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Old 05-15-2004, 12:08 AM   #1
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Gourami with a bulge behind his gills

Hello, I recently added two Powder Blue dwarf Gouramis to an established tank. They have been in there for about 2 weeks, and seem to be doing fine. A few days ago I noticed that one of them has a bulge just behind his gills on both sides. Now, it's possible that he always had this lump there, but I hadn't noticed it before, so I'm a concerned.

These are the first two Gouramis that I've ever had, and I've never had a fish with bloat before. Does this sound like bloat? Where would the bulge be on a Gourami if this is bloat? It's right behind his gills on my little guy. Is that where a Gourami's stomach is? He's been acting the same these last few days as he did the first 2 weeks, so maybe it's nothing.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-15-2004, 02:17 AM   #2
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Did you QT?

As someone who just witnessed a total de-population of stock due to bacterial agents..I would be suspicious about swelled gills.
The tummy is just above where the anus protrudes, in front of the anal fin; maybe not so close with gourami (never sliced one in half to be sure ^_^)
The labyrinth and hearing organs are more likely to be behind the gill and pec area..... maybe the intestines. You can hold your fish up to strong light to take a peek. The whole back half of most fish is muscle and the swim bladder . the "torso" is actually a cramped small area...VERY cramped in some species.

Check your water parameters as well, particularly ammonia and nitrAtes.
How old is this tank? How long since the day your first fish was put in?
how many fish and how many gallons?
These are all things that help us measure and decide a possible culprit. "fine" readings for most species may be the achilles heel of certain select ones. Some animals are prone to certain problems by virture of their shape or breeding...
Give up some info and SOMEone will figure it out!
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Old 05-15-2004, 08:50 AM   #3
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This is a 26 gallon tank. I had (6) Cichlids (5 Yellow Labs and 1 Ps. Demasoni) in there along with (4) Praecox Rainbows for about 5 months. That was a bit of overstocking (or at least it would have been eventually) so I moved the Cichlids out into a bigger tank.

So the tank is completely established. Right now it's just the (2) Gouramis and the (4) Rainbows in the tank. Oh, and a 1/2" long Syd.Catfish of some sort.

There's really no reason to think I have a water quality issue. I replace 40% of the water every Saturday. I check my levels every week. Ammonia, Nitrates and Nitrites have all been 0 for nearly 5 months - which is long ago since the Gouramis have only been in there for 12 days (I actually thought it was about 16 days but I just checked the receipt.)

The only glitch is that I also put a Pictus Cat in there at the same time as the Gouramis. (Bought him the next day at Wal-Mart - MISTAKE!) I noticed he had Ick the next day and took him back to the store, and had been treating with Aquarisol. I don't know what that would have to do with the Gourami's belly though. (There is no signs of Ick in any of the other fish, by the way, so I'm in the clear.)

I had the temperature raised (82-84 ish) for the time I was treating with Ick, but I don't know what that would have to do with anything either.

This morning he didn't seem to eat much of anything, but they aren't very agressive fish in general, and the Rainbows are crazy eaters, so maybe I'm just being paranoid. This lump isn't HUGE or anything. Maybe because he's still very young that intestinal area is just more noticeable, and bulges a bit?

Anyway, the Gouramis have only been with me for 12 days - the store has a 14 day gaurantee. I think tomorrow I'll take him back for an exchange. Sound like a good idea?
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Old 05-15-2004, 09:45 AM   #4
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[center:cf4e138d0b] Welcome to AA, YourPalCM!! [/center:cf4e138d0b]
Personally, I would take it back and QT and more fish that you introduce to the tank.
Good thing you moved the cichlids, as they mature, they well become more aggressive towards their tamer tank mates.
If you ever have to battle ich again--read the FW ich article in the Articles section. There are natural ways to treat ich.
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Old 05-15-2004, 01:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YourPalCM
There's really no reason to think I have a water quality issue.. **...Ammonia, Nitrates and Nitrites have all been 0 for nearly 5 months - which is long ago since the Gouramis have only been in there for 12 days (I actually thought it was about 16 days but I just checked the receipt.)


