The Fish Keeping & Aquarium Guide.

Why Are My Gourami Fish Dying? Common Causes and Solutions

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Gourami fish are a popular species of freshwater fish known for their vibrant colors and peaceful temperament. Unfortunately, many fish owners have experienced the frustration of having their gourami fish die unexpectedly.

There are several reasons why gourami fish may be dying, and owners need to understand these factors to prevent future deaths.

One reason gourami fish may be dying is poor water quality. Gourami fish require clean water with a specific pH level and temperature range.

If the water is not maintained correctly, it can lead to a buildup of harmful toxins and bacteria that can be fatal to the fish.

In addition, overcrowding the tank with too many fish or overfeeding them can also contribute to poor water quality and lead to fish deaths.

Another factor that can contribute to gourami fish deaths is disease. Gourami fish are susceptible to various diseases, including bacterial and fungal infections.

Owners need to monitor their fish for signs of illness, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and abnormal swimming behavior.

If a fish is suspected to be sick, it should be quarantined and treated immediately to prevent the spread of disease to other fish in the tank.


Common Diseases in Gourami Fish

Ich Disease


Ich disease, or white spot disease, is a common parasitic infection affecting gourami fish. It is caused by a protozoan parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, which attaches itself to the skin and fins of the fish, causing white spots to appear.

The infected fish may also show signs of lethargy, loss of appetite, and rapid breathing.

Treatment for Ich disease involves raising the water temperature to 86°F (30°C) and adding aquarium salt. Commercial medications are also available but should be used cautiously as they can harm the fish if not used properly.




Dropsy is a serious bacterial infection that affects the kidneys of gourami fish, causing them to swell and become inflamed. The infected fish may show signs of bloating, pineconing (raised scales), and lethargy.

Treatment for dropsy involves isolating the infected fish and treating it with antibiotics. However, dropsy is often fatal, and prevention is the best approach.

Keeping the aquarium clean and maintaining good water quality can help prevent dropsy.


Fin Rot


Fin rot is a bacterial infection that affects the fins and tail of gourami fish. It is caused by poor water quality and can be exacerbated by stress.

The infected fish may show signs of frayed or ragged fins, which may appear to be disintegrating.

Treatment for fin rot involves improving water quality and treating the infected fish with antibiotics. In severe cases, the affected fins may need to be trimmed to prevent the infection from spreading.


Swim Bladder Disease


Swim bladder disease is a condition that affects the swim bladder of gourami fish, causing them to swim erratically or float upside down. Various factors, including poor water quality, overfeeding, and genetic predisposition, can cause it.

Treatment for swim bladder disease involves improving water quality, feeding the fish a balanced diet, and providing a stress-free environment. In severe cases, the affected fish may need to be euthanized.

In conclusion, gourami fish can be susceptible to various diseases, but many of these can be prevented or treated with proper care and attention.

Regular water changes, good water quality, and a balanced diet can help keep your fish healthy and happy.


Environmental Factors

Water Quality


Poor water quality is one of the most common reasons for gourami fish deaths. Gouramis are sensitive to changes in water conditions, so keeping the water clean and balanced is essential.

High ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels can be toxic to fish and cause health problems. Poor water quality can also lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and parasites, which can cause diseases.

One way to maintain good water quality is by performing regular water changes. It’s recommended to change 25% of the water every two weeks. Using a water conditioner can also help neutralize harmful chemicals in the water.


Temperature Fluctuations


Gouramis are tropical fish that require a stable temperature between 75-82°F. Sudden temperature changes can be stressful and cause health problems. Temperature fluctuations can also make fish more susceptible to diseases and infections.

It’s essential to keep the aquarium in a stable environment. Avoid placing the tank near windows or doors where there may be drafts. Use a heater to maintain a consistent temperature, and monitor the temperature regularly with a thermometer.




Overcrowding is another common issue that can lead to gourami fish deaths. Gouramis require enough space to swim and establish territories.

Overcrowding can cause stress, aggression, and the spread of diseases.

Having at least 10 gallons of water per Gourami fish is recommended.

Avoid adding too many fish at once, as this can disrupt the balance of the aquarium. Monitor the fish’s behavior and look for signs of stress or aggression.

In summary, maintaining good water quality, stable temperature, and avoiding overcrowding are essential for keeping gourami fish healthy and alive.

Regular monitoring and maintenance can help prevent common issues and ensure a thriving aquarium.


Dietary Concerns



Overfeeding is one of the common reasons why Gourami fish die. Feeding them in moderation and avoiding giving them too much food is essential.

