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Setting up for an oscar

This is a discussion on Setting up for an oscar within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Angel079 I can only back up what's been said to you before: You need to PROPERLY cycle the tank before adding ...

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Setting up for an oscar
Old 11-19-2009, 08:45 AM   #11
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
I can only back up what's been said to you before: You need to PROPERLY cycle the tank before adding fish. And "tossing in some tetra's to test" is not a proper way to do it but rather cruel.
The reason everybody tell's you that the "3" oscar" will not work in your 55g is because IF this fish is kept PROPERLY w/out killing it the first few weeks, it will grow to a size of ~16".

The idea with the 20g: Adding the Oscar in it will surly eliminate the other 13+ fish and your Oscar will thank you for the good dinner. Also having it running for 3 mos is not what one would consider a established tank and with the oscar in it (and its waste) you'll be set on a good path to kill that tank too unless you do a LOT w/c and are having a heavilyyyyyy planted tank and even then because of the other fish being dinner I'd not recommend doing it.

What's wrong with the idea of teaching your daughter a proper tank care and set up and then when time is right get the fish with her? I'd hope she'd have more fun with that then getting a Oscar or 2 for Xmas and watch them die before New Years.
LOL! I was planning on adding a divider for the 20 Gal, and doing lots of water changes, IDK I am gonna go talk to my fish guy, see what he suggested, see if they can hold it till the tank is ready.
but like i said in my last post, 55 gal is the biggest I am willing to go, We don't have the room or the $$
with the cost of the extra filter I will need I have a budjet to stick too, I'm not gonna go and spend 500+ dollars on a $10 fish :P

Thanks

Don
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:50 AM   #12
 
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More power to you Don, we're all just trying to help you...and there's more & nicer options out there what you can do with a 55g then oscar (and cheaper too).
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:57 AM   #13
 
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More power to you Don, we're all just trying to help you...and there's more & nicer options out there what you can do with a 55g then oscar (and cheaper too).
I am very grateful for all the advice, If I wasn't a receptive person i wouldn't have posted for help :)
I will see what my fish guy says, if he is firm that 55 is to small, then we might need to go with something else, or nothing at all, I have a budjet, and I will not go over it, I have 2 other children to buy x-mas presents for, I am not blowing my whole budjet on one child..and this is somthing my daughter will have to understand, we don't always get what we want in life, *sigh* I know all to well
about that.

Again, thanks so much for all the input, and i will be re-reading all of it, before I commit to anything..
I will update as I know more.. I wanna keep you guys in the loop :) I have put my plans of a puffer
tank on hold for this so, I need to make it work some how..

Don
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:58 AM   #14
 
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The 55 gallon tank with filter rated for twice that, will house the young oscar for a while. A standard 55 gal tank is twelve inches from front to back, full grown oscars can reach twelve to eighteen inches with proper care. This would mean the oscar could not turn around in the tank without difficulty. Oscars grow quickly with proper care and the larger the tank,the esier it becomes to maintain the water quality as well as making the fish comfortable. Don't know what articles you have been reading but I have cared for several of these fish and as these fish grow(quickly), they eat more ,and produce more waist. This is why double the filtration is needed to help keep the toxins diluted between weekly 50 percent water changes.
Why do you see twelve inch Oscars in tanks too small? Same reason you see goldfish in bowls,Ignorance,, as to what is needed to care for a pet properly. If one is not prepared to provide for their pet, up to and including preparing it's enviornment so that the pet is not subjected to harm upon arriving at it's new home, then leave the fish at the fish store.
What usually happens with these particular fish is they are placed in small tanks which they quickly begin to outgrow if they don't become sick from toxins in water due to poor maint first. then the cuteness wears off after needed water changes become tiresome and people begin looking for someone to take the fish off their hands. not many ,have a tank capable of supporting an adult fish and so the fish is left to suffer a miserable existence until such time as it succumbs to disease.
fish is swimming in a enclosed box of water and often in it's own feces. water changes and massive filtration are the only way to keep the enviornment from deteriorating to the point that the fish becomes stressed and immune sytem begins to become compromised. The fish then becomes much more suceptible to disease. This particular fish is NOT in my view a suitable pet for a sixteen year old but rather a pet for seasoned hobbyist's who are keenly aware of the needs of these rather large members of the cichlid family.
You have an obligation as with all pets,to provide suitable care to ensure it's health. If you don't have the time,or the funds to do so,then leave the fish until you are able to.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:07 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by MrHumphries View Post
I understand what you are saying, I am going this morning to talk to my LFS guy, see what he says.
She has her heart set on a Oscar, shes wanted one for years, we just couldn't afford to get one for her till now, I want to do this right :) So other then space, the Bio-load is the big issue?, So if I was to get a filter with double the water turn, would that be enough?, I am not willing to go any higher then a 55 gal, we don't have the space for anything bigger, not to mention the $$.

Thanks

Don
Bio-Load is the much bigger issue IMO. Though I wouldn't recommend it you can certainly get away with a single oscar in a 55 gallon for a little bit. Remember the fish will most likely get between 12" and 14" long and the 55 gallon tank is only 12" wide.

