Hello from the top of down under

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Rumpig created the topic: Hello from the top of down under

Hi All
I live Australia.
I had a friend when i lived in Queensland that had one and I have always loved them since the first time I seen one.
Where I live Northern territory Oscars used to be banned but about 6mths ago I seen them for sale so I bought one and then asked about the legality of buying them, I was informed that the ban had been lifted.
In my hast to buy my Oscar I forgot how big they get so i have him in a 600mm length tank that his quickly outgrowing. I have an old tank 1200x500mm that has a cracked base that I will be fixing to house him and maybe a few more.
I will try and take some pics for you later.
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Lammergeier replied the topic: Hello from the top of down under

Hello Rumpig,

I'm in Aus as well, but am in Vic. The tank with the cracked base will be sufficient for an oscar, but ONLY one oscar with no other tank mates. The tank you currently have your oscar in is way too small, I'm afraid. If you don't find a bigger home for it asap it will end up with a whole slew of health issues :(
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Rumpig replied the topic: Hello from the top of down under

I thought that would have big enough for 2 but I guess that is why we join forums like this. What would be a good size for 2 Oscars?
He gives me the poor me eyes every time I walk past him. He can still swim OK (his body length is about a fifth of the tank length) but defiantly needs an upgrade.
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ernie replied the topic: Hello from the top of down under

Welcome to OFL all your questions about tank size can be found on the home page, very important as just mentioned to have the right conditions to raise your Oscar. How are your water parameters and how did you cycle? Also from Victoria glad you could join.
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Hello from the top of down under

Welcome to the forum. Minimum for two is a 120 US gallon, which is maybe 1800 x 500 x 600 mm or there about (if my metric calculations are right).
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Rumpig replied the topic: Hello from the top of down under

Glad to see some Aussies here.
Ernie I do need to learn the lingo as not 100% sure of your questions but i will give it ago.
Cycle if you mean water change then that is a weekly job and I take 1/2 to 2/3 out the filter crap to be polite so I made a few change so it is basically now a tube with a hand full of bio balls then carbon warped in wool then another carbon and wool followed by more bio balls. so once a fortnight the front carbon and wool is tossed and the rear is moved forward with new carbon and wool place in the rear (that sound bad) bio balls wash but not scrubbed under fresh water.
I will confess I do not test my water and I know you lot will growl at me but I have kept fish for a long time (just not Oscars) and the water out of our bore is spot on. I forget the exact specs but when I did test it, it did not need any adjusting.
I will take some pics for you so you can see.
My new tank will be running a sump filter and I did some calculations and it about 95 Gal or 360 liters.
What thickness of glass would you use for a tank 1800 x 500 x 600 ?
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ernie replied the topic: Hello from the top of down under

Rumpig cycling is covered in great detail in articles in this forum I suggest you have a read. Testing your water parameters is probably one of the more important things you need to do to keep Oscars. You need to purchase an API Master test kit which will test PH Ammonia Nitrite and Nitrate. You may be right suggesting some members may growl at you for not testing, at the end of the day we want you to succeed so take the advice that you will be given.
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Hello from the top of down under

I would think at least 10mm (3/8th inch) or possibly 12.5 mm (1/2 inch) plate glass for the 500 liters (125 gal). Though I have not made a tank in a long time myself.
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Lammergeier replied the topic: Hello from the top of down under

ernie wrote: Welcome to OFL all your questions about tank size can be found on the home page, very important as just mentioned to have the right conditions to raise your Oscar. How are your water parameters and how did you cycle? Also from Victoria glad you could join.


Oh cool, whereabouts in vic are you ernie?

Definitely have a read of this yourself Rumpig ( www.oscarfishlover.com/how-to-cycle-your-aquarium ), but the short version is that cycling refers to getting the nitrogen cycle working in your tank. This converts ammonia to nitrite, then nitrite to nitrate. It's done by bacteria that take quite some time to develop in a new filter (around 10 weeks), and they need an ammonia source to get the cycle started in the first place. Ammonia is very toxic to fish, nitrite less so, and nitrate is the least toxic (though can still be toxic at high concentrations). It is very dangerous to have an oscar in a tank that has any ammonia or nitrite, which is why a test kit is important. You can't tell if water has ammonia or nitrite in it without this.

To keep an oscar healthy you need to do frequent water changes to always keep the nitrate below 20ppm at minimum (I do <10ppm), because nitrate can cause health issues if higher than this. Testing for nitrates can help you to figure out how often you need to do water changes. When it gets close to 20ppm, do a water change. In your big tank I'd estimate that 1 75% water changes a week would keep a single oscar fairly happy (someone correct me if I'm wrong), though 2 75% water changes a week would be ideal. Keep in mind, I'm referring to the 95 gal that you want to fix, NOT your current tank.

So, what does this mean for your oscar currently? It means that it's currently swimming in its own waste and is at a very high risk of a lot of health problems. To keep the water at an acceptable condition in a tank that small you'd need to change 75%+ DAILY, and even then it might not be enough. Your water change schedule is grossly inadequate I'm afraid.

To be really blunt, if you keep an oscar in a tank that is only 60cm (~2 ft) long for a long time, it will die a long, protracted, painful death that could easily be prevented if it was kept in appropriate conditions. Healthy oscars reach over 30cm in length. Imagine a fish that size in a tank that small :(

If you can't get a bigger tank for your oscar very quickly, you are better off rehoming it and perhaps trying again with an oscar when you have an appropriately sized aquarium and have done some research.

Do you clean your filter with de-chlorinated water? If not, then you need to be aware that every time you rinse your filter media you kill off the bacteria that get rid of ammonia. This means you're basically poisoning your oscar every fortnight.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but if you want to keep an oscar long term you have to be willing to buy and use a test kit, have a big enough tank (75 gallons, or ~280L per oscar), a powerful filter (or filters) and do lots of big water changes.
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Rumpig replied the topic: Hello from the top of down under

Thanks for the info Lammergeir
I know the tank is to small I am the first to admit that and it will be changed ASAP.
The water I use is all bore water so no chemicals in it and I have been keeping fish in it for over 10years without any alterations BUT I do now realize the need for a test kit and I will buy one tomorrow of Friday and keep an eye on what exactly is going on. I do not mind doing daily changes in fact if that is what is needed till I set up my new tank I may take him outside and set up a trickle feed so there is a constant flow of fresh water for him.
I will try and add some photos and in them you may notice a lot of algae on my walls, this is deliberate as my understanding algae is a good filter just is unsightly.
0C3A5694 by Justin Dawson , on Flickr
0C3A5693 by Justin Dawson , on Flickr
I will read the link on cycle that you have shared with me. I have not looked to much at this site yet as I only found you mob today and I was at work but I will be having a better look over next few days.

Please keep on shearing your ideas as I'm happy to cop it on the chin if I have a better fish for it.
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