Renee asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

Help please, my gourami is dying!!!!?

My daughter is in speech and has worked for over a year to say 'f' sound so for an incentive her dad and I told her when she could say 'fish' we would get her some. She finally said it and we started our water, ran it for 4 days and got some fish. Our amonia level is a little high but the store told us it was nothing to worry about because its new. Well we have a 55 gal. tank we have 3 male guppies, 2 sword tails (1m,1f) 2 dwarf powder blue gourami's male...I think, and 2 platties (1m,1f). We have had 4 gourami's die on us so far. I have brought them to bensons pet store and the guy there told me it was a bacteria infection so I treated them for that. Didn't work. Then the third one fell ill and I brought him in and I was told by someone else it was a form of I treated them for that, didn't work.I took out the filters each time and replaced them when the treatment was done. I am at my wits end. This was suppose to be a reward and it has been a nightmare! I am not replacing them anymore until I kow what is going on. They start with a dark spot by their gill, then it spreads sooo fast. Their side fin looks like its stuck to their side and the black covers their scales. I notice it in the morning and by lunch time its doubled in size, then by dinner its covering their face from the lips to just behind the gill, then starting to go to the other side. I did have 6 males in the tank together because I was told that some were females. At first I thought it was them fighting each other, but now I think its something but I have looked everywhere and I cant find pics of what it is. The only fish that are dying are the gourami's. Everything else seems happy and fine. Any help is greatly appreciated! Any help with anything that I am doing wrong is greatly appreciated! The last thing I want to do is bring home more to meet an untimely demise!

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your tank needs to be cycled. Google "Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle" for information on that.

    There's no such thing as any amount of ammonia not being a problem.

    The dark spots appearing on your fish's gills are ammonia burns.

    It's the ammonia and nitrites that are killing your fish.

    Before you do anything else, perform a 30% water change, being sure that the new water is treated with a dechlorinator, and that it is of the same temperature before it's added to your tank.

    Do not get any more fish until your tank is completely cycled.

    The Bensons in my area, (I'm really not how many there are,) is not the best place to seek out fish advice. Not as bad as Petsmart and the like, but certainly not good.

    If you happen to be in the Albany NY area, email me and I'll give you a few better alternatives.

    If not, seek out a fish/aquarium store in your area.

    Source(s): Experience.
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  • Dan M
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    There is a reason why many human drugs are by prescription. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but it seems like some pet shop clerks get to play Dr. Frankenstein with someone else's fish and money.

    A new tank with an immature biological filter, is especially susceptible to the side effects of medications. Most of the bacteria in an aquarium are beneficial. They convert fish wastes and uneaten rotting food into less toxic forms, the nitrogen cycle. Unfortunately when you start killing bacteria with medications, you kill the ones that protect your fish as well.

    Removing the filter is not good since once it dries out, the right kind of bacteria have to re-seed the filter.And you can't leave it in water either. Anaerobic bacteria will take over in a stagnant container and you don't want very much of them around (rotten egg or sewer smells).

    There is something about treating the dead fish for a bacteria infection and it didn't work that evokes Dr. Frankenstein's experiments, though I know you meant the survivors.

    It probably says somewhere on your medications to treat in a hospital tank. Next fishing expedition to the pet store, set up a hospital or isolation or quarantine tank. Pretty much the same thing, pick the name you like. Whenever you shop for new fish, you are inadvertently shopping for new fish diseases as well, and isolating new fish goes a long way to protecting your larger tanks and older fish. If you do have to medicate, it costs less to treat a smaller tank, and you don't kill off you big tank's biological fiter.

    I've seen ammonia burn on delayed overseas shipments of fish. I used to work as a saltwater consultant for a fish wholesaler/importer. It usually is whitish almost blistered areas ("burns"), and frayed looking fins, inflamed red looking gills, but with a highly colored gourami, it could well look different.

    Turtles, some fish, and some invertebrates are able to breeze unaware through the nitrogen cycle being established in an aquarium. I have some zebra danios that I use to start a new tank, although my wife wants to put them in the planted 150 display tank in the living room with our cardinal tetras and green neons. Fish that are sensitive to ammonia and nitrite should be introduced to long running well established aquariums. In other words it is too soon to introduce more gouramis.

    You did ask for any other advice, right? Well although most livebearer species don't hybridize together, platies and swordtails do. Any babies from the females you have could be half platy and half swordtail. They were crossed in the past to transfer colors, new fin types, etc. and it took many erations to restore the appearance of being either a swordtail or a platy.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Aquella is right on.

    I have never heard of Bensons, but I wouldn't trust one single word based on the lies they have already told you!

