3 wks without eating

  • HeatherJ
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HeatherJ created the topic: 3 wks without eating

I've had my oscar for almost 15 yrs. He is my work buddy. In the past weeks he's gotten tail rot, pop eye and swim bladder disease. He's swimming normally now, pop eye seems to be getting better and tail rot/fungus is gone. He has not eaten, from what I can see or gone #2 for all of this time. I tried crickets, beef heart and no luck. I've never checked the water in all these years and finally did. Ph comes up around 7.6 mark, ammonia strip showed safe. I did a gradual water change last week and added a water conditioner. I treated the fungus and pop eye 2 wks. ago and had carbon filters removed. This week I put the carbon filters back. I have the sponge type filter and changed one the first week and the second last week. I have a 55 gallon tank and 2 filters. I've vacuumed the gravel. No other fish in tank. I noticed he had a couple holes in his one gill, but they are healing. I had the temp. around 80, but then because he seems to be constantly gasping for air, I turned it down this week to 76. Maybe it's just his time to go, but I know he's a fighter. I really wish I could make him better. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Oh and when I tested my well water, the levels were perfect, as soon as I'd add new water to my tank, wait a few minutes and test it, the nitrate/nitrate levels (can't remember which)were at unsafe levels. I ran out of those test strips and just started testing for ammonia.
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RIFF-RAFF replied the topic: Re: 3 wks without eating

It sounds like it could be his time to go but you can never tell.
Oscars can go for weeks at a time without eating. All i can suggest is keep trying to feed him with his favourite foods.
Someone else may have another idea mind you.
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Miss Nicki replied the topic: Re: 3 wks without eating

Hi Heather and Welcome...

15yrs is a hell of an accomplishment! Well done..

The meds are likely the cause of the lack of apatite...
When medicating a tank, fish often wont eat..

If possible can you get the water readings from a Liquid test kit???
Strips are often unreliable, and exact numbers would help us a great deal..

For now, I would do 50% water changes every two days, and for about the next 2 weeks...
This will help remove the medication, and also help with the healing issues...

Please keep us posted...
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  • HeatherJ
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HeatherJ replied the topic: Re: 3 wks without eating

Thanks so much for the info.!!! I'll start the water change now and get the liquid test kit today. Be in touch :)
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HeatherJ replied the topic: Re: 3 wks without eating

Test results:

So it doesn't look good.

Nitrate:color looks between 80-160 ppm
Nitrite: 5.0 ppm
Ammonia: 8.0 ppm
Ph:7.6

Now what????? :(

PS My water is VERY cloudy today, also. I did the 50% water change Friday.
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JasonR replied the topic: Re: 3 wks without eating

Yeah your results are very concerning. You NEED to be doing 50% w.c.'s every 2 days and conditioning the water with Seachem Prime. Keep testing throughout cuz we need to get the ammonia and nitrite down to zero and nitrates less than 20ppm. What filtration are you running specifically as I suspect you are underfiltered...?
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HeatherJ replied the topic: Re: 3 wks without eating

I use the Aqua Clear multi stage filtration system. Have one pump for 70 gallons and another for 20 gallons. Just did a 50% water change. When should I check the levels again? I use aqueon water conditioner. Thanks :)
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OFL replied the topic: Re: 3 wks without eating

15 years is very old for an Oscar so it is definitely coming to the end of its life so I wouldn't be surprised if it starts getting ill.

Your water conditions are absolutely dire, an ammonia of 8 ppm coupled with 5 ppm of nitrite is very serious indeed. Are you absolutely sure that you are testing properly? If you are not using a conditioner to detoxify the ammonia and nitrite then I am very surprised your fish are still alive. I would definitely recommend getting yourself some Prime which will not only act as a water conditioner, but will also make safe ammonia and nitrite. There must be a reason why your water conditions are completely off the scale, have you done anything differently like turn your filters off for time? May be you have clean your filters at some stage? Is this the case?

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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HeatherJ replied the topic: Re: 3 wks without eating

Well, we did have flooding and a power outage for a week...probably a month ago. Things did seem to go downhill from there, now that I think of it. I did change the sponge filters after the pet store told me I should not have. That was 3 weeks or so ago. They said I sterilized the tank? Prime....I'll pick some up today. I changed 50% of the water. I'm going to test again, just to make sure I didn't make a mistake. Thanks!!!!!!!
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JasonR replied the topic: Re: 3 wks without eating

HeatherJ wrote: Well, we did have flooding and a power outage for a week...probably a month ago. Things did seem to go downhill from there, now that I think of it. I did change the sponge filters after the pet store told me I should not have. That was 3 weeks or so ago. They said I sterilized the tank? Prime....I'll pick some up today. I changed 50% of the water. I'm going to test again, just to make sure I didn't make a mistake. Thanks!!!!!!!


That explains it then. You've lost your Beneficial bacteria colony and it's trying to re-establish itself. All you can do is keep up the every other day water changes and use prime until your filters are fully cycled again. Minimize feeding to once every other day and gravel vac with each w.c. to get any waste out. I suspect you have some bacterial colony due to the presence of nitrates, but it's not yet fully established. Your target values will be:

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: Less than 20ppm

Read this article which explains Cycling and beneficial bacteria if you're unfamiliar with this: www.oscarfishlover.com/helpful-articles/cycling-an-aquarium

You will know you tank is cycled again once you get to this point. I wonder what was your waterchange schedule prior to all this happening (how much & how often)?
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