Please Help! My Gouramis Are Sick!

hom3yboy

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i just got a new heater for my 40 gallon tank. i am dealing with some issues with ick and am trying to get rid of it. i have six gouramis in my tank. i believe they are all females but i am not sure.(1 all white moon gourami, 2 blue gouramis, two gold gouramis, and 1 dwarf gourami) i also have one african cyclid (Nimbochromis Livingstonii). i want to know what is the best temperature to set my heater. i am slowly raising the temperature now to 86 degrees. which i have read is the best temperature. is this good enough?
also my moon gourami has started having fin rot. i have started doing weekly water changes of about 30 percent. i also bought some medicine to help heal his fin and used it once so far. i had my water checked today and the pH was just a tad high. i bought some ph fixer and have used that today. from what i have been told that fixed my ph perfectly.
lastly one of my gold gouramis has a crimpled up fin. i have no idea what is happening to him. please and thank you to anyone who can help.
 

mrober20

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hi,

how long have you had this tank set up?
Is it fully cycled?
What are your Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels?

I would not worry so much about your PH. Your African cychlid likes a high pH and gourami can handle a pH as high a 8. Most fish can get used to and be quite happy in a wide range of pH values as long as the pH is stable. You can create more problems by attempting to obtain an ideal pH than just letting the fish get used to the pH you have. This is because unless you have a good understanding of pH, gH, and kH you can cause the pH to fluctuate wildly.

The first step to treating sick fish is to ensure excellent water quality. I do a 30% water change weekly as routine maintenance. If something is wrong with the tank I will tend to do more frequent changes than that.

I hope your fish make a speedy recovery
 
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hom3yboy

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i have had my tank set up now for about 5 months. but about 2 weeks ago did a complete water change because i changed the set up of my tank. i added sand from the beach instead of the gravel i already had. i had my water checked today and the man at the petstore told me my nitrates, nitrite, and amonia levers were perfect. just a high ph level of about 8 something. i put in the medicine today which said it fixed the ph to a perfect 7. the name of the medicine is nuetral ph. which if i am correct is the same brand as prime. but i do not know really much about ph nitrites and all that.
but i did do a 30 percent water change yesterday for the fin rot. and today put in som API MELAFIX. which was recommended to me by the pet store to get rid of fin rot and heal his fin. should i not have added the ph fixer and medicine? what do i do now?
 

Grumpyguppy

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I had the same problem with my 55 gallon community tank. I just got some
antifungus medicine and they were fine.
 

kinezumi89

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Welcome to FishLore!

A few things..

1. No more of that bad pH-changing stuff! There are very few fish that have strict pH requirements. You might not be able to breed any fish, but if acclimated slowly enough, pretty much any fish will be happy in any pH. It's much more stressful on them if the pH is constantly changing - pH is 8, add some pH decreaser, pH is 7, do a water change, pH is 8, add some pH decreaser, woops added too much and the pH is 6.5, etc. You see where I'm going My pH varies, 7.8-8.2 depending on the season and my fishies are fine.

2. I doubt that you have all females. Most female gouramis are a dull silvery color, or are paler at least than their male counterparts. And that's a LOT of gouramis for 40 gallons - blue gouramis get to be pretty big and need at least 30 gallons, but that's just for one! My guess would be that you do have at least a couple males, but they're getting along because they're stressed from being in such close quarters. Similar to how they keep a bunch of males together at the pet store - they aren't in a constant brawl because they're too stressed to show their "true colors," both literally and figuratively

3. As for fin rot, medication is rarely necessary, just do frequent water changes to keep the water pristine.

4. Now for the big one.. I see from your profile that you don't know about the nitrogen cycle. I urge you to click on the underlined text in the previous sentence and read up on it. Success is impossible without a firm grasp of its concepts!

Here it is, in a nutshell: your fish poop, and the waste falls to the bottom of the tank. It starts to decay, producing ammonia - the stuff that makes windex and cat urine smell bad - which is bad news for your fish, because it is toxic to them. Fortunately, beneficial bacteria live in the filter media (the fabricy stuff in the filter housing) and consume the ammonia. Unfortunately, they in turn produce nitrite, which is also toxic to fish. A second type of bacteria consumes nitrite and produces nitrate.

