Possible Dwarf Gourami Disease?

fishbro

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!
 

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Initiate

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

fishbro

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
 

fishbro

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.
 

DoubleDutch

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.
 

fishbro

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.

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.
 

DoubleDutch

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.
Good luck.
 

fishbro

Good luck.

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.
 

DoubleDutch

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.
Agree. Not more you can do.
 

fishbro

Agree. Not more you can do.

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.
 

Iridium_2256

Yeah, DGD really does stink. You just have to know where you are getting your DGs from. They are such beautiful fish, and that's 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.
 

fishbro

Yeah, DGD really does stink. You just have to know where you are getting your DGs from. They are such beautiful fish, and that's 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.

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...
 

Iridium_2256

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.
 

fishbro

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.

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.
 

fishbro

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.
 

DoubleDutch

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.
sorry bro !
 

fishbro

sorry bro !
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.

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.
 

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DoubleDutch

aweful sight
 

Iridium_2256

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

DoubleDutch

Yeah, that's pretty terrible. Fortunately, I see no red lesions or bumps, so it may not be DGD. That's an incredibly nice looking DG btw, I hope he will pull through.
Pretty sure it won't (sorry)
 

fishbro

Yeah, that's pretty terrible. Fortunately, I see no red lesions or bumps, so it may not be DGD. That's an incredibly nice looking DG btw, I hope he will pull through.
Thanks, they really are lovely fish! I am still hopeful it is something curable with time, but just not sure. None of the 3 affected fish seem to have lesions, but they all have the same symptoms. Second dose of swim bladder meds tomorrow (going to do a very small water change beforehand to just keep the quality up), so I hope they survive the night at the very least.
 

fishbro

This morning there is not much to report. The 3 sick ones are still alive and are much the same as yesterday. At the very least they don't seem to be getting worse. The 3 healthy ones are not showing any signs of problems either.

Decided not to do a water change just yet as the parameters are still fine, I will do one on Friday before the 3rd dose of meds. Want to let it have some time to circulate in the tank. Added another dose in today, will monitor for changes.
 

123

I had same issue with honey gouramis, also swelling in the area and resting and unable to balance and visibly weak. I did not know much back then, and they died. But, I recently learned that Honeys cannot get the Dwarf gourami disease and since it is similar symptoms in my opinion it is parasites.
 

fishbro

I had same issue with honey gouramis, also swelling in the area and resting and unable to balance and visibly weak. I did not know much back then, and they died. But, I recently learned that Honeys cannot get the Dwarf gourami disease and since it is similar symptoms in my opinion it is parasites.
You may well be right there. I did treat with some parasite medication before I started the swim bladder treatment, but perhaps it wasn't enough. I will try another one after I finish this course, with any luck fighting bacterial and parasite causes will recover them. Do you have any recommendations for antI parasite meds?

No change today, the sick ones are still stuck on the bottom but are still alive. No worse than yesterday and all the healthy fish are looking fine still.
 

123

Ok,
You may well be right there. I did treat with some parasite medication before I started the swim bladder treatment, but perhaps it wasn't enough. I will try another one after I finish this course, with any luck fighting bacterial and parasite causes will recover them. Do you have any recommendations for antI parasite meds?

No change today, the sick ones are still stuck on the bottom but are still alive. No worse than yesterday and all the healthy fish are looking fine still.

No, I (un)fortunately don't have any experience yet with meds. But I really hope you can get a tip form someone and they will get better
 

fishbro

All still alive today, but no visible change to any of the fish (sick or healthy). It's a bit baffling... 3rd dose of meds tomorrow.
 

fishbro

Some possible good news this morning. One of the sick gouramis seems to be regaining his balance a bit, seems more upright and has been going for little swims around one end of the tank. He is far from better as when he swims he's still off balance, but it is hopefully a good sign. No change in the others yet.
 

fishbro

The one that was recovering seems to be doing great today, I would say he's 90% back to normal now, looks happy enough.

No news on the other two though, they are still the same. Last swim bladder med dose on Tuesday, then I will wait a few days, do a decent water change, clean up with carbon and switch to an antI parasite. I have assassin snails in there, so I will have to try and catch them if I can find them as most of these antI parasite meds seem dangerous for snails
 

123

The one that was recovering seems to be doing great today, I would say he's 90% back to normal now, looks happy enough.

No news on the other two though, they are still the same. Last swim bladder med dose on Tuesday, then I will wait a few days, do a decent water change, clean up with carbon and switch to an antI parasite. I have assassin snails in there, so I will have to try and catch them if I can find them as most of these antI parasite meds seem dangerous for snails

Can you say what meds are you using? It might be good to know in future
 

fishbro

Can you say what meds are you using? It might be good to know in future
It's Interpret swim bladder treatment - not sure if any other brands make something similar? I am going to try fluke-solve as the antI parasite, seems to be snail safe so worth a try. I also have some ntlabs antI fluke and wormer to use as a backup, though it's not snail safe.
 

fishbro

Thought I would post an update. The gourami who was recovering seems to be perfectly well now and is doing great. There is a slight improvement with one of the others in that he is swimming around more, eating and coming up for air, but is still very much unbalanced.

Yesterday I did a small water change and dosed with fluke-solve so I will wait a few days to see if anything comes of that. If not I will do another water change and try something else, though I am not sure yet. Unfortunately a lot of antI parasite meds are not snail safe and I have about 12 assassin snails in the tank, ideally I don't want to kill them so I'll have to try and find them all and take them out (along with some of the snails they are controlling) before dosing with anything
 

fishbro

Well thought I should do an update. Of the 3 that went down sick, one has made a full recovery (though it wasn't that bad to start with). The other two have made no progress at all, in fact I would say one of them has worsened a bit. I've isolated them in a breeder for now so I can keep a better eye on them and try to relieve some pressure on the swim bladder (still no change).

I've tried a variety of things, but there has been no change. None of the other fish are showing symptoms so at the very least it appears to be isolated to these two. At the moment I am just trying a general "disease solve", then I will try some medicated food that I am going to make. If no luck with those then I will consider putting them down as they aren't having much of a life like this.
 

Brannor

One of the defining symptoms of DGD is red lesions. If those start to show up, it's game over.
Like this???


HUT3bQL.jpg
 

Brannor

Definitely !
Nook! Don't say that.

He's still so active and eating well.
I'm going to keep treating him. If he does take a turn for the worse I'll ease him on his way rather than let him suffer.

-G
 

fishbro


That does look a bit suspect, sorry

My poorly ones aren't making any progress at all. Despite trying a range of meds and methods nothing has helped, in fact the past few days it looks a bit worse as they can't even swim very well now (just going round in tight circles etc) whereas they could swim ok before. Run out of options really, just cannot figure out what it is, even the guys at my lfs are confused. Perhaps I just got unlucky, or maybe they fought etc and got some internal damage. It's definitely not DGD, that is at least clear.

I'm giving them one more night to see if they improve, if not I will use aqua-sed to let them drift off peacefully. First time doing this after 14 years, but I can't let them suffer any more.
 

fishbro

No change today, even after doing a water change yesterday (parameters all fine). Decided to put them to sleep shortly as they aren't having much of a life like this, not good for a labyrinth fish to not be able to swim up and grab air.

I have ruled out swim bladder being caused by constipation as they have both pooped fine, albeit just a small amount as they aren't eating much. Not parasites either as it wasn't white. Tried just about every medication I could but not even a tiny sign of change. Sometimes you just have to know when to call it a day.
 

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