Hello Oscar Lovers (need some advice!)

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William_Wallace created the topic: Hello Oscar Lovers (need some advice!)

Hello all,

First off, thanks for having an awesome community. I have been "lurking" for a few months and have learned so much! I have a baby tiger Oscar that is in too small of a tank right now (20 gallon...i know i know....he's getting a new home!). Here is my scenario:

I am preparing to move my Tiger Oscar (William Wallace) to a new 90gal tank that has been setup and running for 2 weeks (i have 2x Emperor 400's and will be eventually adding a canister).

Levels are as follows:
Ammonia - 0.00-0.25
Nitrite - 0.00-0.25
Nitrate - 0.5

I have a few freshwater plants in there (which will eventually get ripped up I know) and I have two stockings with the old bio-media that have been in the tank since it was set up.

I had initially thought I would have to fully cycle this tank and stocked it with some hardy fish to establish BB but I am now thinking I may have done the trick with the old tank's biomedia in the stockings. Do you think the new tank is ready for my oscar to make his home? These readings have been stable for a few days already.

Thanks!
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  • OFL
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OFL replied the topic: Hello Oscar Lovers (need some advice!)

Hi there and welcome to our little community.

If you just have an aquarium full of water and no fish then you aren't going to get any ammonia or nitrite readings. Sometimes tapwater does contain small amounts of nitrates and even ammonia so your tests may pick these trace elements up.

If you don't give the media in the filtration a food source (i.e. ammonia) then the tank can't start the cycling process. What you need to do is get yourself a small group tropical community fish that will produce the ammonia that the biological media needs in order for the bacteria to establish itself. Why not start off with a group of tiger barbs for instance. Maybe 5 to begin with and then just monitor the water conditions. Go to our article on cycling 'n aquarium, it will give you all the information you need. www.oscarfishlover.com/how-to-cycle-your-aquarium ,

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William_Wallace replied the topic: Hello Oscar Lovers (need some advice!)

I have 6 platys and 5 tiger barbs in there for 2 weeks. Sorry i thought I had mentioned that.
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DRACO replied the topic: Hello Oscar Lovers (need some advice!)

using some existing biomedia from an existing establish tank could help fast track the cycling of new tank plus the existence of few seeding fish. i believe OFL missed that line... having said that... you must do the regular water change to make the water good....

welcome to the community.
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William_Wallace replied the topic: Hello Oscar Lovers (need some advice!)

Thanks Draco!

Question on the water changes though...everything I have read here says that water changes will slow or stall the cycle. I have only topped off a bit of (treated) water as it evaporates. I do have the old tank biomedia in some nylons floating around so hopefully that helps!

I did take another reading today and it shows Ammonia - 0, Nitrites - 0.25, and Nitrates - 0.5.

I'll keep the measurements up for a the next few days...if Ammonia/Nitrites stay low do you think it is safe to transition Mr. Wallace over?
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Hello Oscar Lovers (need some advice!)

I would move him now. Monitor water for a couple of weeks while the bacteria colony grows. Bacteria colony can only grow according to the amount of ammonia it has to consume. The platys and barbs only produce so much, Oscar will make more. Its the filter media that holds the bacteria, water changes done properly with conditioner will not affect cycle. The more clean water you give Oscar, the better he will do.


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William_Wallace replied the topic: Hello Oscar Lovers (need some advice!)

Thanks for the advice everyone. I decided to move William Wallace over today. I brought his older filter media with him and he is loving the new space he has!

Only problem was I couldn't get out all the tiger barbs...they are so dang fast and I can't get them! There are 4 barbs left in the tank and so far William Wallace hasn't paid any attention to them...but not sure how long that will last. I'll keep trying to get them out.
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William_Wallace replied the topic: Hello Oscar Lovers (need some advice!)

Here is a picture of William Wallace in his new home!

Also a picture of my tank, any advice is appreciated (I know the plants will likely get ripped up...)



Still can't get the barbs/platy out. I will keep trying, but is it harmful to keep them in with an oscar?
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Mike1337 replied the topic: Hello Oscar Lovers (need some advice!)

I'm new here as well, but not new to fish keeping, or more accurately oscars. Has your tank cycled yet? What reading do you have now? As for the play and barbs, it's not harmful to the Oscar. Probably not going to end well for them eventually though. If you haven't finished cycling have you though about bottled bacteria?
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William_Wallace replied the topic: Hello Oscar Lovers (need some advice!)

Thanks, tank is cycled. I am getting 0 ammonia and nitrites and 5 nitrates. William Wallace ate 5 tiger barbs and the platy. I did introduce a small school of silver dollars and he ate one of them too! But he's since left the other ones alone.

I'll be keeping an eye on him since I know eating those store fish is probably not great for his health...
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