poorly oscar

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Andy created the topic: poorly oscar

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Hi mate just found your website and ive got to say is great. Im wondering if u may be able to help. I have 2 oscars. They were both ill last week but ater treating the water with melafix for 7 days one has fully recovered. However the female has not. her illness has got better but she will not eat. I have tried everything from stick food to prawns even to the extent were i was trying to put the prawn in her mouth but she just spat it out. It has been almost a week since she has eaten any advise.
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OFL replied the topic: Re:poorly oscar

I am assuming that your water is in good condition? It is always the first thing to check when there are signs of illness. Pool water conditions is often the cause of illness in the first place. For the time being, keep a close eye on it and if I was you, I would do an extra water change for the time being.

Now, you said your Oscars were ill? In what way where they poorly, do you know?

Does your female Oscar attempt to eat food or his she just turning her nose up at it completely? It's difficult to say really, if she isn't showing any signs of illness, where do you start? Certainly sounds as if she is still under the weather if she is not eating. This can go without food for quite a long time so they will not starve themselves on purpose. If they will not eat then there is obviously something wrong. If it carries on, you could possibly try a internal bacteria medication just in case she has something wrong internally.

This is a huge problem with fish, if they don't show any visible signs of illness, it is virtually impossible to tell what is wrong if they stop eating. All I can suggest is just wait and see and hope that she starts eating again. But like I said, keep an eye on that water.

Sorry I can't really be much more help

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fish replied the topic: Re:poorly oscar

Hi Andy, When you say your fish were ill last week what do you mean? What was wrong with them?

How big/old are your fish?
I ask because the females will stop eating before they spawn.

I love my river dogs
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Andy replied the topic: Re:poorly oscar

Howdi. my oscars were suffering from fin rot for a few days but seemed to be recovering. The male seemed to recover fine but the female went on a downward spiral. The fin rot has heeled after a week long course of melafix but she has not eaten for over a week. the oscars are about 4 years old and have bred once before but with nio result. They are both looking fine at the moment and even the female is looking better but still wont eat. My only concern is that she will become weak and die due to lack of food.
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OFL replied the topic: Re:poorly oscar

Not eating seems to be a very common trend with Oscars. Both my fish are doing it at the moment. They started doing it when I introduced some more tankmates. They both looked healthy and are not just sitting on the bottom of the tank which a poorly fish would do. Trying to diagnose a problem when there are no external signs of ill-health is nigh on impossible. I am going to contact Plymouth national Marine aquarium to night and ask their advice on what they do when their fish go off their food so I will report back as soon as I have got some information.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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Andy replied the topic: Re:poorly oscar

Sweet cheers. Would appreciate it. Any advise on how to keep nitrate levels low apart from water changes. I have no amonia or nitrite levels in the tank but despite doing weekly water changes i cant get the nitrate levels down to a low level. Also i love plants in tanks do you know any plants that you can put in a tank with two oscars that they wont eat?
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OFL replied the topic: Re:poorly oscar

Nitrate levels :angry: one reason why keeping an Oscar and a small tank is unadvisable. If I had a pound for every time I had told someone their tank isn't big enough, I would be a millionaire (well, a slight exaggeration but you know what I mean)

Ammonia and nitrite should always be zero, you shouldn't have any readings whatsoever. Nitrates is a different matter altogether. With all will in the world, you are not going to be able to get your nitrate zero. I don't care what anybody says, it is absolutely impossible. Maybe after a very big water change, it might be zero, but it will start rising slowly. You can't avoid nitrate readings. Ammonia and nitrite are dealt with by the beneficial bacteria in your media/filters. Nitrate levels are a byproduct of these two toxins and there is no bacteria that removes it, you can only do it by doing water changes. There are some nitrate filters on the market. I haven't tried any so I can't comment on if they work and how well they work. There are products that you can put in your filter media that reduces nitrate levels to a very low reading. I have tried it and it certainly does work. It can be expensive and I personally think that water changes are the best bet rather than using chemicals. These have to be replaced on a regular basis and it isn't advisable to stop water changes altogether, it is always good to refresh the water because other nutrients are replaced when you do this.

