Help Sudden Death with 2 Dwarf Gourami

ChrissyStaats

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So just this morning we lost a 2nd dwarf gourami. The first was within a week of getting them from my LFS so I assumed it came with some kind of illness. The others have seemed completely fine. Yesterday I noticed our all white one had some kind of red ulcer or lesion on its side. (Check one of my older posts for more info on my all white one). I was told in that older post that the all white female appeared to be inbred and not in good health but she ate well and acted totally normal. Well since yesterday she's kind of hiding. I am noticing that she's not coming out to eat either. This morning, to my surprise, about 15 minutes after my fiance was putting some of our plants back into the substrate bc either our mystery snails, clown pleco or the dwarf gouramis are messing with them and slightly uprooting them, one of my male dwarves started swimming erratically and within 10 minutes was dead. Mind you this is not the one with the ulcer thing. He was showing no signs of illness. It's a community tank with the dwarf gouramis (now only 2), 3 diamond tetras, 4 neon tetras, some guppies, multiple mystery snails and 1 clown pleco. I want to treat the tank for internal and external parasites. I think that's what I read it most likely is. Correct me if I'm wrong. The closest store to me is a Petsmart. I read API fin and something or other was a good one but I'm worried it will kill my snails and possibly Bozo, my clown pleco. I do not want to lose any more of my fish. I'm so confused what to do next. Please help. Any info would be appreciated. What meds would be safe? What should I do? TIA.
 

jinjerJOSH22

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Pictures will help.
DGs can be violent to each other which could be a factor. Likelyhood of them already having health issues before you brought them home is high.
Water parameters? best to rule this out first.
 
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ChrissyStaats

ChrissyStaats

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I need to check the parameters. I currently only have the paper strips. I check about once a week and last I did the only thing that was not perfect was the alkalinity. I'm at Petsmart right now. Anything that might help but won't be harmful either?
 

jinjerJOSH22

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ChrissyStaats said:
I need to check the parameters. I currently only have the paper strips. I check about once a week and last I did the only thing that was not perfect was the alkalinity. I'm at Petsmart right now. Anything that might help but won't be harmful either?
The only thing that I can suggest is water changes, they're usually the best medicine when you're not sure what is wrong. Maybe API general cure? but typically you don't want to medicate until you know what is wrong.
 
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ChrissyStaats

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Just got back from Petsmart and picked up melafix and the API freshwater Master test kit. Gotta figure out how to work it but I'm going to test my parameters tonight. I have a cycled 10 gallon with 2 baby diamond tetras in it. Found another this afternoon in our main tank about the same size so I'm going to remove the diamond babies, put them in the main tank and put the dwarf gouramis into the 10 and treat the tank. Does that sound like a good idea? The man at Petsmart who actually seemed quite knowledge said he thought it was the best way to go bc of us having all the snails and the pleco which would pretty much be impossible to catch and remove from the main tank to treat them there. It took us an hour to get the pleco out of an empty 10 gallon. I'm obviously not the best when it comes to catching individual fish in a tank but the 2 baby diamonds I think I can handle. I'm just praying that they find a good hiding spot until they get a tad bigger. I'd say they are just shy of an inch (including the tail) right now. I'm not worried they'll be eaten. Just maybe nibbled at enough that they'll get injured and as a result, die. The 10 was supposed to be set up as a quarantine tank until we spotted the babies so I'm just going to have to risk it so that I can hopefully save my dwarf gouramis and the rest of my fish in the process.
 

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jinjerJOSH22

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ChrissyStaats said:
Just got back from Petsmart and picked up melafix and the API freshwater Master test kit. Gotta figure out how to work it but I'm going to test my parameters tonight. I have a cycled 10 gallon with 2 baby diamond tetras in it. Found another this afternoon in our main tank about the same size so I'm going to remove the diamond babies, put them in the main tank and put the dwarf gouramis into the 10 and treat the tank. Does that sound like a good idea? The man at Petsmart who actually seemed quite knowledge said he thought it was the best way to go bc of us having all the snails and the pleco which would pretty much be impossible to catch and remove from the main tank to treat them there. It took us an hour to get the pleco out of an empty 10 gallon. I'm obviously not the best when it comes to catching individual fish in a tank but the 2 baby diamonds I think I can handle. I'm just praying that they find a good hiding spot until they get a tad bigger. I'd say they are just shy of an inch (including the tail) right now. I'm not worried they'll be eaten. Just maybe nibbled at enough that they'll get injured and as a result, die. The 10 was supposed to be set up as a quarantine tank until we spotted the babies so I'm just going to have to risk it so that I can hopefully save my dwarf gouramis and the rest of my fish in the process.
It really depends on if there's a male Dwarf Gourami, when I say they can be "violent" I really mean it. I had 2 males in a 33 and they took chunks out of each other. My recent experience with them was adding 3 females to my male in a 22,the short story was he killed all three by violently bashing them, lost an eye and died days later. Genuinely horrible experience.
They might be fine since I imagine they are young but be aware it could go bad.
I'm assuming you'll put them back when the treatment is done?
I do think it's the best idea considering the situation with the other fish, you'll want some structure in the tank so they can get away from each other if they need to.
 
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ChrissyStaats

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The one who started spazzing out and died minutes later was a male but we were watching the tank bc we were doing a bit of aquascaping and he wasn't attacked or anything and he didn't have any visible injury. I inspected him postmortem to see if I could get an idea of the cause of death but nothing was noticeable. The female with the sores could have been attacked I suppose but I don't really think so. I'm going to try to get a pic. She's somewhat out in the open right now.
 
