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Help bloated dwarf gourami

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Oct 11, 2019
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Help! My red flame dwarf gourami looks bloated and keeps getting bigger. Also he is gasping and not breathing normal. Can’t tell if it might have the dwarf gourami disease or possibly pregnant. We also have a powder blue dwarf gourami who is just fine and possible making a bubble nest. We got both of the from PetSmart. We also have 8 other smaller fish in our 30 gal tank. Need to know ASAP really worried about the little guy.


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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

The colourful dwarf gouramis are males, the females are silver. Your fish is definitely a male and is not full of eggs.

If the fish has stopped eating, is breathing heavily, has swollen/ bloated up overnight, and does a stringy white poop, then it has an internal bacterial infection and is dying and should be euthanised.

If the fish is still eating then there is a chance it is something else. But generally if a fish bloats up suddenly and stops eating, its an internal infection and there's no cure.

Try doing a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a couple of weeks. This can sometimes help by diluting nutrients and disease organisms in the water. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, do not clean it if the filter is less than 6 weeks old. Wash filter media/ materials in a bucket of tank water and re-use them.

Dwarf gouramis (Colisa lalia) and all their colour forms regularly carry the Iridovirus and or Fish Tuberculosis (TB), and should be avoided until the Asian breeders clean up their stock and start supplying healthy disease free fish.

Do not add any more Labyrinth fishes (Bettas & Gouramis) to the tank.

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