My name is John, I have 1 Oscar in a 55 gal tank. He is presently not doing well. Trying to get more info. I inherited it from my son a couple of years ago and have gotten attached.
Trying to find out how long they live. He ? is about 6 years old. I thought maybe problems may be from age, although in researching and checking at store, I have been checking water and found problems with water quality which I have been trying to fix. He has "Hole In Head" disease, which I thought may have come from age and/or size, and hoping that this clears up along with some ich, which seems to be clearing up. He is about 11" long. Prior to this he seemed to be doing quite well.
water parameters would be really helpful. If you don't have a test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate getting one is recommended.
getting your water tested at the pet store often yields inaccurate results due to improper knowledge of employees and sloppy test procedure.
Just off the bat, your oscar is in a pretty small tank for a fish its size. Oscars are thick bodied and produce lots of waste, and so require
a heavy filtration system(rated at least 2X tank size), large water changes, and a large tank at least 65 gallons in size, some say even larger.
Issues resulting from this(lower water quality) may include hole in the head disease.
+1 to the above,
but your tank is 12inches deep, and you have an 11" fish in it. means he can barely turn around in your tank.
But the main points to fix are the water quality and tank size. Min requirements to squeeze an oscar in is a 75gallon tank. preferred at 90+
they are massive fish and produce a ton of waste.
a tank that size, you could be stunting the fish as well. meaning his organs are outgrowing his body because he knows his habitat is too small.
I have aquired water test strips this past week and the nitrate level was extremely high. The ammonia and nitrite levels were safe at best. The alkalinity was very low, and ph was lower than strip indicated(acidic). The past 4 days, I treated with 2 doses of "General Cure" containing Metronidazole. recommended for the "Hole in Head" disease. This cleared up the ick on his side mostly. Today I removed about 15 gallons, and replaced with 10 gallons (which I had at room temp) . And will add the 5 more gallons tomorrow, keeping temperature consistent. I previously only changed water every few months, but have learned that needs to be about monthly. I use a double carbon filter, I believe rated a little higher than needed, and have lately been adding additional "Ammo/Carb" to filter which seems to be helping with Ammonia. I will check water and change again shortly to try and bring nitrates down, and ph up. I also added 2 Tbsp of salt when water was added today.
Originally Posted by madagascariensis
Larger tank at this time is not practical, but trying to bring him back to healthy. He hasn't eaten last few days, but am going to try something other than pellets, that I usually feed.
Thanks for feedback
do you have a heater in the tank? if so what temp are you running it at?
but you should do much larger water changes.
healthy water is key to healthy fish. you'll find that most members here (myself included) do minimum 50% water changes WEEKLY.
your regime of every few months is really not good/healthy for the fish.
do you have any filtration on this tank? if so what kind?
but those strips are not accurate what so ever. I started out with them too, and after switching to the api master test kit, you'll really see the difference in accuracy. like it's not even a comparison. my "strips" read my ammonia was 2ppm, when the api kit said it was 0. and i test it multiple times...so that's reference data for how accurate those strips are. plus, the liquid kit is cheaper in the long run. it can last you a year.
so for the sake of your oscar and bringing him back to health. go do a 50% water change.
are you using a dechlorinator as well?
Test strips are notorious for being inaccuarate. If possible I suggest a API freshwater liquid test kit. Most pepole here change 50% or more during weekly water changes. I would def suggest that for you until your oscar becomes healthy. What type of filtration does your tank have?
Last edited by rodm81; 03-10-2013 at 05:17 AM.
Do have heater. Keep temp at about 78. Was told to do 25% change at a time, and I didn't want to have temp change too drastic. But will change again soon after re-checking. I agree with the liquid test kit, as I use that for pool water instead of strips. The filter I have is outside tank and has double filters, my son said it was larger than required, uses the large filters? Also I did use dechlorinator for water added. I also bought some ph control liquid that contains vit/minerals, but didn't use yet until I get nitrates lower.
I've been reading the e-book in web site which looks to be helpful.
whew! that is good to hear that you have all that set up and are taking progressive action towards helping out your situation. so thank you for that and your oscar thanks you.
As long as you keep the temp the same during the pwc (partial water change) you'll be alright, even with a few deg fluctuation, it'll be fine. but the clean, new water on a weekly basis will do wonders for your fish. i can promise you that.
that is good to hear on the filtration, but our generic rule of thumb is get a filter that is rated 2x the size of your tank, so your filtration should be at about 110 gallons if not more. this is because with all the media, floss, cartridges, it decreases your flow rate by about half. so getting 2x the filtration means you are then properly filtered.
that book is a great read!
the pH control liquid concerns me though, there really isn't any reason to change the pH of a tank. most fish are farm raised and can handle a wide variety of pH. moreover, your oscar has been w/ you for a while now, so he's had a chance to acclimate and handle whatever pH you have. so unless you are below 6 or over 8, you're in a good pH range.
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