Overfeeding leads to the accumulation of uneaten food and waste in the tank. This can cause an increase in ammonia levels, which is harmful to the fish.

To prevent overfeeding, feeding the fish once or twice a day with only the amount of food they can consume within two to three minutes is recommended. Removing any uneaten food after feeding is also essential to prevent it from decaying in the tank.


Poor Nutrition


Another reason why Gourami fish may be dying is due to poor nutrition. Gourami fish require a balanced diet that includes both plant and animal-based foods.

A diet that lacks essential nutrients can lead to malnutrition, which weakens the fish’s immune system and makes them more susceptible to diseases.

Feeding the fish various foods such as flakes, pellets, frozen, or live foods is recommended. This will give them the necessary nutrients for their growth and overall health.

It is essential to read the label of the fish food to ensure that it contains the nutrients required by Gourami fish.

In conclusion, it is essential to feed Gourami fish in moderation and provide them with a balanced diet to prevent them from dying due to overfeeding or malnutrition.


Preventive Measures

Regular Water Changes


Regular water changes are one of the most important preventive measures for keeping gourami fish healthy. Gourami fish are sensitive to water quality, and poor water conditions can lead to stress, disease, and death.

Changing 20-30% of the water in the tank every week is recommended. This will help remove harmful toxins and maintain a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the tank.


Balanced Diet


A balanced diet is also crucial for the health of gourami fish. They are omnivores and require a protein and vegetable matter mixture in their diet. Overfeeding or feeding an unbalanced diet can lead to obesity and digestive problems.

Feeding gourami fish small amounts of food 2-3 times a day is recommended. Foods such as flakes, pellets, freeze-dried or frozen foods should be offered.


Proper Tank Size


Gourami fish require a minimum tank size of 20 gallons. A larger tank is always better because it provides more swimming space and reduces toxins. Overcrowding can lead to stress, aggression, and disease. It is essential to research the needs of the gourami species being kept and ensure the tank is appropriately sized for their needs.

Following these preventive measures, gourami fish can thrive in a healthy and safe environment.


Understanding Gourami Fish


Gourami fish are popular with aquarium enthusiasts due to their vibrant colors and peaceful nature. These fish are native to Southeast Asia and can be found in various habitats, including slow-moving rivers, swamps, and rice paddies.

Gourami fish are part of the labyrinth fish family, which means they have a specialized organ that allows them to breathe air directly from the water’s surface.

This adaptation allows them to survive in oxygen-poor environments and is one of the reasons why they are a popular choice for aquariums.

There are several species of gourami fish, but the most common ones found in aquariums are the dwarf Gourami, pearl gourami, and kissing Gourami.

Each species has its unique characteristics and requirements, so it’s essential to research and understand the specific needs of the species you have.

Gourami fish are generally peaceful and can be kept with other non-aggressive fish. However, they can become territorial during breeding, so providing plenty of hiding places and space for each fish to establish their territory is essential.

In summary, understanding gourami fish’s unique characteristics and requirements is essential for keeping them healthy and thriving in an aquarium environment.

Aquarium enthusiasts can enjoy the beauty and peaceful nature of these fascinating fish by providing the right conditions and care.

Latest Posts

  • Are Sea Anemones Hard to Care For: Essential Tips for Maintenance

    Are Sea Anemones Hard to Care For: Essential Tips for Maintenance

    Sea anemones, often found colorfully adorning aquariums, are marine invertebrates with distinctive tentacles. They are part of the Cnidaria phylum, which includes corals and jellyfish and are known for their symbiotic relationships with clownfish and other species. Tending for sea anemones in a home aquarium requires specific attention to water quality, lighting, and feeding. Maintaining…

    Read more

  • Are Sea Anemones Dangerous to Humans: Uncovering the Truth

    Are Sea Anemones Dangerous to Humans: Uncovering the Truth

    Sea anemones are often perceived as exotic and colorful ocean-floor dwellers that have garnered attention for their unique appearances in marine environments. Their vivid colors and graceful tentacle movements can capture the interest of divers and aquarium enthusiasts alike. Generally, they are not considered a threat to humans; most species have a sting that is…

    Read more

  • Why Are Sea Anemones Sticky: Uncovering the Secrets of Their Adhesive Powers

    Why Are Sea Anemones Sticky: Uncovering the Secrets of Their Adhesive Powers

    Sea anemones are fascinating marine creatures, often admired for their vibrant colors and graceful tentacle movements. The sticky sensation one experiences when touching an anemone might not be immediately apparent. This trait serves a crucial role in their survival. The stickiness is due to a specialized type of cell called a cnidocyte, which contains a…

    Read more