Originally Posted by joeyburger
Thank you again for all the responses. I have taken everything out of the tank, removed all gravel and water. I am going to use vinegar to clean tank because I am really scared to use bleach. Is there a special kind of vinegar that I am supposed to use... as well if I do get convinced (a special kind of bleach)?. Once I get this back up I am going to go and just start off with a few danios early on then introduce an Oscar and that might be my main focus.
When you clean everything with either vinegar or bleach and water mixture ,be sure and clean the filter as well ,and purchase new cartridges,pads,sponges or whatever kind of filter material the filter holds.
Rinse evrything three or four times and let dry completely before using it in the aquarium.
Three or four small danios will work to provide source of ammonia for the bacteria that is needed to feed on , but they would in my view,represent a small bioload and thus when placing much more than one or two small fish in your tank after the tank has (cycled) you would still see a rise in ammonia levels. Certainly an Oscar is capable of producing much more waste, (ammonia) than a small group of danios. This sudden increase in waste(ammonia) will need to be realized and water changes will be needed to keep levels at or very near zero assuming you want the fishes to remain healthy.
Water conditioner you use will be important and I would recommend PRIME or AMQUEL+ which is different than regular Amquel. You want a conditioner that clearly says on the bottle that it detoxifies or removes,Chlorine,chloramines,AND AMMONIA.
Were it me,(and it ain't) I would cycle the tank with two or three uncooked,raw,coctail shrimp. I would put them in the toe section of a pair of ladies nylons with a rock to hold it down ,and toss the nylon with shrimp,,into the aquarium and leave it for three weeks.Once each week,,I would change out 25 to 30 percent of the water just as you will need to do each week after fish are added.At the end of three weeks,,I would test the water with my test Kit (you do have test kit right?) and ammonia,and nitrites should read zero and you should see some measureable nitrAtes. I would test the water for a couple three days in a row ,to see that these numbers don't fluctuate. I would then perform a 50 percent water change using water conditioner's mentioned and slowly begin stocking my tank with fish two or three at a time with a week in between new additions of fish to allow the bacteria (good kind) to catch up.
No fish will have been harmed and the tank would have a healthy bacterial colony much more capable of adjusting to the addition of a large fish such as Blue Acara.
Have kept Oscars and when young,,they are much more trouble to keep in tanks less than 75 gal due to the amount of food needed and waste created. Once mature,, many will eat anything that swims and can fit in their mouth and they can reach twelve to fourteen inches with proper care and in my opinion would feel quite stressed in a 55 gal in the long term.Many folks say,,, I will get the Oscar a larger tank in a few months Blah,Blah,Blah but in reality,most don't. Is why you seldom see Adult Oscars,they usually die from disease related to poor water quality from being kept in tanks too small to allow water quality to be maintained at the levels needed to ensure the health of these fish. Hope some of this helps>