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Gourami Disease – Symptoms | Treatments | Signs

gourami look

Animal diseases

Gourami Disease – Symptoms | Treatments | Signs

Gourami are tropical fish, so they are especially sensitive to sudden changes in temperature that cause disease. But they are prone to other diseases. To find out about the poor health of your pets, keep an eye on the symptoms and behavior of the gourami.

Common symptoms

Most gourami diseases are accompanied by characteristic symptoms. For gourami problems with the gastrointestinal tract, this is a lack of appetite and unhealthy excrement. Lack of mobility usually means internal diseases, such as infection or viruses. Photophobia is associated with eye problems. But some symptoms correspond not to one disease, but to dozens, so you can not stop on one variant of the disease and immediately begin treatment.

gourami look

Lying or sitting on the bottom

Usually this problem is encountered by aquarists who have only recently bought gourams and settled them in a common aquarium. At first, the new inhabitants behave like healthy gourami, but then they begin to swim less, move only when feeding, and then they do not float from the bottom. Usually, if the gourami lies at the bottom with a large slope to the substrate, then it is difficult to save, because this is the end of the development of diseases.

This condition develops with insufficient care of the gouras: in the absence of filtration, overpopulation.

How to do if the fish is at the bottom:

  1. Remove the diseased gourami from the general aquarium and place in a separate container.
  2. Before treatment, check the water parameters for nitrates, nitrites and other poisons using tests.
  3. Replace some of the water with clean water in the general aquarium.
  4. Check the rest of the inhabitants for similar symptoms of the disease.
  5. In a patient with gourami, according to other concomitant symptoms, determine the approximate source of the disease and apply treatment in accordance with it.
  6. If the treatment has helped, then in a weak concentration, apply the medicine to the rest of the aquarium for prevention. Provided that this is not physical damage.
sitting at the bottom

Gourami usually lies at the bottom due to several possible diseases:

  • Ecto- and endoparasites manifest themselves by the formation of abscesses, holes, and rashes in the body and fins.
  • Fungal diseases – a plaque similar to cotton wool or white fluff forms on the body of a pet.
  • Bacteria cause a disorder of the internal organs, so the disease is manifested by a change in excrement, secretion of mucus from the mouth and gills, and bloating of the insides.

Blackened or darkened

A change in color by several tones is characteristic of gourami fish in different periods of life. A pet is able to lighten or darken a little due to changes in the composition of water and the diet. The color appears brighter before the spawning period to attract females. Therefore, the aquarist should not worry.

For some species, gourami normally darken before spawning. This is especially true for marble gourami, which, in order to attract the female, turns almost into black gourami. But the pearl gourami, which is usually distinguished by a silvery color, usually becomes purple in color for spawning. The spotted gourami before breeding changes the color of the light olive color a few tones darker, the spots and stripes take on a dark color. In honey gourami, a change in color causes not only procreation, but also a fright, in which they turn into honey-brown and dark-orange fish.

blackened with gourami

But the reasons for the darkening of the color by the gourami also depend on a change in the composition of the water, not always in a positive direction. Therefore, check the water for nitrates and nitrites, replace part of the water.

Belly swelled

Bloating is accompanied by decreased activity of the fish, lack of appetite. Bloating has several causes, among them there are safe and incurable.

gourami swollen belly

Possible causes of bloating:

  1. The most pleasant reason is that the female is filled with caviar and soon the aquarium is waiting for replenishment. In some females, the abdomen is enlarged so much due to eggs that aquarists suggest tumors. Prepare a spawning ground and move the female and the male there.
  2. A less pleasant reason is that tapeworms wound up in the abdomen of the fish. They enter the aquarium with food and usually do little harm to the fish. But under favorable conditions for breeding, their numbers are growing rapidly, and the body of the fish is weakening due to a lack of nutrients. Get rid of tapeworms with the help of anthelmintic preparations for fish.
  3. Overfeeding and obesity result from an improper and unbalanced diet. In advanced cases, the fish is not treatable and dies. Therefore, monitor the fish food and their dosage.
  4. Abdominal dropsy. Symptoms: ruffled scales, the color turns pale, lack of activity and refusal to feed. The fish swells due to excessive accumulation of fluid in the internal organs and most often does not respond to treatment. Abdominal dropsy affects overfed, old and weak representatives, as well as fish living in a polluted aquarium.
  5. A tumor of the internal organs also inflates the abdomen of the fish. Can not be treated.