Your NITRATES are ALWAYS zero 8O when you are only changing once a week and not that much? That would be rarer than hen's teeth!!
My daughter's barebotton tank with three growouts and three otos of the same age is not ALWAYS zero! You actually meant is near zero most the time..right?

Why the resistance to water quality check and the It hurts nothing and means everything to the fish Your tank is ony ONE month past the average cycling age of 4 weeks. And you only recently moved an overstock out which means your levels should have been fairly high with your nitrAtes for a large part of the time!
And I think it was missed how long you had the fish before it looked sick when suggestion was made to return it... the ichy fish is gone..it is the gourami now suffering.

You are thinking of taking a SICK fish, that has now been exposed to ich which it definitely did not have back to the lfs...with a story of illness? Right?
Please don't fudge it and say it's gill is an injury and expose his likely healthy population if he trusts you and plunks it back in. Taking advantage of his most uncommon 2 week guarantee.

Here is a read..old but valid:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posted by Allivymar in: [i
I'm sick of changing water weekly[/i]: Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:46 pm ] Part of the issue with high nitrates is when its combined with lax water changing. Theres 2 interesting articles that talk about nitrates (and one also discusses "old tank syndrome") that I'm posting cause I'm too tired to explain it myself LOL

Nitrate Reduction And How Often Should I Clean My Tank: http://www.tomgriffin.com/aquasource...eduction.shtml

Old Tank Syndrome:
http://www.tomgriffin.com/aquasource...syndrome.shtml

I do changes once a week; I find nitrates rarely make 15 ppm on that regimen.
Read the old tank syndrome and the fast fatalities on new introduced fish part...

Water is ALWAYS the first suspect of fish that sicken or die of anything not obvious like ich or velvet..and even those are often caused by water quality. You will always be questioned on it by someone here at this site no matter HOW long you say have kept fish or had a tank going.
Even an old tank can have a sudden swing because a change in tap; or a power outtage while you are away causing the filter to be damaged or killed outright and cause the whole cycle to crash and start again.
Mini -cycles are hard to catch with weekly testing because they are there and gone in a couple days and all you see is the damages. But they do INDEED happen . Specially in a tank that is barely above the cycle mark like yours. And all of us get complacent when things are going good....forgetting this is a very delicate enclosed system that can crash super fast!

Now about your gourami........ if they happen to be dwarf
since you only have two you need to get more or get rid of them anyway. 2 will harrass each other untuil one is dead..specially if they are opposite sex. an angry male will outright kill an unwilling female. Number one cause of damage on gourami is gourami., But that would be anal fish damage, damage above the eye and damage on the back of the dorsal fin. If they are any other gourami species this is not applicable.

The symptom you first said near and around the pectoral joint and the gill WILL be a gill problem. Ill look for an image of a gourami so you can understand....
If it simply overate, was constipated or had an intestinal problem, you'd see a rounding of the abdomen from a straight on view. And it would go away in couple days..unlike bettas...gourami rarely STAY bound up. A female could be full of eggs adn get really rounds..but NOT near the gill. Gourami are hardy little fish, very responsive to most meds and weak to nitirte/nitrate levels in the water because of the already inefficient gills.
They also do not do well with certain oily meds that contaminate the labyrinth organ and cause pneumonia like Melafix. Betta are so susceptible that they made the dilute bettfix form of the med.

Don't give up..maybe a pic can clear things on what it has.....
you NEED to know . Even if you get the fish gone, if it is a bacteria or parasite..it wil still be resentin your tank.
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Old 05-15-2004, 08:31 PM   #6
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Somewhere in there I think you misread what I said about the length of time this tank has been active. The tank had (5) Cichlids in it for five MONTHS, not five weeks. I used fishless cycling with this tank for the first time. It worked well, and was fully cycled in about (3) weeks. So, really, it has been fully cycled for just about (5) months at this point.

