Oscar being beaten up..

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vduboy created the topic: Oscar being beaten up..

Hi Guys been a long time reader but had never needed to register or posted until now.. bad I know, my first post is a help me please!
I have an american cichlid tank of about 300L which I previously had live breeders in. So about 7 months ago I went to the LFS with a good mate who is in the pet supplies industry to his favourite fish shop to stock up. In the tank I have two Oscars, one Chocolate, one Rainbow, a pair of Blue Acara's that have just spawned twice and I have a smaller tank full of fry (which are going great) and five Pictus catfish.
Now I thought this was a lot of fish for my tank but he assured me it was fine.
So all was well for about 6 months until the Big O in the tank decided to not eat, and I had thought he had a case of fin rot but I am under the impression now that he is getting picked on by the male Blue Acara as he is a big bully. The smaller Oscar has also got a damaged eye (and now struggles to see the food and picks it up off the floor) which has impaired his vision possibly from a fight? But he is as happy as he ever was.
The big O is generally sulking and I haven't seen him eat in over a week, I have tried a variety of foods, not live yet though and he is normally a guts.
Everybody else in the tank seems happy but big O.. I do at least 25% water change weekly with gravel clean and filters when required. And I shuffle the tank around so there are no territory issues..
All the water parameters are OK, Ph 7.4, no ammonia, no nitrite, less than 15ppm nitrate.
Sorry for the long winded post and my first one asking for help but I am at a bit of a loss as what to do next to get my O eating and back to his happy self..
I am coming to the conclusion that the Blue Acara might have to be re-homed?
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Oscar being beaten up..

Hello and welcome to OFL. Indeed your tank is severely overstocked. You may well have aggression issues from lack of space for the fish. I guarantee you have water quality issues. A 25% weekly water change will never hold nitrate in a safe range. Its just not biologically possible with your stock in roughly 75 gals of water. Your tank is what we recommend for a single Oscar, alone, no tankmates. You need cleaner water, less fish and/or a 200gal tank.


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vduboy replied the topic: Oscar being beaten up..

Hmmm that is exactly the advice I didn't want to hear but suspected after doing more research, I really wonder why the guy at the fish shop said it would be fine. It really pisses me off. Now I've got a tank full of fish that I am attached to and stuck between a rock and a hard place. What would you recommend? Re homing the big O? As all the other fish seem fine with the Blue Acara's aggression..
Wouldn't water quality issues show up on my tests? I was probably a bit under on my estimate too, it would be more like 30-40% to be fair.
Thanks for the welcome and your replies, I appreciate it.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Oscar being beaten up..

What are you using to test water? It would take multiple large volume changes per week to get the nitrate to what you claim.


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vduboy replied the topic: Oscar being beaten up..

The Api test kit, chemical one not the poxy test strips..
I went back to the local fish store today and got rid of the angry male Blue Acara, every one in the tank is out and seems happier already even his mate. I also got some Stress Coat to try and help with the big O's injuries, I again told the fish shop owner how big my tank was and he knows what is in there (he sold them to me) and wasn't fazed at all by the size.. he has a small pond in the shop with about 10-15 Oscars some up to 15 years old.. I was amazed they all looked so happy and healthy!
I tested it again today with another brand kit and the water parameters are as above.
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vduboy replied the topic: Oscar being beaten up..

Suprd71 wrote: What are you using to test water? It would take multiple large volume changes per week to get the nitrate to what you claim.

Hmmm what you said there got me thinking.. My other test kits were all API, my Nitrate one was a Aqua one brand, so I went up and bought a new API Nitrate test kit (under your suspicions that my claims were untrue) absolutely no offence taken by the way... and re tested and my nitrates are at 60ppm!! Crap! tested again with the other brand and it claims 15ppm... So how bloody long have my nitrates been going high without me knowing?
So I have done another 50% w/c today and will continue to do so until i have a true less than 15ppm nitrate level.
Very frustrated to have found that out but hopefully my O can recover. And a bit sad to have possibly gotten rid of my Blue Acara unnecessarily, even though he was a aggressive bugger.
So thank you for your scepticism, it made me question my tests and found something wrong, as well as my overstocking which I am still pissed about and not sure what to do there.
Are nitrate filters helpful with over stocked tanks? Obviously not skimping out on w/c as well?
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Vinny replied the topic: Re:Oscar being beaten up..

Just watch out. Africans don't mix with Os. From my experience with Africans "which I had for years breeding" when the alpha males leaves another steps up. So your aggression might be OK for now but will most likely make a come back.

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Suprd71 replied the topic: Re:Oscar being beaten up..

Vinny wrote: Just watch out. Africans don't mix with Os. From my experience with Africans "which I had for years breeding" when the alpha males leaves another steps up. So your aggression might be OK for now but will most likely make a come back.

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Acaras are South American Vin, and generally do make good tankmates for Oscars. Any breeding pair of cichlids can cause trouble for other fish in the tank. Nitrate filters are most popular with folks that have nitrate in their tap water. Common issue among some of our UK members. There are more issues than nitrate with an overstocked tank. Stress from overcrowding is a sure way for a cichlid to fall ill. Also a pain for the fishkeeper himself, always changing water, cleaning filters, more work. Fighting an uphill battle makes for less enjoyment of the hobby.


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Vinny replied the topic: Re:Oscar being beaten up..

Lol thought u read him say African

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Vinny replied the topic: Re:Oscar being beaten up..

Thought I.. Couldn't find my glasses all morning son was kind enough to hide them

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