Sunset gourami looks ... horrible


Ok so I have 2 female dwarf sunset gourami. They're about a year old and I got them with a male but the male went all nuts and so he went back to the store. They've lived in peace in my 46 gallon. Each has a side. They come together every once and a while and follow each other around but never play chase or even have major squabble.

I copied and pasted this form from Tropicalfishkeeping because I think it asks the right questions so I'm just gonna paste and answer it....

Here goes:

1. Size of tank? Normally in a 46 gallon but right now in a 10 gallon QT

2. Water parameters of the 46
a. Ammonia? 0
b. Nitrite? 0
c. Nitrate? 30
d. pH, KH and GH? Ph is low, below 6. My water is super soft and I've always had low PH .. I don't have a GH/KH kit
e. Test kit? API Master Test Kit

3. Temperature? 78

4. Freshwater (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? FW

5. How long the aquarium has been set up? It was set up in my old house for over a year. I moved on 02/01/14 and took 20 gallons of the aquarium water with me in a rubbermaid tote and buckets

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them? 1 parkinsonI rainbow, 1 bolivian ram, 2 sunset gouramis, 8 bentosI tetras, 3 glass catfish, 5 juliI corydoras, 10 pygmy/hasbrosus corydoras, 1 BN pleco full size, 7 neon tetras

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? all of the South American fish were in their own tank and I had to combine the 2 tanks due to moving and I haven't been able to get their 55 up and running due to renovations.

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? Moderately planted
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Pool Filter Sand
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? 1 large rock with

9. a. Filtration? Eheim 2215 AND 2217
b. Heater? Hydor ETH 200 (or is it at 201? I can never remember) on output of 2215

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? Coralife dual t5 high output 8 hours dual 6500 bulb
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? No

11. a. Water change schedule? 20% every 10-14 days
b. Volume of water changed? see above
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? City water with prime
d. Water conditioner used? prime
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? every time I water change I gravel vac open areas and corners

12. Foods? Kens Fish catfish pellets and regular flake food
How often are they fed? 1.5x a day (small pinch when my rainbow looks famished)

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? Cloudy eyes, she's scared so her fins are always in "attack" mode. She looks sick. She seriously looks like a dead fish but she's swimming around. Breathing from the surface like normal and eating well. She also has a red spot on her rear area on 1 side.

b. Appearance of poop? She hasn't pooped yet
c. Appearance of gills? clamped, not flowing back and forth like normal

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? No, waiting on someone with more knowledge than myself.
b. What meds were used?

15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.



Left side (Notice the RED Blotch




This is her tank mate. Both females. They get along GREAT. You can notice the color difference. She has a lot more color but I'm honestly concerned with the coloration around her gill on her Right side. It looks like she got an injury.

I am sorry for the blurry ness but I had to go extreme zoom on my Galaxy S3 and both fish like to hide in the back corner of the tank. Please let me know if I need to quarantine her sister too (ok so she might not be sister but I got them from the same tank a year ago at The Wet Spot PDX)


I believe your fish are dealing with lateral line disease due to the reddening around their gills, eyes and lateral line. It can also be a bacterial issue, do you have access to a microscope ? a quick swab should tell you exactly what you're dealing with.


No, I'm just an average Joe so no microscope. I can say that they've always had these lines since the male was harassing them. The lines used to be worse but have gotten better (if you're referring to the large black line) ... I thought it was more of a stress stripe.

I can say the female in QT (top pictures) is eating and is chilling in a corner of my 10 gallon and is acting pretty normal, but geesh she looks like dead fish swimming. I seriously thought she was dead in my 46 floating around due to the current then I realised she was alive I was astonished.

I can say she doesn't have any growth like fungus or flukes (that I can visually see) .. Also no spots like Ich or velvet


Her eyes look cloudy, she might be having some popeye going on. Her fins also look a little beat up? Maybe one of her tank mates is harassing her when you weren't watching?

She might benefit from a higher temp and maybe 5 tsp of aq. salt for your 10 gallon.

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