You said the fish store employee said your numbers were "perfect," unfortunately fish store employees often have no clue what they're talking about and many think that "low" is acceptable, which is entirely false if you're talking about ammonia and nitrite. A truly cycled tank will have 0ppm ammonia and nitrite, and measurable nitrate. Nitrate is only toxic to fish in high quantities, so you do weekly water changes to keep the concentration low.

Now, this is where having so many gouramis leads to trouble. In addition to the fact that males shouldn't be in the same tank due to aggression issues, you have lots of fish producing lots of poop, and you might not have enough room for enough bacteria to consume all the ammonia and nitrite. If there is ammonia or nitrite present (again, the employee may be told to say that low numbers are good, when in reality only 0ppm is safe), the fish are even more stressed due to the poor water quality. This is likely why one of them has fin rot.

My suggestions:

1. Purchase your own test kit! Strips are useless, don't waste your hard-earned money on them. Most members use the API freshwater master test kit. It costs about $30 at Petsmart/Petco or $20 on Amazon. Definitely more expensive than the strips, but they last forever so they're more economical in the long run. And more important, they're much more trustworthy! Then you can see what your water parameters REALLY are.

2. Optimally, I would fix the stocking situation. If it's within your financial and spacial means, you could separate them. But really, you should only have one per tank, and I doubt you want to set up five more tanks So I would suggest you rehome some of them. You will have recurrent health issues if you do not address this problem, unfortunately.

3. If you really don't want to rehome any, or get more tanks (which remember is my first choice), then you could at least consider buying another filter. This would afford you more room for bacteria, so you could process more of the fish's waste and have an easier time keeping the water parameters in check. It wouldn't fix the aggression aspect of the stocking problem, but at least you'd be able to keep the water clean.


As for the temperature, 78-80 is fine.


Sorry for the long post! Hope it makes sense
 
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hom3yboy

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Thank you so much. That really helped. And as a matter a fact i have an extra tank. I use it as a quarantine for new fish from the pet store. In case of diseases and such. Its only a 10gallon tank. I do already have two crawfish in there which are now mating. A couple feeder guppies and some ghost shrimp. I was trying to make them breed as well. And oh yea i also have a betta in there. But he is starting to grow on my nerves for various purposes and i would not mind giving him away. Do you think i should put a couple of my gouramis in there? Like one of my gold gouramis at the very least? They are after all the only fish in my big tank which like to fight. And it might be good to quarantine the gold gourami with the crumpling fin. So it does not spread. What do you think? Do you have any better suggestions. I am open to anything to make my fish happy and healthy.
 

Gordinian

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Welcome to fishlore!

Are you sure it's fin rot? Seeing that there's a cichlid in there, he could very well be nipping fins. Either way, I'd rehome him if you can, as they need at least 55 gallons, and aren't compatible with gouramis.

Secondly, melafix is bad for gouramis, or any labyrinth fish, as it can cause them troubles breathing. You should do a large water change to get it all out. Then continue medium-large water changes at least every other day to battle the fin rot (if that's what it is), instead of medication.
 
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hom3yboy

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No i know its not the cichlid. I just put him in there today. And my gourami has had the fin the way it is for a couple of days. Ive been seeing the fin rot away more and more. So i am certain it is fin rot. But what can i do for my golden gouramis crumpling fin?
 

kinezumi89

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Glad it helped Unfortunately, I'd say definitely no to adding gouramis to that tank, it's pretty well stocked as it is. Most people advise against keeping bettas in community tanks, so if he's not your favorite fish, that's another reason to consider rehoming him. Maybe find some neighbor kid who would love a new friend to take care of...as long as their parents were okay with it.

I'm pretty sure gold gouramis are just a color morph of blue gouramis, so they'd need at least 30 gallons each too. (They get to be 5 inches long, and I think they're one of the most aggressive gourami types. I'm sure another member, SK, will see your thread and will be along soon. He knows all about gouramis and will surely give you more advice about the different kinds.)

