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Honey Gourami pale and lethargic with lump on his side? Please help :(

CamGonz

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My honey gourami is pale and lethargic please help :(. I’ve had him for a week and he’s always had this pale color and was never very active. However, recently he can’t swim and whenever he does he seems to sink back down. He just lays on his side or on plants. What can I do? (Water parameters good).
 

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Jan Cavalieri

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Sounds to me like swim bladder disease. I have a dwarf powderblue Gourami that has it right now as well. She has a slight bulge in her side, but mainly either swims on her side or even upside down. Hasn't eaten in over 6 weeks.

The swim bladder is the organ that assists the fish in moving up and down in the water. Gourami also regularly take breathes of air from the top of the tank and ones with swim bladder issues can rarely do this.

The typical and EASY way for most people to cure this is to cook some peas, then peel them and feed them to her (it's great if the other fish like them as well ) If you've ever purchased some garlic extract you can soak them in a little of that and then they''ll really be a big hit. The fish is basically constipated (usually due to all the dry food we feed them) one they poop then the swim bladder disease usually corrects itself but I would still feed peas periodically - peeling them is a minor pain, they usually just slip out of their little jacket and it will reduce the incidences of fish bladder.

Mine is still not well primarily because she refuses to eat the peas so I tried mushed up peas in water added garlic extract and a little bit of Miralax (a mild human laxative), and feed them through a syringe (no needle) but she still refuses food for the most part. Her swim bladder issue has come and gone multiple times and she allows me some liberty to feed her by hand. She too will try tubiflish worms diet but often burps them out. Originally she wasn't coming up for air at all. Now she does usually try to come up for air. She does not seek out food but only eats when I direct the food towards her. After this long I'm afraid she has some death to her intestinal tract but she still keeps fighting so I haven't euthanized her yet.
 

Jan Cavalieri

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Oh and if you can get the fish un-constipated with peas then the outlook tends to be good. Unfortunately, if they continue to refuse to eat the peas or the constipation doesn't get resolved the outlook is not very good. I still can't believe mine has gone such a long time without eating yet is still fighting the disease and trying to swim straight until she just runs out of energy. I really admire her perserverance but am afraid that the day is coming I'm going to have to make a decision on euthanasia. I do wished I noticed her not regularly going to the top of the tank a few days earlier or her outcome might have been much different. If she'd just POOP then I think all would be well but if she's lost parts of her intestinal tract then I'm fighting a losing battle. She just keeps trying so hard I can't even think about putting her down yet.

I wish you the very best of luck with yours!
 

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The poor little thing. I had the same exact thing happen with two Bettas this past year. I'm starting to think it may be temperature. The next Betta I get will be kept at 80 to 82 degrees F. Gouramis, being part of that Anabantid labyrinth family of fish maybe should be too. Just a thought not science.
 
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