Oscar has barely eaten in 9 days

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Hi everyone. I know this will be a tough one for any definitive answers but any advice would be gratefully appreciated and i thank you in advance for the help.

180gl, 6ft/2ft/2ft Cycled tank, established Filters. Parameters. PH 6.4(stable) - Ammonia.025 - Nitrites.0 Nitrates 10ppm.

My healthy looking Oscar who is under 6 months old has totally gone of all food presented to him. Worms (his top favourite) Meal worm, Hikari Gold pellet, 3 different cat fish pellet (he normally devours) Peas, Cucumber. Scallops. Prawns. Mussels. Everything. He is swimming around the tank like he owns the place and has coloured up. He looks angry and lively but is losing weight and his stomach has receded. Nothing has really changed. He is the dominant fish in the tank nothing really bothers him apart from my 8inch pimelodus catfish when lights are out.

Fish - 2 x 5 inch Geophagus surinmensis. - 1x 3 inch Leporinus. - 1x 11inchpleco. 2 x redtail foil barbs 3 inches.

He looks a picture of health, i even reluctantly fed him an adult Molly from my planted aquarium because i don't want him to get weak and die. He caught it, bit it's head off and spat it out. Worms are his absolute favourite and yet nothing. Barely a sniff. Oscar is permanently swimming proudly. He's getting annoyed at his reflection too. Is it possible he could be approach fish pubity so to speak and thinking about other things?

I gave a general tonic 3 days ago just incase he has an internal parasite or something like that. I lost and Oscar around his ago years ago under very similar circumstances. Water quality is crystal clear. Good airflow from an airstone plus an interal powerhead sponge filter (mature) Plus 2 powerful canisters that are mature and have fast flow. I do 2 water changes a week of around 35 - 40% religiously and always have done. I use prime always.

I am simply baffled and don't want to lose the poor bugger :(
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colmanthegreat1 replied the topic: Oscar has barely eaten in 9 days

Update : After turning the fishtank lights down and studying the fish hard. The Oscar flicked himself on a rock after about an hour and so did the barbs. No sign of external disease. I did try adding another fish 2 weeks ago but he wasn't suitable so i took him back to the shop. Large leporinus. Could the Oscar have an internal infection and what's the best way to treat thanks.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Oscar has barely eaten in 9 days

I would salt the tank first. Aquarium or pickling salt. 3 tblsp per 10g, up to full dose over a 48hr period. 9days no food is not hurting him any, they can go an absurd time without eating anything. Keep the salt up for at least a week, replacing any lost thru water changes. Do you see any white stringy excrement from any fish?


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colmanthegreat1 replied the topic: Oscar has barely eaten in 9 days

Thank you. I will go get some after work and treat accordingly. Truth be told i have never used aqaurium salt only ever treatment from the bottle. But will give it a go for the first time. So Oscar's can obviously go quite a while without food, but being the fact he is 6 -7 inches worries me because although he's quite thick set, surely energy levels will very soon decrease. I am doing a water chance tomorrow so i will start the treatment after that. Thanks so much as always :)
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DRACO replied the topic: Oscar has barely eaten in 9 days

Soprd71 gave a good advise...
and yes.. water change while sorting the possible problem will help...
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colmanthegreat1 replied the topic: Oscar has barely eaten in 9 days

Hi there Oscar lovers :)

Parameters pH 6.8, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10ppm

@Suprd71 and DRACO - I would like to thank you in advance of any replies.

I have watched my Oscar getting more and more irritable and lethargic by the day. The past 3 and a bit weeks i have been racking my brains at what would have caused this and what it could be and literally the only thing has changed was i tried adding another fish that wasn't suitable to my tank . A friend of mine who has an 8ft x 30" x 30" had an issue with a Large Leporinus biting his Ray, it was such a great looking fish i blindly excepted without actually considering anything beyond the stunning colours and size of the beast. Very quickly he and the Oscar fell out so i passed back on to my friend who gave me first refusal on him to the aquatic center he works in. And he will hopefully have been re-homed now (warning these bad boys may look pretty but they are as hard as nails)

But very soon after speaking to @Suprd71(in a comment on this thread) i noticed flicking on the red tailed barbs i also keep with the Oscar but no other fish. Was advised to treat with salt just in case of bacterial or parasite which was what i wanted to do but inevitably got the guys down the shop to sell me their own products which i went for ' Anti - fluke and worm and internal bacterial treatment to use after the first anti - fluke and worm treatment.

(sorry this reply seems dragged out but it is leading somewhere :)

So after doing another large water change i left things settle and treated with the anti - fluke and worm but noticed a sudden downfall in ALL fish. Gasping, head standing, all fish were flicking and all wanted no food offered even after starving for 24hours. Immediately i knew that the treatment had affected them. I read the instructions twice to the letter so knew i didn't over dose. So i hit google and found a very interesting article on an ingredient called 'Flubendazole'. it's a thread that started years ago and is still going and side effects from it Most people who use this anti fluke and worms do not seem to have issues with it, but my fish are displaying the same specific symptoms as some of the fishkeepers have.

I have since done another 2 x water changes in 3 days of 15% each time after only treating 5 days ago. Due to the fear that i'll lose most if not all fish. Having said that the fish today are not flicking anywhere near as much.

And the Oscar has finally eaten 3 worms tonight. Thank god.

I am sometimes irrational when it comes to my fish when they get issues and tend to jump into treating or adding fish i know i shouldn't because they have not been quarantined for long enough. But what if the the wormer is actually working despite the symptoms? What's worst? the symptoms OF the treatment or the symptoms of what ever it is that's wrong with them lol. Decisions decisions..

Has anyone else had any issues with Flubendazole? and if so excuse my naivety but would love to learn from experienced people :)
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DRACO replied the topic: Oscar has barely eaten in 9 days

the first rule : water change whenever you observe unusual behavior of the fish... unless the change in behavior happened after water change ... to be honest... i never had used or applied any medication for my fish..... all my ideas came from here and help friends who were having issues with their fish and that is where my experience coming from... my worse experience were from flowerhorn who develop furunculosis, it healed nicely but still died after 2 years...

in most cases, treating the fish without knowing what the real problem is, it makes things just complicated.
but changing the water whenever you observe some abnormal behavior will make the fish feel better...

just my two cents input.
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colmanthegreat1 replied the topic: Oscar has barely eaten in 9 days

Yes i agree. Water changes are what i do best. Plus it's a good work out :) Is 15% water change twice weekly enough do you think? My 55 gallon i was doing 40/50% water changes twice weekly. My nitrate levels are much lower since having my new tank i must say.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Oscar has barely eaten in 9 days

I say no, to the 2 small volume water changes per week.are not enough. Not even close to enough. 180g is a fair sized tank, not huge by any means in the big cichlid world. Your fish are still small-ish but have some decent size potential. The pleco is a swimming garbage can. The Tinfoils can exceed a foot long. Oscar you already know about. A single large volume change is always better than 2 or multiples equaling the same amount. I have a pair of 180 tanks. In one is a large male Jaguar. The other holds a pair of adult Oscars. Both tanks get a 75% w/c every 4-5 days. You should get in the habit of doing the same. The power of clean water is huge, not only for ailing fish, but for very healthy ones as well. There are more elements than nitrate in the water that should be removed as often as posssible


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colmanthegreat1 replied the topic: Oscar has barely eaten in 9 days

Thank you. I know you probably get bored of giving out the same advice over and over again. But i do listen and will step it up. Experienced fishkeepers like yourself are worth their weight in gold ! I have learnt an abundance of information on this great site and always post OscarFishlover articles on pages far and wide on many forums and sites i use. Cheers.
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