Oscars have white spots on eyes, scales missing...

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whitespirit created the topic: Oscars have white spots on eyes, scales missing...

First: Awesome, Awesome site...thanks!

I begin this with background....set up a 180-gallon tank 2 weeks ago. No time to cycle it without fish as it came with an Oscar (11 inches), a Golden Julie and a large feeder goldfish. A week later I adopted an Oscar (8 inches) from a local pet store. I wanted to wait to put it in my tank, but they had it packed up and ready before I realized it, while I was waiting for the paperwork and asking questions. So, I brought it home. It came with Ich. I do not have a quarantine tank and didn't see the spots until the next day anyway. The little guy also had HITH when it was at the store, they didn't treat with meds, just larger tank.

I treated the tank with Rid Ich for about 7 days and did 30% water changes/gravel siphon daily (because of the ich and nitrites). Since the nitrites were high and I was going to be gone a couple of days I did a 50% water change before Thanksgiving. I also added aquarium salt consistently, but within the parameters. Raised the temp some, and with another heater it's up to 80, slowly raising to 84, but concerned about goldfish now with that and have no other place for it.

As of last week I had no signs of Ich. And as of yesterday my nitrites were down, but still showing so will continue with water changes. Current water with tetra test kit: ammonia=0, nitrites=less than .3mlg, ph=8 no test for nitrate.

The issue: When I came home after being gone two days, the large oscar, Big O, has white spots on it's left eye and there are scales missing from it's side. I have not seen it flashing or being picked on by anyone else. Little Guy has white spots on eyes now (prior ich observation only on body of Little Guy).

Is this ich on their eyes because I didn't treat long enough? Or another fungus or parasite considering the scales missing? Do I need to worry about HITH? I'm also concerned with the lateral lines. What do I do now?

Thanks for any and all info and the great resource!


I have more photos so will try photo bucket later when I have more time.
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OFL replied the topic: Re:Oscars have white spots on eyes, scales missing...

First of all, welcome to the site

I'm not aware that ick targets a fish's eye, it normally affects the body, fins and gills. A photograph will be very helpful if possible.

Okay, so you've had the tank for two weeks and you have at no time to cycle it before putting the fish in? The problem you've got as you've got quite a few fish, some of them very large in a tank that hasn't got an established filter. That's an awful lot of ammonia. You have to keep a very close eye on the water as you might suddenly get some very high ammonia readings

Regarding the missing Scales, very difficult to say without seeing a photograph. Keep an eye on the area where the scales are missing and see if they grow back. If it looks as though there is something causing this condition such as a bacterial infection than that something we will have to address. Unfortunately, you can't really treat the tank with any medication until it is cycled, medications don't work very well when water conditions are poor.

HITH can occur if the fish is exposed to poor water conditions or an unhealthy diet. Obviously if the fish is kept in unsuitable water conditions for a long period of time, this condition can certainly rear its ugly head, but then there are lots of other ailments that can affect the fish because of this reason.

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whitespirit replied the topic: Re:Oscars have white spots on eyes, scales missing

Thanks...great to be here.

I didn't think ick would get to the eye either, hence my continued concern and investigation. Here are the photos:

Big O




Little Guy



The tank was set up with Big O, the golden julie and the larger feeder, in a garage prior to my getting it. Both fish were exposed to poor conditions before I rescued them and even though it's better, it's still not ideal, that's for sure. The tank came with two Fluval 403 canister filters and the gravel and decorations, so some bio material there. I have one of the filters running and waiting for a part for the second one. I do water readings and changes/gravel vacuum about every day and if I can't on one day I double the amount I change.

Before the holiday when I did the 50% change/vacuum because I was going to be gone, it stirred up a lot of stuff...then they were sicker when I got back. Don't know if that means much or not.

I hope the photos help...I'm not sure what to do.
Thanks again!

PS: I keep getting kicked out and losing my posts...any way to change the login time while posting?
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metoo replied the topic: Re:Oscars have white spots on eyes, scales missing

Another welcome from me!

First, I'd like to say that you seem to be doing whatever you can considering the circumstances and possibilities, way to go. The fish are lucky they got rescued by you. It's a shame they were kept the way you said and hence looking like this now, but I'm confident they will be great looking Oscars again with your care.

So, here's my 2ct:
About the eyes, looks more like cloudy eye to me, although it's hard to tell for sure of course. I've often seen it like one protruding white spot in the middle of the eye with the cloudiness around it, if that is understandable. The cause could be some kind of trauma or infection but I wouldn't wonder really if it's just due to the conditions they were kept in, plus going through the cycling of the tank now and all that stress. Would hope it clears up on its own again once the conditions have improved but sure needs to be watched.

The looks of the lateral lines I'd explain with the fish suffering from HITH/HLLE. If the cause for that was as well the former conditions, I would expect that to heal along with the HITH with time, cross fingers. Thinking a good, vitamin enriched diet might aid in getting them back into shape besides what you're doing anyway. As far as the missing scales on the body go, I could just say what Penn said already, maybe someone gets another idea when looking at the pics. If that worsens, it needs action.

Hope the other both fish are ok. I've found that goldfish can cope with quite high temperatures temporarily as long as there is enough oxygen. (Strange mix of fish there anyway, lol.)

Good luck, and hope you can get your tank cycled soon - for the fish and so you can sit down and watch them for a change ;) Keep us posted.

Oh, and about the login time, maybe Penn knows but I haven't found anything like that yet, so I keep just copying my text and pasting it again after login.

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OFL replied the topic: Re:Oscars have white spots on eyes, scales missing...

