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Honey Gourami not eating and having difficulty swimming


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I've had these Honey Gouramis for maybe two months now, starting with four of them. One of them I noticed was very small, and was struggling to swim so I separated it into a hospital tank and treated it with maracyn, but it unfortunately did not make it. I thought I was in the clear after that, but now one of my other Honey Gouramis which is bigger than that one was but still somewhat smaller than the others is struggling as well. At first it seemed like it was getting chased by the two bigger Honey Gourami's in the tank, but when I separated it into a breeder box it continued to do poorly. I was worried about putting it into the hospital tank because I haven't had good luck with that in the past with other fish, so I separated it using plastic lining around the breeder box and put in 1/3 a teaspoon of aquarium salt last night. In the past hour it seems to be doing a lot worse, laying completely on its side and swimming very irregularly when it does try to move. It also hasn't been eating any of the food I offer it. I went to the fish store yesterday and asked a worker there for recommendation of what to do, and he was the one who gave the advice of separating out the smaller Honey Gourami and also recommended buying some of the "red flame" gouramis (I might be remembering the name wrong) to help disperse the aggression. He said they were the same species just a variation of color.

It is a 55 gallon tank with 2 honey gouramis and 3 "red flame" gouramis. The tank also has eight Neon Tetras (which I've also had some issues with one recently dying out of the blue), and six Harlequin Rasboras.

These are my water parameters:

Ammonia: 0

Nitrate: 0

Nitrite: 0

Hardness/GH: 300

Buffer/KH: 40

PH: 6.4

Temperature is 77 degrees.

I'm worried as to what I should do to prevent any further deaths/illness. I think this current Honey Gourami is already on it's way out with how difficult a time it is having swimming, but I'm not opposed to doing more to save it if I can. I just don't want to stress it out any more than what it has already experienced. I have the med trio on hand, although not enough to treat the entire 55 gallons.

I've attached pictures of the Honey Gourami.

Thanks in advance for any help and advice.






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Have you noticed any rapid breathing or flashing and does this fish have the same symptoms as the fish that died and did you Qarantine these fish and treat them with any meds before adding them to the main tank @wmcl22

Edited by Colu
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The honey gourami that is separated from the others does seem to be breathing somewhat rapidly, but less so since I added some air using a nano air pump.

I did not quarantine the new fish that I got from the store yesterday unfortunately, I wanted to try and solve any possible aggression issues as soon as possible so I added them to the main tank immediately. I know this is taking a risk and probably wasn't a very smart move. I do trust the store I bought them from, they aren't a chain and seem to take good care of their fish. The Honey Gourami that is displaying issues was quarantined when I first got it but I did not treat with the med trio while quarantining. @Colu

Edited by wmcl22
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I'm very concerned about your new 'red flame' gouramis and putting them in with your honeys. Can I have a picture? Your store advised you poorly if it's what I think it is. If that's the case and you have two different species of gourami in your tank, I heavily advise you to return the incorrect species... but I'll need a picture first.

That aside, your sick honey gourami (looks like a little girl) doesn't look like it is doing very well, and I'd be prepared for her to not make it. I've never had luck using aquarium salt with gouramis, and in fact, whenever I have tried it on a very ill gourami, they often got worse. Anecdotal experience, so take it with a grain of (aquarium) salt. I'm tempted to say it might be internal parasites affecting your fish and I'd, at the minimum, treat with paracleanse/general cure/prazipro (one of them, take your pick) as a first defense. Do yourself a favor and treat the 55 gallon tank, and do the full course TWICE two weeks apart. This will hopefully help keep your healthy fish healthy.

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I'll attach a picture of the new Gouramis. They seem to be getting along well but if it is a problem I can either return them or put them in my hospital tank for now.

Oh okay, I'm definitely not expecting her to pull through. I'll do a water change in the separated container to at least get some of the salt out if it has negative effects/might stress her out more.

I'll definitely treat for parasites. Thank you so much for the help.




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OK, it's not as bad as I thought. I thought the shop owner might have given you Dwarf Flame Gouramis, which would have been a huge issue. What you actually have are two female Thicklipped Gouramis (trichogaster labiosa, same fish that's in my profile picture). Your honeys are Trichogaster Chunas. Both are quite peaceful fish and you put them in a large enough tank that it could work long-term. Thicklipped gouramis get about 3 to 4 inches big, so they will always be a little bit bigger than your honeys. They also tend to be more outgoing and social, and they'll greet you at the glass and eat out of your fingers. I absolutely love them. If you notice them chasing your honeys around relentlessly, it could become a stress issue; BUT even with the chasing, they should not physically harm one another and I've never seen them actually hurt one another.

To be extra sure, you can always prepare a backup plan. The thicklips would be happiest in the bigger tank, but if you have to use a divider or separate the honeys, they could do fine in a 15 or 20 gallon, just FYI. I have heard of this pairing working in the past, though, but I want you to be aware of what you're in for.

I hope everyone turns out happy and healthy in the end, and I'm so sorry for your sick lady!

Edited by laritheloud
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Oh okay, that's good to hear. I'm glad keeping them both is something that should work. I'll keep that in mind, I was planning on buying some dividers anyway for a future Axolotl tank so I'll just get one extra.

Thanks again! I really appreciate the help!


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