Fish Health

Gourami Fish Diseases and Treatments

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Gourami Fishes are a group of freshwater anabantiformes fishes that include the family Osphronemidae. The fish are originally from Asia. Gouramis have a lung-like labyrinth organ (similar to labyrinth fish) that allows them to gulp air and utilize air oxygen. This organ is an indispensable development for fish that often inhabit warm, shallow, oxygen-poor water. In this article, I will be discussing some of the most common Gourami Fish Diseases and Treatments.

I have raised and breed Gourami Fish for more than ten years. Within those years, my Gouramis got infected by lots of diseases. At first, I didn’t know what to do and the nature of the disease, but with a lot of research, I am now able to identify the treat and prevent a lot of Gourami Fish Disease. In this article, I will share with you my knowledge experience based on my ten years of experience in Gourami Fish Disease; it’s the cause, treatment, and prevention.

How do the Fish get Diseases?

Among most tropical freshwater fish species, typical Gourami fish diseases are common. The main reason for diseases is bacterial and parasitic contamination, illness because of pH unevenness of water, diseases emerging from unhygienic conditions or aquatic contamination, and so on. 

How to Check if Your Gourami Fish is Sick?

If you are a careful observer, then you can easily tell that your fish are sick before they start dying. Sick fish often stops eating and may look dull or inactive. You can say something is wrong with fishes when they are hanging lethargically in low water, gulping at the surface, or rubbing against something. These symptoms indicate that the fish are not feeling well.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Once fish gets sick, it can be difficult for them to recover. Good quality of water, nutrition, and sanitation is the base of preventing fish diseases. If you observe fish behavior and feeding activity daily, it supports in early detection of fish problems. If treatment is needed, you must implement it in the early phase, while the fish are still in good health. Doing so will increase the odds of successful treatment.

Common Gourami Fish Diseases and Treatments

Some common diseases that the fish might get are Fin and Tail Rot, Dropsy, Pop Eye, Ich, Hole in the Head, etc. A simple and basic solution to these diseases is maintaining a favorable environment, changing 10% of the water every week, and examining the water conditions using water test kits.  Here is the list of some of the most common Gourami Fish Diseases and Treatments.

Fin and Tail Rot 

The major cause of fin and Tail rot is a bacterial infection. Fin and Tail Rot affects a lot of freshwater fish species but most commonly Blue Gouramis. Fish with this disease, their fin and tail start decaying as its name suggests. The main cause of this disease is the unhygienic water environment.


  • Inflamed patches on the fins
  • The fins edges will have faded color or discoloration, and fin will start fraying.
  • stops eating and inactiveness


  • Poor water quality or contaminated environment
  • Overgrowth of bacteria, different types of gram-negative bacteria, including Aeromonas, pseudomonas, and vibrio.
  • Overfeeding
  • Incompatibility between fishes


The first step you need to take for the treatment of your sick fish is cleaning your water tank and improving water quality. The process of improving water quality includes a water change and an examination of the fish tank. You can add fish antibiotics to the water. Adding aquarium salt to the water will also help to soothe the fish, treat the infection, and prevent infections in the future. 


Dropsy is swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water. It is not a disease but an internal bacterial infection that causes the bodies of fish to swell. Successful treatment is not sure unless you diagnose the infection in the early stage. 


  • Swelling belly
  • Bulgy eyes
  • Curves spine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hanging lethargically in low water
  • Red and swollen anus
  • Pale gills


  • Overgrowth of bacteria called Aeromonas which you can usually find in almost every aquarium
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Uneven change in water temperature
  • Poor water quality


Dropsy is not that simple infection that you can cure easily. The very first step of treating infected fish is moving to a separate tank or hospital tank. It is very important to move sick fish to a separate tank to save other remaining healthy fishes. The second step is to add one teaspoon of salt in each gallon of water in the hospital tank. Feed your fish antibiotics with good quality of food and water. 