So if you want to go a week with low nitrate levels, get a much bigger tank. If you keep your Oscars/Oscar in a small tank, there is no way on God's earth you will be all to stop your nitrate levels from rising quickly. Also, if you go on a lot of forums, people are absolutely obsessed with nitrate levels and a cancer scare newcomers into thinking that their fish will die if it rises above 20 ppm. This is just not the case and even if you have a nitrate reading of 50, your fish will be perfectly okay in the short term. However, for the sake of your fishes health, you should try to keep it as low as possible. Plants certainly do soak up nitrates but like you have already stated, Oscars are professional lumberjacks and like ripping them to pieces.

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OFL replied the topic: Re:poorly oscar

Here are a few more reasons why an Oscar/fish may stop eating. I'd like to thank Steve Matchless, the Curator of the Plymouth national Marine aquarium for his valuable expert advice and help

1) Is the fish an infrequent feeder?
Breaks in feeding can be quite normal, in particular for predatory
species.

2) When did it last feed and did it gorge at that feed?
If the fish had possibly eaten a large meal it may well be satiated and
not need to feed for a while.

3) What is the general condition of the fish?
If the fish has a good body-weight and looks 'clean' externally it may
have an internal problem. This could be a parasite or a bacterial/viral
infection. Sometimes it is possible for a fish to have a mild infection
with the only obvious symptom being a reluctance to feed for a few
weeks. Mild cases may not even require treating as the fish's immune
system may naturally be able to fight off the infection.
A fish in good condition should be able to withstand not feeding for a
couple of weeks, particularly if it is a large heavy feeder like an
oscar, but this is dependant on species.

4) Has the water quality been consistently good? What is it now?
Fluctuations in water quality could cause the fish to go off-feed and
the stress from the water quality fluctuating could have sparked off an
infection or parasite.

5) Is the fish breathing normally? Does it have a heavy mucus coat?
Does the fish seem to be exhibiting abnormal behaviour?
All of the above could be the onset of a stress reaction or indeed a
parasite may be present, but not in sufficient numbers to be obviously
visible. At the NMA we would take a skin scrape and gill snip (done
under anaesthetic) and check with a microscope for any parasites.

6) Has there been anything unusual happening around the room that the
tank is in recently?
A change in normal lighting hours, the room being busier than normal,
loud music, a change to the usual tank maintenance routine - all may
simply have 'upset' the fish and it's stress reaction is simply not to
feed.

7) Has the fish entered a reproductive phase?
Fish going into breeding season quite often have their 'minds' on other
things and may feed erratically or not at all for short periods.

If the oscar isn't ill, the water quality and set-up are all good, and
providing it is in good condition to start with, not feeding for a
couple of weeks shouldn't be a problem.
To re-start the oscar feeding again treats can help, in particular live
foods such as live river shrimp can help stimulate interest.

You would have to take each case on an individual basis and to answer
this question on your web-site accurately you would need to be supplied
with a lot of information from the posters. Also depending on
experience some hobbyist's definition of good water quality parameters
and general fish condition can wildly vary. I've had conversations
where ammonia levels were considered to be 'good or ok' by some, or not
tested at all when I've asked what the water quality was.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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Andy replied the topic: Re:poorly oscar

:laugh: Great news mt oscar has just eaten for the first time in almost 3 weeks. Hope this means she could be on the mend!!
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OFL replied the topic: Re:poorly oscar

Good, I bet you are pleased. Would you believe that both my Oscars are not eating. They are moving around the tank preferably okay so I don't think there is too much wrong. My female Oscar has done this before. Oscars, they can be really difficult sometimes, just like little children who won't eat their food.

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