What is this?!

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altersage created the topic: What is this?!

Hi, everyone. :) I am a newbie to the world of Oscars.

Recently I have taken over an aquarium from friends who left for London. I now have two beautiful and big Oscars. I've spent some time on forums since we got them, but now I have a dilemma.

The male Oscar has developed a funny growth on its head, and I desperately need help to a) figure out what it is and b) how to fix it! He likes to chase the Placostomous around and originally it seemed that he had just cut himself on one of the rocks whilst chasing the Placostomous. But by the next day it had worsened a lot. The abrasion was doubled in size and had a funny fungal outgrowth sticking on it.

I researched quite a bit and the closest thing that I could find that it must be HITH with an additional fungal infection. It looks nasty and even after treatment it seems to be getting worse and not better!
I think I’ve run through all the advice: water changes, monitoring, etc but he’s not getting better.

For the sake of being thorough, I’ve included the what, when and how’s from the day that we noticed this sore, and I’ve included some pics of when it started vs today.

I would really appreciate if anyone could give me advice as to how I could be treating him better, or what else I could do to boost the healing process as I am fairly panicked at this point!

Thanks so much, Christine

1. Wednesday 30th May noticed abrasion on the Oscar’s head
2. He had also stopped eating
3. By Thursday it was doubled in size with a white fungal outgrowth covering it
4. We did ample research and suspected that its HITH disease
5. Started treating the tank with Myxazin – but had not removed the Carbon (as we only learned of this later)
6. On Friday, changed the water & removed the carbon ball - 100% water change
a. Treated the sick oscar separately with a dose of Myxazin
7. Saturday, 20% water change and added
a. Treated the fish’s wound with Mercurochrome (as advised by fish shop worker)
b. Added the following to the tank:
i. Nutrifin Aqua Plus - added 50ml for 340l tank (main + sump)
ii. Nutrifin Cycle - added 50ml for 340l tank
c. He is now also breathing hard, but not staying at the bottom of the tank – he is still swimming around
8. Sunday,
a. 20% water change
b. Added Hole-N-Head Guard (jungle product) to the water
c. He is now also breathing hard (since Saturday), but not staying at the bottom of the tank – he is swimming around at the top – but his stomach also looks a little bloated, but he has not eaten since Wednesday
9. It is now Monday the 4th June, 5 days later
a. The wound has not healed, but gotten bigger
b. He appears to have more lesions on his mouth and on his dorsal fins
c. We’ve added 20ml myazin out of pure panic today, as it seemed like the Hole-in-Head product was not working
d. He is now also breathing hard (since Saturday), but not staying at the bottom of the tank – he is swimming around at the top – the female has become quite protective of him
e. Both also seem very stressed from all the attention

Beginning


today:
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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:What is this?!

If it apapeared all of a sudden as you say, it is not H.I.T.H.

It sounds like he wounded himself and now has a fungal problem.
Can you please post much larger photos?? go to www.photobucket.com where you can upload photos free up to 1024 X 768 pixels, then post the links here using the IMG tab when posting.

Sounds like you put an awfull lot of different things in the tank and will need to re-read your post a few times but photos would help immensely.

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:What is this?!

It does look like hole in the head with some kind of secondary infection setting in.

Have you been doing regular water changes, what are the readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

I think your fish is in quite a bad way. Swelling up is not a good sign at all, going off their food is quite normal for fish that are ill. As for breathing heavily, is your tank being oxygenated properly? If it is, I have to say that I don't think there is much you can do. You could approach a qualified vet and see what he has to say. It looks like you've tried everything though. I have had various Oscars that go off their food and breathe heavily, they very rarely survive unfortunately. I think that a bacterial infection has spread internally. This can often happen when they get them on the outside of their body.

Apart from suggesting that you look at the treatment and medication page on this website, I really think you should seek professional help because you Oscar is extremely ill. I don't think off-the-shelf medication is going to help at the moment. I could be wrong, there might be a simple solution. Maybe somebody else will come up with an idea for you. Just keep doing water changes every other day. Test the water and post some result for us.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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OFL replied the topic: Re:What is this?!

Sorry, I must have missed your comment about it appearing overnight. I agree, hole in the head as he is doesn't appear that quickly. Oscars often cause themselves really nasty injuries, especially if you've got rocks or hard things in the tank.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:What is this?!

altersage wrote:

originally it seemed that he had just cut himself on one of the rocks whilst chasing the Placostomous. But by the next day it had worsened a lot. The abrasion was doubled in size and had a funny fungal outgrowth sticking on it.


Sounds like it was not there one day, and there the next? then worsened a day later?? Can she please clarify if there was anything before this period of time?

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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Jaysen_sd replied the topic: Re:What is this?!

With as far as that gill looks like it is eroded away. I would have to say that it did not happen over night. But definitely need readings for ammonia, nitrITE and nitrATE, for with all those meds, not doing the research myself, but some medications will nuke your biological filtration. Which in itself could be providing more stress to the fish with the tank cycling....Get the readings so we can tell if your tank is in the process of cycling again, and we may be able to provide you some direction in where you need to go.
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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:What is this?!

You're absolutely right about that. I didn't notice the gills but that fish is in dire condition (life threatening). And you are correct that the Bio filter may have been destroyed too further adding to this poor fishes problem. I doubt he's going to recover actually yet I hope I am wrong.

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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  • altersage
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altersage replied the topic: Re:What is this?!

Hi everyone,
Within 4 hours of that last pic, the O was in really bad shape. It looked like what I can only describe as some kind of "flesh eating disease" so I decided to call out a pro.

He double checked the water readings which were all balanced. He did find slight traces of acidity though, but still within an allowable measure.

His diagnosis was very similar to OscarFishLover's. His opinion was that did not think it was HITH at all, but a fungal infection that set in on an abrasion, from not being 100% physically, probably caused by stress during the transit from our friends place to ours about two months ago. He also said that he'd never seen something quite like it..

The prognosis was not good at all in fact, and he did not give him more than 24 hours - but I really am hoping for a miracle here!

He took the O with him to treat him in his aquarium, and our female is noticebly quite concerned and upset with him not being in the tank...She spent most of the first hour just chasing the Placky around tank and taking her frustration out on him.

My fingers are crossed for good news..
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OFL replied the topic: Re:What is this?!

I really hope the vet can do something for your Oscar. I think you have done the right thing by going to a professional. Most of us on here are only hobbyists so I don't have any professional training whatsoever, we can only give you advice on our own experience. Unfortunately I've been in your position various times. I have come to the conclusion that the Oscarfish isn't quite as hardy as what people make out. I have had more problems with Oscars than any other fish, put it that way.

Fingers are crossed for you

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