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  1. Exclamation Really need your guidance please on treatment to save my gourami

    0 Not allowed!

    My tank came down with a bad case of Ich on Wednesday (or that is when I very first noticed a few spots on my clown loach). This was the day after I found a Pleco I had in my tank after just three days, dead.

    A bit of's 20g and was set-up about 6 weeks ago, we thought it had cycled and had added over time 3 dwarf gourami, 2 rainbow fish, 2 bala sharks (I can already hear you all groaning and shaking your heads ) then two weeks ago 2 clown loach and finally the pleco. I now know that was all way too much too fast and am hanging my head.

    Well cut a long story short it was all drama last week....Tuesday morning my nitrites spiked so 50% WC twice during day (dead pleco day), Wednesday afternoon my nitrates were off the scale and my nitrites were coming down nicely, so another 25% WC and by Thursday morning all was perfect on water quality.

    I read on here about the Ich but because of where I live could not get a treatment that day and had a kit thermometer I could not adjust and no salt. Friday the clown loaches are both dead, the bala sharks are badly covered and we see some on my dwarf orange gourami, I get to Walmart (my only option) and pick up Jungle Ick Clear finally. Friday night we do the first treatment, Saturday morning both bala sharks are dead, not surprised as they were too far gone and I also now know they should never have been in a 20g tank.

    Saturday morning there are no signs of Ick on any of the remaining fish (3 gourami - 1 neon, 1 powder, 1 orange - & 2 rainbows), Saturday night 2 more fizz tablets go in of the Ick Clear. The gourami are all staying close to the surface in the back corner (I know they are labrynth fish and understand this) so am not too concerned as I figure the treatment is knocking them. The rainbow fish are eating normally but the gourami are off their food.

    Sunday the gourami when I get up (after working 14 hours Saturday so I could not get to a fish store) are all the same still, although the gourami will come out of their corner and move around now and then, they will not eat. So we drive 2 hours to a Pet Smart to get help, an adjustable thermometer, salt and a gentler Ich treatment. We come home with these and we start raising the temperature slowly to 82 (it was already kept at 78), plus we add 1 heaped tsp of salt per 5g dissolved in tank water (so 4 total). The fish are all the same but the addition of the salt seems to perk up the gourami are a little over the course of the evening. Before bed we decide on the basis of:

    1. understanding and knowing the length of the Ich cycle
    2. what PS fish man told us (he seemed knowledgeable)
    3. it being over 24 hrs since the Ich Clear last went in

    to go ahead and dose the tank one more time for Ich with API Super Ick Cure as this is now end of day 2 since we last saw evidence of Ich, and the treatment will last us through 48hrs which will get us past the 4 days. I then stayed up until 1am to watch my babies and ensure the new thermometer was accurate, it was 3 degrees off I discovered, so glad I did this!

    This morning, all my babies made it through another night , the temp is stable at 82 , water quality is good the rainbow fish ate a little, the gourami x 3 did not and are all still staying together in the top corner but do seem just a fraction more active every now and then swimming around.

    So this is where I am water quality is good and has remained so throughout the treatment. No ammonia, no nitrite, 20ppm nitrate and ph at 7.4 (normal in this area). I am really desperate to save these remaining tough little fish so please tell me if there is anything you would do now or just continue to wait and pray.

    Would it help to add a little more salt without a WC....I am currently at the 1tspn per 5g level so 4 in my 20g......would a little more help my fish fight through this or should I just leave the temp at 82 and everything else well alone.

    I would be so grateful for any advice thank you.

    And yes I have well and truly learned my lesson on small tank = small fish and have a QT tank, all from this wonderful site!

    Last edited by Gouramigirl; 08-18-2014 at 04:10 PM.

