HITH might be fatal, Water help!

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alyssa1025 created the topic: HITH might be fatal, Water help!

I've had 2 tiger oscars for only 3 months now, Larry David & Oscar DeLahoya. I swear they grow an inch while I'm sleeping! They are currently in a 50 gallon tank since they are still small, but I will be moving them into a much larger tank within the next few months.

Sadly I realized that they both have HITH. I feel horrible because I didn't realize what it was at first. I thought maybe they were fighting, or scratching themselves on the rocks, but it kept getting worse until finally I figured out what it was. One is worse than the other, but they both have some bad wounds. I've seen a white discharge come off of one of them once also. I was told that this never really goes away, that if they survive they could have to be treated for the rest of their lives!!???? Is this true?! Suprisingly for as bad as they appear to me, they are still very active & eating like crazy. They definitely have not lost thier appetite. They splash me in the face everytime I feed them in the morning.

I have treated them with 2 doses of 250mg of Metronidazole & 75mg of Praziquantel which is one full course of treatment according to the pkg. This is in powder form that you add to the water. I was told at the pet store that I could do back to back treatments since it looks pretty bad. Does anyone know if this is safe for them? Is it possible to give them too much medication?

Also I bought a better water testing kit & my levels were off. My ammonia was almost .50 & my Nitrite was .25. Since then I have done a 25% water change & added water treatment to help reduce the ammonia & nitrite.

How often is it Ok to do a water change & what is the max % of water I should change at a time since they are really sick? Also, I've read that I should just leave the carbon filter out of the main filter even after the medicine is out of the water. Is this best for the fish to only use it occasionally?

I've been told & read many different things on feeding. I'm currently feeding them chichlid pellets & flakes. Any advice on how often I should feed them daily? & how much? Also, is there anything healthier to feed them that could help them heal better? They would eat non-stop If I let them. I was feeding them twice a day, but went to once since treating them, with a small "snack" in the evening. I've heard once a day, twice a day, any advice?

I really, really want to get these guys better. I had planned on having them for many years & now they are really sick. I feel soooo bad. If I could hug them I would! Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks for any advice in advance!

Alyssa
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OFL replied the topic: Re:HITH might be fatal, Water help!

Welcome to the site. Exactly how big are your Oscars? I'm assuming they're still fairly small by what you've said. This is quite an early age to develop hole in the head disease. I'm afraid it is probably is due to the fact that the water conditions have been less than perfect. Although it certainly does sound like a hole in the head, I would appreciate seeing a photograph. As for healing this condition, I've seen Oscars that have had very bad hole in the head disease and it has cleared up. Unfortunately, some of them to get left with severe scarring which is in the form of craters and pits.

Metronidazole is a recognized treatment for this disease. You'll be better off asking the veterinarian about the dosages and how often it should be used. I'm very reluctant to advise when it comes to this, you would be well advised to seek professional help.

At the moment, I would be advising you to the water change every other day, around 25%. Your water conditions are not very good at all. We need to try and establish why your water conditions are poor. Have you been cleaning the filtration system out under tap water at all? This is a mistake many people make, they cleaned their filtration on the tap water and kill the bacteria. Then they wonder why their water conditions are bad. The reason being it is no bacteria to consume the ammonia and nitrite. The fact that you have got a nitrate reading does indicate that you have got some bacteria present. However, there could be a possibility that you are feeding too much. For the time being, feed every other day and only sparingly. Keep doing your water changes every other day as well. After a week, see how your water conditions are. What we are trying to do is minimise the amount of waste going into the water.

Before you start using any kind of medication, you've got to make sure your water is in pristine condition, using medication when you have poor water conditions isn't really going to help.

As for food, I would be encouraging you to feed live food to your fish. This doesn't include feeders. If you can, get hold of mealworms and crickets, these will be packed full of vitamins and very good for your Oscars. Earthworms are also very good. The next best thing is freeze-dried and frozen food. Oscars absolutely love shrimps, whole shrimps, not peeled. You can also buy frozen whole fish from the fish store. These have been harvested from the wild so shouldn't contain any nasties.

Anyway, Hang in there, increase your tank maintenance for the next week or two. You need to make sure your ammonia and nitrite are zero and no higher. Ideally, you want your nitrate is no higher than 10 ppm. This is going to mean a lot of tank maintenance on your behalf.

