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Pep 02-26-2010 10:00 PM

Pearl Gourami "mark"
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Out of my Pearl Gourami's to do not look great. They were all bought 1 day ago and acclimated over a 45 minutes. One is sitting on the bottom and going to the top to "sip" air and then back to the bottom. One is kind of staring into the glass a lot and moving around a small bit and has this mark on her right side above her gill. The other 2 seem happy enough swimming around and taking some food today for the first time.

So the one on the bottom I suspect is new track stress or maybe even a bit of ammonia poisoning from the bag trip home based on what I have read. Just cross the fingers and hope there I suspect.

But the one wth the mark on it. This mark is new today and was not there last night. Can anyone tell me what it is and how to help the Pearl heal up?

Pep 02-26-2010 11:10 PM

Update: The Pearl struggling to stay upright and swim to the top just got more and more tired and didn't make it :(

I took the parameters tonight of the tank and forgot to post them above. Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 5, PH 7.8 which is the same as it has been every day for over a week.

The one with the mark seems fairly active. It is hanging around the bottom of the tank a bit more than the 2 that look good but other than that it gets around quite well. Unlike the poor one who just looked like it ran out of strength. Very sad. I need a drink.

Niyona 02-27-2010 06:14 AM

Sorry to hear about your Pearl. They're one of my favorite fish. :(

I don't know enough about fish disease to even guess at what the spot is. If you find out, let us know.

Pep 02-27-2010 09:44 AM


Originally Posted by Niyona (Post 333657)
Sorry to hear about your Pearl. They're one of my favorite fish. :(

I don't know enough about fish disease to even guess at what the spot is. If you find out, let us know.

Thank you.

The mark/disease has grown over night. The fish still seems to be fairly strong but it cannot be good in the long run. I was hoping someone might see this and have run across this before. I guess I will print some pictures and take it to the LFS and see if they can help. All the other fish look happy and stable in the tank so unless I figure out exactly what this I really do not want to medicate the whole tank.

Pep 02-27-2010 01:41 PM

I headed out to 2 LFS to show them the pictures. 2 people in each LFS all said really quickly bacterial infection. So, I bought some Seachem Kanaplex as recomended by both LFS independently and picked up a 5.5 gallon tank, sponge filter, air pump, heater and light to make a quick hospital tank. I got home and the Pearl with the bacterial infection was gone :(. I guess on the plus side it didn't seem too suffer long. It looks like the infection on the surface spread to the gil plate area so I suspect it moved into the gils and the fish just couldn't take it. Sad run of a few days here and the learning for me is to make SURE to aclimate fish that are more sensitive much longer and slower. And to make darn sure to research and ask questions which fish are more sensitve than others. I hope others can learn from my bad mistake on this.

So for everyones future info if you see a round whiteish mark that grows outward it is most like a bacterial infection.

The good news is the other 2 Pearls look healthy and happy in the tank so hopefully they do well.

jeaninel 02-27-2010 03:46 PM

Sorry to hear about your pearl. At least now you have a QT/hospital tank. Make sure to QT any new fish you get in the future.

bettababy 02-28-2010 02:16 PM

Sorry I didn't catch this thread sooner, and very sorry for your losses. I agree with the diagnosis of bacterial infection, but not with the choice of medication they suggested. Gouramis can be difficult to treat because there is a limited range of medications they normally respond to.

One suggestion for you for the future... you may find that as your fish mature your quarantine system is going to be too small for them. Pearl gouramis max out at 5 - 6 inches when they're adults. For fish in that size range, quarantine should be at least 15 - 20 gallons. When selecting a quarantine tank in the future, be sure it will hold your largest fish at its adult size.

I'm curious, what size is the main tank?

Pep 02-28-2010 03:09 PM

Thanks for the info Bettababy. The main tank is a 90g.

bettababy 02-28-2010 03:56 PM

Byron requested I stop back in on this thread and give my input regarding the bacterial infection and if I believe it to be related to the acclimation procedure... and no, I do not believe the acclimation process to be a factor, or the time spent in the bag.

