Oscar Tank Issues;

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

Just a note about Filters.

You said you have one Aqua-Tech 30-60 Power filter, and just put in another Aqua-Tech 5-15 Power filter.

So, adding them together you have filtration (by manufacturers ratings) of 35 to 75 gallons. However, those ratings are always high from the manufacturer, so consider the lower numbers to be more accurate. Thus, you have filtration rated for closer to a 35 gallon aquarium currently trying to keep a 55 gallon tank clean. Now factor in an Oscar fish which is very dirty and my final opinion is you don't nearly have enough filtration.

I have a 75 gallon aquarium and currently have filtration rated for 600 Gallons per hour on it and that may not be enough once I add the Oscar fish in. I may supplement that with a cannister filter too.

Don't be afraid to put filtration on your tank rated for 4-6 times the size of the aquarium. For a 55, I'd be looking for something rated for about 200-250 GPH bare minimum or more. If you like "hang on" type filters, that will work but you should consider something like Marinelands Bio-Wheel 280 or better yet, the 400 model. Take a look, even the seller here says the Bio Wheel 280 (280 GPH) is only good for up to a 50 gallon tank and the 400 model (400GPH) is only good for an 80 gallon tank, and that is the upper maximum recommendations too.

See this link:
www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=14448&N=2004+22769

I feel you are really very much under filtered there and that is in addition to other problems of having an "uncycled" aquarium too.

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

Jerit wrote:

I’m a rookie!! 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.


Jerit,
Thats a "Catch 22" situation for you with no easy way out. You see, you have an "uncycled aquarium" and having ammonia levels rise is a part of the process to make the tank cycle. So, by doing water changes (to keep ammonia levels down) as you suggested will temporarily prolong your fishes life, but prolongs greatly the time it takes to cycle the tank. The norm is about 5-6 weeks to cycle an aquarium but doing frequent water changes often could drag that out to many months, not just weeks. Ammonia needs to spike in order to convert to nitrites and finally completes when those nitrites convert to nitrate.
No matter what, your fish will be exposed to low levels of ammonia (not good) because as he poops and as you feed him, that just naturally happens. That will eventually result in slow ammonia poisoning (death)as the toxins build up in the fish anyway. Even with doing frequent water changes, the ammonia will always be right around the corner.

I wish there was an easy answer about all this, but there isn't. It's a learning lesson that all aquarist face and must learn and I dare say this is probably the biggest reason new aquarists get out of the hobby. (Because they don't understand the "cycle" process and they can't understand why all their fish always die.)

P.S. is there good news here?? You Betcha'
You don't have to be one of those aquarists who lose fish and quit the hobby. Use this experience as a learning experience and move on. Beginning aquarists always experience some fish loss but if you learn from it you are so much furhter ahead of the game. You are in the right forum and you are asking questions so that is all good. If you lose your fish, then stop doing water changes altogether and let the tank finish cycling and dont add another fish until you have nitrate reading but no readings for both ammonia and nitrites. It's hard to look at an empty aquarium I know, but its harder to look at and try to explain dead fish.

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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OFL replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

I think the filtration for your tank is okay if you were keeping fish that weren't too messy. However, even though your Oscar is fairly small, you may have noticed just how messy he is. The fact that you are cleaning your filtration every day indicates that you haven't got enough. I always recommend having more filtration than you actually need. They always say that you can never too much filtration when keeping Oscars. That is actually a statement that is so true. You have 55 gallons, that is about the minimum for one adult Oscar. Having said that, I go by UK gallons which is slightly more than US gallons.

If I was you, I would look out for an external canister filter. You should be up to get one at a very reasonable price. Two companies that I would recommend Fluval and Eheim. Have a look on a links page, there is a link to both companies there. If you get a nice beefy filter, you shouldn't have a problem with it getting dirty too quickly.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

Oscarfishlover wrote:

I think the filtration for your tank is okay if you were keeping fish that weren't too messy


Agreed..
For smaller fish or live bearers etc, sure.
But not adequate for anything more then a baby Oscar.
In a scant few months, he'll be taxing the current filtration without a doubt.

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;

Very Cool, I see.. Well, I guess I’ll just have to let nature take its course. I’m going to keep doing the water changes, because I don’t have anywhere else to put him for now.. I’m going to start looking for a bigger tank, and I’ll get some better filters!! I’ll try to keep “Dirty Harry” (That’s the name I’m giving “It” for now, if I find out later on that its a female, than I’ll just change it to “Dirty Harriet”) alive for now till I can get a bigger tank, then I’ll set it up, let it cycle, then put Dirty Harry in the bigger tank, and keep this tank for bait.

Thanks for all the help!! I’m learning as I go.. :laugh:

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

Jerit,

I added a PS to my post below. Check it out..

real reason for this post?
WHO can we credit for your signature line? Who said that. It's good!

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;

Actually… I’m really not sure who wrote that signature .. I read that in a book or magazine a long time ago, and the artist was unknown. It just got stuck in my head, So I guess we’ll never know…

I’m not giving up that easily… Just wish I could for once, find a hobby that wasn’t so $$$$, but oh well.. I guess that’s why they call them hobbies, Thanks again!!

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

Jerit wrote:

Just wish I could for once, find a hobby that wasn’t so $$$$, but oh well.. I guess that’s why they call them hobbies, Thanks again!!


Trust me, That's a MALE thing...
(Just ask my Wife) :woohoo:

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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casprsoscars replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

Hello Jerit,
I think it may have something to do with the tank not being cycled. I remember when I got my tank (about 2 yrs ago) I had an awful time with cloudy water. I did the same thing, bought the tank, set it up and threw some fish in the next day. I used to get so mad, I'd change the water about every week. Kept doing this for about 6 months,spent a bunch of money on filter cartriges and the fish kept dying, it was tradgic. I was about to give up, and go get me a hermit crab or an iguana or somethin that didn't require water. I thought to myself what could I be doing wrong so I turned the light off and kept it off just to see what would happen. SHAZZAM!!! no more cloudy water. now I don't know if the light being on had anything to do with it or it just may have taken that long to cycle, me changing the filters all the time. I'm no expert by anymeans, However it may work,stop changing the filters so much and turn the light off.

Think I may be onto something Penn?
What do you think Jake?

Christopher, 43, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Jerit replied the topic: Re:Oscar Tank Issues;

Casprsoscars;

Yea I’m pretty sure your right on my tank not being cycled!! But as far as the light goes… I don’t have the light on too often at all. In a day’s time (24 hr. period) I might have the light on for 10 to 20 minuets, tops. I just turn it on long enough to feed him, then I turn it back off… I’m keeping a close eye on the ammonia levels, the highest that I got yesterday was .25, and I checked it this afternoon, and it was still .25. I’m going to do another water change this evening… I’m still looking for another (bigger) tank.. I live out here in Podunk Egypt… not a lot of access to stuff, I’ll have to drive about 2 hours this weekend to the nearest big pet store, like petsmart.. or someplace, and hopefully they will carry a big enough tank!! So I get to start the whole tank cycling all over again, but atleast I’ll do it the right way this time!!! I sure wish I would have read alittle more before going out and getting the tank, and the fish the following day.. It would have made things a lot easier!! For the simple fact, I’m thinking that the tank not being cycled is going to be the least of my worries here before long… when I’ve got to start dealing with the after math of the high Ammonia levels.. But like the ol’ saying goes… live and learn :P

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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