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ChrissyStaats

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Terrible quality photo but the sore near her tail fin was the first I noticed. This evening is when the one near her eye became noticeable. In the process of acclimating the baby diamonds now for the main tank (there was actually 3 in the 10 gallon, they are my favorite fish I own) and getting ready to move the gouramis into quarantine. Going to remove the filter cartridge from the filter and start the medication. Fingers crossed that it will help and they will both survive. Also going to add some peat moss to the filters to help with the water harness naturally and slowly so it isn't a shock to their systems.
 

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I quarantined the 2 remaining dwarf gouramis. I removed the carbon filter cartridge and started medicating with API Melafix. Long story short, I found the female with the sores dead this morning. Last night I noticed the male messing with her so I added a plenty large enough terracotta pot for her to use as a hide to escape his "abuse". It was at that time I noticed that her larger wound in particular had what looked like bubbles or something growing over top of it. I didn't know if that was a sign of healing or further deterioration. She had yet to eat either. She never even made it to the terracotta pot though. As I was putting it in I noticed she was basically laying on the substrate and leaning against the side of the tank. I had a bad feeling then that I was going to lose her and this morning my intuition proved to ne true. She was still very bloated and like I said, hadn't eaten since I first noticed the ulcer thing several days ago. The boy has no visible signs of illness and is eating just fine. I'm going to keep him quarantined and medicated for the full 7 days just to be sure he doesn't have something that just isn't visible yet though. Thanks everyone. Here's some pics of the female after I removed her body from the tank and pictures of the last dwarf alive taken just a couple of hours ago. I think he looks okay but I'm still going to complete the medication treatment to be safe. Opinions on the last ones health, by appearance of course. TIA.
 

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Deku-Cory

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I'm very sad to say that it sounds very likely that you are dealing with Dwarf GouramI Disease/ Dwarf GouramI Iridovirus. I've done some reading, they are less active and lose their appetite, then they hide, then they develop sores and ulcers. They can also bloat or become skinny. Or it can show very few symptoms at all and hit suddenly. It's very contagious between Dwarf Gourami, highly fatal, and has no cure. Absolutely horrible disease. I sincerely hope your male makes it through, but if it is DGD then his prognosis isn't great.
 
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ChrissyStaats

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Well my last remaining dwarf gouramI is still alive and seems to be doing well. He's eating. Swimming around the 10 gallon quarantine tank. I medicated him with API Melafix 6 times over the course of a week. I haven't dosed the tank for the past couple of days and he looks good IMO. I want to return him to my main tank but I'm reluctant to bc I have at least 6 baby diamond tetras. They are all at least a half inch long from nose to tail fin but I worry that the gouramI will go after them and at least injure them enough that they'll die if he doesn't just eat them altogether. My diamond tetras are my favorite fish in my community tank and I'd be angry at myself if I returned him into the tank only to find that he snacked on my baby diamonds. Do you think if it was DGS he'd have died or at least started to show symptoms of it by now? He will go back into the main tank at some point but I just want to wait until the diamonds are a bit bigger. This makes 3 spawns that have successfully created babies. It may have been 2 spawns that when switching tanks I kind of interrupted and they finished in the larger tank they got moved to. I can't be sure but clearly I own two diamonds (I have 3 adults but one is a bit younger and is the only fry that survived the first spawn) that are going to continue to spawn and produce fry so at some point I'm going to have to let nature take it's course and reintroduce the dwarf gouramI into the main tank despite my perceived risks. I'm going to try and get some pics of the gouramI right now so you guys can see how he looks and if any one has opinions about his health from the photos please let me know. TIA everyone.
 

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jinjerJOSH22

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I don't know enough about it but from my understanding DGIV isn't actually a thing as in there is no proven Iridovirus specific to Dwarf Gourami. Most issues appear to come from bad genetics through mass inbreeding or something of the like, making them seriously susceptible to all manner of common and less common illnesses.

It's sad to see the state these beautiful fish are in :(

On the brightside hopefully you've dealt with the cause and yours will live a good long life :D
 

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It’s hard to tell for sure from the pictures, but to me it looks like you had more than 1 male Dwarf Gourami. If that’s the case, things almost never end well due to aggression issues. Especially in a smaller tank.
 
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ChrissyStaats

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I originally had 2 males and 2 females. The first female was just found dead. No signs of injury or ulcers or anything. The 2nd death occurred right after my fiance had finished putting some of our plants back into the substrate bc they had become uprooted. It was the larger male and he just stared freaking out and swimming erratically. Within minutes he was dead. That was when the remaining 2 (1 male and 1 female) were quarantined. The 2nd female developed obvious signs of some disease with an ulcer like wound on the back end of her belly and smaller one by her eye which I noticed around the same time the first male passed away. The male who did pass had a tiny little blemish under his lip. (I know now it was probably a sign of disease but it was so small and inconspicuous that I originally thought it was just something slightly different about the way he developed). He was the larger of the 2 males by quite a bit. Then the white female passed away while in quarantine. She was the one who had obvious ulcers and on the 2nd day of treatment with API Melafix she passed away. Now I'm left with my last dwarf gourami. It's a male. He is still quarantined in a 10 gallon all alone. I think I'm going to keep an eye on him in there for at least another few days. But so far he's swimming around just fine and eating well. I'm giving him tropical fish flakes every day and every other day a pinch of freeze dried blood worms. It's been 10 days since the last female passed away. I don't see any visible signs of disease and his behavior appears to be normal as well.
 

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