Oscar Tank Issues;

  • Jerit
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Jerit created the topic: Oscar Tank Issues;

I think I just made alot of work for myself… As I have read, Oscars are some pretty dirty fish is a bit of an understatement.. I’ve had my Oscar a week now, and I’m going threw filters every other day. I have a 55 gallon tank, with a Aqua- Tech 30 – 60 Filter, “Wal-Mart special” The filters are getting so clogged, that the water almost stops coming out. And to top it off, the water is foggy, and spells REALLY, REALLY BAD!!!! I’m thinking about cleaning out the tank,.. but before I do that I thought I might ask for some expert advice

Thanks, Jerit:unsure:

Jerit - 25 - MO (USA)

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OFL replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

Okay, firstly you need to do is the water test, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Ammonia and nitrite should be zero and no higher. Nitrate levels are okay up to around 40 ppm, any higher and you need to increase water changes. When you say you are going through filters, I assume you mean you are changing the sponges inside the filter every day. Which are under you changing? I really hope you're not changing the biological filtration. I hope it is your mechanical filtration that you are changing every day.

Well, the fact that your filter doesn't seem to be coping with the waste your Oscar is producing proves that filtration is so important. You may need to think about either upgrading to a larger filter, or putting an extra filter on the tank. Did you cycle the tank before putting the fish in? The fact that your water has gone foggy could mean that the tank isn't cycle properly, or you are putting too much food in. A foul smelling tank is not a good sign. That could indicate that the tank is going through a mini cycle. I know this because a few you are so yeah, I accidentally turned all my filters off. The next morning, the tank was cloudy and it stank like cesspit. The cloudiness is caused by bacteria building up in the tank water.

How much food are you feeding every day? Probably easier to tell me how many times you are feeding on how much in each sitting.

Try and explain in more detail about what you are doing with your filtration. And get those water tests done, they are so very important. Without them, it is virtually impossible to tell what is happening

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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

Penn gave you good advice there. Oscars are indeed very dirty eaters and poopers too. Even if you don't overfeed your Oscars, they chomp and devour their food and it comes out there gills in a cloud of small bits and pieces. It's amazing just what they can do to clear aquarium water in practically no time. Beef up your filtration, upgrade and add more but also follow Penns good advice below as having a cycled tank and filter is paramount. Get those water tests done to see what is going on..

Ken, 51, NJ-USA (2 Tiger Oscars)
Need to give away one healthy 1 year old Oscar if you know of anyone interested. See the adoption thread for photos. Thanks!
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Jerit replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

Thanks for the advice!! I’ll go and get a water test kit.. and let you know the results. Your correct on the assumption about the filter, I’m having to replace the filter cartridge every other day. It gets so filled up with poo, and all that, it gets clogged. I’m feeding him three time a day, once in the morning, he gets three or four little pellets, in the afternoon, three or four little pellets, and in the evening, I feed him again three or four little pellets, and he hasn’t had no problems with eating!! He about jumps out of the water every time I feed him, he ate this morning, but he didn’t act to enthused about it.. When I go and get the water test, I’ll get another filter, see how that works out….

Jerit - 25 - MO (USA)

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OFL replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

Can you post the make of your filter so I can do little bit of research on it ?

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OFL replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

I think that you may be wise to reduce the feeding regime slightly. I know it's a baby, and now they have to eat a lot but until you know what the water is doing, I would reduce feeding just for the moment. Just for the time being, only feed twice a day. Don't worry, the Oscar will be perfectly okay

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Jerit replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

Water test results;

Ammonia ; .25 PPM

Nitrate (NO3); 0 PPM

Nitrite (NO2); 0 PPM

Total Hardness (GH); 150 PPM

Total Alkalinity (KH); 180 PPM

pH; 7.8


I have one Aqua-Tech 30-60 Power filter, and just put a Aqua-Tech 5-15 Power filter in.
I haven’t found a lot of websites that describe it; here’s a site that I found that shows the one that I just purchased;
www.aquariumadvice.com/reviewpost/showproduct.php?product=247&limit=recent

They have a 3-stage filtration system, A blue ploy pad that screens out dirt, debris. Activated carbon that removes waste. And Bio-Fiber, witch eliminates toxic ammonia and nitrite.

Jerit - 25 - MO (USA)

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OFL replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

You never said whether or not you cycled the tank properly. Well, looking at your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, without knowing what you have been doing in the last few weeks, it sounds as if your tank is cycling from the very beginning. The fact that you have no nitrate present indicates that the bacteria needed to process nitrite into nitrate have not established themselves yet. Although it is possible to have a nitrate reading of zero, I would not expect in your tank. This normally happens after a very large water change. Your ammonia is not at a lethal level just at the moment, although it is advisable not to expose fish to any amount of ammonia. What I'm saying is your fish is not going to die of ammonia poisoning in the next day or two. You are going to have to keep an eye on the ammonia and do a water change every other day, around 25 to 30%. Because you have fish in the tank, you can't let the ammonia get too high, so, the cycle process might take a few weeks. Keep testing the water and then you will notice the presence of nitrite. The ammonia should then dropped right back to zero while the nitrite rises. When ammonia and nitrite zero and you only have a nitrate reading, your tank is cycled. Like I said, my guess is your tank is cycling. I may be wrong, just keep testing the water. If you don't get any nitrate reading at all, then I think I may be right so you will have to follow the instructions above. There is also information in helpful articles on this subject.

So you have got one filter that is rated from 50 to 60 gallons and another that is rated up to around 10 gallons? Sounds like you more than enough filtration for that tank, didn't you say you had a 40 gallon tank?

Now, everybody has their own opinion on carbon. My opinion is you don't need it. Carbon removes impurities from the water, you would normally use this after medicating the tank for instance. Leaving it in the filter all the time could have a detrimental effect on the water if you forget to change it.

I myself don't use carbon ever and I know a lot of Oscar enthusiasts to do the same. If I medicate the tank, I just do large water change after it has finished.

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OFL replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

I forgot to mention one very important factor that I'm sure you are aware of. Your tank isn't big enough for an adult Oscar. Okay, it's quite small at the moment but you should start thinking about something bigger very soon. Also, start thinking about beefing up your filtration as well. Imagine what your filters would be like with an Oscar three times the one you have now

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Jerit replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

I’m a rookie!! The only other fish I’ve ever had are Bettas.. I had one for three years, I’ve got one now that I’ve had for about a year now. I have a 55 US gallon tank. I just got it Last Friday, 4-27-07, Put the water and all in it the same day. I used Natural Spring water. I got the Oscar on Sunday 4-29-07 Everything is new… I’ll keep a close eye on the ammonia level, make sure it doesn’t go up any higher. I’ll do a water change today, 25 to 30% like you said.. You are correct on the filter sizes.

I’m planning on getting a bigger tank in the near future!! What kind of filters do you prefer…
Thank for all your help!!!

Jerit - 25 - MO (USA)

As long as we have hope, we have direction, the energy to move and the map to move by, we have a hundred alternatives, a thousand paths, and an infinity of dreams.
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