I also didn't say I was "resistant" to a water check. I said that I didn't think the water was a problem. I can conclude that because I do regular water checks, and I'm finding nothing abnormal. All zeros, and yes, nitrates are also very close to zero every time - even with the overstock. Don't ask me how...this tank very rarely shows much of an increase in Nitrates each week, as my other tanks do. (It actually wasn't YET an overstock since the Cichlids were all still juveniles. I moved them out before they grew too large for the tank.)

I disagree that I'm not doing "that much" water changes. Once a week on a tank that shows no evidence of water quality issues is quite acceptable. And some wound argue that changing 40% of the water is somewhat too much water each time because it risks shocking the fish if you are not careful to replace the water with similar temperature.

Anyway, this evening when I got home, the slightly plump Gourami was swimming around and did go for food, so that's a good sign. I've changed my mind about taking him back to the LFS. I'm still not sure if what I'm seeing is even really a problem. I got these 2 so small, that I'm almost thinking it might just be something I hadn't noticed at first - that one of them just has a bit of a goofy lump - but I'll keep my eye on it. That's the thing - you asked how long I had them before he looked sick. I'm still not sure what I'm seeing is a problem - he doesn't really ACT sick. He lumbers around, and doesn't make nearly the effort for the food that the Rainbows do, but isn't that just the nature of Gouramis? It looks like a lump behind the gills...but it's not very pronounced. That's why I asked in the first place - thought maybe someone could tell me if juvenile Gouramis might sometimes have this little "lump" behind the gills or not.

Both are males - they were sold that way at the store as "Male Power Blue Gourami". I'm a little surprised they can be so sure since they are so small and even full grown pictures I've seen on the Internet, I sure have a hard time telling the difference. So far they have not really been too aggressive towards each other. They "shoo" the other along if they get too close together but that's about it.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Just wanted to clear my name and set the story straight.
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Old 05-16-2004, 12:56 AM   #7
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Allrighty then.....
I missed a line.. sorry!
But even a 6 month old tank is not considered all that mature anyway...^_^ and a mini cycle does not ASK your permission nor care if every reading imaginable was perfect on a former day that week....
nor were you supposed to feel maligned had that indeed happened.
Water should be your suspect any time your tank residents become unexpectedy ill. And I will always harp on that first adn foremost until a clear symptom of another cause comes to light.
I will stay my hand on this point until another member with similar conditions can give you an example. I offered the most likely culprit.


So, just the gouraim facts from here on in..
I have been up close and personal with 11 species of gourami and several species of betta for more than a few years, 5 of which were actively caring for fish and fry that were wild caught and requiring stringent water control. And I am starting to seriously keep them again for maintainence programs..so to answer your ending question...
Unless it is an information blurb taken from a more scientifically sound site like fishbase for example... I have so far found most info on the genus and family in general to be very misleading and geared to retail(hence my anti-retail tendencies and sig).

ALL forms of gourami should present a highbodied but streamlined form. The exceptions are the torpedo shaped liqourice and pikehead.
So this "lump" is not likely anything good. The closest things you should see breaking the lateral line as a"lump" is the gill plate and the slight swell where the pectoral fin directly joins to the body. Neither would I call a lump and would be equal on each side. I have personally not seen any lumpy fish except recently a tank full of Rams and clown loaches that had fish herpes (and that was ugly)


I won't say it is absolutely not a natural thing to this particular fish, there is no telling what today's mass breeding and the conditions these fish suffer can cause to develop on the fry.
But my first suspect is still a gill disease, gill parasite or damage from some extreme water condition..

Gourami species in general are never good in pairs. Especially m/f because the males of all but a few species will literally harass a female to death. But two males wil eventually take a disliek to each other.
How to know females? Gourami and most anabantoidae are dimorphic sexually. Females are no where near as colorful as males in the most popular varieties, they are smaller by at least 2cm. They ususally look like shaded wild types and a really nice one will NOT be at the everyday lfs. They also have a different body shape, specially finnage shape.
Anyway, as they become adults the males may become very aggressive to one another and other similar shaped tankmates. This is especialy true of the dwarf gourami. It is always a 60/40 with colisa sp. (just as bettas are 50/50).
I hope this helps you drawa conclusion to fill in the meantime until a concrete cause is found.
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