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View Full Version : HELP! Gourami w/ ulcer (pics)



hamstamasta
06-26-2006, 10:52 AM
About 2 weeks ago I bought a blue dwarf gourami from a pet store chain and introduced it to my established 20 gal that contains 5 cherry barbs and some plants. All seemed to be going well -- everyone was eating, no bickering. Last week, though, I noted a little bump under the gourami's mouth. I decided to watch it for a little before taking action. Around Friday, though, the lump seemed to have ruptured and turned into a nasty little pinkish sore! I started dosing the tank with Melafix on Saturday but the sore doesn't seem to have changed much except now the scales are starting to flake off.

What's going on and what should I do? I'm thinking it's some kind of bacterial infection but I'm not sure if the Melafix is working, if I should find another medicine, or if I should euthanize the fish (it doesn't seem to be in pain...yet). The gourami is still eating well, but it doesnt seem to want any of the medicated fish food (Jungle brand) but neither do the others :(

Here's the gourami around Saturday http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v353/hamstamasta/gourami2.jpg

And here it is Monday (today) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v353/hamstamasta/gouramisize.jpg I know it looks worse but in reality it's hardly changed except for the flaking

Red Tailed Wonder
06-26-2006, 12:13 PM
where is supgourami? :rolleyes:

budrecki
06-26-2006, 12:19 PM
what are your water parameters, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?

hamstamasta
06-26-2006, 2:23 PM
Haven't tested for a while because I ran out of strips, but last time I tested (3 weeks ago) everything was normal... I've been making 20% water changes every week as usual, nothing different

Rowangel
06-26-2006, 3:05 PM
Haven't tested for a while because I ran out of strips, but last time I tested (3 weeks ago) everything was normal... I've been making 20% water changes every week as usual, nothing different

Test strips aren't very reliable; the reading could be off just enough to make a HUGE difference. I would look into getting a liquid test kit, I use the Freshwater Master Test Kit (by Aq. Pharm.)

It defiantly sounds like a bacterial infection caused ulcer, hard to tell from the photos but the description is right. This is usually caused by poor water conditions, hence the need for quality testing kits. One or more of your water parameters could be off that your strips arenít catching, plus you havenít tested in awhile. I would test every week before and after your water change. When water goes bad, it can happen fast.

Are you only treating with the medicated food? I found most fish wonít eat this in time to be helpful. Instead get a medication you can treat the tank with. Also, if you use activated carbon make sure to take this out of your filter, or it will just filter out all the medication before it can help your fish.

hamstamasta
06-26-2006, 3:12 PM
I'll go see if I can find that liquid testing kit at the pet store, thanks for that advice. I'm treating with Melafix as well as the medicated food (which none of the fish will eat, anyways) and I took the carbon out of the filter. I'm wondering if this is something that the gourami had before I bought it because none of the other fish seem to have any problems... also, could this be contagious? :( I'm thinking about setting up my old 5 gal as a quarantine, but the filter that I use with it has been dry for months so the ben. bacteria must be gone by now

mduros
06-26-2006, 3:27 PM
I'll go see if I can find that liquid testing kit at the pet store, thanks for that advice. I'm treating with Melafix as well as the medicated food (which none of the fish will eat, anyways) and I took the carbon out of the filter. I'm wondering if this is something that the gourami had before I bought it because none of the other fish seem to have any problems... also, could this be contagious? :( I'm thinking about setting up my old 5 gal as a quarantine, but the filter that I use with it has been dry for months so the ben. bacteria must be gone by nowChances are that the fish got sick because of parameters in your tank that aren't good. Very often new fish will get sick when introduced to an established tank because the resident fish are used to the parameters and the new fish are not. Of course, this is not always the case, but it is the case more often than not. Also, proper acclimation is important for the new fish to adjust well to it's new environment. But get that Aquarium Pharmaceutical test kit, they're great.
Take care,
Mary.

hamstamasta
06-26-2006, 3:30 PM
Thanks mduros, I will definitely keep that in mind for any future fish... but what should I do about the gourami?

Rowangel
06-26-2006, 3:58 PM
Thanks mduros, I will definitely keep that in mind for any future fish... but what should I do about the gourami?
Keep treating per the instructions and watch for signs stress in the other fish. Test your water asap and post the parameters here when you get your new tests. I hope the poor guy pulls through! Youíre doing the best you can for now. :)
-Chris

hamstamasta
06-26-2006, 4:13 PM
Thanks a lot Row, I think I'm getting an ulcer myself over worrying :o

So no quarantine? And no need for any other meds? (I'm thinking about getting some Maracyn 2 along with the testing kit after after reading this: http://www.pondrx.com/store/customer/product.php?productid=47=1=1&js=n
and this: http://www.ponddoc.com/WhatsUpDoc/FishHealth/Melafix.htm)

What do you think?

madmatt7g
06-26-2006, 4:30 PM
That reminds me a lot of my irridescent shark (my wife wanted it. I wanted no part of it) when he got hurt. For anyone who doesn't know, irridescent sharks are a major headache for the home aquarist. I wouldn't recommend that anyone buy them. Pierre (that's the shark's name) had a habit of running into the sides of the tank and the decoration in the tank. His face was covered in open wounds that looked just like this guy's pics. I treated him with melafix in a hospital tank. It cleared up in a little over two weeks of treatment. Now he's doing quite well in my 55 gallon, and I plan to move him to a small pond in the very near future.

hamstamasta
06-26-2006, 4:42 PM
Amen to never buying iridescent sharks. :bowing: I already went down that road, and I'd prefer never to set sight on any iri shark for the rest of my fishkeeping days! But I don't think this was an injury on any tank decor: there's nothing sharp, and it started as a lump under his scales rather than a wound.

