5 year old oscars, one CONSTANTLY freaks out and splashes

  • aewzct
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aewzct created the topic: 5 year old oscars, one CONSTANTLY freaks out and splashes

We have two 5 year old oscar fish sharing a 125 gallon tank. Knock on wood, we haven't ever had health issues or problems with water parameters. One is definitely a bully, so we've had them separated with egg crate since they were 6 months old- each has half the tank. In true oscar form, they destroy any decorations we set up for them. It's basically impossible to create hiding spots for them because they rip up any plants within 2 minutes of tank cleaning and leave them floating at the top. They leave the plants demolished and removed from their bases regularly, unable to be "replanted". Recently, bully fish has taken to completely spazzing out, flipping water everywhere (including ALL over our freshly painted wall and brand new laminate flooring). :( Not only is it crazy obnoxious to be awoken at 2 AM to the sound of water going EVERYWHERE on a weekly basis (not to mention the fact that I'm 7 months pregnant and any moment of sleep is a luxury at this point..), but he keeps cutting himself up in the process. I can't even tell what he's cutting himself on- other than the egg crate and the few soft plastic plants floating at the top of his tank thanks to his rearranging, there isn't anything but the filter intake and the heater on his side. His episodes scare his tank mate who then lays stressed at the bottom of the tank for half the day. And the whole thing is stressing me out beyond belief. For years we have had their light mounted on a piece of glass that spans the top of the tank and its never been an issue. A week or so ago, at 4 AM he had an episode and hit the glass hard enough to knock it and the light into the tank. He demolished the egg crate barrier and was over on the other side of the tank. So we did away with the glass and suspended the light from the tank lid (something we've been meaning to do for some time anyway). He nearly sliced himself in half during that episode. His side is juuuust about healed up now, and he just did it again. This time he has a huge gash on his nose and between his eyes. When we had larger and heavier decorations in his side to provide hiding spots he would cut himself up even worse, so providing some kind of rocky outcrop or other heavy hiding space he can't move only serves to harm him more. What can I do to help the poor guy out? We are frustrated, this can't be healthy for him, and it's getting SO old rushing out at all hours of the day and night to clean up the sopping wet floor so the water doesn't ruin the new laminate. He didn't eat for a week after the bad gash, and it stressed the other oscar out to the point of not eating briefly too. They're both eating again, so I do think that the two are related, as opposed to it being illness related. Is he bored? Can I provide entertainment somehow?
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OFL replied the topic: 5 year old oscars, one CONSTANTLY freaks out and splashes

Hi there and welcome to our community

To be honest with you is very difficult to ascertain my Oscars often behave in this manner. You didn't say how the Oscar got along with the other Oscar when they were together.. It may have something to do with them being separated all the time, may be you have a male and a female. Have you tried leaving them together for a few hours to see how the behaviour pans out? Obviously you don't want any carnage happening, but being able to be with each other may help the situation.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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aewzct replied the topic: 5 year old oscars, one CONSTANTLY freaks out and splashes

Hmm, interesting! When they were about 6 months old, the bully fish would chase timid fish around the tank and nip at his/her fins. Timid fish got pretty beat up one time which was what led to the separation. They have occasionally gotten together when they manage to break the barrier loose (always bully fish breaking through, timid fish doesn't want anything to do with him). When that happens, the bully fish always corners the timid fish and blocks him/her there and just guards him/her there, he/she's not allowed to leave that corner. He just holds him/her there then. We always promptly separate them when we find them together, so they've never had more than a few minutes or hours to get past that stage. When they were younger, based on their behavior, we were told they were likely both male and bully fish was being dominant. I'll be totally honest, I have no idea if they could be male/female and trying to breed, but baby oscars really don't sound like something I want to get in to at this point aha!

We are fairly certain that the timid fish may be blind in one eye and possibly partially blind in the other as he/she has to have food dropped on a certain side or it has no idea the food is even there. I'm afraid that the dominant bully fish would take advantage of this and harm the timid fish which would really upset me-timid fish is sweet and shy and bully fish is kind of a jerk and honestly a pain in the butt sometimes.
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DRACO replied the topic: 5 year old oscars, one CONSTANTLY freaks out and splashes

I can only suggest to allow them together by removing the divider for the meantime but before doing so, get a clay pot disc and put it in there.... 1) to test if they would clean the clay pot disc; and 2) to check if they will get along...

splashing around is a normal thing for the Oscars that is why most of my Oscar tanks are not filled up up to the rim LOL!
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