(Another) Troubled Gourami - Can I do Anything?

justinhill

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Yesterday, I added three Dwarf Rainbow Gourami to my community. I bought them online, which I mention only to remark that (a) they were bought sight unseen and (b) they would have been pretty stressed when they arrived. I followed the usual procedures in adding them to the tank. I did note there was an awful lot of poo in the gourami's bag.

At first, all three did as you'd expect - found the nearest dark corner and hid there. Two gouramis gradually came out over a couple of hours, and as of this morning they are active and curious, and they were hungry when I put food in.

The third one has a problem. It sits on the bottom in one specific corner of the tank - which is in 'open water' - at odd angles, sometimes almost vertical, indicating a swim bladder problem I suppose. It showed no interest in food this morning. Occasionally it will make its way up to the surface and gulp there, before sinking back to the bottom again. (There's no oxygenation problem with the tank and no other fish go to the surface.) Once this morning I saw it do a wobbly circuit of the whole tank and I thought it was getting better but it's back on the floor in the corner again now. It doesn't look injured or swollen - in fact I can't tell it apart from the others - so I don't know what to think.

These pictures were taken yesterday but it looks just the same today. Any thoughts?
 

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kribensis12

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Hello!

What are your water parameters?

I would contact the seller and see what their refund policy is - sounds like you could have received a "bad egg".
 
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justinhill

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Hello!

What are your water parameters?
My water parameters are (I think) pretty good - pH=6.5, NO2=0, NH3=0, PO4=0, NO3=10-20, weekly water changes 35%-40% - but regardless, the one fish is behaving completely differently to the other two, so I don't think it's my tank...
 
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justinhill

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justinhill

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FFS.

24 hours later and no change. If this fish has DGD or DGI(?) then there's nothing I can do anyway, so I'm looking at other possibilities (or clutching at straws if you like).

(1) Swim bladder malfunctioning due mechanical shock (the fish bashed into something on its journey to me). Nothing to do but wait and hope for the best
(2) A digestive problem such as constipation. Don't feed it for three days - not a problem since it's not eating anyway - and increase the temperature
(3) A swim bladder infection.

So based on what I've been reading I've dissolved a small amount of pure rock salt, roughly 5 teaspoons in 84 litres (22 US Gallons), added another touch of Stress Coat for luck, and I'm gradually increasing the the temperature from 24c to around 26c. It won't do the other fish any harm and it might help.

The final treatment option would be a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Fat chance there. I phoned all the vets in a 10 mile radius and none of them treat 'exotics'. I rang one vet, miles away, that does but they told me they 'weren't taking on new registrations at the moment'. I even rang the RCVS animal hospital in London and got the same answer - and also the advice that neither they nor anyone else would prescribe any medication unless I brought the fish in for examination. And of course the vet agreed with me that even if I was prepared to drive the fish into central London and back the stress of the journey would finish it off anyway.

The RCVS suggested euthanasia. How, I asked. Well, we can provide an anaesthetic you put in the water and it passes away quickly and painlessly they said. Only trouble? I'd have to bring the fish in, and I'd have to be registered, and they're not taking on new registrations, and...

Note to self: in future, stick to pets with fur and legs.
 

Colin_T

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The fish is either a dud or severely stressed out from the move.

Don't add stuff willy nilly because most of the time that makes it worse.

DON'T ADD ANTI-BIOTICS UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS.

Did you check the ammonia level in the bag when you got the fish?
If that was high the fish is suffering from stress and ammonia poisoning and will require time to recover, assuming it does.

The best you can do, is keep the tank and filter clean, and contact the company you got them from. Let them know one fish isn't doing well but the other 2 are. Then see how it goes over the next week or so.

Chances are you have 3 male gouramis and that could be an issue too if the other males are bullying this one..
 
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