Dwarf Gourami Disease Guide {Causes & Treatment}

The the dwarf gourami disease only infects the dwarf gourami fish and has no known cure, but there are a few things you can do which I will go through today.

This dwarf gourami disease guide will teach you everything you need to know about dwarf gourami disease.

Dwarf Gourami Disease Guide

Dwarf Gourami Disease is a viral disease without a cure. It is mostly known to infect commercially breed gourami fish.

It spreads rapidly due to low hygiene levels in the tanks. This disease affects your healthy gourami fish.

After a while, your once-healthy gourami fish drops dead along with every other gourami fish in the tank.

Dwarf Gourami Disease Guide

What Are Dwarf Gouramis?

Dwarf Gouramis are one of the common the many fishes that make it to the aquarium. They are really colorful and small why a lot of people keep them in their fish tanks and aquariums.

A bunch of them in your aquarium will really bring life to it. They are, in fact, adorable fish and very cute until they contact the dwarf deadly gourami disease.

YouTube video

What Causes Dwarf Gourami Disease?

The most common cause is an iridovirus that causes necrosis of the spleen and kidney in infected fish.

Some species of dwarf gourami seem to be more likely to suffer from this disease whilst other seem less likely to suffer from it.

If your fish is suffering with dwarf gourami disease you can expect them to last for 10 – 30 days before they will die.

What Does Dwarf Gourami Disease Look Like?

At the initial stages, you will notice:

  • loss of colour of your fish
  • sores on the skin
  • loss of appetitie
  • swelling around the belly

The signs are not always visible externally. Your fish might even look perfectly fine. This is dangerous because you might not know what fish has the disease when you’re keeping them together in an aquarium tank.

Is Dwarf Gourami Disease Contagious?

Yes. the disease is contagious- it can be transmitted from one fish to the other. The only test to really know if your dwarf gourami has the disease is biomedical examination.

However, when a fish has the disease, there might be some changes in its behavior. A typical example is that your fish might start to swim hyperactively around the aquarium tank. When this happens and persists, you should isolate the fish in a different tank.

Subsequently, you can subject your fish to close medical examination and determine the problem once and for all.

How To Treat Dwarf Gourami Disease

Currently there is no cure for dwarf gourami disease.  Gouramis that develop this disease are expected to last 10 – 30 days before they die.

This disease has only been detected 10 years ago (2010) and a cure has not been found to date.

Visible Signs That My Fish Has Dwarf Gourami Disease

Over time, the effects of the dwarf gourami disease will become apparent. Your fish will:

  • lose a lot of body mass
  • acquire some reddish spots on its skin
  • refuse any food that you offer it
  • develop sores and bumps

After this, there might be some visible bleeding on their skin before their eventual death. In these moments, it might already be too late to save your other dwarf gouramis from catching the disease.

Can Dwarf Gourami Disease Spread To Other Fish?

Yes. The dwarf gourami disease is a viral disease and can be spread from one fish to the other. If you identify a fish with this disease you need to separate them from other fish asap.

The dwarf gourami disease majorly affects gourami fish. It can sometimes be found in some cichlids though it is not that common. Coincidentally, it appears to affect two main types of gourami fish: The dwarf gourami fish and the Three-Spot.

How Does The Dwarf Gourami Disease Spread?

The dwarf gourami disease can spread to gourami fish:

  • in the same water even when they don’t have direct contact with themselves.
  • when it is released into the water by one of your gouramis and spread to the rest of them.
  • even when you no longer have infected gourami in the tank.

If you introduce new gouramis into a tank not long after the old fish die, there is every possibility that the disease still remains in the water.

The disease has its way of sticking around until you make your fresh additions to the tank. That is typically how about 50% of some healthy dwarf gouramis come in contact with the disease.

The remaining 50% comes from gouramis mass breed in commercial tanks. Over 90 percent of commercially breed gourami fishes contact the dwarf gourami disease from the tank.

Can I Cure The Dwarf Gourami Disease?

No. As far as we know, the dwarf gourami disease is yet without a cure. The best remedy yet is that when you spot dwarf gourami with dwarf gourami disease tendencies, remove it from your tank. Put it in isolation until you confirm the presence of the disease.

When you confirm that this fish has the dwarf gourami disease, there’s not much to do than to destroy it. This will save the other fishes from contracting the lethal disease.

Steps Against The Dwarf Gourami Disease

Prevention is by far the best way to deal with the dwarf gourami disease. Neale Monks, an expert paleontologist at the London Natural History of Museum, expressed his views on it several years ago before he retired.

He said that the safest gouramis to get are the ones bred locally. He also reinforces his stand by insisting that these gouramis must be 100% bred locally. If you don’t get gourami disease-infected fishes from the start, the chances your fishes might get it is really slim.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long can gourami live with Iridovirus?

Approximately 20 to 30 days. Gouramis can only typically survive for 20 to 30 days after contracting this sickness.

2. Do honey gouramis get dwarf gourami disease?

No. More than 25% of dwarf gouramis sold in retail establishments have the iridovirus, which is well recognized among them. Even though Honey Gouramis and Dwarf Gouramis have several similarities, Iridovirus is not one of them.


You can have a fish tank that is free of fish with dwarf gourami disease. There are only two things you have to do: Prevent the disease from affecting your gourami fish and isolate a fish when the disease shows up.

Thanks for visiting HelpUsFish.com for this article. Check out our home page and search bar with hundreds of aquatic or marine life articles to choose from. Bye for now!


Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind HelpUsFish.com. I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.