Newbie- completely overwhelmed- please help

  • Coliestromboli
  • Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 1
  • Thank you received: 0

Coliestromboli created the topic: Newbie- completely overwhelmed- please help

Hello all-
I have spent a lot of time reading the articles and the forum. But I have to admit I am sitting here quite overwhelmed. I am hoping for any advice and it will be very much appreciated.
Here is my Oscar situation.
I have inherited two Oscars. Simon and Garfunkel. Their owner lost their home and I offered to take them in for the time being but it looks as if they are my permanent housemates - which is completely fine because I have grown to care for them immensely, that is why I am here.
They are two years old- get along fine and I change their water and filters and feed them a variety of frozen food. They came with a small heater and a large tank. I came upon this place because Simons pectoral fin is eroding it seems.
They have luckily been healthy even though I am a novice. I am feeling major anxiety because of all the articles I have read and I realize I am not doing all that they need. Please don't be upset with me I just didn't know any better.
I want to get them a better filter and I need to start checking the water.

How can I make their lives the best I can? They have been fine but I see I am not doing enough. How do I get started? What do I need to do to keep the water healthy? Where do I go from here?
I condition the water during changes- should I be buying a certain kind? I have well water I am uneasy about and I feel as though it gave my dog tumors and I see even with a filter a lot of metals on top when it filters through. I don't feel comfortable using my water for anything.

Should I be putting medication in for his fin?

Should I use the old cartridges if I get a new filter?

All they came with was the tank and an old filter that holds two blue cartridges- but the secondary filters the bio filters I guess were missing.

They have gravel.

I took out the decorations that had edges because they had some damage I guess from bolting.

They are very interested in me and know when I open the freezer. Simon steals food and can be a jerk but endearing at times. He lunges at the top and I keep it clean- he sometimes lunges out of the water during feedings and terrifies me. But I love him. Garfunkel is as derpy as they come and even has derpy eyes that look up and wait. He is calm and collected. Enjoys looking at himself and sometimes picking up rocks.

Please let me know any advice you can give. I want to give them the best life they deserve. Thanks is advance :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • S.S.
  • S.S.'s Avatar
  • Offline
  • Expert Boarder
  • Expert Boarder
  • "Failure is giving anything less than your best"
  • Posts: 587
  • Thank you received: 16

S.S. replied the topic: Re:Newbie- completely overwhelmed- please help

Hi. Put some pictures of the tank and fin ant tell us the size of the tank, type of filters and water change routine and feeding.


Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 6059
  • Karma: 4
  • Thank you received: 600

Suprd71 replied the topic: Re:Newbie- completely overwhelmed- please help

Hello and welcome to OFL. Water quality is most always the culprit concerning fish health issues. Your lack of confidence in your well water is a huge red flag imo. Have you had it tested? First and foremost it needs to be safe for you and your family, never mind fish. Beyond that, a pair of Oscars need a 6ft tank of around 150 gallons. A combination of canister and large hob filters. Cartridge style filters just cant handle large tanks with big cichlids. Its not a quality issue, its a filtration capacity problem. As requested by S.S. more detalls please, pics, video if you can. Get that water checked!

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • OFL
  • OFL's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Founder of OFL
  • Posts: 13367
  • Karma: 38
  • Thank you received: 418

OFL replied the topic: Re:Newbie- completely overwhelmed- please help

I can really only second what everybody else has said. Oscars do require a large aquarium and lots of filtration. The fact you have two Oscars means that once they are big they are going to create a lot of waste which will add what we call a bio load to the water. This basically means the amount of ammonia they produce. Ammonia is highly poisonous and if you haven't got a suitable filtration system, the ammonia will kill fish very quickly. Even at low levels it can still cause death, but will probably kill the fish slowly and over a long period of time which is not nice.

Unfortunately it's very much black-and-white when you keep Oscar fish. There isn't really a grey area, you need a big tank and you need really good filtration. If you are not able to provide both of these then you would be best to rehome the fish, find somebody who can look after them properly. Don't take this as a criticism, I understand that you are just doing what you think is right for the fish.

In the meantime, it's vitally important that you keep a check on the water quality. Get yourself a water testing kit that test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH, you need all four.

In the meantime we are here to help you in any way we can.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Big-KenDRACO
Time to create page: 3.106 seconds