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Old 01-10-2003, 10:22 AM   #1
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Cichlid and Tiger Oscar not looking good

Our cichlid and tiger oscar are hanging around on the bottom of the tank near the same spot on each side of the tank divider. They are hardly moving. This started yesterday and we noticed a strange film on the top of the water and in the filter. The temperature in the tank was around 83F. We usually keep the tank at 78F. So I checked the Ph and it was at 7.0. The Ph in this tank has been between 7.0 and 7.2 since 16 Dec 02 and they were fine up until yesterday.

We changed about 75 percent of the water yesterday and cleaned the filter going on the assumtion that it was some kind of external pollutant that had contaminated their water and this was our best thought on how to get rid of that.

The last major water change was done on the 15th of October 2002 when we changed 30 percent of the water. Could this be an effect of too much nitrate. Could prolonged exposure to nitrate cause such trauma or damage that the fish would not recover after changing 75 percent of the as we did yesterday? We know the ammonia was not high. We checked the ammonia on 7 Jan 03 and it was at 0.

Any suggestions on what we can do to help the fish further? Someone here suggested putting crushed garlic in the tank.
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Old 01-10-2003, 10:59 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear they are not doing to well. What did the film look like, greasy?
What were the levels of the nitrAtes? Depends on the levels of the nitrAtes, my nitrAtes are around the 10 - 15ppm and my fish are happy, they should probably be lower but will not kill them. If they were as high as 20ppm or higher then prolonged exposure would cause the fish some discomfort.

As for the film layer, may seem like a silly question and I don't want to rub you the wrong way, but did/do you wash your hands prior to putting them in your tank? Has any one else had their hands in the water? Has anything extra gone into the tank that should not have been in there? The smallest hint of hand cream, moisturisers or things along those lines could cause a greasy film.

How do you do your water changes? Do you use a bucket or direct from the tap? Have both been washed prior to use?

Let us know. Good luck. What do they look like since doing the water change?
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Old 01-10-2003, 11:24 AM   #3
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I think you just hit on what happened. My hands have been dry lately and I may have put my hand in the tank with some hand cream on. Yes it was greasy.

I don't have a test kit to measure nitrates.

So, assuming the hand moisturising cream was the contaminant, do you think the fish will recover or are their gills and other systems damaged?

We got them to eat shrimp pellets and they seem to be moving a bit more so perhaps they are recovering.
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Old 01-10-2003, 11:27 AM   #4
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A water change did do the trick, I would wait a couple of days and do another one. But they should recover in now time.
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Old 01-10-2003, 11:44 AM   #5
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Since you are recommending another water change you are indicating there are still contaminants in the water. If we move the fish to another tank would they perk up right away? Or do you think there is some temporary damage also?

We have another tank we can move them to and then we could drain the tank, rinse the gravel, and refill it using some of the water from the other tank to give the tank an established biological filter.
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Old 01-10-2003, 02:09 PM   #6
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Their condition seems to be back to what it was when I posted my first message. The tiger oscar is slightly worse. I am wondering, can we move them temporarily to a tank that has a Ph of 6.7? or would that just aggravate things more? Currently the Ph in their tank is at 7.2.
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Old 01-10-2003, 05:16 PM   #7
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Sorry to get back to you so late. Yes I would move them to another tank. I wouldn't go as far as draining the tank, but yes another water change and maybe some filter media swap out would also not go a miss. Wash the 'ceramic' bits, not sure what filter you have, change the filter wool if you use such stuff. But another water chnage would surely help.

To be honest the drop in pH, not sure how they will effect the two. If I remeber correctly you have a convict cichlid?

Doing some quick reading both fish do fine in a pH range from 6.5 - 8 so they should be OK.

Hope they survive and that I have not come back to late. Sorry

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Old 01-11-2003, 08:41 AM   #8
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hey, i have been absent for awhile so forgive me if i miss some history but here goes--you mention a divider--is there sufficient water movement at the surface of the tank on their side? how big are the fish, how big is the tank, what else is in there, on which side, how do they act---i would suppose that your film may be from lack of water movement...?i have had that happen in small tanks with very little surface movement on the side that doesn't have the filter pushing water across the surface.... what kind of cichlid is with the oscar? how long has the tank been divided? my oscars pout when i change anything...any signs of physical illness? do they eat? ohhhh i just hate to hear of an oscar in distress!! they are just so neat! will try to check back to see if i can help....
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Old 01-11-2003, 10:02 AM   #9
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Edited post cuz I was not nice. I sincerly apologize.

Robert, please tell these kind folks the tank those fish are in.
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Old 01-13-2003, 09:51 AM   #10
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somehow i missed everything but the first post and mine came on twice....sheesh....well at least you know what it was, how is the oscar? and the other cichlid too of course...

and why would someone have not been nice, did i miss something else too?

man, i am gonna have to let my hair go back to blonde.....
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