Hole in the Head

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Starmichie created the topic: Hole in the Head

Ok, I'm new to this forum. I don't want to be judged for this I just want to fix the situation.
My Tiger Oscar (Jimmy) appears to have home in the head disease, he is in a 55gal tank. He is about 2 yrs old and approx 12-14" long I don't know the nitrates or the ph. I am going to get a test kit today or tomorrow.
I probably don't change his water near enough, but he is always in a clean tank. I'd say every couple weeks.
As I've noticed this, I will start doing weekly (or bi weekly?) water changes since I have read up on this a bit more as I didn't realize it was so important.
I've also heard the drug Metronidazole cures or high amounts of vitamin C found in certain veggies and fruits such as broccoli, red pepper, and strawberries. (Which I will try first)
Please help!! I would like to cure this asap!!
We just cleaned his tank and did a 25% water change yesterday.
I will also mention that in 2 weeks I will be leaving for 2 weeks and there will be someone coming to feed him, but won't be able to do a water change.
Thanks in advance for your help.



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Starmichie replied the topic: Re:Hole in the Head

I'll also mention, that every time we go away, he gets upset, and doesn't eat too much :( poor guy.


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Suprd71 replied the topic: Re:Hole in the Head

Hello and welcome to OFL. A pic or video will help to determine the severity of the hith. From what you describe, your fish has been living in poor water quality and you are seeing the effects. A 55 is very small for a large Oscar, and with this size tank large frequent water changes become all the more important. Just to maintain decent water you should have been doing a minimum 2x weekly change of at least 75% tank volume. To get hith in check and cure you need much more. Daily or second day at least. Reduce feeding to twice weekly to limit waste. Leaving the tank unattended for 2 weeks is gonna be a setback, nitrate will be very high upon your return. Until you leave get more clean water going at the guy. Do a 75% change today.


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Rocksor replied the topic: Hole in the Head

Change 25% of the water everyday for 1 week. From that point on, do a 90% water change every week. I suspect the nitrates and totally dissolved levels are really high, and you need it to get down to less than 20ppm. Changing 25% of the water every 2 weeks is not enough for a big cichlid like an oscar. Clear water does not mean clean water.

Drugs and diet will not help until you get the water situation sorted out first.

While you are gone, your oscar does not have to eat more than once, on the 8th day. Set aside enough food for one feeding, and tell person not to feed anymore than what is in the container.

Once you get your test kit, test your tap water for ph ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Then test your aquarium water.

What type of filtration do you have?
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Starmichie replied the topic: Re:Hole in the Head

Thank you so much!
I have the test kit, the nitrates are off the chart!!
I have done a 50% water change today, and will do a 25% water change every day for a week. I have bought the treatment. I will start that next Monday after the water is clear and remove the charcoal form the filter.
I have an aqua clear 110 filter on the tank.

Questions:
•What should the levels be at to be safe? Nitrates, ph, kh, hardness and ammonia
•How much food should I leave for this person to feed on the 8th day (as I have never fed once a week)
•Does temperature make a difference? What would the ideal temp be during this process?


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Starmichie replied the topic: Re:Hole in the Head

Oh, and should I use bio support? If so how much? Thanks


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Rocksor replied the topic: Re:Hole in the Head

If you already did a 50% change today, you should be able to do a 50% change everyday until nitrates are less than 20ppm.

Nitrates should be less than 20ppm, ammonia should be 0ppm, everything else should be close to your tap water readings.

leave only enough food for 1 normal feeding. Don't add anymore to make up for the other days.

Leave temperature in the high 70s to low 80s

A single aquaclear 110 is not enough for an adult oscar. It doesn't provide enough biological filtration to process ammonia and nitrites in less than 24 hours. You need a canister filter rated for 100 gallons at least or is able to handle at least 300 gph.

What medication did you buy? Do not use it until you fix the amount of filtration in the tank.
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Starmichie replied the topic: Hole in the Head

Ok, so a 50% water change every day would be better? I don't want to stress him too much, but if it will get the nitrates down 25 or. 50% is no different to me I have a python and it's easily done.
The ammonia wasn't too high, maybe .5 but the nitrates were really high.

I am working on getting him a bigger tank with a can canister filter in the very near future that will be his forever home....his tanks are growing with him, he's already on his 4th tank. Lol
Isn't a Aqua clear 110 rated for a 100gal? Remember it's on a 55 gallon.

I can't remember the exact name of the medicine, it's something like general cure and it has Metronidazole in it. It's 10 packets and it says it's 2 doses of 5 packets each.
I wasn't planning on using it until the water is all sorted out.


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Rocksor replied the topic: Hole in the Head

The stress from water change is significantly less than the stress from having constant ammonia in a tank. Over time the fish will get used to the frequent water changes and know what to expect from it leading to less stress. Make sure you use enough Prime to treat the whole tank with each water change.

HOBs like the aquaclear arent made to handle large cichlids like oscars. They simply cannot hold enough biological media to process the ammonia for such large fish, hence why you have 0.5ppm of ammonia. At a minimum all cichlids that get over 10" should at a minimum have canister filters for filtration (with sump and wet dry filters being more superior).
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Starmichie replied the topic: Re:Hole in the Head

**UPDATE**
Nitrates are down to about 30ppm
I will do a 75% water change today and start medication tomorrow.
He's doing much better and back to his happy self :)
Since I'm sure he will probably have scarring on his head :( how will I know when it's cured?
Thanks :)


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