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Newbie has sick male honey gourami, I think


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I've had a male honey gourami for a couple of weeks, purchased online from a very reputable source. He had seemed happy. But yesterday his dorsal fin was clamped down tight. He was lethargic. He sort of sat on some driftwood. His color seems paler. His mouth works constantly. I've noticed some white scales around his mouth. Columnaris maybe?

Here's my data: 29 gallon tank, with live plants. 5 orange corydoras. 12 green neon tetras. Plus the honey gourami.

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 15 PPM

pH: 7.4

Temp 76.8

I don't have precise hardness data, but I line in LA and our water is pretty hard.

Any suggestions?




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Hi there @DaPrawf! This is actually a sunset thicklip gourami and not a honey gourami. He looks a little clamped but I'm not totally sure if he actually has an issue or not, he could just be a little stressed. Keep an eye on the white scales. It doesn't look like columnaris yet and I'm not sure we should leap to that conclusion without more evidence. How's the flow in the tank? Is he still eating? Does he look like he's gasping?

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Hmmmmm. It's hard to say because gouramis do that with their lips as a matter of course, but if it's different than how he used to act, that's a red flag. If he's not eating I'd see if you can quarantine. If the flow is high gouramis tend to like still water. Watch him swim and see if he gets blown around by the filter. If he does, turn it down and/or baffle the outflow. If he doesn't seem to have an issue then it's probably fine.

I'm reluctant to give you any med recommendations right now but you can try aquarium salt as your first line of defense. If you notice redness beneath the gill plates/inflammation or any flashing (scratching his scales on the decorations and substrate in your tank) I'd start out with prazipro or general cure. Without more symptoms, though, it's difficult to recommend meds because so much could cause what you're seeing!

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