
    Thanks - I'll get some garlic guard. Breeding mollies, that's something I've never needed. Today, he ate some daphia so I'm relieved. I think the mollies are the problem. Mine, like most mollies, act as though they've never eaten in their life and are much more aggressive eaters than the gourami. They gobble everything until they throw it up and there are a 30 or molly fry in there (too big for gourami to eat).
    On a somewhat related note, can anyone direct me to a good picture of a female sunset thick lipped gourami? I read "the females are almost as brilliantly colored as the males" but all the female pics I see look very different and I wonder if it's the sunset coloration or not. Thanks guys
  5. OP

    trainer25New MemberMember

    Update: while both thicklip gouramis (different tanks) were eating great for a month, now, both are on hunger strikes and I'm pretty sure something is wrong but I don't know what. The tank parameters are probably the best I've had with nitrates around 10 and 0 ammonia/nitrite of course. The other inhabitants of the tanks (mollies and corys and mollies and kuhlis) are healthy as can be - no other fish show signs of anything wrong. Nevertheless, I treated with paraguard for external parasites and parasite guard for internal. I suspected parasites because one gourami sort of acts crazy, thrashing. However, there is no noticeable change after full regimen of both medications. One thicklip (the one for whom I originally started the thread) hides all the time and is losing color. the other looks healthier but doesn't eat. I've tried frozen bloodworms/frozen beefheart - daphnia (which they used to love) soaking flakes and bloodworms in garlic guard - new life spectrum sinking wafers - they are both getting smaller. I don't want to keep treating the large tanks with healthy fish, but I'm pretty sure something is wrong. I just don't know what - not velvet or ich - I'm sure of that. I suspected internal tapeworm but I think that was me being paranoid - not change after the wormer. No poop coming from either gourami. Should I try a salt bath?

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