View Full Version : Strange Illness....

07-24-2007, 07:17 PM
Hi everyone, Im new here and I desperately need some information on whatever is happening to my beloved oscar! I'm not sure I'm posting this in the right place, but here goes anyway...

I have a custom-made 6foot tank, housing a breeding pair of tiger oscar's and a large pleccy. I have had them all for 5 years now, and the oscars regularly spawn on a large piece of slate - which the pleccy happily eats during the night, lol. The tank is serviced by two large fluval canister filters and I do a 50% water change weekly. The temp is 28/30C. I do water checks every two weeks and have never had a problem there. They get chichlid floating pellets and bottom feeder tablets, plus some earthworms and prawns as treats.

Four months ago my female oscar started swimming erratically and tilting over. I feared swim-bladder disease and the next morning my fears were confirmed when she was floating on the surface. Over the next few days her body gradually bent further and further backwards and she obviously wasn't eating. A small swelling appeared around her tummy/vent area, which rapidly swelled to between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball!! It was gross, pinkish with clearly discernable veins.

I went to the pet shop, who promptly told me that she had dropsy and I must flush her down the loo!! I have seen dropsy before, and it sure didnt look like that. Needless to say, as all people owned by oscars knows, they are not just "fish" - they are pets, and I couldn't flush her!

This carried on for four months, with her getting thinner and thinner, until she was literally paper-thin. Then one day I came home from work and she was on the bottom, swelling gone, but with a gaping hole in her belly, which the plec was trying to get hold of! When I fed the male she propelled herself to the surface with her tail and literally gulped the food in - obviously starving.

This was two weeks ago - she went from strength to strength, the wound closing up and her tummy filling out nicely. By Saturday she was swimming normally again, and the two of them happily went back to cleaning the spawning slate - an activity that keeps them busy for hours!

Story not over yet, lol - when I got home from work yesterday she was floating on the surface again, the swelling clearly visable, although not quite as large! I was devastated, but as I sat there looking at her, the swelling literally went back inside the now open wound again, and she happily flipped over and demanded food! Over the course of last night this happened repeatedly - the swelling appearing and dissappearing!!

I went to the only other pet shop in our town today, but the fish expert there was totally baffled! He said that he has never heard or seen this before and would love an explanation, as would I!

Sorry for the long story, but I wanted to give you all the facts. I have a pic of the swelling, but am not sure how to put in on here....

Any help for my poor oscar here??

07-25-2007, 04:45 AM
...is it flatulence?
It could be stomach or colon bacteria consuming something she eats and causing flatulence she is unable to pass, until it erupts...

07-25-2007, 06:24 AM
Hey Nick

Really? That can happen? But wouldnt that only happen after she has eaten then? This happens all the time....

07-25-2007, 01:50 PM
hi peni. a few questions for you:
what are the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in your tank currently? how much food do you feed each time? can you post pics of her?
lastly, i'm relocating this thread to the proper section of the forum and i will leave a re-direct so you and others can find it. welcome to a.c.--jeff

07-25-2007, 05:50 PM
Sounds more like a cyst or possibly even a hernia (can a fish even get a hernia??) to me. Eventually the cyst swells and bursts through the skin releasing pressure/gas and the fish is able to eat again. The bad news is that cysts tend to reoccur and of course, any open wound is open to other infections too. The bulging of tissue out of that wound could be internal organs finding the weak spot in her body and forcing their way out or it could be the cyst returning. I have no idea how to treat this. If you could find a vet that specializes in fish that would be great. Maybe they could at least look at the fish. If none are around maybe check with a public aquarium. Sometimes they will check out unusual illnesses so they can learn from them.

Good luck to you and your fish!!!

Lady Hobbs
07-25-2007, 07:18 PM
This is certainly strange but the care and concern and your williness to keep helping your Oscar certainly rewarded you.

I wonder if she had a stomach absess. Recently a gentleman was here that had a Silver Dollar with a large lump on it's side that literally burst open. He nursed it back to health, as well. The only other thing I can think of is a terrible case of worms but I've never heard of those bursting thru the side of a fish.

This is really one for the fish mannuals, isn't it? But I'm happy your fish is on the road to recovery and I hope this never returns again for you.

07-26-2007, 12:08 AM
Try posting this over at oscarfish.com