Honey Gourami listing sideways on plants and at the bottom of tank

IR_Crayoneater

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Hey everyone,

So this is my first post on the forums and unfortunately its not to show anything off. I went to feed my fish this evening and noticed my one honey gourami was listing sideways and swimming weird. He would occasionally go to the surface and then dive bomb to the gravel and would kind of just list sideways. He sometimes would swim a little and then just kind of lay against my plants almost like they were holding him up. I placed him on the center log after the pictures and he just laid there and slowly rolled off.

I just did a 20% water change 2 days ago, added API bacteria as always and this time 1 table spoon and 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt to the new water before adding it and as always added quickstart to it before adding it. It is a 30gal tank and I have two filters set up right now because I am in the process of switching over to a new filter. The one on the left is the tetra 30 gal filter with just the normal carbon media and I put crushed coral in it in an empty bag because I was having a hardness issue 3 weeks ago. The new filter has carbon, ceramic ring bio media and sponge. Ive had both filters running for about a week now and was going to leave it that way for two more to establish the new filter before I removed the old one. The new filter is for a 60gal aquarium.

Ive had this tank set up since January all current fish in it since February and just tested the water 10 minutes ago with my API test kit, not the strips. My water parameters are the following:
GH-89.5ppm
KH-53.7ppm
PH-7.6 to 7.8
Ammonia-0 to .25ppm (It wasn't completely yellow had a slight green tint to it, my eye sight isn't the greatest and the wife ain't home to tell me what it's close to lol)
Nitrite-0
Nitrate- 0 to 5ppm ( same as the ammonia wasn't completely yellow had a slight orange tint)

Tank mates are: 3 Mollys, 2 Platys, 3 Corries, 1 clown pleco, 1 mystery snail and another Honey Gourami which is doing completely fine.
 

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IR_Crayoneater

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I think your pH is to high for these little guys
PH is my biggest concern right now it had been steady at 7.4-7.6 since January and then 2 weeks ago doing a water change I thought I picked up my quickstart cause I always put a dash in the tank to be safe cause my tapwater is horrible and accidently picked up the easybalance my wife had bought that I have never put in the tank after reading about it. The quickstart bottle has a drip plug in it and the easy balance doesn't so I am use to flipping it over and squeezing it. Needless to say half the bottle of easy balance went into the tank so I did a 60% water change over 3 days to not stress the fish out. This one fish is the only one having any issues, all the others are business as usual.
 

PorshaF

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From what I knew easy balance masks ammonia just like other similar products, not necessarily making the problem go away. It also doesn't remove chlorine or chloramines from the water. Some products you need to use air stones with as they take oxygen from the water. I would do another water change, you could maybe move the one to a bucket with an air stone in dechlorniated water. I hope you get more advice, I also don't know much about quick start or easy balance
 

Essjay

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The fewer chemicals we add to a tank, the better. All you need is a product to remove chlorine or chloramine from the water.
Salt should never be added to freshwater tanks except to treat a disease for 2 weeks at most. It damages fish's kidneys, especially with soft water fish.
You don't need Easy Balance; it claims to reduce the need for water changes, but weekly water changes are important.
Assuming the tank is cycled, you don't need to add any bacteria product. You already have all the bacteria you need. With the number of plants you have in the tank, they should be able to remove all the ammonia made by the fish so there will be very few bacteria needed anyway.

GH is more important than pH, and your GH is fine for honey gouramis. (But it is on the low side for the hard water fish - mollies and platies).


Stop adding chemicals to the water - no salt, no Easy Balance (even though that was an accident), no bacteria, or anything else you may be adding not mentioned in your post. The only thing you do need to add to new water only is a dechlorinator.
Daily 50% water changes as long as there's a reading above zero for ammonia (or nitrite) in the water. Clean the bottom of the tank between the plants at the same time. The water changes will flush the salt and other chemicals out of the tank.

