breathing heavy and won't eat

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mermaiden created the topic: breathing heavy and won't eat

1. I have one oscar named Bruce. He is about a foot long and 2.5 years old.

2. I think a bacterial bloom started everything two weeks ago. He stopped eating and started breathing heavy. One week later I made things worse by misreading my test kit and messed with the pH way too much. I felt terrible about it. So I did a 100% water change. The water has been clear since then. He has never totally stopped eating like this. Now he is just breathing really heavily. He was really pale but for the past couple days he has been very dark. Even his chin is dark that to be creamy white. I honestly thought he was going to die last night but he is hanging in there and I just want to know if there is anything I can do to make him more comfortable.

3.

How many gallons/litres of water does your aquarium hold? 75 gal
How long has the aquarium been set up for? In this location since December. It was set up before that but I moved and had to tear the tank down to move it and Bruce to a new house.
Is your aquarium in the process of cycling? No.
What type of filtration is installed on your aquarium? HOB fluval 110
What temperature do you keep the aquarium water at? 78°f

4. Have you got any other fish? He lives with four tiny male guppies. He used to have more but he snacked on them before he got sick. Like he maybe ate one out of the tank every two weeks.


5. Please test your water and give us the results for the following: tested with API liquid test kit

Ammonia-0
Nitrite-0
NitratpH- 0
pH- 7.8
After the full water change i just put in tap water conditioner and 3 tablespoons of aquarium salt.
After that he was improving very slightly every day. His breathing was getting a little better and he was moving more. Then all of a sudden he took a turn for the worse the day before yesterday. I didn't think he would make it but its breaking my heart seeing him like this. I have to go to work now but will gladly answer more questions in a couple hours. I just want to try to make him more comfortable if I can.
Thanks for any advice.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: breathing heavy and won't eat

Hello and welcome to the site. Thx for providing pertinent info. First thing that stands out is the 0 nitrate reading. You should be reading something, especially with zeros on the ammonia and nitrite. The 100% water change may have shocked him a bit. What has been his regular water change schedule up till now? What are you using to test the water? A single AC110 is also not enough filter for a foot long Oscar. Excellent mechanical filter, lacking in bio filtration capabilities. Could you show some pics , or better still a video of Bruce in his current condition? Quick edit.. I missed the test kit brand. Still, 0 nitrate is not right. Is the kit expired? Are you shaking the life out of bottle 2 before using?


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mermaiden replied the topic: breathing heavy and won't eat

At the time I felt like I had no choice but do the full water change. I messed with the pH too much after mis- reading my test kit. Trying to fix my terrible mistake, I put in a pH neutralizer in and it made his gills bleed. Messing up like that is the most embarassing/ worse thing i have ever done as a fish keeper. He had already been feeling sick for a week and that made it worse. I freaked out and did the full change immediately. And he def felt a little better afterwards because he was posing for pictures. I am still at work so I don't have current picture but I can try to figure out how to post the ones from that night. Obviously I'm new to the site so i may not be able to figure it out until later. I shake the bottle but maybe not hard enough? Not home to check expiration.
His gravel usually gets vacuumed once a week with a small water change.
I work at a vets office (that does NOT see exotics) and my vet suggested I try treating him with tetracycline. Any thoughts? I don't think it could possibly make him worse at this point. I also can't help but wonder if he ate a pebble and is somehow blocked.
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OFL replied the topic: breathing heavy and won't eat

Hi there, tetracycline is normally used to treat internal bacteria infections, not sure if it's worth using unless you think that is the problem. As for nitrate readings of zero in an established aquarium, this is normally when you have shaken the bottle, or vile properly. I can't emphasise how important it is to read the instructions properly. I think that for the moment you are just going to have to take each day as it comes and hopefully the fish will improve. Look after your filtration, & Never switch off your filters for too long, And never clean biological filtration in tap water, ever.

Problem is, if the internal organs have been affected in some way then there's not much you can do. Let us know how things go.

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mermaiden replied the topic: breathing heavy and won't eat

I figured out how to make an album with a couple pictures. If he is still alive when I get home I will post some more.

I also have an airstone in there for him. He stays near the top but he doesn't hang out near the bubbles or filter output.

I feel like crud about the whole thing.
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DRACO replied the topic: breathing heavy and won't eat

can you brief us further: how did you messed-up with the pH?
did you also clean the filter when you do the 100% water change?
if you did, there is a big chance you lost the cycle which can shock your fish more.

i strongly suggest you lower the water level for the meantime to allow more turn-over of
your filtration. lower water level allows your heater to work faster too.... just add new water
gradually daily to dilute the tank water like during water change.
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mermaiden replied the topic: breathing heavy and won't eat

He stopped eating and was breathing heavy for about a week before anything happened with the pH. I did not touch the filter.

The pH was higher than normal. I tried to lower it a safe amount. A combination of hard water and my own stupidity made me lower it too much. Two guppies died. When I tried to raise it again his gills bled and I did know what else to do put take him out and change the water. He definitely felt better after the water change than before anything even happened with the pH.

It has been a week since the water change. The remaining guppies are acting like nothing happened.
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DRACO replied the topic: breathing heavy and won't eat

bleeding gills is a bad sign...meaning the fish was exposed to a toxin beyond the tolerance... it will take time to heal and recover... you are still lucky the fish is still alive... we should not mess with the pH... it is very dangerous!
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jmunroe replied the topic: Re:breathing heavy and won't eat

Hi. Welcome. You had the Oscar in a tank with small water changes so the toxins and dissolved solids built up. You messed with the pH and caused problems as well. So with the pH messing causing problems for him and the removal of all that water that had a large amount of dissolved solids and replaced with clean water which gave him osmotic shock on top of the pH problems, he was getting it bad from 2 angles. Do a 50% water change every 2 days and DO NOT adjust the pH. That is bad. He will be fine in your pH. Better to not mess with it. Stable is better than trying to make what you think it should be. Get another filter as well as suggested. Hope he pulls through for you.

Go do a water change - the solution to pollution is dilution.
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aquanero replied the topic: Re:breathing heavy and won't eat

One thing I can suggest is to give the fish a Methylene Blue bath in a 5 gallon bucket of tank water. Dose one teaspoon per 5 gallons of water. This will improve respiration and improve blood oxygen transfer and counteract the effects of ammonia and nitrite poising.
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