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.

Causes of diseases 

First of all, you need to know what are the causes of the 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 diseases  of Dwarf gourami


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 bitillin-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 litters 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 to your aquarium.

Symptoms – due to the impact of this disease, scales tends 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 characteristics symptoms. For example, photophobia is accompanied by eye problems. If there is an issue with a 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 to.

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, always stay at the bottom. It is not good.

Diseases can be recognized when gourami lies at the bottom 

  1. Ecto and endoparasites – indicates the formation of holes, abscesses, and rashes in the fins and body of the dwarf gourami.
  2. Fungal diseases – you can appear the 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.

Abdominal dropsy 

    • Symptoms – ruffled scales, pale complexion, lack of activity, and food rejections are the main symptoms. Fish are swollen due to excessive fluid accumulation in the internal organs and often do not respond to treatments. Overfeeding, old and weak representatives, and fish living in polluted aquariums are also prone to abdominal dropsy.
    • Tumour – A tumor in the internal organs also causes the abdomen of the fish to swell. Not responsible for the treatment.

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 causing 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 to 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 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

Credits to Thrive Pet Design

There are many possible reasons for the lack of appetite 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 for 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

Possible diseases with white mucus discharge:


Symptoms – restlessness, the 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, 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 in 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

Mostly 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 water in your aquarium is not poisoning.

Follow always 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.