I need some help, dont want to kill my oscars

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willc86 created the topic: I need some help, dont want to kill my oscars

Hello, well this is the first time ever owning an oscar.


well, what i first did to set up my tank was, i added tap water then i added aqua safe and cycle, and some aquarium salt..

after adding the oscars, my tank got cloudy in 2 days. so i am guessing the cycle is happening now.

well, i found out there was a little bit of nitrate? or was it nitrite? well one of those; they were some in the water. the employees just told me to try and take out the excess food, and i did. she also told me to put in cycle.

my question now is, when should i do a water change? is it safe to add water now since my tank is cycling i guess? or don't touch the water at all? my tank is about 6 days old.

ph, also i found out my ph was 7.6, but i lowered it to 7.0 and my oscars are fine now and healthy. hungry freaks like always ha.

well i just dont know what to do next. should i wait like a month to do a water change so i dont interrupt the cycle? do i add more of the cycle chemical in like a few more days?

help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
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OFL replied the topic: Re:I need some help, dont want to kill my oscars

Unfortunately, you haven't quite gone about things in the way I would advise. However, don't worry, we'll try and get you back on track.

Firstly, I never recommend cycling the tank with the Oscars. Oscars can be susceptible to various illnesses such as hole in the head disease. One of the main factors of causing this disease is poor water conditions, which is what you will get during the cycling process. I would suggest that you get yourself something like prime, or stress zyme. When you start getting an ammonia reading, start using these products, they will detoxify the ammonia and nitrite. Now I've never used "cycle" before. I'm assuming that it does the same thing I've stress zyme? what you have got to remember is that it does not instantly cycle your tank. Only time will cycle your tank properly. Also, please don't mess around with your pH. You say you've lowered it to 7.0 from 7.6, the next time you do a water change, you'll probably find it goes back to 7.6 again because that is was obviously comes out of your tap. 7.6 is okay.

What you need to do now is start doing water tests every day, when you start seeing an ammonia reading, start doing a small water change every other day, around 25%. Basically, you're ammonia will go quite high, after a week or so, you should start seeing and nitrite reading. The ammonia will start dropping out and nitrite gets higher. The ammonia will reach zero and then the nitrite or follow some time after. You should then see a nitrate reading.

These products that you can get a site in your tank contained free swimming bacteria. As far as I know, they are not the same type of bacteria that you get in your biological filtration. This type of bacteria needs both the surface to live on, and oxygen, neither of which you will find in a closed bottle that may sit on the shelf for months on end. However, there is free swimming bacteria that can survive in these conditions. What happens is, these bacteria start consuming the ammonia and nitrite, that is why you get a nitrate reading quite quickly. You have to remember that you won't have an established biological filter at this stage. It will be several weeks before that builds up properly.

The reason your tank went cloudy was because you had a bacteria bloom. There wasn't enough bacteria in your filtration system to consume the ammonia that the fish were producing. Therefore, bacteria built up in the main tank water, that is what caused the cloudy water

Okay, this is information overload, I don't want to confuse you so I will leave that there for the moment

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delboybully replied the topic: Re:I need some help, dont want to kill my oscars

Ph of 7.6 is fine for oscars so dont bother messing with you Ph

As said test daily, do daily 25% water changes and eventually you nitrate will rise and your results for ammonia and nitrite will be zero. You can then ease up on the water changes and testing. Test once a week and start with 25% weekly water change. If your nitrate is above 40 before the water change you will need to up the amount or how often you change to water

Only feed what your oscars will eat in 2 or 3 mins, if they are less then 3 inches feed twice a day, if bigger they once a day. How big is your tank and how many oscars do you have

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willc86 replied the topic: Re:I need some help, dont want to kill my oscars

well, my tank is 50 gal. but they are little babies. when they get bigger, i am planning to switch them to a 150 or 200 gal


well, i checked my water and i have no trace of nothing. no ammonia nitrate. my water is perfectly fine, they said to me.


my tank is like a week and 2 days old. and my oscars seem pretty healthy. my tank is crystal clear. did i interrupt my cycle? or its fine now? should i change the water? or should i wait now?
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docryma replied the topic: Re:I need some help, dont want to kill my oscars

It takes anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to properly cycle a tank, and i'm speaking from personal experience. As the others have already stated that you should be monitoring your water qualities and doing water changes accordingly.

You will be getting your readings one after another. So be patient because they could end up happening anywhere from a few days to a week apart.

originally i added gold fish to my tank to get a jumpstart on my cycle. It worked great and at 16 cents a fish it didnt do my wallet any harm :woohoo: Once i started seeing a nitrate reading i decided to dump some oscars in. At this time my ammonia and nitrites were 0.

The most important peice of your tank (besides the glass) Is your biological filter. Do some reading around this website and on the forum and you will find everything you need to get your tank on track. Good luck.

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willc86 replied the topic: Re:I need some help, dont want to kill my oscars

ohh so when i get a nitrate reading thats when i put in my oscars or it is safe fr the oscars? can i also change water during this time?
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docryma replied the topic: Re:I need some help, dont want to kill my oscars

once you see a nitrate reading that will indicate that you have both beneficial types of bacteria living in your bio filter. The first type will convert your ammonia into nitrite and the second with convert the nitrite into nitrate.

At this time you can do a partial water change and add your oscars. In the mean time it probably wouldn't do any damage to do water changes if your ammonia levels climb. The key to this whole process is monitoring your water quality.

In order to keep your oscars healthy during this time i'd recommend water changes and minimal feeding, if not totally removing the o's from the tank until it is ready. Most people use different fish to cycle their tanks (like guppies and mollies) so that they don't risk the health of the best fish in the world lol. I'm biased :laugh:

Anyhow, please be patient waiting for your nitrate reading. Its going to take some time. Since you are already a week or so into it, you should only have to wait another month or so before the tank stabilizes.

I hope this has been some help to you.

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delboybully replied the topic: Re:I need some help, dont want to kill my oscars

Water changes will reduce the levels of ammonia and nitrite, the advantages of this is that your fish will be exposed to lower levels of them. Ths disadvantage is that it will take longer for your tank to cycle

There is another option and that is to get a product like stress zyme or ammo lock. This changes ammonia into ammonium. Ammonia is poisonous to fish, ammonium isnt or less so (so im told). The thing to remember when using these products is that you will get a reading for ammonia but it is actually the ammonium that is showing. After adding stress zyme or ammo lock dont do any water changes until your nitrate starts to rise and feed sparingly

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willc86 replied the topic: Re:I need some help, dont want to kill my oscars

so i am guessing i dont need any water changes yet. i dont really have any ammonia. i do have very very little nitrite. i removed some excess food, and i am starting to feed them a bit less.

so for now, i dont touch my water since i have no readings of ammonia and very low lvls of nitrite. till i get a nitrate reading, thats when i can do a water change. correct?
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willc86 replied the topic: Re:I need some help, dont want to kill my oscars

i just found out i have a bit of nitrate and nitrite, they told me to do a 25% water change and i should be set. Keep in mind, my tank is almost 2 weeks old
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