Since you are most likely going to do this anyway this is the best chance for long term success:

1) Seed the tank with some gravel from your established tank's gravel bed.
2) Add a new filter pad to the existing tank without taking out the old one and let it run for a few days. Take the OLD pad from your existing tank and place it in your new tank's filter behind the pads that came with your filter.
3) Use a quality bacteria starter supplement. Though they are nowhere near as good as going through a proper cycle it will help a little.
4) Do twice weekly 30% water changes (and be prepared for more based on your water testing results). Treat water with Prime. Ensure that the changing water has a similar temp. and PH.
5) Invest in a good master test kit if you do not already have one and test the water daily.
6) Be prepared to invest in a larger tank (prefer 150 for a single or pair of oscars) or be prepared to rehome the fish when it starts approaching its larger size.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:16 AM   #16
 
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Don, she's old enough to understand that what you want (Oscar) and what they need (large tank & GOOD filtration) just doesn't work atm. Now to me as parent there'd be 2 options: Talk to her that you'll support her idea BUT she'll have to punch $ in for a proper housing OR (and that's the choice I'd try to lead my child to) explain her that you can get your hands on a 55g and that there's PLENTY of colorful cool looking fish out of which she can built a WHOLE community of different fish and that would be so much more interesting then Oscars.

After having set up many many tanks in my life, you can buy a used 55g, a ton of plants and gravel and bunch cool fish for under total of $250 (I think she'd like cichlids the best; browse here to see pictures Knowledge Base - Seriously Fish My favorite Caeruleus (Labidochromis caeruleus) - Seriously Fish)

This hobby does not have to be expensive nor a headache for anyone.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:20 AM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by NC Frank View Post
Bio-Load is the much bigger issue IMO. Though I wouldn't recommend it you can certainly get away with a single oscar in a 55 gallon for a little bit. Remember the fish will most likely get between 12" and 14" long and the 55 gallon tank is only 12" wide.

Since you are most likely going to do this anyway this is the best chance for long term success:

1) Seed the tank with some gravel from your established tank's gravel bed.
2) Add a new filter pad to the existing tank without taking out the old one and let it run for a few days. Take the OLD pad from your existing tank and place it in your new tank's filter behind the pads that came with your filter.
3) Use a quality bacteria starter supplement. Though they are nowhere near as good as going through a proper cycle it will help a little.
4) Do twice weekly 30% water changes (and be prepared for more based on your water testing results). Treat water with Prime. Ensure that the changing water has a similar temp. and PH.
5) Invest in a good master test kit if you do not already have one and test the water daily.
6) Be prepared to invest in a larger tank (prefer 150 for a single or pair of oscars) or be prepared to rehome the fish when it starts approaching its larger size.

Hope this helps.
Thanks,

I was thinking of doing most of these things :)

I will see what my LFS says, depending on how much stuff costs, I might be able to get a little bigger tank, but I am not doing 150 Gal :P, Iin no way does she have that kinda room LOL! And its not like I am not here to help with caring for him, So he will have a good start anyways, I just hope i can teach her enough so she can take over when she moves out, She is going to college next year, so she will prob have to leave him here, I just hope when he does get to be big, she can afford a bigger tank?.
Thats my biggest worry of all.

If she can't then he stays with me and I buy a bigger tank and set it up in my living room. :)

Thanks for all the advice guys, really means alot :)

Don
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:22 AM   #18
 
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Its a teenage gal....maybe explaining her this way will help, gals like horses... Let's say she wants a horse terribly badly but you like in a townhouse with a yard of less then 1/8 acre and she wants this nice large palomino horse, or better yet 2 of them so the 1 won't be lonely....Obviously you'd not do that neither for given reasons and tell her the day y'all move out to the country and have a house on several acres to house horses, until then she can't have a horse....know what I mean!? (Just trying to help ya here)
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:34 AM   #19
 
So,

I went out to my LFS, We walk throught the front door and there in front they have a 56 Gal tank with a steel stand for 100 Bucks its the taller square style 12 X12 I think, to me thats a sigh. So I bought it, and a also picked up two marineland 200 filters, I also picked up a jug of BIO Support. i am setting up the tank and will start running it now.

I am going back on sat to get a heater, Hood and light, I plan on using some of your advice, and adding
some of my change water from my 20 gal, along with some gravel and stones.. I plan on running it for a week, then do a test, according to my fish dude, That should be more then enough time to cycle.

I already told my teen, when she upgardes to a bigger tank, this tank will come back to me..:)

This is a really nice tank, I like it alot, and we saw the oscars, they are nice and bright.

I hope this puts some of you at ease? I think JACK (Oscar) will be very happy in this tank.

When I have it set up with water, i will snap a few pics.. It really is a nice tank. make's my little 20 look sooo small.

Don
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:13 PM   #20
 
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Looking forward to the pics. I can understand where your daughter's coming from as far as wanting an oscar. One of the first things I did when I turned 18 was to get my own place and I immediately set up a 100gl with two oscars. I just had to have them...Good luck with yours!

Last edited by aunt kymmie; 11-19-2009 at 02:14 PM.. Reason: typo
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