Other than that I don't know what to suggest :(
 
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IR_Crayoneater

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The fewer chemicals we add to a tank, the better. All you need is a product to remove chlorine or chloramine from the water.
Salt should never be added to freshwater tanks except to treat a disease for 2 weeks at most. It damages fish's kidneys, especially with soft water fish.
You don't need Easy Balance; it claims to reduce the need for water changes, but weekly water changes are important.
Assuming the tank is cycled, you don't need to add any bacteria product. You already have all the bacteria you need. With the number of plants you have in the tank, they should be able to remove all the ammonia made by the fish so there will be very few bacteria needed anyway.

GH is more important than pH, and your GH is fine for honey gouramis. (But it is on the low side for the hard water fish - mollies and platies).


Stop adding chemicals to the water - no salt, no Easy Balance (even though that was an accident), no bacteria, or anything else you may be adding not mentioned in your post. The only thing you do need to add to new water only is a dechlorinator.
Daily 50% water changes as long as there's a reading above zero for ammonia (or nitrite) in the water. Clean the bottom of the tank between the plants at the same time. The water changes will flush the salt and other chemicals out of the tank.

Other than that I don't know what to suggest :(
I use the quickstart for dechlorinating the water, my tap water is high in ammonia to start with like 50ppm, so I try not to change more than 5 gallons at a time, thats why when I made that mistake after I chucked the bottle in the trash I spread the change out over a couple days. A friend of mine told me to add a little bit of the API Bacteria every water change, the recommended dosage for my tank is 30ml I only do 10ml. Same with the aquarium salt, I only do a tablespoon and teaspoon when I do add it and I only add it after every ive changed the water 5 or 6 times. It is mainly just a precautionary to catch anything early. The only other chemical I use is flourish maybe every 3 to 4 weeks. The EasyBalance was something my wife picked up but like I said I did a lot of reading on it and decided not to put it in my tank till I had a lack of observation of what was in my hand lol. Nothing else gets put in the tank, maybe a cuttlefish bone in the filter or now some crushed coral other than that I use nothing else in, tried to be as chem free as possible. When I did make the EasyBalance mistake, I read it can remove the O2 from the water so I put another air stone in and I am running two 6" air stones to disturb the surface a little better and get more O2 in.

I checked the gourami last night, he was just laying sideways in my moss, he was still breathing but would only move if I put the net near him, he would swim sporadically and then divebomb or spiral to the bottom of the tank. I tried placing him in the net and rigging it closer to the surface for him but my idiot cat and dog keep trying to grab the handle to it and knocked my lid off last night so I had to remove it. I am going today to buy a hanging net for him and keep him close to the surface and I was going to try to feed him Peas after browsing and reading a bunch of articles last night. All my other fish are doing completely fine, the clown pleco still chases everything away from him, the mollys are still dicks to everything in the tank, the corys are still swimming around "mowing the lawn" and the platys keep riding the air stones up and down. It is just that one Gourami having issues, he hasnt ate from what ive seen in 3 or 4 days.
 

Essjay

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my tap water is high in ammonia to start with like 50ppm
I hope that's a typo! 0.5 ppm is the maximum allowed in most countries.

If the water provider uses chloramine, that will show up in the ammonia test - chloramine is an ammonia and a chlorine joined together.
API Quick Start isn't a dechlorinator, it's bottled bacteria. Is that the actual name of the dechlorinator you use? API make a couple of dechlorinators - API Stress Coat and API Tap Water Conditioner.

A lot of dechlorinators detoxify ammonia for 24 hours; these are designed for use when there is chloramine in the water as they split up the chloramine, remove the chlorine and detoxify the ammonia half until the beneficial bacteria and/or plants have had time to remove it. API Stress Coat is the one which detoxifies ammonia (Tap Water Conditioner does not).

Many people believe that the beneficial bacteria live floating in the water so that you need to add more after a water change. But the bacteria actually live on surfaces not in the water so water changes don't affect then - unless you forget to add dechlorinator.

Using salt is another myth, a hangover from decades ago but many people still believe you have to use it. Hard water fish can cope with salt in the water, even though it's still not a good idea, but soft water fish are damaged by salt. Plecs cannot tolerate salt, so I strongly recommend you stop using it and let it be diluted out with water changes.


It could be that the gourami was not healthy when you bought it. The other fish are all healthy, it's just this one. How long have you had it?
 
