2 Oscars in 40 gallon...moving to 125 gallon.

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06450F created the topic: 2 Oscars in 40 gallon...moving to 125 gallon.

Okay I have a couple questions some you more "expert" to Oscars and fish might be able to help me out with. Ill start wtih the basic backgroun info.

Currently i have two Oacars well under 3" long each. They are housed in a 40 gallon long tank. They have been in the tank for a few weeks now and have just become settled in and swim around freely and seem content with it has "home". They appear to have lots of room and from my tests of the water are not polluting the water the least bit. I feed them mini pellets 2-3 times per day and they eat them all. This tank is in my office at work.

I just purchased a 125 gallon tank and all the accessories needed for it. (Great deal i might add at $300 US).

In any event my plan is to house the Oscars in the 40 gallon and when it is time move them to the 125 gallon. At this point i will purchase about 4 Ciclids or so to place in the 40 gallon in my office and the 125 with the larger Oscars will be at home.

Now for my questions.

I know the move to the large tank for the Oscars the sooner the better is prob best. But......how large can I grow the Oscars in the 40 gallon until making the move to the bigger tank? My "guess" was until each Oscar is about 4-4.5" long. Say at the average rate of grown......maybe 4 months, maybe 5 at max.

Next question. The 125 will be the final home for them. Is this tank large enough that i could add another compatible fish of some sort.....maybe a clown loach or a Pleco or something? Maybe even a south american Ciclid of some sort?

Im excited to have the large tank, but currently the fish are so tiny even in the 40 gallon that it would be hard to even find them in the 125. Plus a few months down the road is just better timing for set up.
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OFL replied the topic: Re:2 Oscars in 40 gallon...moving to 125 gallon.

Congratulations on the 125 gallon tank. Okay, I think when the fish are around four or 5 inches, you really should start thinking about moving them. The best thing you can do is just keep an eye on the water. If ammonia and nitrite stay at Zero, and your nitrates don't get out of hand, then your water conditions will be stable. In other words, you won't have anything to worry about. However, once the fish start getting very big, you might start having problems then.

As for tankmates, clown Loach like to being groups. Keeping one could be stressful for it. There are quite a lot of cichlids out there that would be okay. I have got one called a false jade eyed Cichlid. I also thought it was a normal jade eyed cichlids until I looked up in my South American cichlids book. Anyway, one of these fish would be perfect. They only reach about 5 inches and can really look after themselves. I think a normal jade eyed cichlids would be just as good. Remember that these come from Central America so if you are looking for a South American theme, you'll have to look at other fish. However, I don't think you're bothered really. Pleco are quite common, plenty of people have got them. However, a lot of the shops sell the ones that get very big. People get them to clean their tank. The problem is, some of these fish are incredibly messy so it defeats the object of having one to clean up the algae. You could try one of the smaller species only grows to around 8 inches, some of them are absolutely stunning, lovely vibrant colours. Mind you, they come at a price. Anyway, I'm sure other people have some more advice for you

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06450F replied the topic: Re:2 Oscars in 40 gallon...moving to 125 gallon.

Good deal, thanks for the input.

I do need to buy my own water testing kit and learn to do it myself. I had a friend do it the last couple checks.


With these two "mini" 2.5 inch Oscars in that 40 gallon how often do you guys think i should do water changes? I feed them mini-pellets a couple times daily. Tank appears super clean and its been a couple weeks.

Yes i plan to stick with the South American theme. I was told the African and SA fish require a different PH??? Not sure how true that is. But i would like to keep all South American anyhow.

Ill wait until the Oscars are 4" that should buy me a couple months i guess.
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OFL replied the topic: Re:2 Oscars in 40 gallon...moving to 125 gallon.

06450F wrote:

With these two "mini" 2.5 inch Oscars in that 40 gallon how often do you guys think i should do water changes?

I was told the African and SA fish require a different PH??? Not sure how true that is. .


