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Old 01-26-2004, 07:02 PM   #1
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Gourmai hovering at top

Hi,

I'm hoping someone can help with this peculiar ailment. My gourmai is hovering near the top, with part of his upper body above the top of the water. He's upright and looks fine otherwise. If I come over to the tank, he'll swim down and away, but quickly rises back to the top. It reminds me of a buoy.

The other gourmais are fine, but I'm worried as a gourmai a week ago was doing the same thing and I didn't think much of it. Then he died, and now another is doing the same thing.

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated!
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Old 01-27-2004, 06:55 AM   #2
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Have you checked your parameters lately? I know that gouramis go to the surface because they are also able to "breathe".
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Old 01-27-2004, 07:11 AM   #3
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*nods and agrees*

First place to check is always water parameters (ammonia,nitrite, nitrates) when fish start having problems. Also, what size tank, how long has it been established and how long have th gouramis been in there? Any new additions recently?
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Old 01-27-2004, 02:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for your replies. The tank in an establish, planted 75g, parameters are good. The other fish are doing well, including the gourmais, a betta, and a few tetras.

After talking with the fish store last night, they said the fish was swollen and bloated, possibly with a bacterial infection that was affecting his swim bladder. That's what's causing him to buoy at the top. It's different than going for air, as their bodies tend to be more at an angle, with just the mouth at the top. With this little guy, the top curved portion of his body is above the surface and he was struggling to swim downward only to buoy back to the surface.

He's now in a quarantine tank with a antibodic called Spectrogram (kanamycin sulfate & nitrofurazone). The big tank is being treated with maracyn (because of the plants) in case there's some bacterial infection beginning in the others.
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Old 01-27-2004, 06:27 PM   #5
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Just to clarify, when you say good, what do you mean; what are the exact numbers?

And yes, it does sound like a swim bladder issue. Understand there are a number of causes of swim bladder problems, bacterial infection being one. Others include overeating, eating of dry foods, constipation, physical injury, viral infection and toxins.

The most common is actually food related; overeating and constipation. Is the gourami still pooing? If so, is it coming out in long strings? Both are signs of constipation; if so antibiotics won't help. Try a smooshed cooked pea; that seems to have a laxative effect on fish.

It well may be an infection tho as you've had other fish with similar issues. Do keep us updated on his progress.
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Old 01-27-2004, 10:44 PM   #6
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Thanks Allivymar, I'll let you know how it goes. He's not looking great tonight, pale and not eating but still upright. He's in a small tank on my desk and has come out a few times to look at me.

I'd forgotten about peas! Going to go cook some as soon as I finish this post.

The fish store said the same thing about several possible causes. Unfortunately, because this is the second fish to show these symptoms they also fear its an internal infection which they said is hard to treat. Because it must be absorbed through the gills, the medicine is pretty potent stuff. If the infection doesn't kill him, these meds might.

Thanks for your help and suggestions.
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Old 01-28-2004, 12:05 AM   #7
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Is he eating? If so, trying a medicated food might help (assuming its a bacterial infection of course). I rarely see medicated foods at lfs unfortunately (and it sounds like your doesn't carry it either). I did find some here; its good stuff: http://www.flguppiesplus.com/_wsn/page3.html
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:44 PM   #8
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Well, he's still alive! I've seen a couple long strands of poo streaming out and he's able to spend up to a minute or so along the bottom. He's still floating the majority of the time, but I'm hoping that these are all good indicators that he'll pull through.

Thanks for the tip on the medicated food. I told the guys at the LFS that he wasn't eating so maybe they stock it but didn't offer it. I'll definitely ask next time I'm in for future reference.
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Old 02-17-2004, 04:12 PM   #9
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It's hard to believe the little guy has been in the small tank for three weeks now. He's still buoying at the top and I'm not sure what is left to do. He finished two weeks of Spectrogram and then a week of Erythromycin. The only result is he is rail thin, he seriously looks like an angel fish from the front. He is eating, so maybe I should try the medicated food. I just wish I knew what I was suppose to be treating for.

Wouldn't Erytho and the Spectrogram have dealt with an infection by now? I just hope he's not suffering. He doesn't swim around much, mostly just looks out at me when I sit at the desk.

Any other ideas on where I should go from here? I'll see if I can post a pic a little later. Maybe there's something I'm not seeing.
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