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Old 12-24-2010, 11:22 AM   #1
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Powder Blue Gouramis - Head Ulcers (from the official Spamasaurus Rex)

I've had a number of powder blue dwarf gouramis -- I think they're absolutely beautiful fish. However, I've lost every single one, and before they died they all developed ulcers on their heads, above their eyes and down their snout. Anyone have any idea what's up with this? None of my other fish have ever had ulcers of any type, so I wonder if the breed is particularly prone to ulcers? I tried Maracyn, but the fish died anyway. Probably by the time the ulcers are showing, whatever disease or bacteria or parasite involved has advanced to the point where treatment is not an option.

Are ulcers related to water quality, such as hardness or softness, or pH?
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:24 PM   #2
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From Wet web:
FAQs on Colisa lalia, C. chuna... "Dwarf" Gouramis of Many Names, Honey, Flames, Neon Blue,* Sunset Fire... Disease/Health


This starts off with lethargy and shyness, then loss of appetite, then blisters or sores on the body, and then death. There is no cure, and the best you can do is isolate the fish, provide optimal water conditions, and hope for the best. If the fish doesn't improve, then painlessly destroy it. DGD is apparently caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not help. DGD is practically ubiquitous in shipments of Dwarf Gouramis from Southeast Asia. One scientific study found almost 1 in 4 Dwarf Gouramis were infected with it. It is also EXTREMELY contagious, and as soon as one fish dies, the disease WILL spread, so that the entire batch of fish will be infected. For this reason, I personally recommend people NEVER buy Dwarf Gouramis from anywhere other than a local breeder. Truly, it just isn't worth it. If you want to keep a small gourami, skip Dwarf Gouramis (and their hybrids and variants, such as neon, robin, and sunset gouramis). Instead go for Colisa labiosus and Colisa fasciata (Thick-lipped Gourami and Banded Gourami respectively). These fish are similar but not affected by the disease. Your female gourami is, more than likely, infected and so doomed unless you separate the fish immediately and are extremely lucky. But the other fishes (including the pearl gouramis) should be fine. There's no sign that DGD spreads to fishes other than Dwarf Gouramis. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Neale>
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:28 PM   #3
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Well for heaven's sake, I had no idea! Thank you for leading me to this article. I know not to buy dwarf gouramis anymore. I have two beautiful moonlight gouramis who seem to be very healthy. I've had them for a year now and they are doing just fine and are growing slowly but steadily. Well, that's a bummer about the dwarf gouramis -- I really love those little guys. It seems that my fish from my LFS are the ones that have lived the longest so far -- my moonlight gouramis, my angelfish, my neon tetras, and my serpae tetras.

I have one little red dwarf gourami left in the tank. I guess I just have to wait and see how he/she does. Next time I buy fish, once my tank has settled down again, I may just invest in a small school of mollies.
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Old 12-24-2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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No problem. I agree, it's a shame. They are a great little fish, but the only ones I'd chance would be from a local breeder.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
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How does one go about finding local fish breeders? I know my LFS buys imported fish (they may buy local as well, I don't know). Would joining a local fish club be a good first step do you think? Are there fish breeder forums anywhere online that you know of, that I could check out? Thanks again for your helpfulness -- it's much appreciated.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #6
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Yep, a local club would be the way to go. I don't know anything about them, but you might check out Welcome to The Colorado Aquarium Society.
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