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Top 10 Dwarf Gourami Diseases | Identification | Treatment

If Dwarf gourami beautifies your aquarium, you must take good care of them and heal them when they get sick. This article will help you to accomplish your responsibility. This post will help you to find and treat Dwarf gourami diseases.

Dwarf Gourami Diseases

Causes of dwarf gourami diseases 

First of all, you need to know what are the causes of dwarf gourami disease. Because if you know the causes, it will help to prevent them.

Viruses, Bacteria, Tapeworms, Infusoria, and Fungi are the most common pathogens in dwarf gourami. Poor quality food, decorative elements, and untreated soil help to enter those pathogens into your aquarium. Further, they enter your aquarium via fish that did no go through the quarantine process.

Common Dwarf gourami disease


Symptoms – dark spots can appear on the body and then turn into red sores and abscesses. It causes pathogenic bacteria to enter the body.

Treatments – dilute billion-5 in a concentration of 1/6 of the bottle in 10 liters of water and your dwarf gourami place for half an hour a day.

Keep in mind to do this continuously for 6 days. The second method is 0.5g of potassium permanganate dissolves in 10 liters and place the fish two times for 15 minutes. This also helps to heal the fish.

Infectious dropsy 

This is one of the diseases that affect all gourami species but mostly often pearl and spotted gourami are highly vulnerable to this disease. Contaminated and poor-quality foods are caused to enter pathogens into your aquarium.

Symptoms – due to the impact of this disease, scales tend to rise and bulge. Fish do not have an appetite, and also, they are not active.

Fish always try to lie at the bottom. Later you can see bruises on the gourami’s abdomen.

Treatments – use antibiotics; you can bathe your dwarf gourami with potassium permanganate to treat bacterial diseases.

Also, you can use Chloramphenicol tablets. Dissolve it in water and place your gourami for half an hour. Rarely use synthomycin. Dissolve 600mg of the drug in 1 liter of water to treat fish. In the gourami world, mostly, diseases go on with characteristic symptoms. For example, photophobia is accompanied by eye problems. If there is an issue with the gastrointestinal tract, lack of appetite and unhealthy excrement are the symptoms.

But there are exceptions. Some symptoms do not correspond to one disease. They correspond to many diseases. Therefore, you cannot consider that one symptom is specific to just one disease. As a solution to this, let’s take the symptoms one by one and check whether their symptoms come.

Dwarf gourami Sits or lies at the bottom 

The aquarists commonly face this problem when they bought dwarf gourami newly and put it into the shared aquarium. Although newcomers behave healthily early, then they tend to swim less, and always stay at the bottom. It is not good.

Diseases can be recognized when gourami lies at the bottom 

  1. Ecto and endoparasites – indicate the formation of holes, abscesses, and rashes in the fins and body of the dwarf gourami.
  2. Fungal diseases – you can appear plaque similar to white fluff or cotton wool on the gourami.
  3. Bacteria – causes abnormalities in the internal organs. Therefore, it causes a change in excrement, swelling of viscera, and mucus from the gills and mouth.

Treatments and solutions 

  1. Remove the diseased dwarf gourami from the aquarium and put it into a separate tank
  2. Before doing the treatments, by using tests, check the water for nitrates, nitrites, and other poisons
  3. Check other fish for similar symptoms
  4. Examine all symptoms, including this and recognize the approximate source of disease and then start the treatments.
  5. If the treatments that you apply to the diseased gourami, then use the medicine to the aquarium in a weak concentration to prevent the disease. Make sure there is no physical damage to the fish.

Swollen belly Dwarf gourami diseases
Swelling occurs with decreased fish activity and loss of appetite. Several reasons are caused to the bloating.

  • The most pleasing reason is that the female is full of caviar, and the aquarium will replenish. Appear to enlarge the abdomen of some female gourami. Because of this, some aquarists assume that as a tumor.
  • A less pleasurable reason is the presence of tapeworms in the stomach of the gourami fish. They enter the aquarium through the food and usually do not cause much harm to the fish. But under favorable conditions, they reproduce, and the number of tapeworms is rapidly increased. Because the fish’s body is beginning to weaken due to the lack of nutrients in the body, remove the tapeworms with fish anthelmintic.

Overfeeding and obesity

this happens due to an unhealthy and unbalanced diet. In advance cases, you cannot help the fish through treatments because they do not respond to it, and finally, they die. Therefore, you should highly consider the fish diet and dosage.

Fins turned red

The reddening of the fins of the gourami naturally Nitrogen level and toxins level are increased. Therefore, don’t forget to test the water.

If the dose is not followed, the fins turn red after being treated with certain drugs.

The scales are peeling

There are many reasons for peeling scales.