    The ich and bacterial infections are secondary problems resulting in the degraded water quality. The first thing you need to do is get a handle on the water quality.

    Do not add any more fish until your water is in balance and the aquarium is cycled. Do not add treatment when the ammonia is high.

    Potentially some aquarium salt can help with the infections and ich, and even some of the toxicity of the ammonia, but the real focus is getting the toxic elements out rather than looking for things you can add in.

    I know it is hard to be patient with the aquarium, but a little waiting goes a long way.

    Source(s): Fish Store Owner
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  • 1 decade ago

    It could possibly be stress, you didn't cycle your tank, or that you added them too quickly into the tank.Wait for them to adjust to the tank water first by putting the bag they were put in, in the tank water for at least 15 minutes before you add them to the tank.This way the fish won't get as stressed when you put them in the tank.Don't leave the light on for too long.

    it is unusual that it's only happening to your gouramis but it could be their tank mates.Add hiding places or just a possible disease.Check these websites out.

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  • 1 decade ago

    in terms of diseases try looking up (Paravortex) or (velvet disease). i am sorry that you are having trouble with your tank. send my reguards to the idiots at bensons pet sotre guy(what an idiot) bacterial infection? yes your ammonia is going to be high becuase it is a new tank. ammonia at any level is dangerous to your fish. it will stress their immune system and eventually get sick and/or die.

    maybe the problem is that you are treating something that is not there. meaning the black coloration on your fish may not be a disease that it is a sign of stress (given that the fish from where you purchased your fish are not contaminated) there should be no reason that a brand new tank should have as many problems you are experienceing so soon.

    the treaments that you have done on the tank was harmful to your bio-chemistry. look up and look for the "nitrogen cycle". this is the most simplest way to explain how to properly cycle a tank.

    so what i would recomend to do is

    1. test your water. test the ammonia(nh3,nh4), nitrites(no2), and the nitrates(no03)

    idealy you should read 0ppm(parts per million or mg/L miligrams per liter) on your ammonia levels and nitrite levels. your nitrate levels are safe within 0-10ppm anything higher than that is stressful on your fish and will need to do a partial water change.

    2. depending on your chemistry i would recomend to do at least 25% water change. if things are really bad i would do up to 50% but that would mean your ammonia levels are exceeding 8ppm and your nitrites are above 5ppm.

    3. feed sparingly. feed your fish whatever they consume within 2 minutes. anything after that get rid of it.

    4. if your fitler cartridge has been in your filter less than a month DO NOT CHANGE IT YET. your need as much bacteria to develope as much as possible.

    5. after completeing a water cahnge and filled your tank back up(make sure the temp of the water that you are putting back into the tank is consistent with the temp inside the tank) add some

    API STRESS COAT (6 capfuls)


    the stress coat will help rebuild and maintain the fish's slime coat(which is essentially their immune system. if the slime coat is tampered with, then they are vulnerable to disease) and the STABILITY helps rebuild your bio-chemistry. your bio-chemistry is vital to maintain a helathy and prosperous tank.

    6. to add on with step #3 feed a healthy and varied diet. blood worms(preferably frozen or freeze dried), brine shrimp, tubifex worms, ect. are great addtions to tropical flake food. and will provide a complete balanced diet.

    7. be patient. you might experience a slight white haze in your tank like someone poured milk in your tank. DONT panic. that is a "bacterial bloom" a.k.a your bio-chemistry. benenifial bacterail build up in your tank to help neutralize the ammonia and nitrite levels. once the bacteria builds up and you do weekly water changes accordingly(25% to a third water change) the clouldiness will clear up.

    8. good luck once your ammonia and nitrites read 0ppm then your tank is officially cycled. always always check your water levels at least once a week to monitor your tank and prevent it from crisis again.

    and sorry again for the bad info from the pet shop deushbag. ppl like that put a bad rep for us local fish shop guys. i've seen it countless times. ppl dont do enough research before selling fish to their costumers. hope this helped you.

    EDIT. . .EDIT. . .EDIT. . . the question why is it just the gouramis dying? fish similiar to ppl are going to react to things differently than others. just becuase the guppies and swords are alive does not mean that they are hardier fish. their reation is going to be differnt. they are still susepctible to dying as the gouramis did if nothing is done.

    Source(s): 6yrs+ in freshwater aquatics. personally own 4 tanks- 10g, 60g palnted aquarium, 75g, and 125g community tank. store manager at local fish shop.
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  • 4 years ago

    I actual have in no way been waiting to maintain gourami , they continually die whilst I actual have had a flying fox and clown loach for extra effective than 5 years. My community fish place advised me that they want softer water

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