Newly acquired Oscar is extremely ill

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Winsor created the topic: Newly acquired Oscar is extremely ill

Hello,

I've been browsing the board for almost 3 weeks now, and I need some help. I live in a little, very rural town in SW Wyoming. We have two very small pet stores, with extremely limited supplies. A guy was getting evicted in town and posted his oscar fish for sale-or else he was going to flush it. I don't know anything about fish at all, but I teach science at the local junior high and I felt sorry for the fish, so I offered to buy the set-up. Surprise, it was actually 3 fish (the oscar, a jack dempsey, and a place) in what I figured out was a thirty gallon aquarium. When I picked them up, the fish were in a bucket, and the (filthy) tank had been mostly emptied out, so I'm not sure what the overall set-up was like.

The previous owner told me he was feeding 1-2 pellets to the Jack Dempsey each day, and about a tablespoon of freeze-dried mealworms to the oscar once a week. He mentioned that sometime in the past, the Oscar had eaten a second Jack Dempsey that was with them.

I did my research, found out that this was all horribly wrong, and set about fixing it. I moved the Jack into a 20-gallon, added a heater to the Oscar's 30-gallon, bought a new filter (an aquatech 20-40), cleaned all the moldy mealworms out, and bought a whole new diet. Oscar wouldn't eat.

Then, more research-I discovered after I had him about a week, that he had the worst hole-in-the-head disease I've seen. I cannot find pictures of anything as bad as his head. He has craters around both eyes, as well as 2-3 large holes elsewhere on his head, and at least half a dozen smaller holes. His lateral line is prominent, but is more of a groove than holes, and it is not infected-there are no tendrils or strings of goo hanging off him, the holes are clean, just very, very deep.

I treated him for 6 days (3 treatments) with metranidozole, then moved him into a 55 gallon and began daily 50% water changes-I've been doing that for a week now.. I'm using a water conditioner with stress coat from Walmart, and adding Melafix and aquarium salt. I've added floating elodea and (some other plant) and I think he may be nibbling on it occasionally. The tank has a small aquatech filter (for a 20 gallon tank) and a larger Aquaclear 110-gallon filter with some filter pad that I cut to fit (but no idea if I did it right). It has a 200w heater, but the water is only about 74-76 degrees right now, so I apparently need a new heater, too.

My huge concern is that he lays at the bottom of the tank all the time, and when he swims he seems to have trouble keeping himself upright-he's extremely listless, and his belly is turning a golden brown. He hasn't eaten anything since I got him almost 3 weeks ago.

Yes, I know all of the equipment needs to be replaced or updated so it works well, and I'm trying. I also know I need water parameters-but I'm having to order everything on Amazon, and there was a glitch with my Prime sign-up, and nothing will arrive until the middle of next week. This is so far from ideal I could cry, and I really, really want to do right by this fish, but I'm not seeing any improvement at all. Am I wasting my time, if the hole-in-the-head is this bad?

Until I can get a test kit, and new stuff, is there anything else I can do to help him?
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DRACO replied the topic: Newly acquired Oscar is extremely ill

welcome to the community....
first thing first... i hope you did not totally cleaned all filter media in tap water....
if you did, you had lost all the beneficial bacteria in the system.... one of the reason why the fish is staying at the bottom...
it is trying to preserve the last energy until the water becomes good for them...

74 - 76 deg F is a bit cold but fish can survive with that....just keep the heater in there ... temp will rise little by little..
medication... pristine water and few rock salt could help comforting the fish... (1 tablespoon/10 gal water)

hope you can save the poor little swimmer.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Newly acquired Oscar is extremely ill

Hello and welcome to OFL. Hole in the head , even severe cases can be cleared up. Clean water is the path forward. On top of the Aquaclear sponge you should have a mesh bag full of ceramic rings, or stone looking things. This is the bio media that grows your beneficial bacteria. A 200w heater should more than cover a 55, unless its on its way out. To make a heater more efficient, run it along side the Aquaclear intake tube. Warm water will be distributed around the tank by the filter. Good luck with the Oscar, maybe post some pics so we can determine the severity of the hith


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Winsor replied the topic: Newly acquired Oscar is extremely ill

I'm not sure I'm doing this correctly, so if you cannot see the pictures, please let me know.

There are several pictures of his head, as well as a few of the overall setup he is in.

I was able to get Amazon Prime set-up today, so I should have test strips for the water by Monday or Tuesday of next week. I also ordered Prime water conditioner, since that seems to be better than what I'm using. Will the 50% water changes each day be enough for water quality over the next 4-5 days? I used a very dirty filter from a well-established guppy aquarium and swished it around quite a bit in his water last Friday when I moved him into the 55, and again Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, so there should be the beginnings of beneficial bacteria in there. I ordered the correct parts for the Aquaclear also, the foam insert and the bag of white chunks. I read elsewhere that carbon makes HITH worse, so I did not order the carbon piece for the filter-is that right?

He still isn't eating, but he's swimming and active for the first time in 3 days, so that's hopeful. He's still quite wobbly, but not as bad as yesterday.
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Winsor replied the topic: Newly acquired Oscar is extremely ill

s1244.photobucket.com/user/Winsor_Demore/library/

Apparently I did not do the link correctly-here's attempt 2
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Newly acquired Oscar is extremely ill

Hole in the head is bad, but dont despair.. it can be MUCH worse and still have the fish recover. Yes clean water every day, good to get some bio media going and yes to having no carbon. You have a tall order but seem to be dedicated to saving the fish. We will help anytime you need it. Kudos to you, hang in there!


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Winsor replied the topic: Newly acquired Oscar is extremely ill

He ate a small amount last night, and his color is looking much better. I'm doing 100% water changes every day, and I think that's making a big difference. :cheer:
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DRACO replied the topic: Newly acquired Oscar is extremely ill

ouch! it did has a HITH ... but in the healing stage already...
just keep the regular water change, increase temp and add some rock salt to expedite healing...
feed him varied foods but not too much to lessen bioload..



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