Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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sandrahartpury 09-13-2010 06:36 AM

Poorly Pearl Gourami
I have a female Pearl Gourami that I think has had a stroke. She appears to have lost the use of her tail fins and now propels herself purely with her two front fins. She dosn't appeared to have been attacked and is the largest in the tank so its unlikely, I just came in one morning to find her like it.

She has been like this for a while (3-4 weeks) now and initially seemed still perky, moving about the tank etc. However for the last week she seems to always be hanging in the same place at the surface of the tank, with her mouth poking out the water. She doesn't make any attempt to go for food when I feed the others, although even when she was fit and healthy she wasn't that food orientated.

So now my dilemma is what to do, she doesn't appear to have much quality of life, but I'm not sure of the best way to proceed. I've had fish for years on and off and never been in this situation before!! Is there anything that I could do to help her recover, or is it best to speed her on the way to fishy heaven - if so what is the most humane way to do so?

All the other fish in the tank (3 tiger barbs and one small plec) are perfectly healthy and don't seem to hassel the gourami. The tank is a Biorb life 40l (controversial I know but it was the only one that would fit in my BF's flat when I moved in with him) and has been set up for about 2mths. The inital inhabitants were the gourami, 1 tiger barb and the plec, the 2 other barbs being added about 4 weeks after the others. The other fish are all perfectly happy and healthy in fact I've never seen the plec so active!

A 30% water change is due today and the filter was changed 3 weeks ago, due to be changed in another 3 weeks. I haven't tested the water as yet but will do so to day before/after change.

Just to add the Gourami is about 4-5yrs old so rather elderly, she has outlived two males!

aunt kymmie 09-13-2010 10:20 AM

Based on the info I just read as far as a Pearl Gourami's lifespan they are saying five years. It sounds like she may just be in her twilight years. Will be curious to know your water parameters but it sounds like you keep on top of your tank maintenance.
Should you decide to euthanize here's a link that may prove helpful for you:

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