Honey Gourami Sinking - NEW SYMPTOM: PINK SORE

klc43

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My female honey gourami has been off for a couple of days (36-48 hours).

When she stops moving, she sinks, tail first, towards the bottom. She can still swim around fine and quite quickly if she is scared.
She isn't using her dorsal fins much. The male has them moving constantly... but hers are glued to her side.
She seems to be spending about half of her time resting on the bottom or on plants, and half swimming around with the male.
She doesn't appear to be very interested in eating, but is pooping.
She also appears to be breathing quite quickly.

What should I do? I've seen recommendations to feed them peas - I'm not sure she'll eat it, as she is mostly hiding. Do you think this is an infection?

I have been feeding a mix of mini pellets and sinking discs. My male is always looking for algae, but the female doesn't seem to do that.

Tank: 20 gallon, 5 weeks since adding fish, 2 honey gourami, 2 corydoras habrosus (I know I need to get more - I lost 4 due to an infection - I was waiting to make sure everything was cleared before getting more. It has been 2 weeks since a death and since any signs of infection.)
PH - 7.0, Ammonia 0.25 ppm, Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0

Thank you for your help!
 

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klc43

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PS. I did do a 30% water change about 2 days ago, 12 hours before these symptoms appeared. I am trying to get the ammonia level down. The water changes stress out the gouramis so much though. I'm not sure if I should keep doing them (smaller water changes daily?) or if the stress they cause is worse.
 

Colin_T

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You should do a 75% water change and gravel clean any day there is an ammonia or nitrite level above 0ppm, or a nitrate level above 20ppm.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chlormamine before it's added to the tank.

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Any chance of a video of the fish swimming and sinking?

Normally if a fish sinks when it stops swimming, then it has a swim bladder problem.

What does the fish's poop look like?
If it's white and stringy, then the fish has an internal infection and is dying.
 
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klc43

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You should do a 75% water change and gravel clean any day there is an ammonia or nitrite level above 0ppm, or a nitrate level above 20ppm.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chlormamine before it's added to the tank.

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Any chance of a video of the fish swimming and sinking?

Normally if a fish sinks when it stops swimming, then it has a swim bladder problem.

What does the fish's poop look like?
If it's white and stringy, then the fish has an internal infection and is dying.
Thanks for the suggestions!

I tried to get a video, but aside from looking lethargic, she looks like she is swimming just fine right now.

I guess I need to keep doing the water changes. (I originally had gravel, and was having issues with decomposing food, so I had to change the substrate to sand and the tank seems to be struggling to re-establish the cycle.) Maybe I need to pick up another bottle of the aquarium starter. I am probably over feeding too.

She does seem be having issues regulating her swim bladder in general. She can swim fast when frightened, can get to the top and bottom of the tank, but is doing so somewhat sloppily compared to the normal grace. Mostly she is lethargic unless disturbed. I have seen brown poop coming out of her this morning. I have seen clearish/pale poop in the tank as well. It was not bright white like the pictures I have seen online. I have some Kanaplex but am cautious to dose without some clear signs.
 
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klc43

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Update: She seems to be having issues regulating swim bladder in both directions. I noticed her floating too much one time when checking on the tank, sinking another time. Is swim bladder primarily a diet issue? I'm wondering if live plants to nibble on is the answer... unfortunately, no matter what I buy, it will need to be quarantined. Still pooping brown.
 

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There's no point isolating the fish in a quarantine tank unless it is being picked on by other fish. If it has a disease then that is already in the tank and everything in the tank will have been exposed to it. However, I doubt it's a disease because the poop is normal coloured and the fish is eating.

There is no cure for swim bladder problems although some people claim their Bettas get better after being fed peas or other plant matter. Bettas and Gouramis are related and are both Labyrinth fishes so you could try adding some plant matter to their diet.

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Don't add Kanaplex. It is an anti-biotic and these should not be used unless the fish has a known bacterial infection that has not responded to normal treatments. Improper use and mis-use of anti=biotics has lead to drug resistant bacteria that KILL people, animals, reptiles, birds and fish.
 
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klc43

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There's no point isolating the fish in a quarantine tank unless it is being picked on by other fish. If it has a disease then that is already in the tank and everything in the tank will have been exposed to it. However, I doubt it's a disease because the poop is normal coloured and the fish is eating.

