Help!!! Gourami has odd sore after parasite.


New Member
Nov 20, 2020
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Ok so a few weeks ago our dwarf gourami had severe abdominal swelling and wasn’t eating. We isolated him, gave him some epsom salt. He started pooping but it was stringy and white so we started giving him internal parasite medicine. Throughout this he developed a sore which grows white fuzz. The swelling is down and he is back to normal in that regard but the sore is still there and fuzzes off and on. He is in isolation and is taking a general fungal medicine. Any advice? How long will this take to heal?


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Fish Guru
Jan 26, 2008
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Perth, WA
The fish has an ulcerated sore, which is why it isn't healing. You can try doing a 75% water changes & gravel cleaning the substrate every day for a couple of weeks, and adding salt, (see directions below). If there's no improvement after a week then you might need something (broad spectrum medication or anti-biotics) to treat bacterial infections.

Before you treat the tank with medications, do the following things.
To work out the volume of water in the tank:
measure length x width x height in cm.
divide by 1000.
= volume in litres.

If you have big rocks or driftwood in the tank, remove these so you get a more accurate water volume.

When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

You can use a permanent marker to draw a line on the tank at the water level and put down how many litres are in the tank at that level.

There is a calculator/ converter in the " Calculator" under "Useful Links" at the bottom of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons if you need it.

Remove carbon from the filter before treating or it will adsorb the medication and stop it working.

Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

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

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration when using salt or medications because they reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water.

You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 2 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.


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