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Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus :(

JezTaylor

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My Dwarf Gourami (Gourmi) died over the weekend. Absolutely gutted - he was a great fish.
 
From what I've seen and read, it was almost certainly iridovirus. It started with a red sore to the right of his mouth, then in the days that followed he became lethargic and lost his appetite. On Saturday, a dark blue patch appeared on his belly and he very rapidly went downhill. My girlfriend and I rushed to the pharmacy to buy some clove oil and put him out of his misery, but he was dead by the time we got home.

I was aware of disease when I bought him, but I trusted my LFS and spent a while observing the DGs in the shop to be sure they were all healthy and active. They were, and so was he for the following 3 months.
 
A few queries:
 
  • First of all, is there any risk of my other fish catching it (2 Platies, 6 neon tetras and 6 salt and pepper cories)?
  • One day I'd love to have another DG, but I assume my tank is now 'infected'. Is there anything that can be done to remove the virus? Will it eventually be ok to house another one?
  • If I were to get another one, is there any way to ensure he'll be healthy? From what I've seen, iridovirus seems to be associated with suppliers in Asia. Is it possible to get them from Florida or anywhere else, and will this make a difference?
Such a shame that the industry has done this to such a great fish.
 

NeonBlueLeon

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I've had one DG before, and I bought him before I had learned about iridovirus.  He lasted about a month before I noticed what was going on.  I too had to put him down.
 
Besides knowledge of fishkeepers on forums, I haven't delved deep into the researched realm of DG iridovirus, but I plan to.
 
Firstly, from what I've heard and observed myself, the DG iridovirus is specific to DGs.  I had my DG with guppies, and the guppies didn't show any signs of infection at all.  They are still alive now, in fact.
 
I would also presume that your tank is "infected."  As to if or when you can house a new DG, I have no idea.  There are a lot of things to consider about the DG iridovirus.  Does it have a dormant stage outside of a host?  Maybe not if it's a virus.  How long can it survive without a host?
To be safe, I'd wait a while.  Do a series of large water changes, if not 100%.  Perhaps bleach your decorations and substrate.  At this point, it sounds like breaking down a tank.
 
As for me personally, my LFS all import their DGs from Asia.  I heard (don't know if it's true) that one in three DGs exported from Singapore carry iridovirus.  I don't to fuel the DG plague of iridovirus any further, so I've decided not to own anymore.  Perhaps you can find some domestic and isolated breeders on aquabid.com
 
Hope this helps!
 

DreamertK

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You could try seeking out a (local) breeder of DG. They have a much less chance of hosting the virus than ones in LFS's where you don't know where they've come from.
 

misterpro

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Sadly this sound all too familiar.
 
I lost a male and both his females to this stupid disease also.  I wouldn't bother ever getting DG's again unless I can get them from a German breeder or a hobbyist.
 
The ones at the LFS almost always look perfectly fine, because it takes a few months to show symptoms.  And the Asian farms breed them in tanks full of antibiotics, so they never start to show symptoms.  Even if they are infected (and the majority is).
 
None of my other fish species got it, I think it's pretty much DG only.
 
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