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Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami's Odd Leaning Behavior
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Cyndi
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Joined: 11 Mar 2011

PostPosted: 2011.03.11(Fri)10:00    Post subject: Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami's Odd Leaning Behavior Reply with quote

We have a 20 gallon tank with tropical community fish. We started adding our fish last September. One of the first tank mates was a powder blue dwarf gourami, and he quickly became my personal favorite. In the past couple months he's developed some oddities, and I'm wondering what his prognosis might be. He eats the normal flakes we feed daily, and he loves the frozen blood worms we put in every few days. The strange thing is that he now spends most of his time sitting down low on or near the gravel, leaning to his right. Some days he leans so far to the right that he's nearly sideways. He seems to have developed a bit of a curve from his head to a bit further back, toward the right. Lately it appears to affect his ability to "catch" the food bits as well since he's so curved, and obviously, with one eye on each side, I'm sure his vision is rather compromised. I can't tell if he's suffering, but he is at least surviving. He doesn't swim around much any more, except for feeding time, and even then he's more reserved than he used to be. He doesn't appear to have anything on his scales (no cloudiness or discoloration), and I can't see anything visibly wrong, other than the slight curvature. Is there anything I can do for him? Is there any way to tell if he's in pain? I really like this particular fish, so I'm feeling rather helpless. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
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FrogSplash
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Joined: 24 Sep 2010
Location: Trabuco Canyon, CA

PostPosted: 2011.03.15(Tue)17:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are any of the other fish acting oddly?
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Cyndi
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Joined: 11 Mar 2011

PostPosted: 2011.03.17(Thu)9:16    Post subject: Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami's Odd Leaning Behavior Reply with quote

No, everyone else seems to be fine. The only "casualties" we had were the otocinclus we tried to add; each time we put one in, they died (or disappeared in one case) within a week or two. I have given up on them for now.

Our other fish are nine 1-1.5" glo fish (those funky ones from PetSmart that are supposedly danios crossed with jellyfish), one turquoise fancy guppy, two fat Mickey Platys, and an emerald cory catfish. Oh, we also had a small African dwarf frog (not the clawed kind). He lived for about four months before he went to the giant lily pad in the sky.

We started adding our fish in early September; the most recent additions were the fancy guppy and the Mickey Platys, which were added in early February, after the Gourami had been acting oddly.

I haven't noticed any marked change in the Gourami before or after doing water changes, and when I bring our water in to PetSmart for testing, they say everything looks good. One thing maybe worth mentioning is that I use bottled drinking water in the aquarium because our water here in Parker is so full of hard minerals; it's a pain to clean the faucets, sinks, etc. The last thing I want is to have to deal with cleaning that hard mineral deposit stuff in the aquarium.

I called the folks at the Tetra help line to see if I should have been using distilled water instead, but the lady I spoke with said drinking water should be fine. I'm not sure I trust the advice completely -- do you have any input on this?

I'm not sure that there is anything we can do for the Gourami, but I'm still hopeful that you or someone will have an idea we can try out. He's such a cool fish with a neat personality. It makes me sad to see him just leaning over on the bottom of the aquarium. Any ideas? Thanks for taking the time to consider what might be going on. I'm realtively new to this, so I appreciate the assistance.


Last edited by Cyndi on 2011.03.28(Mon)11:11; edited 1 time in total
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Cyndi
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Joined: 11 Mar 2011

PostPosted: 2011.03.17(Thu)9:33    Post subject: Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami's Odd Leaning Behavior Reply with quote

I just had a thought... I sort of think the Gourami started his funkiness after we started giving the bloodworms as food. It's not something we do every day, just every 3 - 4 days.

I remember him not being interested in the flake food (Omega One Super Color Flakes) after he got a taste for the bloodworms. He didn't seem to eat for a few days after the first feeding of worms. When I put in another little block of frozen worms, he started eating right away. Since then, he has been eating the flakes, but as time goes on, he seems to be eating less and less. It almost seems like he gets discouraged that he can't "catch" them as well as he used to, so he just quits trying.