So too briefly reiterate on what I've said

Reduce your feeding to every other day until your ammonia and nitrite are zero

Carry out a 25% water change every other day. Try maintain a nitrate levels no higher than 10 ppm.

Do not clean biological media out under tap water, only in existing tank water

If you can, get yourself some live food

Seek professional advice on medications. People like myself forums and fish store owners are not medically trained, they don't always give the best advice

Hope this helps

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alyssa1025 replied the topic: Re:HITH might be fatal, Water help!

Thanks so much for your input. I am going to do another 25% water change tonight & hold off on adding any more meds. Unfortunately I have rinsed off the filter 1 time with tap water. I honestly didn't realize how sensitive they could be, I feel horrible.

Should I take out the carbon filter in the main filter or leave it for now?

As far as the live food is that OK for other fish in the tank?
Since I would still need to feed the others their food would that defeat the purpose?

The tankmates are:

1 Blood Parrot
1 Parrot
1 Synodontis Catfish
1 pleco

I've read that Parrots & Oscars don't get along, but these guys do great together. They were all introduced to the tank at the same time & at first the bigger parrot did some chasing & occasionally they'll bump each other, but no fighting. I've also read that parrots may not be able to stand thier ground against oscars for food, but that's totally untrue in my tank. They bite too! & get plenty of food without fighting for it.

Do you have any recommended feeding advice for these guys as a group? & Is this too many fish for this size tank? 50 gallons (moving to at least 100 gallons within the next 3 months)

I'm going to try & post some pics. Bare with me I haven't done this on this site before. Also sorry for the poor quality but they wouldn't stay still. They are afraid of the camera.

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alyssa1025 replied the topic: Re:HITH might be fatal, Water help!

The group

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alyssa1025 replied the topic: Re:HITH might be fatal, Water help!

sorry, I only know how to post pics individually. Please let me know if there's a way to post as a group. Thanks

It's hard for me to look at these pics without wanting to cry. I really hope they aren't hurting.

This is the worst one

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alyssa1025 replied the topic: Re:HITH might be fatal, Water help!

This one isn't as bad

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alyssa1025 replied the topic: Re:HITH might be fatal, Water help!

This kills me to see this.

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OFL replied the topic: Re:HITH might be fatal, Water help!

I will be blatantly honest with you, this is a very severe case of hole in the head disease and I can't promise you that we will be able to save the fish. Have you been medicating the tank with the carbon in the filters? If this is the case, it will probably make sense to why the medications haven't been working. Carbon removes impurities from the water, including medication.

You do have too many fish in the tank which isn't going to help the situation as it's going to be very difficult to maintain good water quality. Unfortunately I suspect the only way we can possibly help the situation as it stands is with medication. Mild cases can be cured by a increase tank maintenance, your Oscars have gone past that stage a long time ago.

If you can, get yourself some stress zyme, I think this might help your situation at the moment. Like I said in my last post, we need to get your ammonia and nitrite to zero and then you must start medicating the tank again. Don't do any water changes while this is going on. So do 25%/30% water change every other day. When the water is good, start using Metronidazole again.

I'm sure the other fish will enjoy a feed of live food. However, please think about what I said about having too many fish. The bio load produced by them altogether will be a lot, too much for your tank at the moment.

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alyssa1025 replied the topic: Re:HITH might be fatal, Water help!

Thank you for your input. I cringe just looking at them. I will do the water changes until my readings are good. I took the carbon filter out while the meds were in the water & then replaced it with a new one as per the instructions on the pkg after 4 days.

As far as having too many fish, what is your recommendation on the quantity for this tank. Who should I take out & leave etc.?

Also I do have some stress zyme. I added some about 3 days ago. I also have put some aquarium salt, which was recommended by the pet store.

Can you put TOO much treatment in their water? Such as stress zyme, water conditioner, treatment to remove Nitrite, Cholorine, Ammonia, etc. & Aquarium Salt? Is this too much all together & if so which ones should I stick to? & How often can I add to the water?

Again, thank you so much

Alyssa
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delboybully replied the topic: Re:HITH might be fatal, Water help!

I would personally remove the carbon and not put any back in unless you want to remove some medications, put some other media in instead

Most medications will say in the instructions what can and cannot be used with them. The water conditioner can be used with anything

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