Help! Why are male gouramis committing suicide?

rochesterroseman(zone5 NY)November 4, 2005

I originally had 2 powder blue gouramis that were very sluggish. One became strong and lively, while the other refused to eat and eventualy died. I was told by a pet shop that I needed more than 2 so there wouldnt be a dominant/passive dynamic. While they were both alive, I added 2 flame orange gouramis, that look just like the blue ones except for their color. At first all was well with the orange fish, then the above mentioned blue gourami died, now one of the orange gouramis is becoming listless and not eating! Do I need to have more or fewer male gouramis? These guys are really strange. Is there anything I can do to keep this orange gourami alive? He still seems healthy if I can figure out how to make him happy and start eating again. Thank you for any help you can offer.

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woeisme(z7b NC)

Does the Gourami take in food, then spit out? IME keeping just 1 male per aquarium has worked fine. The fish may not be eating due to dominance. Gouramis are pigs, if you haven't noticed. Try seperating them. There are other reasons like wasting disease and constipation. Constipation is usually easier to detect in thin fish like gourami's and angels because bloating is easier to see. Also, thin fish are more suseptible to constipation and other digestive issues. But, QT and raising the heat slightly may encourage eating. It is best to QT new additions at least a month (I have been doing 2 months because I've experienced disease and parasites shortly after the 1 month peroid). This way you can observe the fish and see if there are behavior changes in them as well as disease/parasites/illness.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 9:35AM
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skygee(z7NY)

Do you notice other signs in the failing gouramis? Any other signs of disease? Do keep in mind that some diseases (like TB) will not reflect outward signs - and wasting away is harder to detect in gouramis (due to body shape). Could be that you have some gouramis being introduced that are naturally hardier than others - thus survive.

I don't think it has anything to do with your male/male ratio. I have several mixed types of gouramis in my large tank (platinum, pearl, moonlight, honey, powderblue)- with the dwarfs, they're usually male because of the coloration (and harder to find dwarf females) - but with the larger gouramis, I do usually try and strive for male/female pairs. If I can't tell the difference in sex, I do try to always get a minimum of two gouramis of the same species. When my first moonlight female died, my moonlight male for whatever reason hooked up with the female marble angelfish. Whenever she spawns, he's the only one she doesn't chase away from the eggs. Weird. I did manage to find another nice female moonlight gourami and the male in is simply not interested in her.

In any case - I think your deaths may be related to stress/disease as opposed to fish ratio. You may also want to consider changing your source for fish.

I've found in my experience that if the tank is large enough and you don't get any aggressive species like kissing fish, golden or blue gouramis, gouramis in general get along.

Also, if you find any aggressive behavior going on with the dwarf gouramis, try floating some plants at the top to help designate territory. All dwarf gouramis I've ever kept seem to appreciate floating plants.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 11:11AM
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rochesterroseman(zone5 NY)

Woeisme, I have noticed that the ailing fish has a swollen belly, maybe due to constipation like you said. What can I do for him? Drop prunes in the water? Can I give him a teeny tiny enema?
I got the blue fish from a different store from the orange gouramis, yet they seem to have the same problems. Maybe both stores have the same supplier.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 2:32PM
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skygee(z7NY)

Healthy Gouramis will have slightly bulging bellies. Or this is not quite an accurate description since they're round in shape and flat - but there will be a slight rise around the "belly" area and you shouldn't expect them to be totally flat along the sides. There is definitely some contour there. This is normal. However if you see scales protruding out (kinda like porcupine quills stick up) then we're talking dropsy.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 3:11PM
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skygee(z7NY)

Healthy Gouramis will have slightly bulging bellies. Or this is not quite an accurate description since they're round in shape and flat - but there will be a slight rise around the "belly" area and you shouldn't expect them to be totally flat along the sides. There is definitely some contour there. This is normal. However if you see scales protruding out (kinda like porcupine quills stick up) then we're talking dropsy.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 3:13PM
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rochesterroseman(zone5 NY)

Is there any sort of medicine I can give him? I tried some spiritual healing the other day, by filling him with white light. Desperate times call for desperate measures. A few hours later he started rocking back and forth continuously, sort of like an autistic fish. I dont know if thats a good sign, or if he is getting worse! Has anyone ever seen a fish that rocks like that?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 10:14PM
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weedwoman(z6 NJ)

I tried some Maracyn 2, it said it was for dropsy among other things. My fish still can't swim right but he's not dead, either. Keep an eye on your ammonia levels, I think it may have messed up my biologic filter for a while.

WW

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 9:32PM
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isis_nebthet(8b/11suns SoCA)

How's the water testing?

Adrea

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 9:28AM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

The Gourami's physical appearance will drastically change if it is bloated. A slight "bulge" in the belly is somewhat visible like Sky said. You would have to compare it with your healthy gouramis or pics on the web. There is a sight with a ton of pics and is pretty much a Gourami page. I cant think of it for the life of me though. They are sensitive to water conditions. I assume this is an established aquarium, not a new or uncycled one? Gourami's are not a good choice as a "first" fish for cycling. Just thought I'd throw that in.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 9:48PM
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ShilohsTank

Sorry I'm just now coming upon this, but I was wondering what happened to your gouramis?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:16AM
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