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IR_Crayoneater

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I hope that's a typo! 0.5 ppm is the maximum allowed in most countries.

If the water provider uses chloramine, that will show up in the ammonia test - chloramine is an ammonia and a chlorine joined together.
API Quick Start isn't a dechlorinator, it's bottled bacteria. Is that the actual name of the dechlorinator you use? API make a couple of dechlorinators - API Stress Coat and API Tap Water Conditioner.

A lot of dechlorinators detoxify ammonia for 24 hours; these are designed for use when there is chloramine in the water as they split up the chloramine, remove the chlorine and detoxify the ammonia half until the beneficial bacteria and/or plants have had time to remove it. API Stress Coat is the one which detoxifies ammonia (Tap Water Conditioner does not).

Many people believe that the beneficial bacteria live floating in the water so that you need to add more after a water change. But the bacteria actually live on surfaces not in the water so water changes don't affect then - unless you forget to add dechlorinator.

Using salt is another myth, a hangover from decades ago but many people still believe you have to use it. Hard water fish can cope with salt in the water, even though it's still not a good idea, but soft water fish are damaged by salt. Plecs cannot tolerate salt, so I strongly recommend you stop using it and let it be diluted out with water changes.


It could be that the gourami was not healthy when you bought it. The other fish are all healthy, it's just this one. How long have you had it?
I apologize, its Tetra-Aquasafe I use for dichlorination, perfect example of why I don't use a lot of chemicals I get everything mixed up lol and yes it is .50ppm for the Ammonia but it can vary week to week one week ill have none in my tap water the next its bad. My father in law use to keep a tank 120gal tank when my wife was a kid and he said he would have to let his new water sit for almost a week to week and half before he could add it to the tank. I have been meaning to switch to the API brand once this tetra bottle is empty because I do not like a lot of what I've read about Tetra.

I use the gravel vac every time I change out the water as best I can. There is not a lot of room in the tank to get the vac around without uprooting plants. I have had the Honey Gouramis since early-mid March. Got them both at the same store 1 week apart. The first one I got is doing fine, its the second that has the problems. It is much smaller that my other one, its color is way off compared to the other one and it has hardly ever ate when I feed them but I figured that's cause my mollys are dicks and swim at the other fish when I feed them. Typically I sprinkle a little food on one side of the tank to get the mollys attention and then put a small amount on the other side for the gouramis. Other than that I break up a algae disk into small pieces and drop it in different spots in the tank for the Corys, pleco and 3 shrimp to nibble on.

I thought maybe my food could of been some of the problem, I still have the bottle of flakes from when my wife got me the tank but I know I need to use something else thats better for them. This is only my second tank ever besides the one I had while I was in the Marines and all that tank had was 2 plecos and a Senecal Bichir my Plt Sgt spent about 6 months trying to kill (you couldnt see from one side of the tank to the other) before I took it off his hands lol so I am fairly new to all this.
 

Essjay

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I was just a bit worried that you were using a bottled bacteria instead of a dechlorinator which is why I asked for the name :) Seachem Prime is another brand which detoxifies ammonia for 24 hours.

It does sound as though there was something wrong with the gourami when you bought it. A disease would have affected both the other gourami and the other fish in the tank by now.

If it was the food, all the fish which eat it would have been affected. The best foods contain no cereals (eg wheat) so look at the list of ingredients - you'll find many foods have wheat as the second or third in the list. If you want to try a different food, look at Omega One and New Life Spectrum products or Fluval Bug Bites. They are among the better ones.

If you want to try a medication (which I would do in a separate tank) I'm afraid the meds available to you are different from those I can get, so you'll need an American member to help with that.




My father in law use to keep a tank 120gal tank when my wife was a kid and he said he would have to let his new water sit for almost a week to week and half before he could add it to the tank.
That's the way it was done years ago. There were no dechlorinators back then, but there was also no chloramine, just chlorine. Chlorine gasses out of water when it's left to stand so that was the way to deal with chlorine. Chloramine is more recent and becoming more common, and this does not gas off. The only way to remove it is with dechlorinator. Chloramine is the most usual cause of ammonia in tap water which does suggest that's what your water provider uses.
 

