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Seizuring Gourami?

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Jul 29, 2011
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I've had my golden gourami over a year now and recently he started doing weird things.. It's been increasing in frequency the last few days..

He'll swim around normally then all of a sudden bolt like something attacked him (when clearly the other fish are not).. Usually resulting in him ramming himself into the filter tube or the wall of the tank.. Then he sits there stunned for a few minutes... Then starts swimming in circles and chasing my other fish (5 bleeding heart tetras; they've been in there over 8 months now.) I haven't seen this aggressive behaviour since I had a dwarf gourami in the tank as well (got the gold and dwarf at the same time; they were in the same tank at the lfs.) It got itself stuck under a rock somehow and died 2 weeks after I brought it home...

He will also jump at the light.. Whether it's on or off.. And the feeding lid.. He will hit it so hard it opens a little.. And then again dazes himself...

When he's not doing that he just sits in the back, top, right corner. Either flaring at his reflection (which is new for him as well) or staring into empty water . The other fish school and hang out on the other side of the tank, probably to avoid his wrath.. (3 males, 2 female; the males fight amongst themselves, assuming it is normal to fight over the females..)

I recently did a big clean of the tank (35% water change; removed plants/decor to wipe them; cleaned the gravel; etc.) I made sure no soap/chemicals whats-so-ever touched anything. Originally I thought that maybe something in the water was making him act this way (he had small ammonia burns under his fins.) But now it's worse, although his burns are cleared up, and the water tests excellent. The other fish seem happier as well.

Is my fish trying to commit suicide? :p
I'm getting an oto for christmas to help keep algae down and now I'm worried about it getting killed.
my eldest gourami was doing some of the signs you have mentioned when it lived in my neighbours tank,

his tank is well over stocked and he asked me to take it in as it was banging things and jumping out the water at his lights/lid

i took it in from possibly a 60-80L tank to a 450L tank and its never done anything to what he said it was doing it even ignored my newborn molly fry when i kept mollys,

pardon me for asking but what is your exact stocking and tank size???
My tank is only half stocked according to everything I've read. It is 12x18x35in. Which if my math is correct is... Rounded down 32 US gallons. When I did my big clean I took out some of the bigger decorations.. So he should have MORE room then he did before.

I should be able to have him, my tetras, an oto, and 2 "small" healthy angels without going over capacity. (Lps has 2 types of angels: the ones that get BIG, and ones that only grow to 3inches tall..)

Could he just be mad because my tetras are trying to breed and he's lonely..?
Silly I know, but I thought I would throw it out there.
Only 5 bleeding heart tetras; 2 female 3 male. And the male golden gourami.
I DID have 2 small angels 5 months ago.. The store I got them at didn't take care of them well so they were weak and I guess couldn't make it (they got stuck on my filter tube).. The gourami ate them. Only lasted 2 days..

I am getting a small oto soon... And because of the angelfish incident I am worried about it..
hmmmm you got me there im surprised a more knowledgeable member hasn't commented yet,

im sure your gourami wont hurt your otto as my 2 blues don't even pay attention to any of their tank mates and I've never seen them attack/chase any other fish ive had and still have in my tank besides my alpha female likes to show who's boss to the other gourami every once and while,

maybe adding a couple more females might help as hes probably lonely??

ive got to add another 4-6 more females to kerb her now bossiness/dominance
I just don't understand why he is doing it now. After a year of being perfectly happy.
I know you said your water stats are perfect, but what are the actual figures?
0 ammonia (took forever to cycle it at the beginning but I am glad I did!!)
1 NO2 (always between 0-3)
12 NO3 (always between 9-16)

I do water 1/4 changes ever 2 weeks.. More often if the fish seem to be sad..
I feed them once a day. (Sometimes my roommate feeds them a little when I'm at work..)

SO maybe not "perfect" but it's stable.
Sorry I'm not big on chemistry, is NO2 nitrite? And is that reading 1ppm or another measure?
Ok any reading of nitrite is bad so I'd keep doing water changes until that is at 0. I'm not sure that's the cause of the erratic behavior but worth ruling out. The only other cause I can think of is parasites but get the water stats good first then see how the gourami is.
I can do a water change everyday; twice a day, three times a day, and use 3 different testers (liquid drops, the paper, in tank testers) and it still shows up the about the same.
Yes, it is ppm.

Nothing I do makes the NO2 read zero. Thinking it's just my tap water. When it gets past 1 is when I do a water change. But that hardly ever happens unless my roommate is feeding them too much (believe me, I threw a fit on her one day. :p)

And I'm not sure how it could be a parasite; nothing new has been added to the tank that wasnt in there before.
I have a theory that it is the light; for a long time the bulb was burnt out so I never had it on.. I have 3days off of work so I'll watch him with the light on and with the light off. He seems to stare at the light. And the big light in the room the tank is in.. (The only time he is in the front of the tank he has his face pressed right against it staring up.. What a weird fish. lol)

I looked up parasites and my tank doesnt show any signs of that so I doubt that is what it is.. Guess I'll just watch the light theory..
That's strange, I would test your tap water for nitrites then and see if you get a reading (if you haven't already ;)). If you look up head worms then you'll see that your gouramis symptoms sound the same, though I know very little about that parasite.

Does your gourami only freak out when the light goes on/off?
He freaks out when anything touches him. Food, plant. Or something bumps the tank. Another fish swims by him. He seems to do it more often with the light on. But other fish always seem so sad with the light off.. *sigh
Well.. Looks like hole in the head.. :/
I've had fish with it before and they didn't do what he is doing though..
That's why I ruled it out..

Although he could just be skittish because he got used to living in the dark.. lol..

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