Damaged Oscar

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I hope I did this correctly and embedded the pictures for all to see.

I have an Oscar "George", who is having issues with the top of his head. The issue has been going on for 4 weeks and I am unsure what to do to help. Going to a local professional aquarium store, they were not quite sure of the situation. They gave me Kenaplex of which I gave him (incorrectly-left in carbon) and 2 weeks later I administered correctly. Since the last treatment, 2 weeks have passed to today.

Things looked slightly better but it has not gone away. Now is has two rather large red "gouges" on his forehead and by his eye. Seen in pictures. I have removed any tall standing objects should he have been "banging" into them.

Here are the stats on the situation:

10" Oscar, 12" Pleco, 6" catfish
Tanks is 55 gallons with a Emperor 280 Filter (up to 50 gallons tank)
Water is 80 degrees with aquarium salt in it
5 inch aeriator
Nitrite is between 2.0-3.0 ppm
Nitrate is between 20-40 ppm
No discernible ammonia
7.1-7.2 pH
Alkalinity is 120-180 ppm
Hard to very hard water, No chlorine.
Water is cloudy but not sure this matters.

Starting to do daily water changes which is really annoying the fish.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Damaged Oscar

Hello and welcome to OFL. Not able to access your pics, but even without seeing, you have several problems. Tank is severely overstocked. Tank is severely under filtered. Current water is quite toxic, the result of the first two issues. To explain further.. the tank is too small for the Oscar or pleco, even if they were in there by themselves. You filter cannot handle the bioload created by your fish. Thats why you show nitrite. Nitrate is high because your water changes arent enough to keep at safer levels. Meds wont work in dirty water. You need either a tank of 150+gals, 5x the filtration, OR, you need to keep Oscar alone, still need more filter. You wont be able to heal your fish in that tank in its current running condition. Daily water changes are good, but fish may be struggling to regulate, as they are not used to so much clean water.


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jmonyok replied the topic: Damaged Oscar

Thank you. I cannot figure out how to put the pictures in the thread. Can you advise?
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Damaged Oscar

Pics are posted mostly thru Photobucket. You copy the img code from your pb pic. Paste into the forum thread box. Photobucket is free and quite easy to use.


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Suprd71 replied the topic: Damaged Oscar

I see the pics now. Your Oscar has HITH.. hole in the head. It is caused by prolonged exposure to poor water quality, stress from overcrowding. He can be healed, it takes a long time and a specific setup and treatment routine. As stated prior, it will be next to impossible to make any progress in that current setup. The path forward is clean water, you can address that. Will likely take more than you can feasibly do. To heal George, the pleco and catfish cant be in the tank with him. Then upon getting acclimated to clean water, daily or even 2x daily large volume changes will be needed.


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jmonyok replied the topic: Damaged Oscar

If I am to remove the Pleco and the catfish, would he be ok in a 55 gallon tank alone? What size filter would you recommend at that point? I can do daily water changes but 2x would be impossible with working for a living. Aren't we all...
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Damaged Oscar

Conditions would be worlds apart if he were alone. You should have a canister filter for bio filtration. If thats not doable($2-300) then at very least an Aquaclear 110 hob. $75 or so. Keep the one you have at the same time. I would keep the water salted, it protects somewhat from nitrite poisoning. Keep a level of about 3tblsp per 5 gals. Replace salt lost from water changes. After plec and cat are gone, I would leave George his deco, but have a barebottom tank. While you are working on a path forward, do this: In a half cup of distilled water, dissolve 3/4 tblsp of Epsom salt. Saturate his normal food in this water and feed only this for 5 consecutive days.


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Suprd71 replied the topic: Damaged Oscar

Do you have the Python water changer? Connects to any faucet. Drains and fills. You can do a 50% on a 55 in about 15 mins.


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jmonyok replied the topic: Damaged Oscar

While I dont know if its a "Python", I do have a siphon that connects to a faucet and changing 50% takes 15 minutes when all is done.

So as to not seem heartless to the fish, I did inherit this situation. A person would no longer take care of the fish and I stepped in to help. So I am now faced with $800.00 out of pocket to do things correctly or to give up the cat and pleco and try the filter. I want to do option A but budget doesn't permit.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Damaged Oscar

I feel for ya. Not a good intro to the hobby to inherit such a mess. The fish have been neglected for a long time. All the cratering, holes and rough spots on Oscars head are evidence of that. One other name for an Oscar, and you dont hear it much is the Velvet Cichlid. Comes from the baby-bum smooth skin all around their head. Your guy is way out on that. Although to keep all fish, yes you do need a way bigger tank, it will be easier to tend to just Oscar in the 55. Less water to contend with, less volume to dose with meds should we get to that point.


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