Oscar very poorly, lying on side on bottom of tank

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alison111 created the topic: Oscar very poorly, lying on side on bottom of tank

Hi, I have an oscar fish (looks just like the pic of the red oscar on your site) very ill. I found him mid tank on his side, and bent in the water, and the day after on the bottom on his side. I am trying a post as other websites are contradictory in how to treat, but i dont know what is wrong, so treatment is not going to be clear. I have tried local vets and there is no help.

I put him in a small hospital tank. This is day 5. He doesnt move unless i am changing the water (im doing this v gently). His colour looks ok, his breathing is slow, but not laboured. I cant see anything on skin, i have looked hard at the sick fish pics. I added a bacterial treatment for 3 days, but then stopped. I have added a very small amount of aquarium salt. I am keeping cooler than normal tank. Is this right?

Tank set up - this tank is only 1 year old, but everything was transferred from previous tank, set up 2 years, so the inhabitants have been together 3 years. All seem happy, 1 JD 2 parrot cichlids, 1 bristlenose, 4 convicts. No new additions.
Oscar is not big, 8 or 9" and he is 3+ but i dont know his age.
All were bought together in a very crowded tank with malawis, then africans put into a new tank.
Water is soft slightly acidic, always tests 0 for ammonia and nitrites, nitrates usually test quite high - 80 ish.

Oscar behaviour has been normal, the odd thing about him is he is not greedy. He jumps for food, has a bit then swims off. I have tried all sorts but he has never eaten really well.
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alison111 replied the topic: Oscar very poorly, lying on side on bottom of tank

Just getting water tests done on main tank.
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alison111 replied the topic: Oscar very poorly, lying on side on bottom of tank

Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 50, ph 6.8
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OFL replied the topic: Oscar very poorly, lying on side on bottom of tank

Welcome to our community.

Okay, ammonia and nitrite are good, nitrate isn't really a cause for concern, although we normally suggest keeping it well under 40 ppm. PH is what I would say is almost spot on. Even with elevated amounts of ammonia, the fact that you have a very low pH would cancel out the toxin. So from what I can see, water conditions are not causing this problem.

Is there any way you can take a video for us?

I'm afraid in situations like this it's virtually impossible to give you a diagnosis so people tend to chuck suggestions at how you can treat the fish which is very nice but is not really going to help your situation. I don't think it's a good idea to start putting different medications in the hope that they will work. I been keeping Oscars for many years now and I've been in the situation on more than one occasion. I think that we have to be realistic unless you can somehow get proper tests done on the fish, there is absolutely no way you can diagnose it properly.

Does the stomach look swollen in any way? You say the breathing isn't too heavy? Normally when the fish are ill they have very laboured breathing due to stress and also if they are finding it hard to get oxygen.

What bacterial treatment did you use? And wondering whether you could try and find a broad-based antibiotic that could be added to the tank without the need to actually have the fish ingest it?

To be honest the situation doesn't sound very good. Like I said I've been in your position before and when fish become completely motionless and basically set at the bottom of the tank doing nothing for long periods of time, it's normally too late to save them.

I suppose you could try anything in the situation, you have nothing to lose. I wonder if a salt bath would help? I very much doubt it, but it could be worth a try.

I'm sorry that I can't really be much more help. There is no point in me giving you false hope because that's not the way I do things. I'd much rather be completely honest with people.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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alison111 replied the topic: Oscar very poorly, lying on side on bottom of tank

Thanks OFL. I didnt think there was much hope. I would have euthanised already if it wasnt for his colour being ok. This fish does get stressed easily eg water changes, and always goes very pale. He hasnt so i think he is hanging in there.
The treatment was melafix which is for bacterial infections, so probably not correct.
I am adding salt but a tiny amount.
I will have a very careful look at his stomach etc.
Any advice on the temperature? I am having it cooler as i though oxygen would be better. Nothing else in the tank but an airstone.
Ill try a video.
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OFL replied the topic: Oscar very poorly, lying on side on bottom of tank

I would probably try and maintain temperatures around 27 Celsius, give or take a degree. Salt is a bit of a contentious issue, some people recommend that, others say you shouldn't use it. To be honest, you could try a and just see what happens.

Does the fish show any interest in food at all?

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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alison111 replied the topic: Oscar very poorly, lying on side on bottom of tank

Right, thats a fair bit warmer, ill raise it slowly.
No interest in food. He watches me if i go up to the tank. Video didnt go well, ive got a pic, crickey he looks shocking. Oh which is the icon for add a pic?
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OFL replied the topic: Oscar very poorly, lying on side on bottom of tank

Go to www.photobucket.com and upload your photos there. Then all you do is copy the code and put into your post. You can do the same videos

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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alison111 replied the topic: Oscar very poorly, lying on side on bottom of tank

Sorry for the delay. Photobucket didnt want me as a customer. Ive done this in google.
goo.gl/photos/z7P92m4d3BgXKJDYA
Not much change, breathing is slow, even, not laboured. His body is bent. He does get up when i do a water change.
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OFL replied the topic: Oscar very poorly, lying on side on bottom of tank

Oh dear, that doesn't look good. In my opinion the fish is close to death. However, it could take several days before it dies. If I was you I would do the kind thing and euthanise it ASAP.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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