Oscar Poor Appetite

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swyn created the topic: Oscar Poor Appetite

Greetings all!

I have been having some issue with my young Oscar eating. It will eat, but only about 3 small pellets (2 mm) per day. He will attempt to eat a few when they fall, but just spits them out. Eventually, it will go back and eat a few off the bottom. This has been going on for about a month now and I am running out of things to try. He will eat peas as well, put only about one, before he just spits them out again.

There are no external marks or sign of disease, poo looks normal (though I don't find much given how little he eats). Water parameters are the same as usual -- 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5-20 nitrates, depending how many days have passed since the last water change. pH is steady at 7.6 and at least a 60% water change is done weekly. He is in a 100 gallon tank alone with a Fluval FX6 filter and a Vecton 600 UV sterilizer.

It is about 6 inches long and I have had it for about 3 1/2 months. Up until recently, his appetite has been great, eating and pooping a ton. His normal regimen is Northfin pellets twice per day (I switched from 3x per day about a month ago, since it was about time, and it wasn't interested in eating anyways), 5-6 peas twice per week, and also the pellets soaked in Boyd's twice per week. Every few weeks he will get Seachem Shrimp Flakes as a treat.

I have tried a treatment of API General Cure (two doses over 4 days) just in case, though there are no signs of disease. I've tried feeding only peas for a few days to make sure he wasn't constipated, and not feeding at all for 2 days as well -- I haven't really been comfortable going longer than that as it isn't an adult yet.

As for food, I've tried several sizes of Northfin (2mm, 3mm, 6mm), New Life Spectrum sinking and floating formulas, as well as Hikari Gold. I've also tried soaking them in water first as I know they can be a bit hard as well as in Seachem Garlic Guard. Nothing seems to get him interested. For the heck of it, I've tried some Shrimp Flakes as well, and he will slowly eat a few pinches.

I'm not sure if he is just being stubborn or something else could be going on.

I appreciate any other ideas I can try.
Thank you!

photos.app.goo.gl/FP3plgSAYSBpjivl2
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Oscar Poor Appetite

Seems to be no issue with tank, water or general fish health. He looks very good in the photo. You will have to go with the stubborn Oscar trait. Very common. Have you tried anything along the lines of raw fish or shrimp? Piece of fruit? He might like a live earthworm or mealworm. I wouldn't feed many peas, they are limited in nutrition and really only act as a laxative. Freeze dried krill usually goes over well with all aquarium fish. He will eat when hungry enough, no cause for alarm at this point.


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S.S. replied the topic: Oscar Poor Appetite

Any change made in the tank before he stopped eating?

Those guys are really stuburn. One of mine is doing thar for 3 weeks but in his case I changed him to an hospital tank due to pop eye. Before he was eating well and in spite he is cured he still refuses to eat normal. This weekend he will return to the main tank and I hope he starts eating properly again.
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Noddy replied the topic: Oscar Poor Appetite

This reminds me of my first Oscar, Bolle. She refused all pellets and standard foods.. I did try mealworms and she loved those very much. I was happy she at least started to get a good appetite. I started with small mealworms and as my O got bigger I gave her bigger worms up-to the morioworms. I also fed her the beetles in which the worms turned and grasshoppers as well. Any living insects would be eaten fast. She kept this diet until I added Hope, her male partner. He was used to Hikari pellets and Bolle finally started to eat pellets. And strangely enough she refused to eat the mealworms from that day on...But she had become big and boisterous by that time. O's can be very picky, I hope you find the right food to get the appetite going!
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swyn replied the topic: Oscar Poor Appetite

Thank you all! There haven't been any tank changes. It has been happily eating Northfin since I got him. I don't see any signs of disease at all and it seems he wants to eat. Usually I see fish either not eating at all or trying to grab everything in sight. When I drop in a pellet, he will rush over and grab it, but will just spit it out right away. Eventually (maybe 30-60 min later) he will decide he's hungry enough and grab a few off the bottom. I've ordered some frozen bloodworms and freeze-dried krill to try, but my main concern is that he will only want that stuff after. I don't mind giving them as treats, but I doubt it has all the nutrients Oscars need. I'm also surprised that soaking the pellets before hand (making them soft) or in Garlic Guard isn't helping either.

He looks up a lot and I was hoping it he just preferred floating pellets, but that doesn't seem to be the case. If he grabs one, it will be spit out right away. I can't leave floating stuff in there for long since it will get grabbed right away by the surface skimmer.

As for peas, I only give them once or twice a week usually to make sure things keep moving along. :)
This past weekend, he got them for a few days until I saw a nice big pile of pea-poo waiting for me, making sure constipation wasn't the issue. I wanted to avoid the Epsom salt bath if I could avoid it!
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Oscar Poor Appetite

The freeze dried krill is an excellent food. High protein and very high fiber. Shouldnt be a staple for Oscar though. Oscar needs a good amount of veg in the diet. Northfin kelp wafers, NLS Algaemax, Omega 1 veggie rounds are all good. FYI, frozen foods are very limited in nutritional value. Often single digit protein and 75% moisture. Freeze dried is the way to go for treats and supplements. Omega1 has a decent variety of FD foods


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swyn replied the topic: Oscar Poor Appetite

I agree -- I don't like giving fish one type of food, which is why I really wish he would eat his pellets. They have all kinds of good stuff in them! I did give him some frozen blood worms last night and he devoured them as fast as I could put them in. This morning, same thing with the pellets. Grab and spit. I'm convinced he's just being a picky jerk and there's nothing wrong with him. I get the krill in tomorrow and will sneak some Boyd Vitachem in them so at least he will get some nutrition. I may just need to try and starve him out for a longer period of time.

Thank you all!
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S.S. replied the topic: Oscar Poor Appetite

Well my started eating immediately after returning to the main tank in pote being bullied by my other Oscar immediately too.

Hope yours get to eat properly soon.
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