View Full Version : Breathing issues!!! HELP!!!

05-09-2007, 03:55 AM
My oscars are about 6 months old now, they have been super healthy, had a few fights b4 but have been fine lately, and then today I notice the one oscar who is a little larger is on the bottom of the tank. I thought he was "sulking" but then looked closely, he seems to not be able to close his mouth and his breathing is fast and seems almost "strained" as if he really needs to work at breathing, and he won't eat, I have another oscar in this tank, and he seems perfectly fine, and also a Pleco who seems fine. what can be wrong with my baby???? how do I help him???

05-09-2007, 04:01 AM
what are your tank parameters? do you do water changes/testing? how many oscars, what size tank?

Lady Hobbs
05-09-2007, 02:57 PM
Oscars need large and often water changes. Rapid breathing is a sign of not enough oxygen in the tank or ammonia/nitrites.

Do a large water change now and add a bubbler if you don't have one now. And keep up with large water changes twice a week. By large, we mean 60-75 percent.

05-09-2007, 04:57 PM
I've been doing a 50-60% water changes every 2nd to 3rd day since I got them, I find if I do any more than that they seem way more "sulky". If it was the oxygen wouldn't it effect the other oscar as well... he seems great, swims fine, eats fine, nothing seems to be bugging him??? I have two large filtres going all the time, and I keep the water an inch or so below so the water flowing back into the tank is bringing in oxygen there are constant bubbles shooting in with the water. should I still try another "bubble tube"???

05-09-2007, 06:17 PM
I thought he was "sulking" but then looked closely, he seems to not be able to close his mouth and his breathing is fast and seems almost "strained" as if he really needs to work at breathing,

By your description it could mean one of two things. Either he has something stuck in his mouth or he has dislocated his jaw (which is a fairly common occurance for oscars). Try to see if he has anything in his mouth. Piece of rock, or a sliver of driftwood, maybe even a piece of another type of ornament. If you see something in there you have two options. The first is to do nothing and hope he works it out himself or you can try to remove it. To do that you would need to net the fish and place him on a towel that has been soaked in some tank water. Make sure your hands are wet and try to remove the item with tweezers. Try to do this as quickly as possible. If you have someone to help you they could pour small amounts of tank water over the fish to help keep him wet....if you need to keep him still you can use another towel, just make sure it's wet with tank water.
If he has nothing in his mouth, then there is the chance that either the two fish were fighting and he dislocated his jaw or that he ran into an object within the tank and did it that way. There is no way to fix this yourself. Sometimes the jaw pops back in place, sometimes it doesn't. If he doesn't improve then you will have a hard choice to make.

Good luck to you and your fish!!

05-09-2007, 10:23 PM
Thank you so much for all the info, I will watch him closely, I looked in his mouth and it doesn't look like anything is in there, hopefully the jaw will go back into place. Thanks again for taking the time to write so much info. My oscars and I appriciate it!!! How long can he go without eating??? That is my main concern now.

05-09-2007, 10:28 PM
Most fish can go 1 month without eating. Lock-jaw goes away by itself sometimes. some of my tetras got it, and it disapearred

05-11-2007, 04:59 PM
Always glad to help!!
Fish can go a long time without eating so don't worry on that!! More important is to try and reduce any stress for him. Keep doing those water changes and if you see the other oscar picking on him at all, you need to buy a tank divider or make one yourself.
Good luck!

05-14-2007, 11:58 PM
So "freddy" died yesterday, I thought he was doing better was swimmimg around more and his breathing didn't seem so bad, then the next morning he was dead. Thanks for all the info though to all of you!

05-15-2007, 12:04 AM
Really sorry to hear that.

05-15-2007, 03:16 AM
sorry about the loss:11:

05-15-2007, 06:42 PM
Awww....sorry to hear that!

05-22-2007, 12:09 AM
That sucks, so sorry to hear that! At least he's not in pain anymore.