Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   What's the secret to Gourami's care? (

plantsandmore 05-29-2014 04:33 PM

What's the secret to Gourami's care?
I've loved Gourami's, but they don't care for me so much. The problem I always have is they have very bloated looked midsections. Their diet is almost exclusive dried flakes. Often they will live years in a bloated condition.

So how do you handle this successfully?

{aside, is it worth it to try to find femail dwarf gourami's? Petsmart only sells male}

lilnaugrim 05-29-2014 06:45 PM

Are you sure the fish is bloated and not a female? Females generally a larger in the midsection.

But anyway, they are much like Bettas in the fact they will do better with a high quality pellet. They are insectivores primarily, so they need something more in the protein department. Flakes are often noted for causing bloating and/or constipation in carnivore fish. We often recommend New Life Spectrum Betta Formula or any of the 1 mm pellets like the all purpose, Thera A+, or Small Fish which is .5 mm pellet.

What kind of tank did you have the gourami in? Tank mates?

Also Dwarf Gouramis do have a species only disease called Dwarf Gourami Disease (so original I know lol) but it could be that, that is also killing your fish but could be where you get them from or how they are kept of course. Also, did you keep more than one male?

PetSmart generally only sells males but on very rare occasions you can find a female. One of my LFS's actually has females but even if you did find females you would need at least 3-4 for 1 male or preferably no males and just females as they aren't as territorial as males are.

plantsandmore 05-29-2014 10:57 PM

I didn't know they needed more protein. Definitely male, wiith blue coloaration. Femailes are more brown in color.

Currently tank is overcrowded with 1 blue dwarf. I have had 3 spot, opaline, blue and honey in a larger tank. this tank is a mini, about 12 gallons, which is why there is only one. But will be moving next month to either a 36 or 46, so there will be room then.

I don't think it's dwarf gourami disease, particularly since have had same issue with any, except the honeys.

Don't plan to setup the 90 again, place is too small and plan to sell it.

Tank mates presently are too many platies, and a couple of corys and an australian raiinbow.

lilnaugrim 05-30-2014 08:30 AM

I'm willing to bet more that you just haven't been getting good specimens from the pet store then. The tank mates are fine except the australian rainbow of course but I'm assuming you will be moving it or something, but that's more for size anyway, it's temperament with the gourami should be fine.

Is the tank fully cycled, planted at all? I do find that dwarfs are more sensitive than some of the honeys and 3 spots, maybe it's just the ones that I've all kept but they were no where near as hardy as my honey's.

plantsandmore 05-30-2014 12:40 PM

It's fully cycled. Just two plants as it's a 10G and 2 plastic rock/logs as well. Two Anubias nana, one's stunted as too little light, just 2" high, the toher had doubled in a year and now is 7" high.

My source here has been petsmart/petco as no other LFS. Gourami are usually from petsmart as seem healthier stock. Previous from a variety of LFS. Strangely enough my honey and flame's have been the shortest living Gouramis.

Naturally when go Gourami, need to forgo barbs and most cichlids, but yellow lighting cichlid works ok in larger tank as it like a different height.

jaysee 05-30-2014 01:53 PM


Originally Posted by plantsandmore (Post 4534866)
Naturally when go Gourami, need to forgo barbs and most cichlids

I whole heartedly disagree. Gouramis can easily be kept with barbs and cichlids.

lilnaugrim 05-30-2014 03:45 PM

It just depends on the kind of barbs you're going for. Generally you don't want to go with Tiger Barbs because they're quite nippy fish! But I have my gouramis in with some Gelius Barbs (Golden Barbs) and they're some of the sweetest fish! Quite shy compared to their cousins. I actually have Vaillanti Chocolate Gouramis and they've been fantastic with the barbs and Ember Tetras (running a sort of microfish tank).

Same with cichlids, it just depends on the kind of cichlid and then of course it's best to keep tank parameters around the same to keep your fish healthy! You ideally wouldn't want a cichlid that is supposed to be kept at 8.0 pH down at 6.0, sure it might live but it's not going to be happy! Same thing with Gouramis, they're much more versatile though as long as you acclimate them well enough. Do you acclimate your fish, if so, how long and which method do you use?

plantsandmore 05-30-2014 05:31 PM

Good to know. My tanks normally run about 7.5 to 8.0 PH.

Old method of introducing: they seem to do fine at first, it just after months that they get bloated.
[bag floating for 20 minutes and then slowly let them swim out of bag]. No isolation tank first.

lilnaugrim 05-30-2014 05:40 PM

Ah, well that could be the start of issues depending on what the pH is at the store. If it's drastically different there could be issues. Check with the store on what pH their water is. You should acclimate them to the new water chemistry as well for at least half an hour or more depending on how sensitive the fish is.

Agent13 05-30-2014 08:09 PM

Do you have pictures of any of your bloated gourami present or past?

I feed my DGs NLS Thera A formula almost exclusively, the occasional zucchini . They've been happy a good long time in a well planted 75g tank. I'm just feeling like maybe the diet isn't great? But I can't say anything without seeing what you mean by bloated. They do have an odd build imo

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