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  1. #1
    The Graduate phi_betta_kappa's Avatar
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    Unhappy Dwarf Gourami... Swim Bladder disease?

    Need advice.... I have a dwarf gourami that seems to be suffering from swim bladder disease. When I got up this morning he was standing on his tail, nose up, and jerking. As I watched he would flip around for a bit and then return to the upright jerking. As the day has progressed he has begun to lay on his side for a bit, returning to the upright jerking/flipping around. I have read up on swim bladder disease and some say there is no satisfactory cure & best to euthanize.... some say epsom salt dips might help.

    I am currently trying the epsom salt dips- have done 2 in 2 hours.
    I have him qt in a large net propped at the surface inside the tank. I thought the confinement of the net might help reduce the stress of flipping around.

    Also in the tank are a female dwarf gourami, 5 harlequin rasboras, a mystery snail, and a "whisker" shrimp.
    Nitrite 0, nitrate 0, ammonia 0, pH 6.4, GH 0.
    This tank is cycled and has been running since Jan. The water quality parameters have been the same ever since the tank cycled out. I use well water and treat w/ water conditioner because of old metal/copper pipes.

    It has been about a month since I added the mystery snail, 3 weeks since I added the rasboras and shrimp, 2 weeks since I added the female dwarf gourami.

    Has anyone ever successfully treated swim bladder disease? Anyone have any advice? Should I euthanize the poor guy?
    Any help greatly appreciated.





  2. #2
    The Graduate phi_betta_kappa's Avatar
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    UPDATE:
    (I guess everyone is as clueless about this as I am.)
    Anyway- I gave the dwarf gourami 2 dips in an epsom salt bath (1/4 tsp in 2c H20) 2 hrs apart. After dips I let him rest in a fish net propped inside the top of the tank. I just released him from the net into the tank... and he seems to have regained equilibrium! I have no idea if the epsom salts helped or if maybe he was having a seizure or what. Whatever it was he seems much better now. He does seem a bit nervous but who wouldn't be after flipping around all day?

    I hope this can help someone in the future.



  3. #3
    Senior Member bettabrat's Avatar
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    I hope your gourami recovers fully! I was going to say I know you can feed frozen peas or duckweed to goldfish when they develop SB issues, I don't see why you couldn't try it with your gourami and see if it helps...if he will eat it that is.



  4. #4
    The Graduate phi_betta_kappa's Avatar
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    Thank you!

    I was thinking of the green pea thing but he was flipping around so much and didn't even try to eat when I fed the rest of the fish. I'm going to my mom's in a bit though and will see if she has any peas. He's sort of calming down now- never seen anything like it.



  5. #5
    Karate Kate KateCB's Avatar
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    I was worried when I read your post as I had a blue gourami who had a similar attack - on his side, then upside down, the spinning around like crazy, then divin around the tank - he wouldcalm doen for a while - maybe 3 - 4 hours, then start again - it went on for 2 days and then I came home to find him dead......no idea what it was, SB maybe, but he was acting really crazy. Glad yours has recovered though!
    .....Every journey starts with the first step.......



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    This isn't a swim bladder issue. Swim bladder problems manifest either as a fish which is stuck at the bottom unable to rise (or at least unable to stay off the bottom without great effort) or stuck at the surface unable to sink. Epsom salts can be used with equilibrium problems if they're due to constipation, but you're looking at a long bath, not a dip (dips only affect surface conditions).

    It'll be interesting to see how it pans our. Personally I'd put this down to skin parasites or internal bacteria.



  7. #7
    The Graduate phi_betta_kappa's Avatar
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    UPDATE:
    When I turned out the tank light tonight- he started listing to the side- then rolling. This is starting to look like something neurological to me. When I turn the light back on he straightens out. I did this a few times to confirm. I have him confined to the net tonight to keep him from rolling around the tank all night. It may have only been the rest that helped him before.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarlTh View Post
    Epsom salts can be used with equilibrium problems if they're due to constipation, but you're looking at a long bath, not a dip (dips only affect surface conditions).
    I neglected to mention in my previous posts that his "dips" were of 5 minutes duration each. I have no idea if he is constipated or not- but in lieu of a better explanation I chose to go with that treatment. I have green peas to try if I can get him to eat again.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarlTh View Post
    Personally I'd put this down to skin parasites or internal bacteria.
    I have examined him closely and do no see any external parasites. There is no reason for him to have contracted a bacterial infection so I am skeptical of that explanation. I may try an antibiotic treatment if he does not improve though.

    If anyone knows anything else to do I really would love the information. I am at a loss for this one.



  8. #8
    The Graduate phi_betta_kappa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KateCB View Post
    I was worried when I read your post as I had a blue gourami who had a similar attack - on his side, then upside down, the spinning around like crazy, then divin around the tank - he wouldcalm doen for a while - maybe 3 - 4 hours, then start again - it went on for 2 days and then I came home to find him dead......no idea what it was, SB maybe, but he was acting really crazy. Glad yours has recovered though!
    That is exactly what my fish was doing earlier today. Thank you for your kind thoughts.



  9. #9
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    You wouldn't necessarily see the parasites - I'm talking about protozoal ones here. To explain about long and short baths - a long bath is where you put the med in the tank water and it stays there for several days; five minutes is a short bath and I don't imagine it would achieve much for an internal condition. Bacterial infections Just Happen; the bacteria are always present and waiting for a chance to cause disease.

    Without seeing the fish, however, it's all guesswork.



  10. #10
    The Graduate phi_betta_kappa's Avatar
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    UPDATE:
    I left the poor little guy confined to the net all last night and this morning. Around lunchtime I let him out and he is not rolling/listing/flipping. He is sitting quietly in his favorite place- not jerking or anything. (I am wondering if he has had some kind of seizure? It is not beyond the realm of possibility.) I'll update if he acts weird again tonight.

    KarlTh-
    I really do not think it is external parasites- I am not new to fishkeeping that's why I didn't post in newbies. I am well trained knowledgeable about diseases. That is why this is stumping me. People's tastes in filtration might have changed several times since I started fishkeeping but diseases have not. The behavior he is displaying is not flashing- I know what that looks like. If you could see the fish right now you would never think there was anything wrong with him. The 5 minute dip is recommended for constipation- that is what I treated for in lieu of any better suggestions.

    Thanks for your advice. I will continue to monitor and update.



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