Okay, by looking at your photos, I would hazard a guess that your fish is suffering from reasonably mild case of hole in the head disease. Don't take this for Gospel, I am always a little reluctant to diagnose 100% just from a photograph. To get an absolute 100% correct diagnosis, you would be wise asking a veterinarian to look at the fish.

So, assuming that we are dealing with hole in the head disease, you should start carrying out extra tank maintenance so that your water is in pristine condition all the time. You really want to keep the nitrates no higher than 10 ppm. It is quite easy to cure mild cases of hole in the head disease just by carrying out this procedure. You could however use some kind of hole in the head meditation if you want. Personally speaking, I would give it two weeks of increased water changes and see if there's any improvement.

Feeding vitamins is always an option. You could try feeding them whole prawns/shrimps and natural food that you bought from the fish store, freeze dried food is very good, live food is even better. Steer away from feeders though. Things like mealworms, cricket, worms, all these will contain vitamins and will be very good for your fish.

I can't really see anything in the eyes that is ringing the alarm bells at the moment. Like I said, keeping your water in good condition is the key to keeping fish in good health. A good diet is probably a close second.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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whitespirit replied the topic: Re:Oscars have white spots on eyes, scales missing

Much appreciation everyone...great help and I must admit a relief knowing I'm on the right track for the most part. It's kinda funny to people who don't understand, but I have lost sleep over this :)

The spot on the eye has now gotten fuzzy. I suspect a fungus??? The goldfish also has scales missing now, I also saw large scales on the pot in the tank, so that piece is still puzzling to me. If I can get the goldfish through this I will be putting it in a pond this spring. Very strange mix indeed! Golden Julie is holding it's own though and is doing the best through this and the Oscars don't bother it.

I am raising the temp...close to 82 now. I added two air stones and found that to be one of the best things I did when I first started raising the tank temp. It hit 78 and they all were gasping.

Going to the LFS experts (got a great resource here in Michigan) tonight and will get the nitrate kit right away and whatever else I need. I do have a variety of nutrition for them all in good sources (no feeders!), I hadn't thought of shrimp/prawns from the fish store though. I will check out adding the vitamins too...thanks.

HITH/HLLE is my gut instinct and from what I understand there really isn't a med for it, only water conditions and nutrition with meds for the secondary stuff. I'd hate to continue to add meds though, especially considering the tank's current cycle state. Will step up the water changes/siphons...it was recommended to start with an 80% change. Gotta get the other filter running too.

I'm with you, Metoo, I look forward to being able to sit down and enjoy these guys from the couch instead of up to my elbows in their living quarters...my back will too ;)

Thanks again!
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whitespirit replied the topic: Re:Oscars have white spots on eyes, scales missing

Hello....posting an update....I had a vet check out the photos and yes, HITH and HLLE have been confirmed. Varying opinions say they either might not make it and/or there is hope. I'm voting for hope :) even though it is beginning to feel like I am doing hospice care at this point with the added symptoms below. :(

I have treated the tank with Primafix and Melafix for fungus and bacteria. It has cleared up some of the fungus, but I need to continue treatment for another run. Now my water is very cloudy though....bacteria bloom possibly?? I do 30-50% water changes daily or every other day depending on my schedule to keep the nitrites down. My water is still not balanced so I stay up on the changes. I'm going to do some major cleaning this weekend and take out much of the large rocks I have in there where waste is getting trapped....takes too long to siphon around them all. Temp maintaining between 83-84 degrees.

They now have more scales lost though and circles forming on the top of their heads (it reminds me of the ring salt water would leave on a surface)....possibly scale loss? not sure. The overgrown feeder in the tank which came with Big O also has scales lost. The LFS said they will take and keep the Big Feeder and test him for parasites, so I'll take him there this weekend...I know he can't be feeling very well with the temp currently and whatever else is going on.

So thanks again for all your insights. Anything to add about the cloudy water or rings please let me know.
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OFL replied the topic: Re:Oscars have white spots on eyes, scales missing

An updated photograph would be helpful. Bacteria Bloom is possible. However, what are the water parameters, especially ammonia, nitrite? Take my advice and don't remove the rock, this is a good place for bacteria to thrive on. If you start removing large amounts of substrate are not, you are actually removing a lot of the bacteria which can sometimes result in water quality going downhill slightly, especially if the filtration isn't quite up to scratch.

I would suggest that you reduce your feeding quite a lot and see if that makes a difference to the cloudy water. If the water conditions are perfectly okay, don't worry too much, just wait and see if the water clears

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metoo replied the topic: Re:Oscars have white spots on eyes, scales missing

Of course we vote for hope! :)

Penn brought up a good point about the rocks, if it's complicating cleaning too much, you can still try to arrange them more spread out on the bottom in a way they wouldn't create "pockets" where the water stagnates. What I'd take out though is anything fake decoration, especially if hollow ... seems you have some castle like thing or so? Looks like it in the first pic. Just remembered I once had probs with water quality and couldn't work it out really until I took that hollow piece of fake wood out I had in the tank. It smelled like concentrated ammonia for days still (you know, like old pee :S ). Just grasping straws but can't hurt.

Keeping fingers crossed!

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delboybully replied the topic: Re:Oscars have white spots on eyes, scales missing

Its certainly looks like you have HITH. Clean water is the best possible thing to help. Adding HITH meds wont hurt but you maybe wasting your money and they are not cheap especially when you have a big tank. It can take a long time to cure HITH.

Try to get your water temp up to 86 to make sure you get rid of the white spot. Some whitespot treatments also treat fungus and velvet as skin problems can be a secondary problem to white spot. What happens is the spots create a small opening in the skin and the infections get in. So the whitespot treatment will help the scale problem.

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