The best thing to do is to carry out a water change and then do water test intermittently over the following few days. Your ammonia and nitrite should be zero. It's your nitrate that you will be keeping an eye on. If you get to the end of the week and it hasn't risen any higher than 40 ppm then a weekly water change of around 30% would suffice. If your nitrate levels are above 40 ppm, then I would carry out a couple of 25% water changes twice a week. If you would prefer to keep your nitrate levels that 20 ppm and no higher, then work by those readings. There is a lot of scaremongering on forums where people insist that the nitrate levels must not rise above 20 ppm because it's dangerous to your fish. It is in my opinion that this information is misleading. If you are dealing with delicate fish, then I would agree with that to a certain extent. However, Oscars are quite hardy and are not going to turn belly up if your nitrate levels rise above 20 ppm.

As for the PH, Malawi cichlids prefer a ph that is quite high, whereas Oscars live in an area where PH is a lot lower than the African cichlids. However, Oscars are okay with a ph between 6.0 & 8.0. Having never kept African cichlids, I'm sure that some people on here will give you more information.

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Verse34K replied the topic: Re:2 Oscars in 40 gallon...moving to 125 gallon.

Yes, Africans prefer a high ph of around 8.0 or higher, which is where I keep mine. I wrote a thread about africans and oscars in the african cichlid section for info on compatibility. I keep my O with a variety of cichlids from Central American and South America. The ph is 7.5, so it is suitable for both the oscars, and the cichlids. I keep jack dempsey cichlids with are very pretty fish, showing vibrant colors, and are certainly capable of defending them-selves from a big O. In fact, I just bought another Jack Dempsey the other day. Other cichlids suitable include texas cichlids, fire-mouths and convicts. Texas cichlids look like JD's but get a little bigger and are gray and silver instead of green and blue.

As for plecos, they get BIG, as OFL mentioned, I have one that is two feet as of now. Bristlenose plecos may work though, they clean-up algae very well and stay around 6 inches. Your oscars are small at the moments, so you may be safe with getting a small BN and growing it out. I remember when I had a BN plecos it kept the algae way down, really good.

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06450F replied the topic: Re:2 Oscars in 40 gallon...moving to 125 gallon.

Well while my fish are in the small tank I am going to pefect my testing methods and learn the ins and outs of water control and maint.

Thanks for all the input on other fish...i need as much of this as i can get. I do want some other fish in with my Oscars in the 125,.......honestly i want the max number i can safely and healthy have in the tank so it will be interesting and fun to observe.

My gut is telling me that the 2 Oscars and two other fish that top out in the 4-6" range would be more than enough......so maybe a pair of some other sort of fish. I like the Jack Demsey.....but man so many tell me they are too mean.
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OFL replied the topic: Re:2 Oscars in 40 gallon...moving to 125 gallon.

Before you start adding lots of fish, take a very good look at your filtration. 125 gallons may seem like a big tank, believe me you can soon overload it before you know where you are. If you are going to heavily stock it, you need good filtration. In fact, you would be wise to double the filtration. I know that might seem excessive having all this filtration. But you have to take into account of all the waste that will be produced. That extra filtration will make all the difference.

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Verse34K replied the topic: Re:2 Oscars in 40 gallon...moving to 125 gallon.

All fish are different. One Jack may beat the crap out your oscars, one may not. You've just gotta see the different temperament of each fish. I have two Jack Demoseys, one if VERY aggressive(named jackie) and the other is quite mild, despite of his size.
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06450F replied the topic: Re:2 Oscars in 40 gallon...moving to 125 gallon.

Well i do have two undergravel filters and one regular filter for the tank.

Honestly i would like to add some fish that are not aggressive but that will not get beat to shit by my Oscars. Some other Ciclids of some sort.

I know they are not SA but the yellow Labs, I love those and the other Cichlid that is a bit longer in shape and blue with some black stripes.......cant think of the name of that one.

But would my Oscars do okay with a yellow lab?
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Verse34K replied the topic: Re:2 Oscars in 40 gallon...moving to 125 gallon.

Like I said, it all depends on the specific temperament of the fish. I think your average yellow lab would be fine, I used to have one in my African tank. Note that you will have to make sure they ph is 7.5 - 8.5 and they're are no plants. Add some rocks if you don't have any already for them, too. Personally, I'm not as fond of yellow labs as I am of Jack Dempseys and Texas cichlids, (and oscars or course) and in a 125 gallon tank a Jack Dempsey or a Texas would be fine. The yellow labs I used to have were rescue fish, so I'm not a hyporcrit;)

But whatever you like. By the way, what kind of filter do you have? Whisper? Eheim?
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