There is no cure for swim bladder problems although some people claim their Bettas get better after being fed peas or other plant matter. Bettas and Gouramis are related and are both Labyrinth fishes so you could try adding some plant matter to their diet.

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Don't add Kanaplex. It is an anti-biotic and these should not be used unless the fish has a known bacterial infection that has not responded to normal treatments. Improper use and mis-use of anti=biotics has lead to drug resistant bacteria that KILL people, animals, reptiles, birds and fish.
Thank you so much for your continued advice!

A new symptom appeared this morning: A light pink sore on her side, behind her gill. It is not a bump, but more like an indent. I am attaching photos. Is this an injury, or an infection? She still hasn't been using her dorsal fins much, (right in that area). Can you suggest a treatment for this?

When I examine photos from yesterday, there may be a slightly pink spot in that location. It was not noticeable yesterday, unless searching for it in photos and was pretty apparent this morning, so it has gotten worse.

All fish came from the same store on Feb 16 - 5 1/2 weeks ago. I haven't introduced anything that could have brought a new disease.

Behavior is the same: alternating between sitting still under a plant and swimming vigorously (and clumsily) with my male.
 

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klc43

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This is totally bizarre, but I am in the middle of a 50% water change, and they appear to be trying to mate. They are circling each other closely, wiggling, nipping. The female is receptive, she's not swimming away. There isn't a bubble nest.

My plan is to slowly add salt this evening and tomorrow morning, and continue with large water changes to see if I can get my ammonia to 0.
 

Colin_T

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Are you sure there is a male and a female?
If you have 2 males they might be fighting.

The pink patch is probably the base of the pectoral fin. It doesn't look like a disease and the only problems that normally occur in that area are tumours at the base of the pectoral fin but they are uncommon.

I would monitor them and see how they go over the next few weeks. If it gets worse, post more pictures but at this stage, just keep the water clean.

Salt doesn't do anything to swim bladder problems.
 

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Is it just the photo or do both gouramis have a darker throat? If they do, they are males.

My honey gourami males and females never swam in circles round each other. The only time they were side by side was while actually spawning. As Colin suggests, you may have 2 males.
 
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klc43

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Is it just the photo or do both gouramis have a darker throat? If they do, they are males.

My honey gourami males and females never swam in circles round each other. The only time they were side by side was while actually spawning. As Colin suggests, you may have 2 males.
@Colin_T

I'm 99% certain they are male and female. Body shape, fin shape, and coloration are different. There is a photo of each fish attached.

I completed water changes and Ammonia, Nitrates, and Nitrite are all zero. (checking every 12 hours - stable at those readings since Wednesday afternoon)

Unfortunately, I was a bit too late the sore has developed an infection. You can see white fluff on her right side one of the photos attached. It can only seen from the front/behind. She is isolated now in a quarantine tank and I am doing salt treatment, starting at 1 tablespoon per 3 gallons. I haven't seen her eat pellets, I have seen her nibble at algae. She is still pooping brown. She also seems to be swimming better than she was at her worst. Still lethargic though. We'll see - my hopes aren't high at this point.
 

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klc43

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The infection appears to be deepening, with new red areas. (Photo attached). She ate the food in the tank though.
 

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klc43

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Good news, the patch of what I think is fungus fell off after less than 12 hours of the salt treatment. I'm continuing to monitor water quality and behavior.
 

Colin_T

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She has a wound, which is how the fungus got into it. Salt has dealt with the fungus but you will need to keep salt in the tank for a couple of weeks to stop the wound being infected by bacteria.

Do big daily water changes and gravel cleans for a week while using salt. This will keep the bacteria and fungus levels down in the water and reduce the chance of infection. The salt will also help and the combination of the salt and daily water changes should let the wound heal. If it gets worse in the next few days, you might need a chemical medication to treat bacteria (preferably not anti-biotics).

Try not to handle the fish until she has recovered because you can open up the sound and it will get infected. Keep salt in the tank for 2 weeks.

Don't need to test the water every 12 hours. Once a day is fine if you are cycling a tank or if it doesn't have a filter. Once or twice a week is ample if the tank is established
 
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klc43

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@Colin_T Thanks for the advice! Do you recommend any particular medications to have on hand? It's a bit of a drive for me to get to the local fish store, but I'll be in the area tomorrow.
 

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