Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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oscarman 02-29-2008 09:10 PM

help, my tank has the plague!!!!
my oscar recently passed away by unknown cause. he had hole in the head fungus, 2/3s of his scales missing, not eating, panting for breath at the bottom and towards his end he was upside down on the bottom and couldnt swim upright. the next day my pleco was dead no signs of illness. this morning my demonfish died, he had an open wound with red spots and another patch close by on his right side with more red spots under the skin. now my jack dempsey has small wounds all over his body and its not from other fish that ive seen. my parameters are: nitrites 0, nitrates under 10, chlorine 0, all others are in good levels but ammonia is unknown. the temp is 82. PLEASE HELP.

bettababy 03-01-2008 01:49 AM

How big of a tank is this? How long has it been set up? Can you please post ammonia and pH readings? Without those readings we won't know if its safe enough to medicate, and sometimes water quality can cause the problems you're describing.
Also, how big are the fish?

oscarman 03-01-2008 02:28 PM

my ammonia is 0, ph is 7.2. my fish include 10 in oscar 5 in jack dempsey, 4 in green terror and 4 in geophagus surinamus?

oscarman 03-01-2008 02:30 PM

almost forgot my tenks been running for 4-5 months

willow 03-01-2008 02:52 PM

sorry about your current situation,
how big is the tank,and what is your routine of maintainance?

oscarman 03-01-2008 07:01 PM

i have a 90 gal tank, i do a partial water change every 3-5 days, and i have 2 emperor 400 filters.

bettababy 03-01-2008 08:11 PM

We still need to know what nitrite and nitrate levels are at in order to suggest a safe medication.

To avoid this problem in the future, get a much larger tank. That is way too many fish for a 90 gallon tank, even with water changes done every few days.

scottysgirl 03-02-2008 12:57 AM

bettababy, nitrite and nitrate were already listed. Also, that tank is big enough for its occupants. Just visit the oscarfish forum, they will agree with me. The only fish I am NOT sure about is the geophagus surinamus, just because I know nothing about it. But the other two are good tankmates for an oscar and 90 gallons is large enough for the oscar and a couple friends. How big was the Oscar that died and how long did you have it?

Here is what I think happened--according to what I can piece together at one point you had 2 oscars and a pleco and the others in that tank. That would have been WAY overstocked and probably led to the deaths via ammonia poisening. Hole in the head is almost always due to bad water conditions and/or improper feeding. Make sure you are feeding the remaining oscar peas once-in-awhile and good quality pellets.

Make sure you keep on top of the water changes, I never let the nitrates get about 10ppm in my Oscar tank. Don't get any more fish in there or you will be over-stocked.
Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions.

bettababy 03-02-2008 02:05 AM

Sorry to disagree, but I have a 90 gallon tank, I also have an oscar... and there isn't room in there for more than maybe one other smallish fish. My oscar is almost 12 yrs old now, full grown at about 14 inches. When he was with the other oscar they were in 225 gallons and that was just big enough for the 2 of them. Oscars are cichlids, and are still territorial. A 14 - 15 inch fish needs space to claim as his own away from the other fish. With a jack dempsey who's on its way to 8 - 10 inches... that right there puts a 90 gallon tank at its limits. That geophagus will get to almost 12 inches. Stand in front of a 90 gallon and count it out, 14 inches for the oscar, 8 - 10 for the dempsey, 12 for the geophagus, and a green terror at 8 inches... where would they all go?? Those fish, at full grown (which they do quickly) would never even fit into a 90 together. Add aggression levels and the territorial habits of cichlids, and how fast they grow... I'm sorry, but there is no way I can say that those fish together in a 90 is ok.

The sores sound like a possible bacterial infection, I need to do some checking first to make sure it isn't parasitic... and before I can suggest any medications to help it. I apologize for missing the nitrite and nitrate levels in the original post. Can I ask what kind of test kits you're using?

scottysgirl 03-02-2008 11:00 AM

Min. tank size for an Oscar is 55 gallons. A 90 gallon tank is almost big enough for two Oscars. This is according to many people who have kept them for a long time...although I will say the geophagus gets bigger than I thought. I think there is room in there for the green terror and dempsey and Oscar. According to Oscarfish, a 75 alone is big enough for an Oscar, a small school of silver dollars, and a convict cichlid. Just going by my own experience, I have an Oscar in a 55 and w/twice weekly cleaning his nitrates stay right around 5 ppm. He is almost full grown.

However, I agree that before all of these fish that tank was WAY overstocked with two oscars, a pleco, and the others. I am sure that led to the death of the fish.

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