I got the gourami to nibble some of the nasty medicated food after smashing it up with food flakes and blood worms, so that good... still thinking about quarantining though, I just set up a 5 gal with fresh (dechlorinated) water and a carbon-less filter in case he needs to be quarantined

Rowangel
06-26-2006, 4:48 PM
I got the gourami to nibble some of the nasty medicated food after smashing it up with food flakes and blood worms, so that good... still thinking about quarantining though, I just set up a 5 gal with fresh (dechlorinated) water and a carbon-less filter in case he needs to be quarantined
Wow, you got him to eat that food...sneaky! You can quarantine him if you want, but you should still treat your main tank for the sake of your other fish. Quarantine can be tricky, for some fish it either stresses them out or helps them relax. If the other fish arenít bothering him, I would'nt do anything to cause more stress. But if the fish start to harass him, then the quarantine would be a good move.

hamstamasta
06-26-2006, 4:54 PM
Ok then, no quarantine, the barbs leave him alone and are more interested in chasing each other than anything else :) One last question though, how long should I leave the carbon out? I know it's needed in the filtering process... or maybe I should just do more water changes instead? Last question, I promise :)

Rowangel
06-26-2006, 5:08 PM
heh, ask as many questions as you need to.

You can leave the carbon out for as long as it takes for the treatment to work. The carbon does chemical filtration and is useful in a tank to maintain healthy water, but the tank and bacteria can survive without it. Some people who have planted tanks don't use carbon at all because it can take out useful chemicals. What are most important are the bacteria in the filter that keeps your Ammonia and Nitrite levels at 0. While some bacteria will be removed when the carbon comes out, you should still have plenty in your filter sponge and on everything else. I hope you fish recovers quickly!

hamstamasta
06-26-2006, 8:29 PM
Ok, picked up the testing kit (which costed an insane amount of money...to me at least!) So here are the results:

Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
pH - 6.0
Nitrate - 40 ppm

So I guess I could lower the nitrate a little, but everything seems fine to me... I guess the gourami was sick before I introduced it... Well, now I know better I guess.

hamstamasta
06-26-2006, 9:14 PM
Will post progress tomorrow, nothing has happened recently except for more nasty flaking

IceH2O
06-26-2006, 9:37 PM
The ulcers aren't caused by poor water quality.

I had 2 Gouramis that went through the same thing, I put them down. I change 50% of my water each week and have to dose KNO3 to get them to 20, planted tank.

A 3rd Gourami has started to show signs but the mouth area as yours has. After some research I decided to dose the tank with Jungle Fungus Eliminator. If this doesn't work I was told to hit it with Maracyn 2.

I thought it was internal parasites but I found a site that showed better symptoms and descriptions.

http://www.plantedtank.net/articles/Common-Freshwater-Fish-Diseases/13/

Open sores on Gouramis or other anabantids. Bacterial Infection (Furunculosis) Aeromonas salmonicida bacteria.

Flesh eaten away around mouth. Mouth Rot Saprolegnia fungus with Pseudomonas or Aeromonas bacteria.

Flesh decays at the mouth or tail. Rot, Fungus Saprolegnia fungus with Pseudomonas or Aeromonas bacteria.

The fungus elimator covers all of these, both the fungus and bacteria.

hamstamasta
06-27-2006, 10:06 AM
Sounds like the "open sores" one to me, it's the most specific. So the melafix won't work? Seems like the ulcer/sore has spread a little since last night

I'd like to get the Fungus Eliminator but the Petsmart in my area doesn't have any in stock... I guess I'll have to continue on just the mela/anti-bacteria food, for now... because of your experience with this IceH20, woudl you say that I should euthanize or did any of your fish recover successfully?

mduros
06-27-2006, 12:02 PM
woudl you say that I should euthanize or did any of your fish recover successfully?Can I ask, why do you keep on asking about euthanizing? Try to cure the fish. If you can't there is nothing wrong with letting it die a natural death. I just don't get it.

And don't assume that your nitrates being 40ppm was not enough to bring on the illness, it very well could have. Get your nitrates down through water changes.

You have only been treating the fish since Friday. If you don't want to give Melafix more time, quarantine the fish and get some Kanamyacin, I have used KanaPlex in the past. I don't think you need to treat the entire tank with something so strong if no one else is showing signs of illness.
Just my 2 cents.
Mary.

hamstamasta
06-27-2006, 1:00 PM
Sorry for the misunderstanding mduros -- I'm only asking about euthanizing again because IceH20 said he had to put down two of his gouramis which apparently had the same disease as mine. I'm not euthanasia-happy or anything, I just don't want my fish to 1) die in my tank, have one of the others nibble on it and pick up the same bacteria or 2) die a natural death after a long period of suffering. Didn't mean to offend, I apologize.

I did a 10% water change earlier (didn't want to take out too much of the Melafix) and I'm in the process of starting up my quarantine tank in case it shows a turn for the worse.

Rowangel
06-27-2006, 1:12 PM
Heh, the hardest part is being patient. Donít need to worry about euthanizing unless the fish really becomes far-gone. As long as it is swimming, eating and showing normal habits (as well as can be expected under the circumstances) then just wait and see what happens. Medications can take awhile to work. If he takes a turn for the worse, put him into the Q-T so heís not harassed and medicate from there.