The bacterial infection such as I saw in your photos appears to be in an advanced stage, which is likely why it killed the fish so quickly. While these infections surely are contagious to other fish, unless the other fish show any type of symptoms, I would not suggest medicating the main tank. The other 2 fish that died may also have suffered with the same infection but it sounds as if they were more in the early stages. Where on the fish the bacteria attack and progress, how stressed a fish is at the time, changes in conditions (which cause stress) and even simple things such as water temp will all play a role in how fast the bacteria progresses and how well the fish is able to fight off the infection. The other thing to remember for future reference is that diet also plays a huge role in fish disease/illness issues. There are a great many aquarium fish out there that are receiving plenty of food, but not proper nutrition, which will weaken the fish's immune system.

It is very likely these fish were infected at the time you purchased them, so its important to inspect new fish very carefully before spending your money or attempting to take them home. If there is 1 fish in a store tank that appears sick, then you don't want to buy any fish from that tank. Fish disease/illness tends to spread quickly, and any animals sharing the same water will be exposed. As was already mentioned in this thread, all new fish should first spend at least 2 wks in a quarantine tank before going into a main tank. This time in quarantine gives you the chance to monitor the fish's health and to do any medicating in a safer (and less expensive) manner. It is cheaper to medicate 5, 10, or even 15 gallons of water vs medicating 90 gallons. Because not all medications are safe for all fish, this also eliminates the problems of what meds to use without wiping out healthy fish, especially those of other species.

Can you describe how you went about the acclimation process? 45 minutes of acclimation, if done properly, should be more than enough time for a gourami, and if the water parameters from the store were close to that of the home tank, I would call 45 minutes a bit long...
When acclimating fish, ammonia in the bag water is of course a concern, but more important is the amount of oxygen content in the bag water and how quickly and/or drastically the conditions in the bag water change. I am wondering how long they were in the bag for total length of time? (ie. from the time they were put into the bag until the time they went into the tank) One thing many people miss with concerns about acclimation is pH shift. It is an easy task to test pH in the bag water at the beginning of acclimation, and at the same time testing pH in the tank water. If they differ greatly (more than .3 in either direction) that would call for a slower, longer acclimation procedure... but does require more frequent additions of water (in smaller amounts) during the acclimation process.

One other thing you may want to check on that will help you in the future, is to find out what type of filtration set up your lfs is using. There are a lot of different systems set up in the lfs's, and unfortunately, many of them run the same water through every tank with 1 main filtration unit... which exposes every fish in every tank to any disease or illness or parasite that 1 single fish may bring in. If you discover that your lfs uses such a filtration system, then it is even more important to wander through all of the tanks hooked up to that system and look for any fish that appears unhealthy. 1 sick fish means all others sharing that water have been exposed, thus you will want to find somewhere else to shop for fish in the future.

Store filtration and fish keeping practices overall are very different from that of a home system. Store tanks are nothing more than holding tanks, and the amount of stress fish experience in a store tank can be quite extreme, which makes them more vulnerable to illness/disease/parasite issues.

I have found that shopping for fish on the day they come into the store brings me better results than waiting until the fish has been there a few days or longer. While many people reason that waiting will offer a quarantine period in the store tanks, this is usually not the case. If we consider what happens in those store tanks over the course of a few days, this will make more sense. Every time someone goes into the tank to catch a fish, the amount of stress they inflict on every fish in the tank is extreme. Most stores will use the same nets in all tanks without first disinfecting them, which spreads illness issues quickly, and water quality in store tanks tends to be quite poor overall, which also leaves the fish open to a huge range of problems.

The only exception to this for me is when dealing with marine animals, and then, again, only if I know the store uses proper procedures for quarantine and etc.

Shopping for fish can be a complicated process, but understanding all of the factors involved, carefully inspecting all fish in the system you are wishing to purchase from, and proper quarantine at home can help prevent problems like this in the future.

I hope this information was helpful.

Byron 03-01-2010 11:55 AM

Thanks Dawn. B.

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