Pop Eye

Pop Eye is a condition where the eye of the fish is swollen and distends unusually from its joins because of different diseases. This issue can influence only a single eye or both the two eyes of fish. Eyes may seem cloudy or may even glance clear now and again, other than the undeniable swelling. Fish suffering from the popeye will often be stressed or diseased in many ways, so the pop eye itself doesn’t kill a fish, but affected fish die from other diseases.


  • Single or both eyes of fish will be bulgy
  • White or cloudy eyes outer surface of fish
  • Less active and less appetite
  • the appearance of bubbles under the fish’s skin


  • General causes are bacterial infections, injury and poor water quality
  • The excess level of gas than water
  • If only one eye of the fish is infected, then it is an injury not any disease or problem with water


Treatment for the Popeye depends on the situation. If only one eye is swollen, then it is not a disease; rather, it is the injury that can be caused if fishes are involved in fights with other fishes. If its an injury, then treat your injured fish properly with aquarium salt. But if you think fish is suffering from an infection, then you should shift your sick fish to a quarantine tank to prevent infecting other healthy fishes. If Epsom salt is used at a dose of 1 to 3 teaspoons per 5 gallons of water, swelling will be reduced. It is difficult to treat fishes with popeye. Antibiotics or other medicines used for fin rot can be very useful. 


Columnaris is a bacterial infection. Columanris can be external or internal. It is very common in aquarium fish.


  • Grayish white spots on some part of fish head
  • Reddish tinge usually on the head, fins, gills, or in body
  • Fish tend to have a bruise on their bellies and sides
  • fins will start deteriorating, and sores may appear on their body
  • loss of appetite and less active


  • If fish are stressed due to many reasons like poor water quality, improper diet, etc
  • The infection is profoundly infectious and might be spread through contaminated nets, specimen containers, and even nourishment.
  • Poor water quality
  • Sudden change in environment and temperature
  • Crowded and incompatibility with other fishes


In the first place, gradually bring down the temperature in the tank to 75°F to slow the course of the infection. Since, Columnaris flourishes in low oxygen conditions, the expansion of an air stone or bringing down the water level to make more sprinkle from the channel will help. The most effective treatment for Columnaris is giving medicated food containing Oxytetracycline. If fish is not eating by the time symptoms are noticed, antibiotics in the water would be the next treatment option.

Fungal Infection

Fungal infections are one of the most widely recognized diseases for fish. Its spores normally populate fish tanks, which can cause risky increments of sick, stressed, or injured fishes. These diseases show a white cotton-wool-like development on the skin, mouth, fins, or gills. This condition is regularly an auxiliary issue, so it will require a two-section treatment.


  • Bulgy eyes
  • light gray, cottony growths on the skin, fins, gills, and eyes
  • fish swims in abnormal circular movements
  • pale color
  • loss of appetite


  • stressed fishes due to an unclean environment
  • if fish contains dead and decaying organic matter
  • Crowded and incompatibility with other fishes


Like in another fish disease, separate infected ones from healthy fishes. Put your sick fish in a quarantine tank and give a salt bath. You can add one tablespoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water in the quarantine tank. Then add your sick fish in salty water for 10 to 15 minutes. You can continue this process for a few weeks and make sure infection is gone completely. You should always clean your quarantine tank each day or maximum in 2 days.


Velvet is a common fish disease, also known as rust. This disease has the capacity to finishing all your fishes in your tank. It is caused by a species called Oodinium, which will attach itself to your fish’s skins and gills. 


  • Fine yellow or light darker film on the skin
  • At the last stage, the skin will peel off
  • Clamped fins
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Loss of appetite
  • Scratching against hard objects


  • The main cause of velvet disease in species called Oodnium
  • Unhygienic water tanks or poorly maintained aquariums
  • Sudden change in water temperature
  • Not changing the water frequently


Velvet is a highly contagious disease and is almost impossible to cure, so you should take action as early as possible. Dim your aquarium lights or leave your tank in total darkness. 

Fish Lice

Fish with the disease will have the biggest parasites ranging from 5 to 10 meter long around their fins and head. These parasites will attach itself with your fish using their spines, suckers, and hooks, causing intense fish irritation. 


