Tiger Oscar Color Problem

  • Phillipw311
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Phillipw311 created the topic: Tiger Oscar Color Problem

Hello, I recently set up my project tank that I was very excited to finally get set up and rolling! For years now, I have always wanted a tiger Oscar, but sadly I haven't ever had the water volume to own one. I just got my new 55 gallon aquarium built and set up about 6 weeks ago. I cycled the tank and finally bought my long awaited Oscar!!!! He is a baby Oscar. By that I mean he is about 2.5-3" at the very most. This is my 3rd week with him and he's AWESOME! I love him to death already he is tons of fun. I only have a few concerns. First and foremost, his color. The first few days he was pale and sulked as expected. Then after he acclimated his colors seriously POPPED! He went from a pale gray and pale orange to black with extremely defined orange. He 's stayed like that for the remainder of week one and two. Well, we're into week 3 now and he's become predominantly pale again for some reason. He's still bouncing off the walls with activity, but he's just lost his color that looked healthy and happy to me. The only time he darkens up now is when he is eating. Why is this? Is it just due to the fact he's a baby? I have a Fluval 306 canister which is awesome and I have a standard HOB filter. After week one I did a 15% water change just to clear debris off the bottom. Week 2 going to 3 I did a 30% water change and throughout all 3 weeks my water conditions are right on the money. NOT harmful conditions whatsoever. I check it 2-3 times weekly. The only change that has been made was that I put a medium sized piece of drift wood in there that I had been soaking for about a week to remove some tannins but obviously not enough, because it still stained my water with a yellow tint. But I can't see that taking his color out of him. Anyways, any opinions and or advice would be greatly appreciated as I am new to the forum and did not see any topics that were my exact situation so I thought I would ask. Thanks for reading my long topic everybody! Also, I would like to add that he does NOT have any tank mates. I intend on just having one single Oscar in a 55 gallon before anybody says my tank is too little, its just one Oscar.
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  • Rogue_Violetta
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Rogue_Violetta replied the topic: Tiger Oscar Color Problem

Hi there.

First off, 55g is the bare minimum for an Oscar. Later on, you'll have more work, if you don't get a bigger tank. Trust me. Look at my thread and you'll understand :) So I don't think anyone is going to tell you off, but just basically say the same thing I just did. And yes, I am upgrading my tank as soon as I can, which actually isn't far off. :)

Second off, your story of the amazing colour changing baby Oscar made me smile as I remembered a conversation with Lammergeier from a while back. Her Oscar, Henry, did something quite similar. All because he wanted food. He even did a hungry dance.

Guess what? I think your Oscar's hungry. Guess what? I think your Oscar's hungry. Guess what? I think your Oscar's hungry. :P

No, really, they will keep eating, even when full. And they will try to fool you into giving them more food, because, they think they're hungry! They are drama queens, and the paling out is, IMO from what I've heard, a psychological trick, to make you think they're sick, so you'll give them food to get better. Or something. Just don't give in, and feed your Oscar the right amount of food.

Guess what? I think your Oscar's hungry. :P

Keeper of the Food Pellets of Malekith the Never Accursed, Lover of Bubbles and Airstones, and Beloved of the Rogue Violetta.

Throw yourself in- use the wrong words, try different foods, kiss random fish. It's an adventure!
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  • Phillipw311
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Phillipw311 replied the topic: Tiger Oscar Color Problem

Hahaha! Thank you very much for the optimistic reply. I appreciate it. Yeah I have years of fish experience just not Oscar experience. I never did get into cichlids till recently and I always wanted one, but as you read I have always had smaller tanks nowhere near suitable for cichlids. BUT tiger Oscars are my favorite so when I finally got a decent sized tank I had to have one. That was my hope and dream for a big tank. But yeah I know as he grows it'll get much more in depth with maintaining and keeping everything inside the proper parameters and under control. Fortunately I have a solid amount of filtration for one fish even when he gets big it should more than suffice. I am ready for the challenge of keeping a big Oscar in a 55 gallon and he will live like a king! I do all that I possibly can to keep my little swimming friends healthy and happy! PLEASE go read my other thread I posted about feeding I need opinions and advice on that as well... I wanted to put it in this thread but I thought it'd be too scatter brained as far as what I needed help with so I made a separate thread on my feeding problem. Give me some help or insight to that please! Again, I am new to the tiger Oscar world and their temperament is like no other fish I have owned in the past. They are absolutely fascinating to me.
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tehmole replied the topic: Tiger Oscar Color Problem

ehhh - oscar can be pansy at times - changing colors = normal for oscars ...

you'll be fine with a 55 - solo oscar .. just keep water pristine or a water change schedule ...you'll set

let's see some pictures if you haven't posted them up yet. Regard feeding - oscars are pigs - they'll always beg for food. Before they are 6 inches i feed them twice a day - Before i leave for work/ when i get back from work. 7+ inches - i feed when i get back home from work only - for you ... i would try not to over feed - even with a hefty mech filter - still a huge bio-load on a 55.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Tiger Oscar Color Problem

Hello and welcome to the site. To keep your Oscar healthy long term you must embrace the fact that large volume, frequent water changes are mandatory. Filtration, regardless of the amount is not a substitute. From your first post it appears you have done 2 small w/c in 3 weeks. Very insufficient. A weekly 75% change is in order for now, 2 per week in the not too distant future. When your fish reaches 9ins he will be 75% in length as your tank is wide. Then you need an 18in wide tank of at least 75gals.


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Phillipw311 replied the topic: Tiger Oscar Color Problem

Oh really?? I've never been one to change THAT much of the water I've always had the understanding that regardless of fish size as long as your water tests good you do 10-30% water changes once a week? I know that in certain circumstances you might need a higher % water change but if you have a well filtered tank even with a fully grown Oscar wont 75% a week or more be way too much...? I always thought you'd lose tank establishment and undergo bacteria blooms and keep running through the nitrogen cycle if you did change that much. Please, correct me if I am wrong. I need to know everything I possibly can about my Oscar, but I've always thought 30% a week was sufficient as long as you're ppm are within spec.
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tehmole replied the topic: Tiger Oscar Color Problem

Beneficial bacteria is in your filter media not in the water column - doing a larger water change will not disturb your cycle - REMEMBER to put in water conditioner (SAFE or PRIME) - if not, there's a huge chance it will kill your BB and that'll cause a mini cycle or completely destroy your cycle. I do a 80% weekly on my 125 housing 1 oscar / 1 JD - running on a 40gal sump + canister filter
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ernie replied the topic: Re:Tiger Oscar Color Problem

Tehmole has it covered all I would say it is your nitrate reading that dictates your water percentage change. Nitrate levels are ideally to be kept at about 10ppm . For me to achieve that on my 150gallon I have to do 2 x 75% w/c per week. You will definitely need to look at increasing your schedule. What are your water parameters?
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DBLN8 replied the topic: Tiger Oscar Color Problem

Welcome to OFL.

I too am in favor of 75 gl for an adult Oscar. When your fish is 10 months old and almost as wide as your 55gl (12") you will see what I mean. As far as water changes go I do 75-80% on all 4 of my tanks.

Clean water is the life line of large Cichlids.
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Phillipw311 replied the topic: Tiger Oscar Color Problem

WOW!!!! That's insane!!! I had no idea you had to change THAT much of the water weekly that's crazy! I just tested my water and at this very moment here's where everything's at: Nitrate-roughly 5ppm, Nitrite-.1ppm, Total hardness-roughly 12ppm, Chlorine-0ppm, Alkalinity-115ppm, pH-7.0ppm
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