Impulse Purchase of a Negelcted Walmart Oscar

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OscarJack created the topic: Impulse Purchase of a Negelcted Walmart Oscar

Hi everybody,

My name is Jack and I am new to this forum. I have been vigorously studying everything there is to know about Oscars but I realized I needed specific case study advice from the experts.

I'll start from the beginning...

Two weeks ago, Tuesday January 27th, I was walking through Walmart and saw a very small "Albino Oscar", Lutino. It was all alone, weak and seemed neglected by the Walmart staff. Acting out of impulse I bought a 10 gallon starter aquarium, a heater, air stone, gravel, 4 plants, and water conditioner. I got back to my apartment and setup the aquarium. The next day I bought the Oscar and put him in the tank. (I know the tank was not cycled at all I just needed to rescue him from Walmart) He began eating pellets after 2 hours, I also got many freeze dried products and wax worms to fatten him up. Unfortunately I overfed him and the ammonia levels got up to 3.0, Nitrite .5 and Nitrate 0.0 and the Oscar was clearly stressed, erratic swimming, rubbing against gravel and so on. I then bought the SafeStart beneficial bacteria and dumped the whole bottle in. Its been about a week since the SafeStart and my ammonia levels are 1.5, Nitrite 0.0 and Nitrate 15. The Oscar has nearly doubled his weight in 2 weeks, although the water conditions are not good. He is still stressed, occasionally rubbing on the plants and gravel, but he does not have ick.

Currently...
-The water reads 1.5 ammonia, 0.0 nitrite and 15 nitrate.
-The Oscar occasionally shows signs of stress.
-I have 2 10 gallon filters (I just bought a 75 gallon tank from Craigslist which I will be setting up the correct way)
-The temperature is 83 degrees.
-Lots of oxygen.
-The Oscar is always hungry, has vibrant colors, no damaged fins or gills, gaining weight on a daily basis and overall looks very healthy.

My main questions are...
-How can I lower the ammonia levels in my tank? (I do 2 25% water changes daily but the ammonia levels still don't go under 1.5)
-How can I create a stress free, or minimal stress, environment for the Oscar?
-How can I provide the Oscar with maximum vitamins in order to be as healthy as possible and maximize growth?
-How important is vacuuming the gravel?

Impulse purchases are almost never the smart move but I feel this Oscar was down to his last breath . I know I'm not out of the woods yet but I'm trying to provide him with the best care possible.

I appreciate all your time and advice.

Sincerely,
Jack
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daddadoo7 replied the topic: Re:Impulse Purchase of a Negelcted Walmart Oscar

If you used water conditioner 24hrs after using safestart you will need to redose. Wait forget that I see your getting nitrates...do a very larger wc dose with water conditioner wait 24 hrs then re dose the safestart again. Your problem is your over feeding. Feed very minimal during this process
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DMD123 replied the topic: Impulse Purchase of a Negelcted Walmart Oscar

Welcome to the forum Jack.

Impulse buys have never worked out well for me. You have a good heart but really did not improve the Oscars situation by much at this point. The need to get the 75g going is obvious at this point. The small tank has zero beneficial bacteria and will continue to have ammonia issues. Get the bigger tank set up as soon as possible. Do you have any friends with tanks? You might be able to get a hold of some of their bio media to get the tank kick started.
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Bri B replied the topic: Re:Impulse Purchase of a Negelcted Walmart Oscar

For starters I am far from an expert but I have been listening to the true experts on here for a little while and can tell u a few things. 1. To get his ammonia level as low as possible do a large 75 percent wc rather than smaller ones. 2. The 75 gal tank is a good size for him to grow in. 3. The filtration is very key. Get a good cannister filter along with a hang on the back one. O's are super messy and create a ton of waste so the more filtration and water changes the better. As far as diet variety is big. A good cichlid pellet is a great everyday staple along with freeze dried krill blood worms and a vegetable source whether it be peas or romaine lettuce or a koi pellet or flakes that are high in veg content. There are also vitamin rich drops you can add to his pellets and krill that are very good for him. Any decorations should not have pointy edges and any deco that he can uproot or move around is,useless. Again once the actual experts chime in they will help you far more than I can but the last thing I will tell you is as tempting as it is to put him in the big tank right away you MUST establish your cycle or it could kill him or make him very sick. Maintain a heavy water change regiment in his little tank until it is ready. Best of luck and this forum will always give you the best way to keep your guy happy and healthy.
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daddadoo7 replied the topic: Re:Impulse Purchase of a Negelcted Walmart Oscar

just re read your post i understand a little better now "2 10 gallon filters" what filters do you actually have if there is no bio media in them then the surface area for the safestart or any bb will be too minimal. 10 gallon is way too small. Essentially this oscar is not rescued same conditions different home I do not mean to sound harsh so please dont take it that way but a 10 gal isnt good forget dosing anything until you get thw new tank right now tou need to do large wc every day
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daddadoo7 replied the topic: Re:Impulse Purchase of a Negelcted Walmart Oscar

What filtration are you plan on using for the new tank
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daddadoo7 replied the topic: Re:Impulse Purchase of a Negelcted Walmart Oscar

I commend you on being committed and purchasing a larger tank but next step will be filtrarion I like eheims 2217 and an ac110 on that size tank but others may have different opinions. Using bb in a bottle is not recommended for beginners as there is a huge amount of learning that takes place when cycling your filters BUT you already have the oscar and tank is on the way I dont recommend using your o as an ammonia source. Typically you would get giant danios which would produce ammonia and would start the nitrogen cycle. This would take some time 6 to 8 weeks again i wouldnt use my oscar for this so when the new tank is set up I can guide you through the steps with safestart... very easy.
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UNC-CH replied the topic: Impulse Purchase of a Negelcted Walmart Oscar

Hi - welcome to the forum.

I'm glad to hear you have a 75 gallon on the way. I have my oscar in a 75g and it's a good tank as long as he doesn't grow to be one of those giant oscars (13"+). Many people feel that oscars get lonely by themselves, but it's actually the opposite. They very rarely get along with other oscars and are quite happy to be alone. So resist any urge you might have to add a friend to the tank. He'll be healthier and happier by himself.

At this point you want some ammonia reading because the tank is still cycling. The bacteria you added should speed up the process, but you need to keep your eye on ammonia, nitrite and nitrate while the process is still going on, which you are doing well. I'd continue doing the water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite (should show later) from getting too high, but you need some level of each as a food source for the bacteria while the tank is cycling.

Another possibility is that your tank has already cycled, and you are way overfeeding as daddadoo said in a previous post.

Are you using the api master test kit (liquid test kit)?

Vacuuming the gravel is extremely important. You should vacuum the waste from the gravel with every water change. If you don't have a gravel vac, get one. Use it to drain the water while you vacuum.

Boyd's vitachem is an excellent supplement. You'll likely have to order it online from eBay or amazon.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Here's a link to an oscar care sheet.

www.oscarfishlover.com/oscar-fish-care-sheet
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