Why Are My Dwarf Gouramis Dying? 8 Problems

Have you been having trouble keeping your dwarf gouramis alive? You’re not alone! There are a few things you can do to help improve their survival rate. In this post, we’ll outline the most common reasons why dwarf gouramis die and how to prevent it. Keep reading for more tips on how to keep your little fish healthy and happy!

Why Does My Dwarf Gouramis Dying?

Every tank is different, and there are countless reasons for fish death. However, we’ve compiled a list of the most common causes:

  1. Unhealthy Tank Water
  2. Overcrowding Your Tank
  3. Adding Chemicals to Your Tank
  4. Poor Nutrition
  5. Getting Your Fish From An Unethical Breeder
  6. Stress From Being Alone
  7. Tank Too Hot/Cold
  8. Improper Lighting

1) Unhealthy Tank Water

If you’re not already testing your water on a regular basis, now would be a good time to start! Poor water conditions can stress fish, making them more susceptible to getting sick.

For freshwater aquariums, test your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels weekly with an accurate liquid test kit. If you’re not familiar with what each of these levels should be, read our freshwater tank checklist for more information!

If your water conditions are fine, but you’ve lost fish in the same tank before, chances are your fish are being exposed to toxic substances. If you’ve changed anything in your aquarium recently (such as adding new decorations, cleaning with soap or bleach, etc), try removing it to see if that helps!

2) Overcrowding Your Tank

The more fish you have in a tank, the more waste they produce. If you have too many fish for your aquarium, it can lead to dangerous/harmful spikes in your ammonia and nitrite levels. We recommend 5 gallons of water per fish, but 10 gallons is even better!

If you’re noticing stress related behavior (discolored or missing scales, lethargy , etc), you probably have too many fish for your aquarium.

3) Adding Chemicals to Your Tank

Some chemicals are toxic to fish if added directly to an aquatic environment! If you recently added medications or water conditioners , your fish may have gotten sick because of it. Always check the product label before adding anything that isn’t specifically for use in aquariums.

4) Poor Nutrition

Poor nutrition leads to poor health, which leads to death! If you’re not feeding your fish a varied diet of both plant-based foods and meaty foods , you may have an issue with malnutrition.

Fish are just like us – they get their energy from food! You probably won’t notice any issues on the surface (such as visible physical deformities) unless your fish are severely malnourished.

5) Getting Your Fish From An Unethical Breeder

If you notice unusual behavior such as shimmying or color fading , your dwarf gouramis may have been bred in a way that caused deformities and other health problems.

Unfortunately, captive breeding often leads to inbreeding (which can cause all sorts of problems). Unfortunately, most pet stores don’t tell you where their fish come from, so it’s up to you to be vigilant!

If your fish are acting strangely or look different in some way, they may have been inbred in a tank that lacks proper water conditions. Inbreeding can cause several physical and mental issues that may not surface until adulthood!

6) Stress From Being Alone

If you’re an inexperienced fishkeeper, it’s possible that your fish died from stress. Some fish are fine being alone, but others require the presence of their own species in order to feel safe and secure . Dwarf gouramis are known for being a little more skittish than other fish, so it’s important to have at least two in your tank.

If you’re noticing unusual behavior such as hiding or not eating , your fish probably just want a playmate!

Try adding new dwarf gourami ASAP and watch to see if their behavior improves.

7) Tank Too Hot/Cold

If your house is at a high temperature, your fish tank water may be as well! Even if you have an aquarium heater, some tropical fish prefer cooler temperatures . If your house is at or above room temperature (75f – 80f), it’s probably too hot for most tropical fish.

We recommend keeping your aquarium water between 74-78f. If you don’t have a thermometer, buy one now!

Even if your fish seem completely healthy, they could die from shock if the water temperature changes too fast.

A common cause of death in tropical and freshwater fish is becoming overheated! Please make sure that your tank water never exceeds 80f. If you notice any signs of stress (discolored or missing scales, etc), the water is probably too hot for your fish!

8) Improper Lighting

If you can’t see what color your fish are supposed to be, it might mean that they’re sick! Fish rely on eyesight for detecting predators, finding food, and communicating. If you can’t see their colors or they’re constantly hiding , your lighting is probably the problem.

Lighting plays a MAJOR role in keeping all aquarium fish happy and healthy! Make sure to buy lights that are specifically made for aquarium use . It’s also important to make sure that your tank lights are on for at least 12-14 hours every day .

You’re probably overfeeding your fish if you can’t see their colors! Please make sure that your tank has adequate lighting and that the light is on for 12-14 hours each day. If your fish are constantly hiding, they may want more living plants !

We hope this article helps you keep your dwarf gourami(s) happy and healthy!! If you have any questions, please leave a comment below…