Red fins

Redness of fins in gourami usually means disturbances in the nitrogen balance of the aquarium and poisoning with chemicals. Do water tests.

Even the fins turn red after treatment with some drugs if the dosage is not observed.

gourami have red fins
gourami have red fins

Scales come off

Causes of flaky scales:

  • Physical damage to sharp objects in the aquarium, glass. Gourami is also capable of losing scales in a fight and skirmishes with other inhabitants. Some species bite the scales of other inhabitants.
  • A bacterial or fungal infection causes disturbances in the functioning of the body and internal organs, so the scales fall out of the skin, causing partial baldness.
  • Osmotic stress is caused by deep wounds and damage to the skin of the inhabitants, which is accompanied by a change in color, unusual behavior for the inhabitant, and frequent breathing. A healthy gourami maintains a water-salt balance in the body. In gourami with wounds, water will penetrate through the wounds and leach salts, upsetting the balance and causing osmotic stress. To prevent, treat any wounds that appear on the body.

Floating on the surface

If gourami constantly floats on the surface of the water and is unable to plunge deep into, this indicates a violation of the internal organs of the inhabitants.


  • The lack of oxygen in the water makes the gourami swim at a surface where the concentration of oxygen in the water is much higher. In this case, put a compressor in the aquarium to improve the lives of pets.
  • Poor water quality, pollution, waterlogging. Gurami is uncomfortable in such an environment, so they swim at the surface. In rare cases, when poisoning water with poisons, the inhabitants even jump out of the aquarium, although this leads to possible death. Fish do this in the hope that there will be a clean body of water nearby, suitable for life.
  • Problems with the respiratory system. The fish feels suffocation and tries to find a place with a high oxygen content, but still can not breathe it fully.

Does not eat

Causes of lack of appetite in gourami:

  • Stress after relocation to a new aquarium. This is normal, appetite will be restored soon.
  • The new inhabitant does not fit / dislike your food. Try to give finicky fish live food: bloodworms, earthworms. The movements of the insect stimulate appetite in fish. Gradually switch to other types of feed.
  • If a gourami has been living in an aquarium for a long time and has never refused food before, and now has stopped eating, this indicates a disease or illness. If she swims to feed, takes it into her mouth, but then spits it out, then check her throat for foreign bodies. Smooth bodies can be obtained on their own, but entrust objects with sharp edges to the veterinarian.
  • Stress due to overpopulation also causes a lack of appetite.
  • Due to a change in feed, constipation occurs. In most cases, a small hunger strike of an adult representative in a couple of days will solve the problem.

Red spots

Red spots can be a feature of the representative’s color, which is brightly manifested during stress or spawning. But red spots may possibly be bruising due to internal disturbances or open external wounds caused by physical damage or ectoparasites. Parasites are treated with antibiotics, small wounds heal themselves, and large and deep wounds need to be treated with their own hands.

Symptoms of the disease:

  • At the edges of the fins appear bluish turbidity in the form of a border.
  • The formation of red spots due to fin blockage of blood vessels and hemorrhages.
  • The fins rot and decompose.
  • Turbidity of the eyes.
  • Ulcers at the base of the white fins.


  • Raise the temperature to the maximum value for gourami (if no other species are available).
  • Add the ground tablet of chloramphenicol to water (20 liters per tablet) and carefully transfer until completely dissolved. Replace 40% of water every 3 days and add the pill again.
  • Streptocide treatment. 1.5 g per 10 liters. First dissolve in a small jar, only then gradually add to the general aquarium.
  • Treatment with bicillin-5. Dilute 1/6 of the vial in 10 liters of water and transfer sick fish there for half an hour. The treatment time is 6 days, i.e., a full bottle of bicillin-5 will be consumed during the course of treatment.
  • Baths with salt – 2 teaspoons per 5 liters. Put fish for 10 minutes.
red spots

White goo on the scales

Possible diseases that are accompanied by the release of white mucus:

