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Old 09-02-2005, 04:20 PM   #1
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sick oscar...plz help!

I have a tiger oscar who seemed to be doing very well until about 2 weeks ago. He looks like he is losing his scales...the color is gone in spots. The other oscar attacks him and he stays at the bottom of the tank.
It all started with fungus on one of my plecos. I treated the tank and that was the end of that. A couple of weeks later is when this started with the oscar. I first noticed what I thought was Ick on his one fin. There were 2 white spots that appeared to me like salt. I slowly increased the temp. of the tank to 82 (from 78) and added 2 teaspoons of salt per gallon (over 5 days). I added 2 additional air stones.
It has been going on a week since I started the temp./salt treatment. The white spots are gone , but the fins have holes in the place where the spots were. His body still has areas where the scales are gone. Instead of black color, it appears gray. Today I noticed white feces coming out of him.
I am at my wits end here. Before all of this started, I did a 25% water change and vacuumed the stones once a week. I also did water tests for all levels and all was good...never anything other than normal levels.
Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.
One more thing, all started when I fed feeder fish...contaminated I am sure...but please help me to know with what...
Thanks..
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Old 09-02-2005, 07:02 PM   #2
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Your tank is too small for the type of fish you have.

That said......could you tell us about your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings? Lots of people suggest their readings are "good." But "good" tends to mean different things to different people. Alot of fish succomb to all kinds of problems due to poor water quality so it really helps to know exactly what the quality is in terms of numbers.
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Old 09-02-2005, 07:11 PM   #3
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Good water quality is imperative here. You may also want to start treating with a broad spectrum antibiotic, such as Maracyn or Maracyn 2. Also, am I reading right that you increased your temp from 70 to 82? The low temps aren not good at all, and could be the beggining of your problems, if you are correct in your typing. Also, a temp of 82 will do nothing to kill your ich problem. Bump it up to around 87 degrees, and then watch it works it's magic.

Good luck.
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Old 09-02-2005, 07:41 PM   #4
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Here are my recent water numbers...
Ammonia=0
PH=8.2
GH & CH was accurate for cichlids
Nitrites=1.0

Nitrites are usually 0...however, I didnt do my usual water change last sunday due to the salt/temp regimen.
As far as the fish, I know that I should not have 2 oscars. It was a mistake. We are picking up our 55 gallon in a couple of weeks...(layaway)...I know that I must get rid of one..even with the bigger tank coming...I just need to get him better first.
As far as the temp..not sure why the smiley face was there..my temp is always 78..And, I should bump up the temp to 87? Over how long a period of time?
I have something called Melafix...I have never used it...will that work?
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Old 09-02-2005, 07:57 PM   #5
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Bump the temp up slowly if you are sure the fish had ick. Also while the fish are sick I would do lots of pwc. Nothing IMO helps as much as clean water. You didn't give a nitrate reading? And as for the 55 gallon I would go bigger, at least 70 gallons If you really want your oscar to have a long happy healthy lifetime.
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Old 09-02-2005, 09:43 PM   #6
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I think you said you have two. I would go at least 90 gallons for two adult oscars.
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Old 09-03-2005, 02:06 PM   #7
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Just to update today...I did a pwc today...readded my salt...temp is now around 86...I added Melafix....within 30 min, my large pleco expired.
Any new advice?
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Old 09-03-2005, 02:44 PM   #8
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I'm truly sorry to hear about you losing your pleco. I think he was overlooked as everyone started concentrating on the oscar. Salt is not good for catfish. I wish I had seen this sooner. Though I don't think that the salt could have been responsible that quickly. How much salt did you add for this treatment?
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:39 PM   #9
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Hi, I added 58 teaspoons over a few day time frame. It has been almost exactly a week since I started the treatment. It must have been the salt because before this, he was fine. He ate great and was lively and a bit aggressive. I did notice that he has seemed a bit quieter in the past couple of days or so. I should have asked for help sooner.
I added Melafix this morning and did a pwc. If this doesnt cure my oscars fins and body, I am not sure what I will do next. I can tell you that I am ready to give up, though.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:49 PM   #10
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Jchillin, I need to ask you one more thing..or anybody who might know this...I bought this tank and complete setup from my sister 2 months ago. It is a 29 gallon with a double BIO wheel filtration. She had it set up over 2 years. I did nothing but rinse the stones and wheels before I set up my tank.
I found out this afternoon that she had lots of trouble with that tank for the past year. She kept losing fish and treated the tank for many different things. I didnt know any of this when I set it up...and I have had trouble since day one. Two months of one thing after another. Is it possible that something can be trapped in the biological life of the wheels and stones? Something that she couldnt treat and now I cant? Or is this just coincidence?
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
I added Melafix this morning and did a pwc. If this doesnt cure my oscars fins and body, I am not sure what I will do next. I can tell you that I am ready to give up, though.
Did you see my post above? The Melafix is good, but it's a natural tea oil remedy. It works wonders for bacterial infections, but you may need a stronger antibiotic to treat the fins. See if you can't grab the reccomended medicines.
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:33 PM   #12
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Thank you, I will buy some tomorrow.
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Old 09-03-2005, 11:13 PM   #13
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Interesting chronology. Did she tell you or did she know what was causing the fish deaths?

When you recieved the tank, did you also keep everything else (gravel, decorations, etc)?
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Old 09-04-2005, 12:24 AM   #14
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From what she told me today...she treated for Ick and fungus many times throughout the course of a year or better....and then her fish would die without any cause....she checked her water weekly and all levels were good...she did pwc weekly and she still had trouble..enough to give up. She even said that she had her water tested at a LFS. I know that at some point, she took her single remaining fish to the fish store and gave me the whole setup. I set it up with everything she had...decor, gravel and all.
This is why I am wondering now if all this is related. Our stories sound exactly alike..Maybe I should strip the tank, throw everything away, including the Bio wheel, bleach it all and start over. What do you think?
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Old 09-04-2005, 07:26 AM   #15
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Since the tank is cycled, it would be a good idea to continue the treatment. Ultimately, if the treatment is completed, you will eliminate the problem with the tank. Tearing it down is a last resort measure. You will have to make a decision on the future of the oscars since the tank is too small.

I see a connection and it's more than likely the LFS. It appears that a spiraling cycle of purchasing one or more diseased fish and the treatments were either never fully completed or additional fish were introduced to the tank while in your sister's possession during her treatments.

The possibility does exist that some ich parasites survived in the gravel and/or decorations or, the fish that you purchased also were infected.
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Old 09-14-2005, 11:08 PM   #16
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I have been raising oscars for years and I believe that the biggest threat to their health is the messes they make. I make sure that my filtration is above what is recommended (example I had a 60gal tank with 100gal of filtration on it) this helps keep the tank free of debris. Also I never let my water drop below 80 degrees, oscars are warm water fish and they like it. I also put in Aquari-Sol once a week, it can be used to prevent or treat sicknesses such as Ick, Protozoan parasites, and Velvet. And of course water changes, I do 10%-15% water changes every two weeks. I hope this helps and I hope your fish stay healthy.
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