Red gourami not interested in food

twinklestar

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Hey, i'm new to the boards and i had a question. ???  i set up my 20 gal. fresh water tank two weeks ago and just put some fish in it 3 days ago. a puffer, two angels, and a red gourami, everyone is doing fine except that i havn't seen the gourami eat anything since i got him. I feed them twice a day  frozen blood worms, freeze dried shrimp, and sometimes flakes, or i'll throw an orange slice in there. (not all at once of course) I'm wondeing if someone might give me some advice as to why i havn't seen him eat. The other fish don't bully him, and they don't eat all the food before he can get to it. He just doesn't seem to have any interest. Please Help...
 
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twinklestar

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Gourami not interested in food

I just set up my first real 20 gal. tank 2 weeks ago, added some fish 3 days ago. A puffer, 2 smaller angels, and a red gourami All of them are getting along well, eating and swimming happily. Except for the gourami, he looks and acts normal (from my ametuer point of view) but he doesn't seem interested in any of the food. I feed them all once in the morning and once when i get home from work. I feed them frozen blood worms, freeze dried shrimp, and sometimes some flakes, and maybe throw an orange slice in there (not all at once of course) But i havn't seen him eat once yet, i'm afraid that he will starve, please help!
 
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twinklestar

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Re: Gourami not interested in food

Well, to be honest i'm kind of learning as i go along, and i don't know what the levels should be for 5 fish in a 20 gal.
 

Isabella

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Re: Gourami not interested in food

I don't know how large your puffer is, but if it's not very large, your tank is not overstocked AS OF NOW (angels will get large, and I'd say they're too large for a 20 gallon tank when adult).

Now, if you bought the tank 2 weeks ago, and added all of the above fish to your tank at once, 3 days ago, that gave your tank some time to cycle. But most of the tanks won't cycle within 2 weeks. My guess is that your tank is still cycling and that's why your gourami is behaving the way it is. Besides, EVEN IF your tank was cycled when you added your fish to it, adding so many fish at once may cause the tank to mini-cycle or simply raise ammonia and/or nitrite again.

What you should do now is learn about the cycle. Here is an article about it: https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm, then read as many articles as possible here: https://www.fishlore.com/Beginners.htm . Once you understand what cycle is, you'll know why your fish may be sick (not eating may be an onset of a disease).

Every new tank goes through a cycle where 3 major compounds: ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are present in the following succession: ammonia ---> nitrite  ---> nitrate. It takes about a month before ammonia turns into nitrite, and then nitrite turns into nitrate. Ammonia and nitrite are very TOXIC compounds that may kill your fish (and certainly can make them very sick). This is why it's best to first cycle your tank, and then add the fish. Plus: when you add the fish, you should be adding them 1 - 2 at a time because if you add many fish at once, you're risking ammonia and/or nitrite spikes.

Your tank is probably still cycling, so don't be surprised if more of your fish get sick or even die (I am not writing this to scare you - that's just how toxic ammonia and nitrite are). Once ammonia and nitrite = 0, your tank is safe to start adding fish (1-2 at a time, as I have said). So what you need to do now is to get tests for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate and to monitor your water everyday in order to know the concentration of these compounds in your water. If you have even small amounts of ammonia and/or nitrite, you need to perform large and frequent water changes to be removing these compounds from the water, so that the fish don't get sick and die. You change the water until ammonia and nitrite = 0, which means until the tank is cycled. Once it's cycled, you perform usually weekly 15-30% water changes to be removing nitrate (that will be accumulating in your water all the time). Nitrate is not as toxic as ammonia and nitrite, but it may be dangerous when in high concentrations - hence the weekly 15-30% water changes.

Ask if you have any questions or need any help. And do read about the cycle. Get the test kit as soon as possible. It can be expensive at a local fish store, but you can get it very cheap online. Big Al's has a complete test kit for only $13: . At a local fish store it's probably around $40-60, so it's to your advantage if you buy it online.

P.S. As you might have guessed by now, the levels for ammonia and nitrite should be 0 in order to be safe for fish. And nitrate should be as low as possible (it's not as toxic as the other two, but can be if in large concentration).
 

Gunnie

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Re: Gourami not interested in food

I would also like to add that generally, puffers should be in a species only tank. They will eat the other fish - 1 chunk at a time. That could possibly be another reason your gourami is not going near the food. Puffers are also brackish water fish, and although he looks good in your tank now, he really won't thrive and will probably not live as long as if he was in a tank with salt. There are always exceptions to the rule, but you are taking a risk based on most hobbyist's experiences I've read about puffers.

You could also try dropping an algae wafer in the tank where your gourami usually goes and he can pick at it when he wants to.
 

Butterfly

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Twinklestar I merged your topic from the other forum subject. Posting your questions in one place will allow us to keep all the suggestions made in one place. Hope you didn't mind.
Carol
 
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