  • Small dark spots in your fish
  • Red marking and ulcers
  • Restless and inactive
  • Scratching against hard objects to remove lice


  • Sudden change in a water environment
  • The disease is highly contagious and travels from fish to fish
  • Transferring outdoor fish to an indoor aquarium


Organophosphates tend to be an effective cure. The most common method is holding your fish in damp clothes and remove the parasite using tweezers and clean the wound with an antiseptics.

Hole in the head

Hole in the head disease is a genuinely general ailment of freshwater fish that principally influences cichlids, plate, and Oscars. Another regular name for this illness is Freshwater Head and Lateral Line Erosion (FHLLE).


  • pitting-type lesions on the head and lateral line
  • if not treated early the holes will become larger
  • bacterial and fungal infections will develop
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargic behavior


  • Experts still haven’t determined the exact cause of this disease, but the common cause can be the flagellate parasite Hexamitavitamin imbalance helps to develop this disease
  • Poor water quality
  • Improper nutrition
  • Overcrowding


When you remove all activated carbon, it is possible to improve infected fish and perform water change in a large percentage. You should improve your fish diet and nutrition. You should add antibiotic metronidazole in your quarantine tank. And you must watch Water quality and must adjust the environment to the exact standards required for the fish. 

How to prevent your Gourami Fish From Diseases?

It is hard to recognize the presence of ailment in its initial phase on account of the gregarious nature of fish in water, which causes troubles in perception, analysis, and opportune treatment. 

Aside from this, some viable medications and measures to cure certain fish infections are yet not known well. Consequently, flawless preventive measures must be taken since this is a key connection in fish disease control.

Effective measures to prevent gourami fish from diseases 

  • Clean your water tank thoroughly
  • Proper and nutritional feeding
  • Prevent your fish from injury
  • Check the compatibility of fish with other fish in your tank

Compatibility of Gourami Fish

Gouramis are generally regarded as peaceful but are still capable of harassing and killing smaller fishes. Overcrowding in your fish tank can also cause aggression among fishes. Gouramis have been housed with numerous species, for example, danios, mollies, silver dollars, Neon tetras, and plecostomus catfish. Compatibility relies upon the types of gourami and the fish it is housed with. A few species (for example, Macropodus or Belontia) are profoundly forceful and may bug or slaughter littler or less forceful fish. In contrast, others (Parosphromenus and Sphaerichthys, for example) are modest or have specific water needs and, in this way, will be outcompeted by typical fish.


Gourami Fish are usually known as peaceful fishes among all fishes. It is not a difficult task to take care of fishes in the aquarium if you are a good observer who took good care of your fishes. But if you are a beginner, then you should work very hard. You should always maintain your aquarium clean provide your fish nutritional and good quality of diet with necessary protein. You have to observe the behavior of your fishes and notice their abnormal behavior. I hope i have made it clear about Gourami Fish Diseases and Treatments. However, if you still have any queries that you want to ask me, do leave a message in the comment section down below. Thank you.


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  1. I recently got a gourami. It was very active and ate well. I added a live plant for a mystery snail I have in the tank. Now it’s hanging at the bottom and lethargic. It’s also blowing bubbles at the top of my tank. I did a ph test and it’s 7.2, ammonia was 1.0 and I added ammo to it and the water cleared up. Rest of the tests were normal. Why is my gourami blowing bubbles at the top of the tank? Temp change has been from 75-79 lately because of faulty heater.

    • Ayush Maharjan Reply

      There is nothing to worry about…
      Its a good sign that your Gourami is in good health and happy.
      Normally, male gourami blows bubbles to create a nest to store the eggs.
      SO, its because of they want to have babies.

  2. Hi,,
    I recently bought gaurami fish and added to the tank where I already had gaurami fish. Suddenly fish two guarami fish died the new ones. Recently I made a water change. I have observed the fish it is swimming usually but in the morning they are near the heater in died condition. Two days each one but both of them died near the heater…what should I do now to save other gauramis….

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