Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Why is my Oscar turning Pale and White? (

ebarreto 06-15-2008 07:38 AM

Why is my Oscar turning Pale and White?
I just recently became the proud parent of an Red Oscar. I've always wanted one. I bought a 20 gallon tank set up and after the tank cycled for 48 hours, I went out and bought a baby tiger Oscar. Once i put him in the tank... he turned completely white and started to curl. I was so heartbroken because I thought I did something wrong. The next day he looked worst. Sampson, that's his name, just sat at the bottom of the tank looking like he was on his last leg. I took a sample of my water into to the aquarium store where I bought him to have them test the water. They said my water was fine for the Oscar and that maybe he was sick. So, thinking he would be dead when I got home, I bought a new Red bellied Oscar which was slighly larger than Sampson. She, who I named Dahlila, turned white almost immediately. I called the fish store again and they told me that happens when they are stressed. Meanwhile... a week later my fish are fine... now I have Sampson and Dahlila who are going to become at least 14 inches. I didn't want 2 Oscars.. but now I have 2. They still turn white from time to time. It scares me.

Can someone tell me any other instances why the Oscars turn white this way?

I am in the market for a 55+ gallon tank .. I'm saving up the funds to buy the proper set up now.

herefishy 06-15-2008 09:24 AM

No, but a tank does not cycle in 48 hours. Most of the time it takes a week or two or three....

ebarreto 06-15-2008 09:51 AM

oh... the "expert" at Petsmart told me that the tank should run 48 hours before adding fish. I guess she was not a good person to take advise from?

herefishy 06-15-2008 09:56 AM

Nope, I guess not. The best experts are in the hobby, and many hobbyists can be found on the web on forums such as this.

okiemavis 06-15-2008 10:34 AM

Agreed- Petsmart employees are often not very knowledgeable. Nothing can replace doing your own research before getting a fish.

The other thing the employees have a tendency to do is tell you your water is "fine" when it is not. I'd recommend getting your own liquid test kit (not strips, those are very inaccurate!) or at least making the fish store tell you the exact numbers. If you have any ammonia or nitrite readings, which you probably do, that is dangerous to your fish, which is why they are stressing out.

I'd recommend reading up on cycling an aquarium before you do anything else. Once you do that you'll have a better handle on what's going on in your water and why your fish are acting the way they are. Then we can begin to help you sort out how to care for these fishes. I know it's difficult when the fish store tells you one thing, and it turns out they're completely wrong, but you're doing the right thing working on caring for your fish now. Unfortunately, most chain fish stores are very profit-oriented and rarely give out information that's actually beneficial to your fish :( If you look around the site, you'll see people in your situation coming here time and time again.

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