A Feeling Healed A Fish

neon-blue dwarf gouramiHealing things runs in our family. My 16-year-old son purchased a neon-blue Dwarf Gourami a couple of months ago. It developed dwarf gourami iridovirus, something we found is common to this species of fish. According to an article on FishChannel.com, “This fish disease is highly contagious, completely untreatable and invariably fatal.”

Nobody told us this at the pet store, by the way. Everything we read online was a dead end as to how we might treat the disease, which causes lesions on the fish, abdominal swelling, loss of appetite and eventually suffocation, since the fish can’t reach the water’s surface to breathe. After deciding that he wouldn’t do as some others did and immediately put the fish out of its misery or simply leave it to suffocate on its own, my son got the idea that he’d try some of our own natural remedies. What did he have to lose, he thought? If the fish was going to die, it would die anyway. By this time, it had developed spasms, stopped eating, had swelling of the abdomen and was having trouble getting to the surface to breathe. The angelfish noticed its weakened state and began to attack it, so we removed it from the tank and placed it in a Mason jar with about 24 ounces of water.

After careful study, my son decided on a course of chlorophyll and colloidal silver. The chlorophyll twice a day for three days to give it some green and minerals in its diet that would, hopefully, mimic that of an algae-rich environment. He used about a drop of silver at water changes every other day to kill off viruses and bacteria in the water—also, in the hopes it would work on the lesion. He also added drops of silver to the angelfish tank, since research had shown the disease to be transferable to their species.

By the second day, the fish was no longer experiencing spasms or having trouble getting to the surface to breathe. By the end of the first week, the lesion had noticeably begun to decrease in size. By the second week, the lesion was barely noticeable. By week three, the fish was healthy enough to be returned to the tank with its new mates, the neon tetras. We can no longer tell where the lesion was. The site is completely healed, and the greedy Gourami has gone on to make its first bubble nest.

I’m glad he listened to his instincts, instead of flushing it down a toilet, cutting off its head or buying the conventional medicines many in the forums stated did not work. I swear, sometimes you can feel what will heal. Let this be a lesson for those of us told by doctors and others that nothing can be done. It might benefit us to embrace the thinking that those who say it can’t be done, shouldn’t interrupt those doing it.

And, yes, that is the now-healthy Gourami in the photo above. 🙂

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