We feed the fish once a day, in the evening. My husband thinks I don't feed them enough, but he's not the one doing the tank cleaning! I've been following the advice to feed only as much as they can consume in about two minutes. On days they get the bloodworms, I don't usually give any flakes. Since everyone else seems to be doing great, I've been reluctant to change the feeding schedule/amount/items.
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FrogSplash
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Location: Trabuco Canyon, CA

PostPosted: 2011.03.24(Thu)18:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bottled water works just fine. Your gourami may just be one of the "bad" ones. Mixing otos with gouramis is a bad idea and I've dealt with that personally as the gouramis automatically hone in on the otos. and try feeding them twice daily and mixing it up, twice tomorrow once after once after that then twice for 3 days
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Cyndi
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Joined: 11 Mar 2011

PostPosted: 2011.03.27(Sun)9:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, FrogSplash, for your input. I'll try mixing up the feeding. As for the Gourami, he's not doing well. He's pretty much looked dead for the past three days, but he continues to breathe and occasionally relocate himself to another place on the gravel. I'm wondering if it's too late to try something like the antibiotics I read about somewhere for using when a fish has an infected swim bladder. I figure it probably can't hurt at this point. I've never used them before, so I don't know if I need to isolate the fish needing treatment, and more importantly, I don't know exactly what I need. I thought I'd start by visiting the local PetSmart. They actually have some employees who seem to have a decent amount of fish-keeping knowledge. I'll dig around on this site to see what else I can learn in the mean time, but if you (or anyone else) has any input regarding using antibiotics, I would love to hear from you. I think we're running out of time for the Gourami, but as long as he's breathing, I'm not going to give up on him. Thanks again for any input.
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FrogSplash
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Location: Trabuco Canyon, CA

PostPosted: 2011.03.27(Sun)13:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last time I tried anti-biotics on my fish which I thought had black ich ( still not sure) I got really sick from not having the best ventilation. If nothing else, there are humane ways to put the fish down painlessly. There are two main ways, one of which is putting the fish in tank water premixed with clove oil. but you have to make sure you add enough of the oil, the other way is by mixing alka seltzer in tank water (outside of the tank in a small bucket or bag, same with clove oil). it makes the fish fall alseep
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Cyndi
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PostPosted: 2011.03.27(Sun)14:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah... I'm thinking we might need to resort to the whole euthanasia thing. Since my previous post earlier today, I've been poking around the Internet, and I finally found more information about something referred to as "Dwarf Gourami Disease" or DGD. Apparently it's some kind of virus that many store-bought Gouramis are prone to. The symptoms described sound pretty much like what ours is doing, except I haven't noticed any bumps or indentations or other abnormalities on him. There were even some pictures showing the same type of Gourami laying on the gravel, looking just as sad and hopeless as ours does. If this is indeed what we're dealing with, there is supposedly no hope for him. Albeit, I still need to address our water condition. I've been told to try using neutral regulator powder with a 20% water change, which I'm due for anyway. It seems our water quality has recently taken a turn for the worse -- the alkalinity is now registering 0 ppm (with a home test strip, as well as at the LFS), and our pH has dropped down to something at or below 5.5. I'm hoping to gradually adjust the levels to keep everyone else from dying prematurely (I'm guessing that's what got our guppy a few days ago). Any more advice?
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FrogSplash
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Joined: 24 Sep 2010
Location: Trabuco Canyon, CA

PostPosted: 2011.03.27(Sun)15:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might be using the wrong strips for your testing, as the alkalinity refers to water pH. if somethings reading at 0ppm (parts per million) then your using a strip for ammonia nitrates or nitrites.

See if you mixed up your strips before buying anything new.

I'm pretty partial to Seachem products, mainly cause I have had the most success with them. so I would recommend Seachems neutral regulator for pH problems, their Prime water conditioner and if you lost your nitrogen cycle then Seachem stability to rapidly regrow a beneficial bacteria colony. Right now I'm also testing their purigen ammonia/nitrites/nitrates adsorption which is keeping everything at 0.

when doing a water change, remove the water as usual, and add the neutral pH buffer to the water going back in (in the doses for your full tank size) and mix thoroughly. that ensures best mixing.
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KhiaraFish
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PostPosted: 2011.03.27(Sun)15:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible to get a 0 KH reading. KH relates directly to the pH of your water, which can plummet if the KH is too low. I would look for a pH buffering product, or find some crushed coral or the like.
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