Usually, gouramis are going to want to eat whenever you choose to feed them. In fact, gouramis will overeat if you give them more food than they need.
If your gourami seems to have lost its appetite, then that’s reason for concern. Gouramis shouldn’t be turning down food unless something is wrong.
It just might not be clear what is wrong with the gourami fish. If you’re at a loss for what is happening, then you might be worried that you won’t be able to figure things out in time to help the fish.
Read on to learn some of the reasons why a gourami fish might stop eating. Having this information should help you to make the right choices to try to get the fish healthy again.
Gourami Not Eating Flakes
Consider whether your gourami might not like what you’re feeding it. Many enthusiasts say that it’s best to mix things up from time to time.
Try giving your gourami flakes sometimes and also giving it shrimp pellets, algae rounds, and other types of food. Your gourami fish will likely appreciate being given live food from time to time as well.
Just mixing it up instead of only giving the gourami fish flakes might make a huge difference. If this doesn’t help, then something else might be causing the gourami to not want to eat.
New Gouramis Might Not Eat at First
When you first introduce a gourami to a tank, it might not want to eat. This is actually pretty normal since it happens to many gourami fish.
While the gourami fish is getting used to its new environment, it might not feel comfortable enough to eat. Often, fish will be in a state of shock when they get transferred to a new tank.
This is especially true if you bought a gourami fish or two from a pet store. The conditions in the pet store tank might not have been ideal, and suddenly being taken away to a much different tank will be quite the experience for a little fish.
You can make it easier for the gourami fish to acclimate to the tank by floating it in a bag first. The basic idea is to let the bag float on top of the water in your fish tank for a while.
Eventually, you cut the bag a bit so that you can drain some of the water. You slowly add a bit of the aquarium water to the bag.
Once some time has passed, you cut the bag and release the gourami fish into the aquarium. This is a truncated explanation of one of the most common methods for acclimating a fish to a new fish tank.
Eventually, the gourami should start eating normally. If three or four days have gone by and the fish still isn’t eating, then there might be something seriously wrong with the fish.
Sickness is a very likely cause of gourami fish not having an appetite. There are many different types of gourami fish diseases that cause them to not want to eat normally.
For example, gill flukes will cause gouramis to be sluggish and stop eating. This is a type of parasitic infection where flatworms will dig into the skin of gouramis.
Gouramis might stop eating when they get many different types of sickness. A gourami fish might have an infection or it could simply be injured in some way.
You’ll want to try to observe the fish to see how it is doing. Take note of any symptoms so that you can try to get to the bottom of what is wrong.
Since there are so many types of sicknesses that gouramis might have to deal with, it might take some time to figure out what is wrong. With careful observation, you should be able to determine what is happening.
Usually, it’s possible to treat gourami fish and get them to feel better. Depending on what is happening, you might need to quarantine the sick fish and give it certain types of medications.
It’ll also be appropriate to check if you have problems with the water parameters. Water parameter issues are commonly the cause of these fish getting sick.
Gouramis don’t do very well if they are forced to live in poor-quality water. This is why it’s imperative to test the water and keep the tank clean.
You should be doing regular water changes and keeping an eye on things. Remember that it’s best to prevent the fish from getting sick in the first place, and it’ll be easier to do that if you’re committed to maintaining excellent water quality.
Significant Stress Issues
It’s also true that gouramis might not eat when they’re dealing with significant stress issues. Sometimes stress and sickness will go hand in hand, but it can be more complicated than the gourami simply being sick.
As you might know, there are many things that can cause fish to become stressed. Fish will experience stress when they’re forced to live in cramped environments.
If your gourami fish is living in an overcrowded tank or a tank that is too small, then that could be stressing it. The fish might not be eating due to the stress.
Water parameter issues can cause stress, too. If the water is too dirty, then the fish will get stressed and will very likely become sick.
Fights with other fish can also cause enough stress to keep a fish from wanting to eat. If you put the gourami fish in a community tank with a bully fish, then it might not feel safe enough to eat.
It’s possible that the gourami might hide somewhere in the tank rather than coming out to eat at the normal time. In this situation, it’d be necessary to move certain fish to separate tanks so that all of the fish can live peacefully.
Try to determine if stress might be the cause of your gourami fish not eating. You want to solve issues with stress since they can wind up making the gourami fish very sick.
You should have a better idea of why your gourami fish might not be eating. It’s likely that the fish is sick, but it could also simply be that the fish is stressed in some way.
Try to observe the fish to get a better idea of what is happening to it. You’ll be able to take the right steps to help it get better once you know what’s going on.
It’s also true that new fish will experience shock in your fish tank. If your gourami fish is new to the aquarium, then it might need a few days to feel comfortable enough to eat.
Do your best to keep monitoring your gouramis. If everything goes well, you should be able to get the gourami fish to eat normally again.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.