Possible Dwarf Gourami Disease?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by fishbro, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. fishbroNew MemberMember

    Hello guys, new to the forum.

    For the past two weeks or so I have noticed one of my blue dwarf gouramis seem to deteriorate. Another one seems to be following suit since about Wednesday.

    It started with the fish constantly resting with his nose down in the substrate and his tail up, seemingly off balance. This seems to have worsened and the past week or so he is always hiding in plants etc at awkward angles because he can't balance. One side of him, that is often facing down, is a bit roughed up presumably where he keeps resting on gravel etc.

    He doesn't seem to be eating or particularly active. Though he does bolt if I try and get near him with a net for example. What I have noticed is a bulge near the tail which you can see in the picture (the shiny part), this is the same with the other fish who is starting to spend his days nose down too.

    I have tried various methods for trying to relieve swim bladder problems, but no such luck. I am leaning towards a diagnosis of dwarf gourami disease which seems rife in this species from what I have read. These ones were purchased at the same time (4 blue ones, 2 of which are exhibiting these symptoms). If it is DG Disease I think the kindest thing to do would be to put him to sleep.

    Regarding water quality, no drastic changes have happened recently. Ammonia is 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates around 5ppm from what I can recall of yesterdays test (we get high nitrates in the tap water so to have around 5-10 is fairly normal, even at the lfs).

    I have many other fish in the tank, including more dwarf gouramis, and they all seem fine.

    I would be grateful for any opinions on this - thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. InitiateWell Known MemberMember

    I believe it is a swim bladder issue.
    Do they ever get constipated?
  3. fishbroNew MemberMember

    I'm not entirely sure. I haven't observed any poo from him in some time. Tried an epsom salt bath but no change. I'll try again along with trying a swim bladder medication which would be worth a try I guess
  4. fishbroNew MemberMember

    Went to the lfs yesterday and they said it appears unlikely to be DGD from what I described and the pics I showed them (although it can never be completely ruled out of course). Trying a swimbladder medication which his a 12 day course, then if no improvement going to try anti parasite as those seem to be the two possible reasons at the moment. Will be monitoring closely for signs of improvement.

    I haven't noticed their colour fading and they seem still quite perky when they do swim about, so I am hoping they will improve in time. Though I have noticed a 3rd one going down with the same symptoms , appears to be stuck to the gravel today. The fact 3 have gone down with the same symptoms in a short space of time is making me start to think it's not DGD, seems like too much of a coincidence.
  5. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Most LFS's don't even know DGD or at least don't want to know it cause the trade benefits of sick / dead fish (treatment and replacement).

    LFS's shouldn't sell DG's anymore !!! An importban could save this beautiful species.

    Point is DGD isn't in fact one disease.
    The virus opens the immunesystem giving other infections the chance to kill the fish.
  6. fishbroNew MemberMember

    I agree to an extent, but I have been going to this LFS for 15 years now and the guy who runs it is trustworthy, we discussed DGD at length. I'm not noticing any other symptoms so far and considering the first one started behaving like this over 2 weeks ago now I think it would have gotten worse, or died, if it was. Doing what I can for now by trying to treat the symptoms and keeping the water in check. I'm also keeping a careful watch for any of them doing poop to see if it's parasites, so far I haven't seen any but they aren't wasting away so must be eating some scraps after the other fish have had theirs.

    All of the gouramis were bought at the same time, so if it is indeed DGD (or something similarity fatal) they will likely be all infected which sucks :( Having learned about this I think I will look into honey gouramis in the future instead as they are immune to DGD.
  7. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Good luck.
  8. fishbroNew MemberMember

    Thanks. Not much that can be done at the moment, just the long wait while monitoring. It probably wasn't helped by the heater in my filter failing a week ago causing the temp to drop rapidly overnight - it's since this that 2 out of 3 of them have shown symptoms... might be coincidence or worsen the problem quickly.
  9. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Agree. Not more you can do.
  10. fishbroNew MemberMember

    The worst part about fish keeping! This was my first time with dwarf gouramis, I don't think I would get them again even though they are really lovely looking fish. Just the fear of DGD is enough to put me off. Honey gouramis would likely be something that I would consider instead next time.
  11. Iridium_2256Valued MemberMember

    Yeah, DGD really does stink. You just have to know where you are getting your DGs from. They are such beautiful fish, and thats why people take advantage of them, because they know eveyone wants them and you can make a quick buck by setting up a breeder with terrible genetics. To everyone reading this, do your research, ask you last where they stock from, and don't be stupid with your purchases so you don't have to deal with the terrible things they do to dwarf gouramis.
  12. fishbroNew MemberMember

    Agreed. It's a shame us humans have screwed up yet another animal!

    Was just going to post a quick update. The first of the sickly gouramis (who started being sick over 2 weeks ago) ventured out from the plants just now to say hi and I noticed he was pooping. It looked a light brown though a little on the thin side. Even so, this is the first time I've seen him pooping for some time so maybe this is a sign something is starting to work and the fact it wasn't white indicates it wasn't a parasite problem. Will continue to dose the swim bladder meds for now and see how it goes.

    Does anyone know how long DGD usually takes to set in and kill the fish in the end? From what I heard it is just a few days, so that is why I am unsure this is DGD...
  13. Iridium_2256Valued MemberMember

    One of the defining symptoms of DGD is red lesions. If those start to show up, it's game over. DGD is a slow death, it can take months to finally kill a fish. Hopefully it's just a swim bladder issue. Cooked peas also help with constipation and swim bladder issues.
  14. fishbroNew MemberMember

    Oh right, I was under the impression it was a reasonably quick thing. Not sign of any lesions or anything really, just the sort of bump near the tail (presumably swollen swim bladder?). Keeping my fingers crossed anyway, if I do see the lesions I will euthanise them with clove oil to prevent the suffering.
  15. fishbroNew MemberMember

    No change this morning, all 3 are still alive. One of them is completely on it's side on the bottom which doesn't look good. Tomorrow is the second dose of swim bladder meds, so today is a case of waiting it out. No sign of the problem spreading to any other fish so far.
  16. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    sorry bro !
  17. fishbroNew MemberMember

    No worries Dutch :) I often expect the worst to happen when I see a fish get sick, as in my experience it seems like luck for recovery even with meds. It's the first time in years I've had a problem so bad it's needed meds so it's probably just bad luck, the same as my heated filter failing the other day.
  18. fishbroNew MemberMember

    Thought I would upload some photos to better describe the issue in case anyone else has the same problem. No visible sores or anything that I can see, just sort of stuck with his head in the gravel. Another one has the same problem whilst the 3rd is laying flat on the gravel.

    Managed to catch this one (he did try and get away from the net so seems a bit active at least) and bring him up to the surface for some air as he seems completely stuck on the bottom otherwise.

    Attached Files:

  19. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    aweful sight
  20. Iridium_2256Valued MemberMember

    Yeah, thats pretty terrible. Fortunately, I see no red lesions or bumps, so it may not be DGD. Thats an incredibly nice looking DG btw, i hope he will pull through.