I don't know a lot about crayfish; if they're aggressive to other fish, try and nip their fins with their claws, if they're more aggressive when breeding, and so on. And I also don't know how big your fish are, if the gold gourami with the bad fins is a juvenile or full-grown adult. If he was very small, and crayfish don't bother other fish, you coulddd consider moving him to the 10, but it could only be temporary. I'd worry about him being aggressive to the guppies, now that he'd be the king of the new tank, size-wise. Additionally, if he has something contagious, he may pass it to the other fish. And if you do at some point decide to treat with medicine, you'd have to treat the big tank anyway since the other gouramis have been exposed to the illness, so then you'd just have to treat two tanks instead of one.

In conclusion (sorry that was kind of rambly ) I wouldn't put any gouramis in the 10 gallon. Unfortunately you're still left with a pretty sticky situation

Edit: Woah, I forgot about the cichlid. I'm no cichlid expert, as I know some varieties are peaceful while others are quite aggressive, but unfortunately that isn't helping matters at all That just makes the situation that much more urgent. I would start thinking hard about your options - rehoming fish versus getting more tanks. Even the "more tanks" option isn't that optimal, because none of them would be cycled, so you'd be fixing one problem, but causing another one. You'd probably want to use Tetra SafeStart on all the tanks, to cycle them as quickly as possible, but that would reallyyy add up; tanks, heaters, filters, lamps, TSS.
 
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hom3yboy

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Yes i do believe there a color morph. But of dwarf gouramis. They are exactly the same size as them and do not grow bigger. And now i have considered changing up the stock of my tank. What advice do u have on that. How many fish to keep in my 40gallon tank. Which kinds? A also i am considering changing the 10 gallon. I can get rid of everything in that tank. I have other places for the guppies and shrimp to live and will probably be giving my girlfriend my betta. And even some other fish. She is getting a tank herself. I dont know how big. So what is your reccondmendations on what i should do with the two tanks and where they should all go??
 

kinezumi89

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Hmm I may still disagree with you on that; they look just like opaline/three spot/blue gouramis, and are a very different shape than dwarf gouramis (like the one in my avatar)

Depends, do you want to keep one? Unfortunately until we know the genders, I'll have to assume they're all male (most pet stores don't really sell females since they aren't as colorful), meaning you'd only be able to keep one. Also, I don't know about that kind of cichlid, but it is not advised to keep gouramis and cichlids together, so I think you'd have to pick one out of the whole mix.

Which one you pick determines which fish you can have. Dwarf gouramis are relatively peaceful (some members have kept them with tiny defenseless fish, while others happened to get rather aggressive ones), but blue gouramis are some of the most aggressive. I don't know a lot about moonlight gouramis, but I think I remember they get pretty big (don't quote me on that).

So, first things first, who's your favorite?



As for the 10 gallon, there are tons of options. I have two bettas (divided) in mine, though I'm guessing you probably don't like that idea If the 10 was empty, you could move the dwarf gourami to the 10. I think it's a wee small personally, but it is the recommended minimum. If you did that, then you could pick your favorite for the 29, so in that way you could pick your two favorite (as long as the DG was one of the two )

If you did want to keep the DG in the 10, personally I would try and determine how aggressive he is. Hard to tell in his current situation; if he's one of the smaller ones, then he may be abnormally shy at this point. You could try moving the betta and crayfish out and leaving the guppies, then put the DG in with the guppies and see how he acts. If he behaves himself, then maybe he's a nice one and you could pick some other small fish to keep with him, or leave the guppies in. Once Igor (the DG in my avatar) is done quarantining, he's going in my 20 long with endlers and cories.
 
