View Full Version : Hole in The Head

08-27-2006, 06:38 PM
I have 3 oscars in a 125 gallon aquarim they have developed hole in the head I do water changes every week and clean the substate as best as I can I use only well known and trusted foods on occasion I feed live goldfish I have lots of troubles keeping nitrate levels under control I can do a water change and have levels reading around 20-40ppm and two days later have nitrate levels at 160 ppm or higher I am at a total loss as of what to do number 1 how can I get rid of the hole in the head [I understand that this is a secondary infection and difficult to get rid of ] and 2 what can I do about nitrate levels I am at the point of doing a 125 gallon water change and starting over HELP !!!

08-27-2006, 11:16 PM
what filtration do you have? how much water do you change at a time? how big are the oscars? any other tankmates? stop with all live food. its the best way to introduce parasites and diseases.

08-28-2006, 02:16 AM
I use an undergravel filtration system with 3 penguin 550 powerheads and I also have a magnum 350 pro canister type filter with 2 biowheels I change 60 % water weekly also 2 pleco's and 1 pictus cat live food was only fed 1 or2 times monthly

08-28-2006, 02:44 AM
any live food ever could have introduced it, it only takes one. i usually hear water quality may cause or at least contriute to HITH, so you may want to up it to 75% weekly and add more filtration. i would add at least one fluval 405.

08-28-2006, 03:12 AM
Have you checked to see if there are nitrates in your tap water? I have heard of people finding that they have readable levels in tap water, and thus they are putting nitrates back in when they are trying to take them out :(.

08-28-2006, 03:17 AM
Is there any debris etc hidden away anywhere in the tank. Are you using any roots or similar that you have collected yourself in the tank?

08-28-2006, 04:14 AM
I collected some rocks from various sources mainly the mississippi river but they were boiled and bleached and thoruoghly rinsed before intoducing them to the tank there are no roots or natural driftwood in the tank all the plants are artificial and I do not believe that the tap water has any readable amount of nitrate in it I also have a 55 gallon that I keep african chiclids in and a 20 gallon long that I have a clown knife and two blue cobalt lobsters in I have no problem with either one of those two aquariums but those fish are nowhere near as dirty as the oscars my nitrate level today was over 160ppm I changed out at least 90 gallons today and got it down to around 20ppm no wasted food and no feeder fish I will monitor every day for the next week . but the other important question was how to get rid of HITH now that it is noticably present ???

08-28-2006, 01:22 PM
no certain way to do it. my jag started to get it, but that was after i wasnt doing water changes for a while. once i started those again it seems like its going away. however i have also added meds lately, mainly for velvet, so they may have had something to do with the turn around. from what i understand there is no reliable way to deal with HITH. seems everyone has a different opinion, from treatment to cause.

08-29-2006, 11:54 AM
If you continue to see climbing nitrates, especially only in this tank, step up the frequency of water changes and try adding another filtration system. In my opinion, although I know others like them, undergravel filters suck. The magnum 350 filter is rated for 100 gal aquariums, we use one on our 90 gal, and one on our 64 gal with success. The 90 gal has 2 oscars and a pleco. The climbing nitrates can cause all manner of disease issues so it definitely can contribute to whatever caused the hole in the head to begin with making it hard for the fish to fight it off and heal.
Also, what tap water treatment are you using? We have had good success with stresscoat, it claims to help the fish with their slime coat to fight off skin diseases naturally, and it has helped our fish with nipped fins. I have also used it along with heat and water changes for the 2 cases of ICK I have dealt with....never used ick meds. You can safely squirt it right onto the fish themselves, so it may help. Keep us posted on how things go.

08-29-2006, 11:59 AM
there are much better filters out there than magnums. UGFs are a bad choice for cichlids, they can actually make things worse.

08-29-2006, 07:46 PM
What other canister filters have you tried and like reptileguy? As I said, we have 2 of the magnum 350's with biowheels and are pleased with them...but if we ever do another large tank we will need another filter. So far the magnums are working great for us, but that was what was readily available and it isn't like we tried a bunch of different kinds. Info is always helpful for the future :) . Besides, our next one is liable to be bigger than the rating of 100 gallons that the magnum can handle (hoping anyway!)

08-30-2006, 01:59 AM
whatever a filter claims it can handle, cut that in half and thats abotu what it can actually handle. i have solely used fluvals because they have always been what i needed. much more customizable than magnums. a lot of people liek renas, but from what i have heard they are notch below fluvals. and seems anyone who has used them finds eheims to be the best by far. fluval has recently come out with the FX5, along with the 05 line. it handles up to 400 gallons and is literally about the size of a 5 gallon bucket, i have heard nothing but praise about that filter as well.

08-30-2006, 12:00 PM
Actually...we stayed away from the fluvals only because the 2 tanks we bought used came with fluval 203 and 403 filters and we couldn't get replacement parts...the hoses were german and not readily available and we had problems getting the siphon going. The 403 is working now, but it isn't as nice as the magnums we have. Have you any experience with these older models compared to the newer models? One of the features we really like on the magnum is the quick disconnects which allow us to remove the filter unit after closing off the hoses and take it off the motor for filter cleaning. Saves on a lot of water being spilled or loss of suction.
I do like the different sections on the fluvals though for different filter media so if the newer models are vastly improved over the older ones it is certainly something I will check out. :)

08-30-2006, 05:13 PM
defnitely greatly improved. they are worth every penny. thats why all my tanks over 20 gallons have at least one fluval on them.

08-31-2006, 11:56 AM
Thanks for the info...I will keep it in my head for future reference.