Gouramis have the potential to be so much fun. These fish are great additions to your freshwater fish tank.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned aquarium pro, it’ll be great to have gouramis in your tank. If you recently purchased some, then you’re likely having a great time caring for them.
They’re pretty easy to keep in good health, but sometimes certain things might go wrong. For example, you might notice that one of your gouramis has developed an ulcer.
This isn’t necessarily incredibly common, but it is something that can occur. Read on to learn why gouramis might get ulcers and what you should do to help the fish when it happens.
1 – It Could Be a Bacterial Infection
It’s actually pretty common to see gouramis get bacterial infections. This can happen when you aren’t doing the best job taking care of the fish tank.
Sometimes you might miss a few weekly water changes, and this might cause the water to become dirtier than it should be. It’s generally recommended to change 15% of the water each week, but some people do 20% of the water on a weekly basis.
You’re also going to want to do a good job of cleaning the fish tank. Eliminate organic debris from the tank so that it can’t throw the water parameters off.
You’ll find that too much organic debris will be a real problem. Sometimes you might make it so that the gouramis poop too much, and this will make it harder than usual to keep the tank clean.
Overfeeding your gouramis won’t be good for them or your fish tank. These fish are meant to be fed twice per day, and you’re only supposed to give them as much food as they can finish in a couple of minutes.
Going overboard will just make them poop too much. It might make them constipated, too, which leads to swim bladder malfunction.
Poor water conditions will simply make the gouramis feel stressed. This makes them more susceptible to getting sick and becoming infected by bacteria.
If the gourami fish gets infected, then it might wind up having ulcers appear on various parts of its body. Sometimes the ulcers might be near the mouth or gills, but ulcers can appear pretty much anywhere.
How Do You Treat This Issue?
Treating this issue isn’t too difficult assuming that the gourami fish just has a bacterial infection. You’ll want to quarantine the gouramis that appear to be sick.
Put the sick gouramis in a quarantine tank so that you can give them treatment. Work on fixing the water parameter issues in the main tank while keeping an eye on your other fish.
In the quarantine tank, it’ll be best to treat the gouramis with some type of antibiotic treatment. These treatments can be given to the fish in the form of food or you can simply put liquid medication into the water.
This should help to clear up the infection so that the gouramis can heal. Keep monitoring the fish while giving them high-quality foods that will help them to regain energy.
Some say that adding aquarium salt to the quarantine tank will aid the healing process. If you choose to do this, you must be sure not to add too much.
Only add as much aquarium salt as the package recommends. Too much aquarium salt will be detrimental to the gouramis.
It’s also important to note that you can’t use just any salt for this process. You must use aquarium salt and not table salt or some other type of salt that you might already have at home.
Eventually, your fish should be better and you can return them to the main tank. Do a good job of monitoring the water conditions in the future to avoid bacterial infections.
2 – Physical Injuries
Physical injuries can become infected and cause gouramis to develop ulcers as well. It’s not impossible for gouramis to get injured in the fish tank doing various things.
Something as simple as a gourami fish bumping into a rock can cause it to get cut. This cut could become infected and it could wind up leaving the gourami with an ulcer somewhere on its body.
Gouramis might also get injured when fighting with other fish. Sometimes gouramis will even fight with each other.
Most male gouramis won’t get along and will fight each other a lot. This is why it’s generally not recommended to keep two male gouramis in the same tank.
Physical injuries should heal over time. If the wounds have become infected, then the fish might need antibacterial treatments so that it can get better.
If your fish are in a community fish tank with fish that they don’t get along with, then that’s not a good scenario. Pick appropriate tank mates for the gouramis so that they can stay safe.
3 – Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus
Dwarf gourami iridovirus could be the cause of the ulcers that you’re seeing. Hopefully, this won’t be the case in your situation since this is a disease that cannot be cured.
There are no treatments for this virus and it’s highly contagious. Typically, gouramis that come from mass breeding operations in Asia are infected with the virus, and this is why it’s best to buy gouramis only from trusted local sources.
If you suspect that your dwarf gouramis have this virus, then they will need to be euthanized. You don’t want to let the fish live since that will just make it easier for the virus to spread to other fish.
It might be hard to tell if the gouramis have this virus, though. You could ask for help from an exotic veterinarian.
An expert such as this should be able to do a biological examination of the fish to determine if it has the virus. If you don’t wish to reach out to an exotic veterinarian, then you can look out for the other symptoms of the virus.
There are many symptoms to be aware of, such as the fish having a distended abdomen. Gouramis that have this virus will stop eating and they’ll lose color.
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.