  1. Physical damage – this occurs from sharp objects in the aquarium-like glass. And also, dwarf gourami loses their scales by fighting and skirmishing with other fish. Some fish nibble others’ scales
  2. A bacterial or fungal infection – these infections interfere with the functioning of internal organs and the body. Therefore, the scales fall off the skin and form partial baldness.
  3. Osmotic stress – Deep wounds and damage to inhabitants’ skin can cause osmotic stress, which can lead to discoloration, abnormal behavior, and rapid breathing. Healthy dwarf gourami has the ability to balance the water and salt balance of the body. In injured gourami, water leaks from the wounds and washing away salts. Because of that, it causes upsetting the balance and causes osmotic stress. To prevent it, treat visible wounds on the body.

Dwarf gourami Floats on the surface

If gourami cannot dive deep after constantly swimming on the surface of the water, this indicates that the inhabitants’ internal organs are violated.

The possible reasons for floating on the surface

Reasons for the floats on the surface 

  • Due to the lack of oxygen in the water, the gourami floats to the surface and surface water has more oxygen than the bottom layers. In this case, if you need to save and increase the life of your dwarf gourami, you have to install a filter with an aerator in your aquarium.
  • Poor water quality, waterlogging, and polluted water are the main reasons for this. Gourami cannot live comfortably in this environment. Therefore, they tend to swim to the surface. In rarely, when the water is poisonous, fish jump out of the aquarium, which can lead to death. Fish do this in the hope that they can find freshwater suitable for survival.
  • Respiratory problems – the fish feels suffocated. Therefore, they are trying to find a place with high oxygen content. But still, it cannot breathe completely.
  • Does not eat

There are many possible reasons for the lack of appetite for dwarf gourami, 

  • When you add new gourami to your aquarium, it is normal to lack this newcomer’s appetite. Mainly its cause is the stress that feels after moving to a new place. Do not worry about this because this appetite will restore soon.
  • Another thing is, if your newcomer does not like or suit your food, it tends to fast. Because as a fish lover, try to give the fastidious fish live food such as earthworms and bloodworms to your gourami. Insect movements increase the appetite of fish. Then you can move to the other foods gradually.
  • If gourami has lived in an aquarium for a long time and has never rejected the food before, eating has stopped, indicating an illness or disease. If your gourami swims for food and then takes foods into the mouth, but if it spits. you should check the fish’s throat for foreign bodies
  • Overpopulation increases the stress of your gourami. Then it directly affects the appetite of the fish. Changes in diet can cause constipation. In most cases, a short adult fast of a couple of days will solve the problem.

Red spots Dwarf gourami diseases

Red spots may be a sign of agent coloration and are evident during stress or spawning. But red spots can be occurred by open external wounds or by internal abnormalities caused by physical injuries or ectoparasites. You can treat parasites by using antibiotics. You do not worry about the small wounds because they heal independently, but you should need to handle and treat the deep wounds.

Symptoms of the disease

  • Blue stripes appear on the edges of the fins.
  • Red spots due to blockage of blood vessels and hemorrhages.
  • Fins rot as well as decay
  • Occur white color ulcer at the base of the fins
  • Cloudy eyes


  • If there are no other varieties, you can raise the temperature of your diseased gourami.
  • Add one grated tablet of chloramphenicol to the water and mix well until it is completely dissolved. The optimum rate is 1 tablet for 20 liters. Keep in mind to change the 40% of the water every 3 days. After that add the tablet of chloramphenicol again.
  • Streptocide treatment. The optimum rate of this is 1.5 g per 10 liters. Dissolve first in a small bowl, then you can add it to the normal aquarium gradually.
  • Another treatment is bicillin-5. you can dilute 1/6 of the bottle in 10 liters of water and leave the diseased gourami there for half an hour. You should do this treatment for six days, i.e., a full bottle of Bicillin-5 is consumed during treatment.
  • Salt bath treatment – you can use 2 teaspoons per 5 liters of water. Mixed it well and place your sick gourami for 10 minutes.
  • Dwarf gourami White slime on scales

Bloated dwarf gourami is not a good sign. But, unfortunately, this disease is quite common among gouramis.

According to an examination of fish exported to Singapore, more than 22% of Dwarf Gouramis had this disease. This article will discuss the reason, symptoms, and treatment options for the Bloated Dwarf Gourami virus.

Bloated gourami disease

Bloated Gourami is a condition called Dwarf Gourami Disease (Iridovirus).

It is related to immune deficiency caused by genetic disorders, and the reason is overbreeding and inbreeding in the aquarium industry. 

Iridovirus is a highly contagious virus that is unfortunately untreatable and deadly. So, if any gourami in your tank carried the disease, it can spread to the other fish as well.

However, this virus is apparently specific to Dwarf Gouramis and its related labyrinth fish species.

Other fish in your aquarium will not catch this disease. Bloating is the final stage symptom of Iridovirus. Abdomen bloating occurs because of an enlarged spleen.

