Hello (and call for help) from an Oscar rookie in Miami, FL!!

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oscarcoite created the topic: Hello (and call for help) from an Oscar rookie in Miami, FL!!

Hello OFL!! B)

I am a fish enthusiast with some level of experience with different fish. I have kept various tanks starting off with an Asian biotope about 8 years ago, to breeding Bettas, keeping NW & African dwarf cichlids and some saltwater fish. I have never had an Oscar fish however, and I just got my first adorable underwater pet a couple days ago. I have limited experience with New World cichlids; I have kept a Jack Dempsey, Midas cichlid, and a Convict for a few months until one day the tank started leaking out of the blue. I had to find them a new home as none of my other tanks were suitable for them, and I never got a chance to go back to these NW cichlids until now. Although it was only for a short period of time, the NW cichlids were undoubtedly one of my favorite tank setups and I've been anxious to get another NW Cichlid tank going ever since! So now that my tanks are all ready for this new setup, I'm thrilled to have brought home THE fish I've been wanting to keep for quite a while: the Oscar fish!! (How can I not love the fish that shares my own name?! Haha)

My newest addition, Oswaldo (AKA Waldo), is a tiny, darling little 2" baby Tiger Oscar. Unfortunately, since he has been brought home, he has been sitting at the bottom of the tank motionless without any interest in food. I am beginning to get concerned and I am wondering whether or not this is a normal behavior for a juvenile Oscar in a new home, and I would like to know if there is anything I can do to help him settle in.

The tank and the parameters shouldn't be an issue, but here is a little background information:
  • Ammonia reading zero
  • Nitrite reading zero
  • Nitrate reading is very low
  • Fully cycled and established- newly set up tank running for a couple weeks, but filter media, gravel, and driftwood are all from the well-established tanks. Some white cloud minnows were added as soon as I set up the tank, and the ammonia and nitrite level has been reading zero from day one with daily testing.
  • 40 gallon tank with South American setup, with driftwood, rocks, and South American aquatic plants. He will be moved to a larger tank (probably my now empty 125g Bichir tank) with less décor in a few months, but if he starts getting destructive he will be moved sooner. This tank is currently setup for my future SA cichlids including Apistos and is Waldo's temporary home mostly because it's a prettier tank and I haven't started stocking my SA dwarves, and I don't think he will do much destruction at 3-4" but I could be wrong!
  • Temperature 78 degrees
  • Tank buddies: A small school of white cloud minnows have been there to continue some level of ammonia production. Planning to remove them whenever, however Waldo doesn't seem to show any interest in these little guys.

Please help me with this new member of our family!! I would like to know if something could be wrong with him or if this is a common behavior and is to be expected, and if so, if there is anything I can do on my end to help him settle in and find comfort in his new home.

I also have another question. If this is fairly common behavior for more shy Oscars, would having a tank mate help Waldo to feel safer and more comfortable to come out? I am thinking about getting him a friend, perhaps a Convict cichlid of similar or smaller size of Waldo as his company. Based on my experience with cichlids, though, introducing another fish can be a real hit or miss, so I wanted to hear some opinions from those with this particular experience with baby Oscars. I've done plenty of research, but information on the web seems to refer mostly to adult Oscars rather than juveniles.

Any help or information that can be provided will be much appreciated!

Thank you!!


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Suprd71 replied the topic: Hello (and call for help) from an Oscar rookie in Miami, FL!!

Hello and welcome to OFL. Yes, quite normal for Oscars to pout, hide, remain motionless upon introduction to a new tank. Good that you recognize a 40g will be too small rather soon. If anything to start I would bump the temperature up to about 82. I have always found this to be right about Oscars comfort zone. Keep the water clean, offer him good food. I would also keep lighting to a minimum, as Oscars prefer dim lighting at best. Especially for a new guy that may be a little spooked to start with. A little patience for yourself, let the wee man settle in on his own, and all should work out fine. I would also suggest no other fish added. You don't have the room, and Oscar will be no better off.

I may not be the Boss, but I'm ALWAYS right!

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OFL replied the topic: Hello (and call for help) from an Oscar rookie in Miami, FL!!

Welcome to our little community. Okay, that's brilliant, you have provided all the information that we normal ask for, and much more, I wish more people would do this :-)

To be honest, I cannot really see any problems that could be caused by poor water conditions. To answer your question about whether this is normal behaviour, yes, it is normal for Oscars to sometimes act a little bit strange once they have been introduced into a new tank. However, the Oscars I've had over the years haven't behaved like this for two days, although I think other people have experienced the same issue as you.

Can you try and Observe the fish when you are not around, maybe go out of the room and see if the fish starts moving around when nobody is there. It could be that he is scared of you and just freezes when he sees any movement. Has he eaten anything at all in the last few days? Maybe put two or three pellets in the tank, make a note of where they are and see if they are gone when you come back. If the fish is eating then you know that can't be anything too wrong. Also, how is the fish is breathing, is a very laboured, i.e. opening and closing its mouth constantly? You could try increasing the oxygen in the water, but I doubt this is actually the problem because normally fish hang at the surface if there is a depletion in oxygen.

Anyway, I'm sure somebody else will chime in with some Advice that may be helpful for you. Just keep an eye on him, don't worry too much for the time being, let us know how the fish is behaving tomorrow

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ernie replied the topic: Re:Hello (and call for help) from an Oscar rookie in Miami, FL!!

Hi and welcome to OFL would seem to be normal behavior and not much to be too concerned over. You said you just brought him home if that was in the last couple of days would think your O is just getting used to his new home. Would like to see some photos.

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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re:Hello (and call for help) from an Oscar rookie in Miami, FL!!

Welcome!! Everyone above has got you covered B)

Thats a nice blue ram in your avatar i loved all my dwarf cichlids when i kept them

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DRACO replied the topic: Re:Hello (and call for help) from an Oscar rookie in Miami, FL!!

hello and welcome on board...

people above got you covered... nothing more to add...
but we would like to see an update how does thing is progressing...

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benmcfadden replied the topic: Re:Hello (and call for help) from an Oscar rookie in Miami, FL!!

hello and welcome to our little family.

Haku, I knew your were good.

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