how long before i have to upgrade

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andyqban created the topic: how long before i have to upgrade

i have 4 oscars and 2 convicts in a 35 gallon. The oscars are between 2 and 3 inches and the convicts about 1 and 2. I didn't cycle the tank and they been there for 2 weeks so far they seem ok i spent about 70 us dollars on a filter the guy at the shop told me was good ......the water is a bit greenish not a lot mostly clear could be the reflection from the plastic plants..........they r eating well they seem to be happy..........can someone tell how long before i have to upgrade to a bigger tank and get rid of some fish
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OFL replied the topic: Re:how long before i have to upgrade

Well, if you want to keep four Oscars, you are going to need a 200+ gallon. Oscars grow extremely quickly. To cycle your tank probably will probably take a few weeks, over a month at least.. in around a month's time, probably less all your fish are going to be too big for your tank. So really, you should be thinking about the new tank now. If you can't go as high as 200 gallons, then you should think very carefully about your situation. I have to be honest with you, you should probably think about losing at least two Oscars and going for a 100+ gallon tank. You can then have a few of tankmates. If you try and keep two Oscars and anything less than 100 gallons, you may start having water quality problems once they reach adulthood

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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:how long before i have to upgrade

Not allowing proper time to cycle the tank first will probably weed out your fish population anyway. The first two weeks are nothing as the water stays pretty healthy in this period. It's the next few weeks or month you have to be concerned about. Best bet is not to do any water changes now for at least another month as that will only delay the cycle process longer. After two full months go by, you will see who survived and who didn't but I fully agree you are grossly overstocked for your current sized aquarium. Get a much bigger tank and set it up. Then after the current tank cycles completely and the water clears up nicely, then transfer some of your current water as well as some current gravel into the new bigger tank and let that cycle for 3-4 weeks minimum before putting the same fist through another stressful period.

I myself recently tried using that BioSpira product that is supposed to allow for immediete fish placement and in my experience, it isnt worth ten cents much less the big money thay charge for it. My fish all were stressed and many died anyway as the tank took its time to cycle as it normally would. I learned a lesson from that and that is you cant fool mother nature. She takes her course and does things in her own time. I hear that Oscars are quite hardy fish but putting any fish into an uncycled tank is a recipe for a fair percentage of fish loss. Don't wait, go get that much bigger tank now and get it set up over the next few weeks and be sure to let it completely cycle out before moving your fish over. Good luck with it...

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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andyqban replied the topic: Re:how long before i have to upgrade

my ph is 7.6 and the nitrate about 200 any suggestions
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OFL replied the topic: Re:how long before i have to upgrade

andyqban wrote:

my ph is 7.6 and the nitrate about 200 any suggestions


:ohmy: your nitrate is 200? That is seriously high. Or did you mean 20? If your nitrate level is indeed 200, your fish will be feeling extremely unwell with nitrate levels this high. They will be extremely distressed and we will be opening them up to diseases. I would suggest you do a three-quarter water change. When was the last time we did water change?

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andyqban replied the topic: Re:how long before i have to upgrade

i did an water change last night about 75% and used some cycle from nutrafin and the nitrate levels droped..........one thing i don't get how can my nitrate levels be so high if the tank has only been there for 3 weeks not fully cycle.......i took the 2 convicts out 2 days ago and now my oscars seem to be breathing hard and don't have the same apetite they had before ...........thanks for all the help
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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:how long before i have to upgrade

It's a "Catch 22" situation. You have an UNCYCLED Tank there and now you are stuck between doing water changes to save your fish, but that will definitely prolong the time it takes to cycle out your tank. In fact, it may take forever to completely cycle it if you are doing massive water changes. Your other choice is not to change the water and let the cycle run it's course. Certainly your fish are not is a good situation either way as they require a biologically stabile environment.

If your tank is fairly new, you might consider going down to your local pet shop and purchasing a couple of handfulls of gravel from one of their established tanks. You can bring it home in a clean pail with a litle water on it from those tanks and place the gravel into a stocking or pantyhose etc. and put it into your tank. That will help your cycle to get going in the right direction and after a month or two you can simply pull the stocking out and toss away the gravel if you don't want it. Either way, your fish are going to be for a rough time as levels spike back and forth.
Hope things dont go too badly for them (and you).... :whistle:

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:how long before i have to upgrade

The fact that nitrates are present indicates that bacteria is present in the filter. Have you got all the test kits, ammonia/nitrites/nitrate (I know you've got nitrate)

Can you test your ammonia and nitrite again and post results. When you say that your tank has been there for three weeks, do you mean that this is when you filled it with water and put the fish in for the first time?

I can see how your tank could have cycled that quickly. There was probably a lot of ammonia produced since you have too many fish, so bacteria built up a lot quicker. Normally when you cycle with fish, the cycle takes a long time because you can't have too much ammonia present because of the fish. Because there isn't that much ammonia present, the bacteria takes a long time to develop. I'm just surprised all your fish didn't die.

The only problem you may have is ill-health in your fish in the future. Lots of people cycle with fish and they are okay. Then they start dying later one. This isn't surprising, during the cycle period, fish will have been poisoned quite a lot which isn't going to do their immune system any good.

Let us keep our fingers crossed that everything goes okay.

I can't reiterate how important tank sizes with Oscars. They must have large tanks, if they don't, problems will arise.

.

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c_etude replied the topic: Re:how long before i have to upgrade

Actually, you can get the bacteria to grow faster--keep the water about 82 degrees and if you have the heater NEAR the over the tank biological filtration system, it will grow pretty rapidly...add some fish food in there (even without fish), just a little.

Then stir in some biological bacteria (store bought). I would say your tank should be ready in about a week or so.

Of course a quicker way is to use a filter already rich with bacterial broth transferring it to the new tank (with totally declorinated/de-ammonia water). Add some food in the tank (not too much).

My oscar grew HUGE within one year. Four fish will require 200 gallons. ONE fish requires-bare minimum-75 gallons though some say 55 gallons, but my previous oscar was about 14" inches and she hit herself quite frequently, including chunks of flesh in the water, which caused an infection and she died.

I have a new 1" oscar and it's going to go in a 75 (or 125 gallon tank). Because it will be huge in a year.

It's now in a 55 gallon tank, thinking itself in an ocean (looks funny a single ONE INCH baby oscar in that big tank LOL). I'll be using that water and the filters to tranplant to the new tank so cycling should be no problem.
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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:how long before i have to upgrade

I once tried the store bought high priced (VERY high priced) Bio Spira made by Marineland and it didn't work. Oh it clouds your tank with a mysterious solution but it had no real positive effect. My tank still took the normal 4-6 weeks to completely cycle (and I lost fish along the way too) I wouldn't ever use it or recommend it ever again. You cant fool mother nature, she's got to run her course. Seed your tank with established gravel or an establised filter and do raise the temperature a few degrees higher then normal but DON'T waste your money on that high priced refrigerated mystery solution. IMO

Ken in NJ

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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