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hom3yboy

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In you opinion whats the bottom line max amount of fish i should have in my 40gallon tank. And this would probably help. My cichlid is a baby. About 1 inch. So at this point he is really kind of harmless to my bigger gouramis. But anyways for my 40 would the blue gourami an moon gourami(which you are correct gets a little bit bigger than the blue gourami) a gold hourami an the cichlid be ok together for a little bit? Or is that still to many fish? And then have a dwarf an gold gourami in the ten gallon. And maybe give my blue gourami away to someone?
 

kinezumi89

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Sighhhh that's a hard thing to say. I mean, if you remove some of the gouramis, such that they're slightly less stressed and the water quality may be a bit better, then they would possibly show their "true colors" more and act more naturally, IE attack each other. It could be like a Jenga tank where if you change one little thing, then your nice Jenga tower of gouramis comes toppling down

With that in mind, since the tank seems to be tentatively stable, at least temporarily, I think it should be an all or nothing thing. Either don't mess with it, or remove everyone at once.

The cichlid may be small now, but for all I know he may turn into a monster

If you want maximum NUMBER of fish, then you should do like Cichlidnut and have a huge endler tank. Endlers are tiny livebearers; they would reproduce and keep the tank stocked at full capacity. You could have a million in there.
 
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hom3yboy

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That would be pretty cool. I think i am going to leave things alone and keep a close eye on them an do everything i can to keep the healthy. Honestly though where i went wrong is that i have a passion for bigger fish. And wanted bigger fish in my tank. And also when doing my weekly water changes. Or when their sick changing more often. How much water change is too much water change?
 

kinezumi89

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I want to stress that when I say "either change it all or leave it," I don't mean that leaving it is a permanent option. You still MUST rehome or return them or buy a bunch of new tanks, which is probably not possible. I wouldn't be surprised if your tank was unfortunately a ticking time bomb, and in due time things started going seriously south

There is no such thing as changing too much water, as long as
A) the fish have room to swim
B) the parameters of the new water are similar to the old water; IE same temperature and pH

There isn't any beneficial bacteria in the water, so you don't have to worry about removing it.
 
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hom3yboy

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I know. Im not getting any more tanks at the moment. But my girlfriend is getting a new tank. Im crossing my fingers its a nice sized one. If she does i will have this whole thing figured out and situated. Also i will be able to visit my gouramis daily. For i have grown quite fond of them.
 

kinezumi89

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I can understand that Like I said, you could keep one in your 40, put the DG in the 10, and if your girlfriend's tank is big enough, give one to her. But to keep multiple males, I think you need at least a 55 or so, and even then you can only keep two together.

I don't know a lot about keeping multiple gouramis; I'll send soltarianknight a message so he swings by your thread, he'll be able to give you better answers.
 
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hom3yboy

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And how can i tell if they are males or females ? I have read it is something to do with fins?
 

kinezumi89

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I sent SK a message so hopefully he'll come by, maybe tomorrow. He'll be able to tell you better. I think it's partially the fins, and partially the color - females are often a drab, silvery color, hence why fish stores often don't sell them.
 

SugarJunkee

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Most gourami can be sexed by their dorsal/top fin. If its pointy at the end, its a male, but if its a bit rounded it would be female.

I was wondering if by 'gold' gourami being a dwarf, you might mean honey gourami? The gold is a three-spot gourami, similar to the blue, and would have a dark spot where his tail starts and possibly zebra-type stripes. The honey is a dwarf gourami and doesn't have either of those markings. Easiest thing is to google each type (or use Bing) and hit images to see them. That will help with a lot of your options since a honey dwarf is less aggressive and half the adult size of the gold.

I would advise against a three spot gourami (either blue or gold) in the 10 for anything but very temporary, since they do get at least 4 to 6 inches, and would be very cranky/unhealthy in a small house. I also thought they would be alright as a group but luckily had asked here in the forums before I brought the golds home. Our blue was even a bit territorial and bossy with the dwarf gourami after just 2 months... yeah, he hit puberty and was all about being top dog. So even if they're 'getting along' now, it could be that they're stressed like she said above, or that they're just not old enough to care and that will DEFINITELY change in the near future.

I've also started thinking of overstocking/'crowding' the fish tank in a new perspective. Imagine the fish as people in a small house. Sure, you could fit 4 adults and 6 kids in a 2 bedroom home, but they will SO not be happy!! Someone in the forums has a great quote, something along the lines of 'a betta living in a bowl is like a person living in a closet'. You technically could, but you wouldn't be happy and healthy that way.
 
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