Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Rachella 06-15-2007 09:23 AM

Hm. Sick, or not? Pics included.
Alrighty folks, heyho.

I have a 20 gallon community tank currently with some gourami residents, harlequin tetras, and a single beautiful golden nugget pleco.

Two of my gourami's are sick. =\ ...I think.

One I've had isolated for about a week now, it started showing signs of what I believed were illness. Slowed down a lot, didn't do much, not interested in eating, etc. etc. I've got pics of it then and one of it now.


I wanted to note the odd bulges in the body, not sure if they're visible.. now the fish has been poopin' white, also. I read that could be a sign of internal parasites? Doesn't seem very keen on eating, either. Sometimes I'll catch it laying on its side, but for the most part it does absolutely nothing.

This is the exact same type of fish that I bought at the same time, still in the aquarium swimmin' around.


( Are the orange colors on its feelers normal? Also, does anyone else see the dent looking thingy behind his head? Almost perfect circle behind his eye a bit. It's not coloration, it looks like an actual fluctuation in his body.)

Now onto my second sick fishy, a little orange gourami. Beautiful guy, definately my favorite in the aquarium. He was always really happy and healthy, and this past week only we've had a tremendous spike in ammonia, it's down now, but the PH is off the charts. Working on that. Yesterday morning, my hyperactive little gold friend was floating at the top doing absolutely nothing. He was bent a little, and wouldn't move worth crap. He was still alive, just bent. I took him out and put him into a smaller containter with just a dash of aquarium salt to try and maybe help him out. Here's pics.

Happy Goldy (in aquarium):

Sick Goldy:
Sick Goldy 2:

Note that's all he does is float there, when I stir the container he'll swim around actively for a few moments, then just do that again. He's not even movin' his little fins, just.. floatin'. I'm very upset, I like this guy a lot.

Welp, that's that. I'd love to give you guys readings, but I take my water to the lfs and they read it for me. Ammonia is down they said after treatment over the weekend, everything is fine except for PH, they said it's off the charts high, and actually wanna test just the regular tap water. I'm giving them that sample today.

I haven't really done anything except confine these guys, wanna stop my other fish from getting sick (especially the pleco, not exactly a quarter goldfish there...) I tried giving the dwarf gourami some internal bactera stuff, but he wouldn't eat it. Other than that, just confinement with a dash of salt (heard it helps calm them down).


Julie's Julies 06-15-2007 11:48 AM

Hi, I had a similar situation with my female swordtails. They stopped eating, got bent spines, and had white feces. From what I could gather online, they were suffering from bacterial infections. You can read about the problem and other people's advice in the "All Female Swordtails Dying" post.

I have been told that Maracyn-Two (by Mardel) is an antibacterial med that is absorbed through the body wall rather than eaten, so you might want to try this (always read the full instructions first). If the fish aren't eating, it might be next to impossible to get any medicated food down them.

I would also strongly advise you to pick up your own testing kits so that you can keep a closer eye on things. Yes, they are initially expensive, but if you buy them from a pet store chain, you might get a better price and possibly even hit a sale. And you would save money in gas since you would not have to drive your water samples to the store daily!

Hope you get some more replies to this post; I have found others' advice to be a great help.

Best wishes to you and your fishies!

Rachella 06-15-2007 03:33 PM

Thanks for the reply!

Unfortunately, since my posting, the dwarf gourami has died. =\

Now I only have my little goldie, whom I'm still unsure about what's wrong with him. LFS said today the PH has gone down and everything looked fine, nitrites/nitrates were a little high but just need to cycle.

Little goldie remains absolutely still in his container. You'd think he was dead, but if you tap it or startle him he'll buzz around for a moment before going back to rest at the top of the water. Still don't know what's wrong with him, really hoping for some improvement.

mHeinitz57 06-15-2007 06:21 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your dwarf gourami :-(

About your orange guy (looks like a honey sunset gourami to me), my first thought is an internal bacterial infection. Is he eating at all? Is he consistantly bent still? Some fish can actually develop a form of tuburculosis which will cause skeletal deformaties such as a bent spine. It is more commonly seen in neon tetras and danios for some reason but any fish can get it. It doesnt look that severe though but i'm just saying that is a possibility, in which case be careful because it is rare but can transfer to humans, so try to avoid actually touching it. (not to scare you). Other symptoms can include being lathargic, loss of appetite and pale skin too. I also instantly thought of swim bladder disease which is often caused by a bacterial infection (sometimes parasitic though). In this case you may often have a thickening of the swimbladder walls which makes it harder for oxygen to transfer in and out of it through osmosis. This could explain bouyancy problems in which he just seems to float towards the top. You could use an antibiotic such as Erythromycin. The white feces could be internal parasites but sometimes it is just a form of constipation in which food matter is being blocked. If this is the case, epsom salts in the water can serve as a laxative and chopping up the hearts of pees and feeding them to him serve as a natural laxative as well. SOmetimes blockages can cause bacterial infections and they may all be interrelated.

Rachella 06-15-2007 10:58 PM

Thank you again for another reply! I really do appreciate it.

Goldy was transferred to a slightly bigger aquarium, and i've noticed he is pooping, a lot of little poops, orangey-red color. He still just floats motionless at the top of the thing, everytime I see him I think he's dead until I disturb the water a little, which he'll move and then return to being motionless still.

He doesn't seem to eat. I've tried feeding him a flake or two, but he ignores them. Later I don't see them, but don't know if this is cause he ate them or they dissolved into the water or something. He's not as bent as he was the day I took him out, but he still is very stiff.
I've also noticed his fings seem permanently open, spread to their farthest point and very.. well. Stiff. And no worries, I wouldn't touch him, not with bare hands. I've heard that actually hurts the fish, something about oils in our skin?

But I think I'll treat for bacterial for awhile, see how that goes. Hope the info about the fins can help pinpoint the problem. It's horrible seeing this guy so inactive. Any other suggestions or information is greatly appreciated and asked for!

Rachella 06-16-2007 03:31 PM

Update, little goldy seems to be swimmin' around a little more today. His topright fin isn't all stiff like it was yesterday, but his bottom one still is. He even ate a few flakes. He still has a tendancy of looking like he's dead, but at least now sometimes it's on the bottom of his container. His gold color is fading, though, I've noticed.

Last night I treated him with Maracyn-Two, hoping this will help him.

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