The Ethics of Breeding Dwarf Gouramis

cardcrimson

Good evening all,

I picked up some beautiful male Dwarf Gouramis from two different LFS, and was thinking about breeding as I was really looking forward to the bubble nesting aspects of it. So I purchased a couple of females online. Only afterwards did I learn about Dwarf Gourami Disease and that it's common, incurable and fatal.

So, a few thoughts.

First is it ethical to breed them?

If so, should I wait for several months to see if they survive before breeding them?

Should I put a male and the two females in the 20 gallon long I've set up that is cycled and unoccupied now and hope for the best?

Or should I put something else in the 20 such as Endlers?

Thanks for the advice!
 

JustAFishServant

You should always put new fish in hospital tanks (aka quarantine or QT) for 4 weeks to 3 months. This ensures your gouramis are without disease and able (or safe) to breed.
 

otterblue

You should always put new fish in hospital tanks (aka quarantine or QT) for 4 weeks to 3 months. This ensures your gouramis are without disease and able (or safe) to breed.
His tank is unoccupied, so he wouldn't need to quarantine them. Maybe you can speak to the ethics of it. I don't know gouramis, so I have no idea.

EDIT: Nevermind. I didn't realize the gouramis were coming from different locations. I guess he should QT.

EDIT #2: Or rather, put one female in the 20 & the other female in QT to separate them.

And I'll just shut up now.
 

cardcrimson

Okay, they were all quarantined for a month, and I've had them all for over two, the boys for 3+ months now. All seem healthy to this point (though as noted in another thread, one of the girls had odd white markings noticed after I moved her out of QT that have since gone away). All healthy and active at this point.

Thanks for the questions though, happy to clarify!
 

DoubleDutch

Don't put the two males together and definitely not in one breeding tank.

I think there is nothing wrong with locally bred gouramis. There should be more people that will breed healthy stock.

lt is more ethical (by far) than stubborn importing from South East.

Gooooooo !
 

MacZ

You should have two tanks in any case. As soon as a female has laid eggs the male will chase her off. A 20 gallon is too small for a female to hide so it will be necessary to separate the fish at any given time. Both tanks will need a jungle of plants, especially at the surface.
A 80x30cm footprint tank for each(!) male would be necessary and a thrid one for the females for when the males are not guarding a foam nest.

The biggest problem: Getting confirmed females of that species. I would be wary whether the females you ordered are indeed females.

Second problem: Do these overbred specimens you get nowerdays even calm down enough to successfully breed or is their aggression level already too high for it.

I'd probably try and find wild caught stock, much easier and much more satisfying. (And you have a higher chance to break even.)
 

ProudPapa

If you're lucky enough to find healthy fish I don't see any ethical reason not to breed them.
 

CMT

How does someone know the fish does not have DGD? It seems very vague. How long does a fish need to stay healthy before you can assume it does not have the disease and thus might be a good candidate for breeding? I've been wondering this myself.

After reading about the disease too late, I've kind of just looked at my DG as a ticking time bomb, enjoying him while I can. But at what age could I assume he doesn't have the disease if still healthy?
 

MacZ

How does someone know the fish does not have DGD? It seems very vague.
A clear sign is a fish that permanently has ich-like spots. Often around the fins. Very sure sign. But these spots are not present in 100% of cases. So there's never a 100% guarantee the fish is not infected.
 

CMT

A clear sign is a fish that permanently has ich-like spots. Often around the fins. Very sure sign. But these spots are not present in 100% of cases. So there's never a 100% guarantee the fish is not infected.
My question is more whether there is any point in the fish's life where we can be comfortable that it wasn't born with or contracted DGD before it went in our tank? 3 months? 6 months? A year? Or we just never know?

In theory, if we wanted to "save" the species, we'd only breed healthy fish. But is there anyway besides some scientific test that we can know we have a DGD-free fish vs a fish that just hasn't shown symptoms yet?
 

MacZ

I am pretty sure we don't have the data for this. Yet.

I just had a case in a LFS a few months ago, they asked me to confirm the diagnosis and culled all dwarf gourami in their stock. Since they changed their source to a more reputable wholesaler. Other species like GBRs, Apistos and Neons have far better quality there since.

That said: It helps to get fish from a trusted and reputable source.
 

cardcrimson

Thanks for all the great replies. Very helpful, though as I'm sure we all do, I wish more was known about the disease.

Out of curiosity and space savings, would a breeding pair need the tank to themselves, or could a few Endlers join them. The tank has a lot of rock, with caves and holes, and is fairly well planted. Could always add more. . . .

Thanks!
 

DoubleDutch

Thanks for all the great replies. Very helpful, though as I'm sure we all do, I wish more was known about the disease.

Out of curiosity and space savings, would a breeding pair need the tank to themselves, or could a few Endlers join them. The tank has a lot of rock, with caves and holes, and is fairly well planted. Could always add more. . . .

Thanks!
I wouldn't add other fish to a breeding tank and even remove the female after spawning.

Densely planting is more important than caves and holes.

Provide floaters as well
 

cardcrimson

I wouldn't add other fish to a breeding tank and even remove the female after spawning.

Densely planting is more important than caves and holes.

Provide floaters as well
Thanks a lot. Will keep it to just the gouramis.

Something I'd like to figure out before the time comes, how does one catch a female gourami in a heavily planted tank that has a bubble nest without destroying it all?
 

DoubleDutch

Thanks a lot. Will look keep it to just the gouramis.

Something I'd like to figure out before the time comes, how does one catch a female gourami in a heavily planted tank that has a bubble nest without destroying it all?
Hahaha quite a challenge.
If it is densely planted maybe you can leave the female, but in most cases it will hide as far as possible from the nest which is defended by the male.
 

Fish99

I have read it's a virus that can stay dormant for up to a year. Seems a year is a good number to know if the fish has it.
As for breeding them, heck ya if they don't have the virus. That's what needs to be done to get rid of it.
Either that or just don't buy any. If everyone stopped buying they would stop breeding the sick.
 

cardcrimson

Hahaha quite a challenge.
If it is densely planted maybe you can leave the female, but in most cases it will hide as far as possible from the nest which is defended by the male.
Got them into the breeding tank. Took me five minutes to catch the male. 45 minutes and a lot of swearing to catch the female. . . .
 

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