Baby Oscar

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tratyl created the topic: Baby Oscar

I'm new to the oscar world I had Pacu before. So I know about the tropical aquarium details.
My question is I have a baby oscar about 2". I cycled the tank all the readings are correct. But the little guy likes to stay hidden behind his log or even in it or resting on the gravel is this normal? He doesn't seem like he's swimming around much. I've checked his fins and their moving but slowly. I've only had him for 2 days and he hasn't eaten. I've put the food in and after 1/2 hour if he hasn't eaten I take the pellets out. He's been like this since I brought him home, is it possible I bought I ill fish? Any advice I would appreciate it! thanks
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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:Baby Oscar

Hi and welcome to the forum!

You've only had the Oscar for two days, so don't worry. How big is the aquarium? Is he the only inhabitant? Whats the temp of the water?

Oscars are notorious for laying around and often lay on the bottom at an angle like this looks >>> /
Mine sometimes outright play dead by sitting inside a clay tube cave motionless and sometimes don't even move their fins. They are often called River dogs for their eating and resting habits. Chances are good your fish is just being shy about his new environment and has found a favorite place to hang out which he will go back to time and time again to rest or if scared.

I wouldn't feed him at all unless he came up and was almost begging for the food. Trust me, when he's good and hungry he'll be swinmming back and forth at the front of the glass and near the top to get your attention to feed him. only feed what he immedietely eats and no more. If he's not begging to be fed, your food will only go to waste and help to contaminate the tank.

Good luck and let us know how he does!

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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tratyl replied the topic: Re:Baby Oscar

thanks.. for now he is in a 29 gallon tank when he gets bigger I plan on moving him to a 55 gallon. He is the only inhabitant. I read up on Oscars alot before I purchased him.. and I thought long and hard about it and decided since this is new to me I would only get one instead of endangering any fish of any type. The temp of the tank is between 78 and 80. So even when their this young they already know how to beg for the food?
I realize Nedgie (Oscar) likes to play dead.. I checked on him early this morning and he was swimming around alot and soon as I turned on the light he darted in the log and laid there and he still has yet to come out about one hour later.
When it comes to turning on the light for the tank should I break him into this a little at a time? One other question I have is should I leave the entire lid off, but that makes me nervous hearing how these fish like to jump I'm afraid he'll jump out when he gets hungry enough?
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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:Baby Oscar

He will quickly come to recognize you as his owner, and more important, his source for food. You can go through the motions of feeding, without actually dropping any food to entice him but YES he will be a natural beggar to be fed.

Oscars dont require much if any light and I myself have a two light strip that I removed one bulb from. They don't like blinding light but can and do tolerate moderate light. Unless you're hitting him with extremely bright light (like in some salt /reef tanks) then this should not be a big issue. Oscars are similar to people in that with a really dark envirronment will likely go rest and when the light is turned on (or in just ambient room light)will become active but may take a few moments to climb out of bed and get moving. Feed him only when he's active.

Oscars are jumpers and I would keep the lid on. Some people train their Oscars to jump for their food but in my opinion that leads to potential "jumping out". I'd rather my fish didn't jump at all yet they do, often banging their foreheads on the tank lid or filter overhang. Oscars will injure themselves often enough too because of this and with regular water changes and good clean environment will heal quickly enough with little other intervention.

Don't be too concerned about him hiding. Remember, he's only been in ther for 2 days and is really quite a baby at 2" long. PLUS he's alone by himself too. Fish usually overcome shyness or rather waryness when there are other fish around to gauge danger from. Being all alone, he has only himself to gauge what is going on and he is being overly cautious because of this.) Put your finger in the water to try to entice him (he may hear the dinner bell) but if he doesn't come out, don't feed him. he can go for days without eating but probably wont. Oscars do go on hunger strikes occasionally, not eating for days but a baby will probably feel the hunger pains sooner rather then later.

You should be feeding him (attempting)at least three times a day as Babies and mine are still being offered food three times daily at 4-5" but soon I will reduce that to twice a day. Be careful though because the Oscar will try to train YOU instead and would have you feeding him every time you enter the room if he can have it his way. Don't give into his begging antics though.

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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Chowder replied the topic: Re:Baby Oscar

Sounds familiar.

I'm a long time aquarist & first time Ocsar keeper. I just got my baby Oscar about three weeks ago and he hid & stuck close to the bottom for a couple days, too.

Three weeks later he thinks he owns the place and visibly gets excited to have company. Fun fish!

Oh...and the "grows like a weed" thing is true, too. Sheesh.
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OFL replied the topic: Re:Baby Oscar

Can you post water readings, ammonia, nitrite nitrate and pH. It is certainly possible that he is stressed and shy since he is on his own. Oscars are normally very enthusiastic for food, especially when they are babies or juveniles. If he doesn't start eating soon, I would suggest you take him back to the shop. Oscars that don't eat is not normal. From my experience, Oscars that go off their food for long periods of time normally have something seriously wrong with them. I'm not trying to frighten you, I'm just giving you the benefit of my experience.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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tratyl replied the topic: Re:Baby Oscar

My readings are 0ppm for Nitrite, Nitrate, and Ammonia the ph level is 6.8
He did watch me for awhile today and then after a few seconds of checking me out he went back under his log.
I'll try to do the finger in the water, and pretend feedings.
I read in some places your supposed to feed babies pellets, and other places I read their supposed to eat flakes.
I tried the pellets and nothing I did buy some Freeze dried bloodworms is it ok to try this?
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OFL replied the topic: Re:Baby Oscar

If you feed pellets, make sure they are very small. Flake is good for baby Oscars. Bloodworm is good, although I gave mine frozen bloodworm. Freeze dried is actually better, it's the next best thing to live food in my opinion. Whatever you give him, make sure it's very small. Although he will try and get as much into his mouth as possible, they do tend to gorge themselves to the extent that their mouths are so full, it can take them a long time to actually swallow everything.

How long have your nitrate levels been zero. Have you got any other fish? How big is your tank?

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OFL replied the topic: Re:Baby Oscar

It's okay, I've just seen another one of your posts so I know the answers to the questions I just asked. 29 gallons isn't big enough, I'll give you six months and then you definitely need to have the new one running. No more fish though

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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:Baby Oscar

I've seen "wood chippers" that actually make less of a mess then an Oscar does with freeze dried foods. (I feed mine freeze dried crickets and meal worms too) and the Oscars just seem to take it into their mouths, shed it to bits and pieces and eject it through their gills. I agree its good for them to eat etc but boy what a mess they can make of an aquarium in short order. Thats why you need LOTS of filtration for an Oscar tank. (In my tank, I turn the water over about 10 times an hour and even with a mess like they make, it clears in short order and still needs a vacuuming weekly too.):cheer:

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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