  2. #2


    2 Not allowed!
    Hello Sarah and welcome to the forum. Sorry it could not be under better circumstances. At this point, hope and pray. You've given it a one-two punch on the ich meds. I would not add more salt. Putting the fish through two different meds, salt, and high heat might be a little overkill, though I'll let someone with more disease knowledge say whether this is bad or not. I won't say anything about the size of your fish other than fact that those rainbows are also going to get too big. The gouramis might be ok together but in time could show aggression. However I think that is for another discussion. Let's work on getting these fish healthy again.
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  3. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    Hi Compass, thank you and I also now know about the rainbow fish too thanks to reading on this forum! So far my gourami are all getting along but I spent a lot of time reading here last night and if they survive I will give them more places to 'territory' and hopefully avoid issues. I also do not plan on adding more fish without QT and very slowly and thoughtfully!

    Sadly it seems I do not have a particularly knowledgeable lfs and I also think they are selling fish 'with issues', they are a new lfs and I really think the real motivation is there isn't anyone else closer than 2 hours away so it's a 'business'. A good lfs would have given me better guidance as I did ask for help on stocking and would have listened.

  4. #4


    2 Not allowed!
    eh, I've yet to find an LFS that gave really good information on stocking and/or cycling. It is really up to us as hobbyists to do the research ourselves. I was in the same boat you are in now when I started. You'll get there.
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  5. #5


    2 Not allowed!
    Welcome to the forum.

    Ich may take weeks to cure, as it goes through several life stages and only one is susceptible to medication. Therefore, you should continue treating for about a week after the last sign of ich, and remain vigilant for another few weeks. A high temperature helps speed up the parasite's life cycle and minimizes the chance of any surviving ich organisms.

    It also is a good idea to thoroughly wipe the exterior of the tank, and disinfect all your aquarium equipment to prevent re infection from ich "spores" that may remain on your tools.

    Since it appears your tank is still cycling or has just completed it, you should constantly monitor ammonia and nitrite levels. If either rises above 0.25 ppm, change out water until the values fall below that. Make sure you compensate for medications removed by the water change.

    Once your tank is stable, you should begin revising your stocking list. The gouramis will almost certainly begin fighting once they recover some strength, as they are territorial. Choose your favorite and return/rehome the other two. The neon tetra should be in a school of 8-10. The rainbow fish will most likely outgrow a 20 gallon and thus should also be re homed or returned.

    Lastly, as you must've realized by now, keeping fish is vastly more complicated that most people make it out to be. It is extremely important to research everything you do and/or add to your tank to prevent bad situations from arising.

    Best of luck.

  6. #6


    1 Not allowed!
    I think the neon she was referring to is a color morph of the dwarf gourami.

    @GouramiGirl - What are you using to filter your tank and did you make sure to take the charcoal out before dosing meds?
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Whoops, thanks for the correction.

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you.....I am constantly monitoring the water quality. One issue is we are going on vacation next Monday for four days, nothing I can do about that now, so I am trying to get into the best situation I can before then.

    I don't have a Neon Tetra, that is a Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami..... so far I have got lucky with those gourami, they have been in there 5 weeks together and were healthy with no issues, but I do have hiding places. Agree on the Rainbows completely and will try to rehome.

    And you are so right on complicated.....but with the help of the forum I hope to get there

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Compass....thanks for that correction.

    It's an Aqueon Quietflow 30 and yes I did take out the charcoal filter, I also have a Topfin large round bubbler stone in there so plenty of oxygenation.

    Thank you everyone for your are still hanging on!

  10. #10


    1 Not allowed!
    You are welcome.

    For the vacation, most healthy fish can be fasted for a week without major effects, but considering what your gouramis are going through currently I feel doubtful. Would it be possible to have a trusted friend/family member come in and feed the fish premeasured amounts of food? Another option would be to get an automatic feeder. They are pricey, but get a good one and they'll be a good long term investment.
    Whatever you choose to do, avoid at all costs those whitish "vacation feeder blocks".
    They are known to foul the water, despite what the packaging says. Fish may not eat the unusual food, or alternatively, will gorge themselves in the first few days.

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