Symptoms of bloated Gourami

As we said before, bloating is the final stage symptom of Dwarf Gourami Disease (Iridovirus). Before the fish begin to bloat, your Gourami will show several other signs as well.

Loss of Color: The color of your Gourami will begin to fade away in the first few days of infection. However, you may not notice this symptom until the virus gets worse.

Decrease in Activity and Appetite: This is the first sign that you will notice your sick fish. Your Gourami will not swim around like it was before; hide around the corner and stop eating as before. Once you see these signs, it’s essential to check the water condition of your aquarium immediately.

The Appearance Of Sores And Lesions On The Body: Your Gourami will develop sores and lesions on its body. This is a sign that the virus has spread badly.

Abdominal Swelling (Bloating): Bloating is the last symptom of this disease. The fish now has become skinny and pinched because of starvation. And bloating occurs in the final 24 hours of its life. You will see a bloated abdomen because of the enlarged spleen.

Death: Unfortunately, bloated Gourami, who caught this Iridovirus, dies within days, and you can not do anything about it.

How to care for the bloated dwarf Gourami?

If your dwarf Gourami is infected with dwarf gourami disease (Iridovirus), there is little you can do to bring him comfort.

This disease is unfortunately fatal for the fish. However, to stop the spread of this disease, you must act immediately.

You should take action as soon as you notice any symptoms of your fish. It will most likely, a loss of appetite and activity if you tend to check on your fish while feeding.

Here’s how to care for bloated dwarf Gourami.

  1. Move the fish to a quarantine tank
  2. Add salt to the water in a quantity of 1 teaspoon for 1 gallon.
  3. Feed the fish with fresh and high-quality food
  4. Treat the fish with antibiotics, both within meals and within the water
  5. Check the water condition every day to ensure proper water conditions for your fish

Although you can not guarantee that your fish will survive, it is still our responsibility to give it a chance. Therefore, we should provide them with all the recovery options stated above. If the immune system of your dwarf Gourami is sound, there is a slim chance of survival.

But, most dwarf gouramis die because of this illness.

Bloated dwarf gourami treatment

Unfortunately, there are no treatments available at the moment for bloated dwarf gourami disease (Iridovirus).

All you can do is separate the fish in a hospital tank, increase the salt concentration of water, and treat them for bacterial infections.

Just like in humans, there are no known treatments for viruses in fish. The fish has to overcome the virus itself.

What we can do is provide the best healthy environment and food for them to recover. If your Gourami is lucky and has no genetic conditions, it will survive. If not, the fish will die.

How to prevent the bloating in Gourami

The bloating of dwarf Gourami will most likely occur in poor water conditions. If the water is polluted with Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate, your fish’s immune system drops dramatically.

When the immunity of your fish declines, the virus takes the chance to get into the body. Once the virus spreads into the body, it becomes fatal to the fish. So, it is essential to keep proper water conditions in your aquarium to keep the virus at bay. You should maintain ideal water parameters by performing weekly water changes, installing a water filter, and adding water softeners when necessary.

When introducing new gouramis into your aquarium, you should first quarantine them for at least six weeks to check whether they carry any diseases. If the Gourami in your tank is healthy, the only way for them to get infected is via another infected gourami.

So, if you quarantine new gouramis before introducing them to your aquarium, you can prevent spreading the disease.

Possible diseases with white mucus discharge:


Symptoms – restlessness, nervousness of fish, rapid breathing, discoloration, white mucus,

Treatments – Transplanting gourami into a freshwater reservoir with an acidity of 7.5–8 pH. It helps fish to return to normal gradually.


Symptoms – Because of the fish’s Anxiety and fear, they swim in circles looking for isolated places, releasing white mucus.

Treatments – decrease the acidity that contains the water in your aquarium.


Symptoms – fins sticking together, White mucus, fish rubbing against plants, objects, glass, Anxiety, and blue spots.

Treatments – use to bath penicillin-5, malachite green, salt, methylene blue, hydrochloride.


Symptoms – the color brightens, Anxiety and fear, white mucus is released on the scales, and after a while, diseased gourami do not respond to stimuli.

Treatments – clean the water and observe chlorine readings.

Chasing or fighting each other

There are many reasons to fight each other. The incompatibility of the fish, lack of food, overcrowded aquarium, and territoriality of fish are some of them.

Why is gurami dying?

The causes that affect to die the dwarf gourami are,

  • Poisoning – ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, etc. 
  • Stress
  • Infection and viruses
  • Physical damages or injuries 

Prevention Dwarf gourami diseases

The most cause of the diseases is improper care. It would help if you cared about your gourami. You should change the water and maintain clean water without muddy and dirty water. Make sure the water in your aquarium is not poisoned. Follow always a proper diet plan and feed your gourami adequately. Always try to pay significant attention to your dwarf gourami.

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.