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Author Topic: Odd wasting of gourami top half of body  (Read 512 times)
Denise E
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« on: April 27, 2019, 05:48:57 PM »

I've had tropical fish for, yikes, 50 years, and thought I'd pretty much seen everything in terms of diseases and disorders.  Alas, that's not true.  I just got my first order shipped overnight from a web site that describes the premium quality fish they sell with many lovely photos.  As I was looking for a specific sort of fish and this was one of the few places I found it, I decided to give them a try.  I have a new, cycled aquarium which was ready for fish and so I placed an order.  I added a few other fish to make the order worth the expensive shipping, which included a pair of regular dwarf gouramis.  I should mention I have had several species of gouramis and have even bred the dwarfs in the past, so it's a fish I'm very familiar with.  The female seems fine, but the male has this very peculiar (to me) sunken and wasted appearance  along the upper half of his body, starting from just behind the head above the eye and extending along and above the ventral line to the end of his dorsal fin.  His head also seems to be sunken/thin, especially the upper half.  The lower half of his body looks normal.  The coloration of the upper half is quite dull compared to the lower half.  His scales are not raised, his fins are clear with no ragged edges, no evidence of any fungus or ich.  He acts normal.  He's swimming normally and he's interested in the female.  Except for this wasting appearance of his upper body he seems healthy.  The female does not have this. 

I received the fish yesterday afternoon and unbagged them, left them in the aquarium overnight and didn't turn on the lights until this morning.  I fed them a bit last night and again this morning and the gouramis both have an amazingly full belly.  I realize they haven't had anything to eat in 24 or more hours and they are juveniles so undoubtedly missed their meals, but it does seem like they really went to town filling themselves up.

They did send along two free neon rainbow fish, and it was immediately apparent that one was wasted with a shrunken abdomen and shimming and I knew it was a goner, and indeed it did die during the night.  It did not have any spinal deformity.  I doubt these fish were kept in the same aquarium at the fish company and I don't really have the sense that it's an infectious process.  I've had fish with the shrunken abdomen and wasting in the past and am familiar with this and understand tuberculosis might be a cause.  But nowhere have I seen this upper body wasting.

It is clearly evident, really shockingly so, when you see the fish from a front view or when he's turning to the side.  It doesn't look like there is much more than skin covering his bones.  Clearly he has a good appetite, and his lower body is filled out normally, so it's obviously not a matter of not having had enough food, or he would be thin all over.  I'm hoping someone has seen this and knows what it is, and could tell me if it's perhaps a congenital deformity or what other cause it might be, and is it fatal or is the poor guy just going to look like that forever?  I have some photos I can share, but couldn't figure out out to attach them, and also a very short video clip of a few seconds from my phone which really shows the wasting very clearly. 

Thanks so much for your help.
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