  • Alkalosis. Symptoms: white mucus, anxiety and nervousness of the fish, tarnishing of the color, frequent breathing. Treatment: transplant with a gourami into a tank with clean water with an acidity of 7.5-8 pH, gradually increase to normal.
  • Acidosis. Symptoms: anxiety and timidity of fish, they swim in circles and look for secluded places, white mucus stands out. Treatment: water acidity reduction.
  • Kostiosis. Symptoms: white mucus, anxiety, fish rubs against plants, objects, glass, lack of appetite, gluing fins and the formation of blue spots. Treatment: baths with salt, malachite green; add blue methylene, bicillin-5, hydrochloride.
  • Chlorosis. Symptoms: anxiety and timidity, the color brightens, white mucus is released on the scales, after a while the gourami does not respond to irritants. Treatment: replace the water with clean water, follow the indications of chlorine.

Chasing or fighting each other


  • The approach of spawning is accompanied by mating games of females and males of the same species, they swim one after another and chase.
  • If the fish in the aquarium are of different species, then check the compatibility of the fish. Some fish, because of temperament, character, living conditions, are simply unable to live together and they fight with each other.
  • Lack of food during feeding makes the fish take it away from others, which causes fights and skirmishes. In addition, hungry inhabitants are prone to nervousness and quickly attack floating nearby. Calculate a sufficient dose of food when feeding and make sure that all fish have enough food. Still often, bottom fish remain hungry, to which the feed simply does not have time to fall. In this case, buy special heavy feed for bottom dwellers that quickly fall to the bottom.
  • Overpopulation of the aquarium. In close conditions, fish become hostile and attack other fish.
  • Territoriality in fish. Some species tend to delimit the aquarium into zones and they will defend their territory from enemies and invaders to death. In this case, you need a large aquarium, or separate tanks. After all, such an aggressive neighborhood leads only to stress and nervousness.

Why die gourami

Common causes of death by gourami:

  • Poisoning with chemical poisons: ammonia, nitrates, nitrites. Their excessive accumulation is caused by the decomposition of uncleaned food debris, organic fish excretion in the form of excrement. For control, run water tests and replace part of the water with clean water weekly.
  • Stress is often manifested in fish and does not harm them, but daily nervous tension (from neighborhood with predators, lack of food, aggressive neighbors, overpopulation) undermines the fish’s health and immunity and, in the absence of a solution to the problem, leads to the death of gourami.
  • Infection and viruses. Penetrating into the body, they multiply rapidly and affect the internal organs. If untreated, even a weak and non-hazardous disease can lead to death.
  • Physical injuries, injuries. Through wounds, infection gets inside, which leads to illness.


The most common pathogens in gourami:

  • Viruses.
  • Bacteria.
  • Tapeworms.
  • Ciliates.
  • Fungus.

They enter the aquarium through poor quality food, unprocessed soil, decoration elements, with fish that have not been quarantined.


Common gourami diseases:

  1. Pseudomoniasis Symptoms: dark spots form, turning into red ulcers and abscesses of a round shape, through which pathogenic bacteria enter the body. Treatment: dilute bicillin-5 in a concentration of 1/6 bottle in 10 liters of water, conduct baths for half an hour a day, 6 days. Potassium permanganate, dissolved in 0.5 g in 10 liters, in which the fish is placed 2 times for a quarter of an hour, also helps.
  2. Aeromonosis. More often striking pearl and spotted gourami. It enters the aquarium with infected and poor-quality food. Symptoms: scales rise and puff, lack of appetite, activity decreases, fish lie at the bottom. Bruising on the abdomen later appears. Treatment: antibiotics, baths with potassium permanganate as in the treatment of bacterial diseases. Levomycetin tablets are dissolved in water and put the fish in the bath for half an hour. Less commonly treated with syntomycin – 1 liter of 600 mg of the drug.


Most diseases are caused by improper care: dirty and muddy water, which rarely changes, lack of equipment in the form of aeration devices and a filter, poisoning of water with ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, overpopulation of the aquarium, and an inadequate diet. If you prevent these factors and properly care for the fish, then they will live healthy until the end of life. And do not forget about quarantine for newly acquired fish!

Than treating illnesses, endangering the health and lives of the inhabitants of the aquarium, it is easier to prevent them with the help of prevention. And in return for good care, the fish will delight their eyes with their beauty and health.

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