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Why Is My Gourami Fish Not Swimming? (3 Common Causes)

Why Is My Gourami Fish Not Swimming? (3 Common Causes)

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

You love your gouramis and you want to be able to keep them as healthy as possible. If you take good care of the gouramis, then they should be able to remain in your freshwater aquarium for quite some time.

If you look at your gouramis one day and see that one of them isn’t swimming, it’s going to be concerning. Why would a gourami fish stop swimming completely?

Is there something that causes a gourami fish to become sluggish? Or is this a sign that the gourami fish is on the verge of death?

Read on to learn why a gourami fish might stop swimming. You’ll understand what to do once you have all of the information.

1 – Stress

The first thing you should consider is whether or not the gourami is stressed. Fish can become stressed for many different reasons.

Your gourami fish might be stressed if the water conditions in the tank are less than ideal. Gouramis thrive when you keep them in excellent quality water conditions, but they are prone to health issues when kept in dirty water.

You might have forgotten to do water changes too many weeks in a row. This can make the water dirty and will throw the pH balance off.

It’s best to check the pH balance of the tank regularly. You want to ensure that it stays in the right range and that your ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels aren’t too high.

There are other things that can stress gouramis as well. Being kept in a cramped fish tank will stress these fish.

Most fish don’t like being kept in a fish tank that is too small. Even if the tank is supposed to be large enough, you can make it cramped if you overcrowd the tank with fish.

Improper nutrition can cause the fish to feel stressed, too. You need to ensure that the fish are getting high-quality foods that give them all of the nutrients that they need.

If you can figure out what is stressing the fish, then you might be able to improve things. The fish might return to normal swimming activity when you’ve fixed various issues in the tank.

Of course, it might not be that the fish is stressed due to the reasons listed above. It could be that something else is wrong that is causing the fish to not swim as normal.

2 – Sickness

You might already suspect that your fish might not be swimming due to some type of sickness. When fish get sick, they might start to feel lethargic.

Some fish will be very slow to move when they’re feeling sick. Others will barely move at all and might even stop eating normally.

There are so many different diseases that can impact gouramis. You’re going to need to observe the fish to see what its symptoms are.

Once you’ve noted the symptoms, it’ll be easier to narrow things down and figure out what is wrong with the fish. If you need help, then you can consider contacting an exotic veterinarian if there is one in your area who deals with fish.

Typically, you’ll be able to treat sick fish and get them healthy again. You might need to quarantine the fish in a hospital tank and give it medicine.

Depending on what is wrong, the fish might need antibiotic medications. It could also just need rest and high-quality food so that it can regain its strength.

Often, sicknesses will be related to the fish experiencing stress. Sometimes making mistakes with the water parameters will cause the fish to get sick.

Do what you can to help your fish out and ensure that you take good care of it. In most cases, you’ll be able to get the fish feeling better again.

Catching illnesses early will be the most important factor. If you can recognize that the fish is sick pretty quickly, then you’ll be able to treat the fish before things get too bad.

Note that there are diseases that cannot be treated. Some diseases are simply going to lead to the death of the fish.

Lethargy is commonly associated with dwarf gourami iridovirus. This is a fatal condition that can wind up wiping out all of the gouramis in your fish tank.

If you discover one of your fish has this virus, it’s recommended to euthanize. You want to euthanize the fish before it has the chance to spread the virus to other fish.

3 – Bullying Issues

Is your fish not swimming or is it simply hiding from something? You might want to consider whether or not your fish is being bullied in the fish tank.

Most gourami fish are considered to be very peaceful. Some are so peaceful that they are likely to be bullied by many other types of fish.

If you’re keeping your gouramis in a community fish tank, then you might not have chosen the tank mates carefully. This means that you could have the fish in the tank with other fish that will bully them.

Remedying this situation is simple enough. You just need to remove the bully fish and put it in a separate tank.

Moving forward, you should always research whether fish are compatible before putting them in a tank together. Fish will try to hide when they get bullied sometimes, but you could also encounter a situation where fish will get killed by bully fish.

Avoiding situations like this will be easy by just doing the necessary research. You’ll be able to keep your gouramis in a tank where they will be able to thrive alongside fish that they are comfortable with.

Final Thoughts

After learning about some of the reasons why gouramis might stop swimming, you’ll be able to determine what is going on. Sometimes it might not be immediately clear what is happening, but observing the fish should tell you what you need to know.

If you’re dealing with something such as bullying, then you can solve the issue by separating the fish that are getting bullied from the ones that are doing the bullying. You’ll need to be more careful when picking tank mates for your gouramis.

Stress will often cause fish to start acting unusually. You might see the fish will stop swimming much at all due to the stressed state that they’re in.

This could be related to water parameters or the fish might be stressed due to living in a cramped space. Try to figure out what is wrong so that you can fix it.

Lastly, sickness could be to blame for your fish not swimming. Lethargy is a symptom of many different diseases, after all.

Some illnesses will be able to be treated. You might be able to nurse the fish back to health.

Other diseases will be fatal. You just need to try to figure out what type of sickness your gourami fish has so that you will know how to proceed.

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