Slaphppy7

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All of the above is excellent advice from Essjay. The fish is suffering from ammonia poisoning, or the harsh mixture of chemicals/salt in the tank...the other fish may not show it, but they are suffering, as well.

Do a huge water change, matching the tap temp to the tank temp, and use either Seachem Prime or API Tap Water Conditioner, and NOTHING else.
 
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IR_Crayoneater

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All of the above is excellent advice from Essjay. The fish is suffering from ammonia poisoning, or the harsh mixture of chemicals/salt in the tank...the other fish may not show it, but they are suffering, as well.

Do a huge water change, matching the tap temp to the tank temp, and use either Seachem Prime or API Tap Water Conditioner, and NOTHING else.
There is hardly any ammonia in the tank, less than .25, the test was almost completely yellow just a slight tint of green and I let the tap water sit with the dechlorinator almost 24 hours and test it before I put it in the tank to make sure all the levels are 0 especially the ammonia I try make sure its really low. If I do 1 more water change I would of changed out the full amount of the tank since the accident with the Easy balance. Since that mistake 2 weeks ago I've done about 25 gallons of a 30 gallon tank. I did 20 gallons over 3 days when I did that, 10 on the first then 5 and 5. I didnt put anything extra in it then no salt or bacteria just a straight water change with dechlorinator and luckily that was one of the days my tap water didn't have ammonia in it.

I planned on doing 10 gallons this weekend (finally have free time between school and work) cause I wanted to rearrange the plants and wood in the tank, I picked up the large center piece last week and a huge amount of decayed wood came out the center of it so I vac'd as much as I could at the time up, but now knowing all thats in there Id like to move it and get most of that out of there.

I honestly try to use least amount of chemicals possible, the dechlorinator for water changes, flourish every two or three weeks and then was just doing the salt and bacteria because of being advised to by some old guys lol
 
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IR_Crayoneater

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I was just a bit worried that you were using a bottled bacteria instead of a dechlorinator which is why I asked for the name :) Seachem Prime is another brand which detoxifies ammonia for 24 hours.

It does sound as though there was something wrong with the gourami when you bought it. A disease would have affected both the other gourami and the other fish in the tank by now.

If it was the food, all the fish which eat it would have been affected. The best foods contain no cereals (eg wheat) so look at the list of ingredients - you'll find many foods have wheat as the second or third in the list. If you want to try a different food, look at Omega One and New Life Spectrum products or Fluval Bug Bites. They are among the better ones.

If you want to try a medication (which I would do in a separate tank) I'm afraid the meds available to you are different from those I can get, so you'll need an American member to help with that.





That's the way it was done years ago. There were no dechlorinators back then, but there was also no chloramine, just chlorine. Chlorine gasses out of water when it's left to stand so that was the way to deal with chlorine. Chloramine is more recent and becoming more common, and this does not gas off. The only way to remove it is with dechlorinator. Chloramine is the most usual cause of ammonia in tap water which does suggest that's what your water provider uses.
I unfortunately only have 1 other tank and it is my wifes like 3 gal beta tank and I would have to clean it because its been in the basement for 2 years. I would like to set up a 10 or 20 gal tank for quarantines but was informed by the wife if I set up another fish tank before we move then it better be big enough for me to sleep in lol

One thing that I was kind of worried about now that SlapHppy mentioned ammonia, we have a grey squirrel my wife found as a baby and her cage sits 5 feet from the tank, her piss is pungent and smells like straight ammonia, worse than a cat (which we also have 2 of, one of which likes to jump on the stand and watch the fish) and was wondering if it could be having any affect on my tank. She isnt in that particular cage all the time, just in the evenings while were in the living room otherwise I have her own room set up for her.
 

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ANYTIME there's ANY ammonia, you need to do a WC.

I'd get the squirrel cage away from the tank, though I doubt the ammonia in the tank is related.
 
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Here is a picture I just took of the same fish, I know horrible quality I got a 5 year old phone lol same Gourami, hes just laying at the bottom of the tank on the gravel, hes moved about 8 inches from where i put him on the moss last night. Hes still alive and will move slightly when other fish get near him but still just laying there on its side.
20210422_125926.jpg
 
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