Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Setting up for an oscar (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/setting-up-oscar-32496/)

MrHumphries 11-18-2009 07:52 PM

Setting up for an oscar
 
Sup all,

Well the LFS called, guess they finally got some albino Oscars in, we are getting one for my 16 year daughter for X-mas, I am picking up a 55 Gal tank, is there anything special i should do to prepare the
tank for him?. I have a limited window for time, How long should I let the tank run before I drop him in?.

I have read a bunch about the oscars and I am getting alot of conflicting info, tank size, filters and feeding :P

Can someone point me to the right thread/link were the info in correct?

Thanks in advance guys.Gals..

Don

Hawkian 11-18-2009 09:07 PM

Well Mr. Humphries...

I am no guru to the fish world but I'll giv eyou this advice: don't think your tank has cycled until it has cycled!

By this I mean that no matter how mcuh precautions I took before I added fish to my tank and believed it cycled... it was not. And I added only little fish.

How big is the oscar you're getting? No matter - in my experience, monitor the water daily, do water changes every second day if you need to.

All I'm saying is this: if your tank is new, give it the time it needs to cycle before adding too much fish (and that would include a sizeable oscar).

Hawkian 11-18-2009 09:09 PM

Oops... forgot something! This helped me so I might help you too...

http://www.firsttankguide.net/

MrHumphries 11-18-2009 09:37 PM

wow 4-8 weeks, I don't have that long, I had fish in my new tank the same day, and I havn't had any issues, other then my betta ripping a tetra a new one...

I am gonna pick up the tank, and throw some tetras in there over night, if their alive I will then put the Oscar in, not the best scenario but my water seems to be very good where I am, i add water to my tanks every few days or so from a mason jar I fill, then add some water cond too, and i have never
had any issues...

I will keep you all updated as i go.. I am picking up the tank on friday :)

Thanks

Don

1077 11-19-2009 02:40 AM

No need to keep us updated.Can predict likely outcome. Do google information on proper care of Oscars. Tank size,Filtration,and foods along with Adult size of these fish. Placing the oscar in an immature tank, without healthy bacterial colony in the filter to deal with the toxins created by not only the fish, but foods offered,, Is a recipe for disaster. A few small tetras in a 55 gal (too small for Oscars) do not represent a fraction of the waste created by even a juvenile Oscar. I would fully expect your daughter to be quite dissapointed should the fish die within days,or weeks due to lack of preparation on whose part?

willieturnip 11-19-2009 07:03 AM

Dear god, here we go...

First of all, I wouldn't recommend keeping an oscar in anything smaller than a 150.

Second of all, oscars need huge filtration and I mean huge.

Thirdly, your tank NEEDS to cycle before you add any fish. Keeping a few small tetras in a big tank for a day is no test of weather the tank is ready either.

When you add the oscar, you WILL have a MASSIVE ammonia/nitrate/nitrite spike because the biological section of your filter will not be mature enough yet. Especially for such a messy fish.

YOU HAVE TO TAKE YOUR TIME with setting up new tanks. I know it's frustrating, but if this is your attitude you are very unlikely to have any real success in the hobby. Try setting up a reef tank with this attitude and see how far you get.



Adding fish before a tank is ready is VERY cruel. Imagine being kept in a bath of boiling water for several months just because the owner "didn't have time" to see if the tap was running hot or cold. How would that make you feel?

Exactly..




All I can suggest for you to do, is the following.

Get a massive external filter, rated at least twice the volume of your tank. A Fluval FX5 would be good, or an Eheim Classic 2260. Something of that nature.

Do large, controlled and sensibly carried out water changes DAILY for the first few weeks the fish is in (assuming your still not going to let the tank cycle). Make sure to use at least enough tap water conditioner (more wouldn't hurt, it would detoxify ammonia etc in the tank temporarily) and get the temperature spot on.

Add lots of live plants, if only while the tank cycles. Plant them ASAP so they get rooted and active. Plants use ammonium and nitrates to grow, which is good for a healthy system as it reduces the load on the filter and can supplement biological filtration immediately while the tank matures.

Feed specific cichlid food, preferably pellets so long as the fish will tank them. Their dietary requirements are very different to other fish (of course, no fish is the same).



I could go on, but you NEED to do LOTS of research yourself. It's not just as simple as "fish need water".

MrHumphries 11-19-2009 08:01 AM

Interesting,

I am not in any way saying any of you are wrong, but why does a 3 inch fish need a 150 Gal tank?
Thats over kill, thats like saying I need a 7500 Squre foot home to live in.
I realize he is going to grow, but that is something my duaghter will have to deall with when she moves out in a year and a half. And every artical I have read suggests 20 Gals per Oscar, so why I am being told 150 GAL?.

Second of all, I do not have the prep time of 4 weeks+ to set up a tank, I was not able to afford a tank
till recently, I love fish don't get me wrong, But I am not willing to fork out 500+ on a tank for a $10 fish

Also if your 150+ and 8 weeks of prep is right ( and I'm not in anyway saying it isn't) why do I see 12 inch ocars in 30 Gal tanks in th LFS, and then have the fish guy tell me, oh he's been in there for 6 years?

This is what I ment by conflicting info, I have some PPL telling me one thing, and others telling me the oppisite. So who do I believe?, Who has the right answer?.

If you are right and I have to cycle the tank for that long, What do I do with the fish till then? these fish are rare, and they hardly ever get them in?.

Like I said, I talked to the LFS and read tons, and no where did it ever mention having to cycle the tank that long.

That all being said.

What about using my existing 20 gal, Can i put up a divider and temparly put him in there till the new tank is ready? Its been runnng with 13+ fish in it for over 3 months?, I will just have to do more water
changes?.

Don

NC Frank 11-19-2009 08:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrHumphries (Post 276764)
Interesting,

I am not in any way saying any of you are wrong, but why does a 3 inch fish need a 150 Gal tank?
Thats over kill, thats like saying I need a 7500 Squre foot home to live in.
I realize he is going to grow, but that is something my duaghter will have to deall with when she moves out in a year and a half. And every artical I have read suggests 20 Gals per Oscar, so why I am being told 150 GAL?.

Second of all, I do not have the prep time of 4 weeks+ to set up a tank, I was not able to afford a tank
till recently, I love fish don't get me wrong, But I am not willing to fork out 500+ on a tank for a $10 fish

Also if your 150+ and 8 weeks of prep is right ( and I'm not in anyway saying it isn't) why do I see 12 inch ocars in 30 Gal tanks in th LFS, and then have the fish guy tell me, oh he's been in there for 6 years?

This is what I ment by conflicting info, I have some PPL telling me one thing, and others telling me the oppisite. So who do I believe?, Who has the right answer?.

If you are right and I have to cycle the tank for that long, What do I do with the fish till then? these fish are rare, and they hardly ever get them in?.

Like I said, I talked to the LFS and read tons, and no where did it ever mention having to cycle the tank that long.

That all being said.

What about using my existing 20 gal, Can i put up a divider and temparly put him in there till the new tank is ready? Its been runnng with 13+ fish in it for over 3 months?, I will just have to do more water
changes?.

Don

The fish will quickly grow and will need a tank bigger than a 55 gallon. The bioload for a single young oscar is probably more than 4 of my larger discus. A couple of tetras would not produce a load large enough to even equate to the load of the smallest of oscars.

When I had oscars I was running 2 canister filters on a cycled tank and did weekly large water changes just to keep up with their load.

Do some research on proper cycling techniques. Do not rely on the so called instant cycle type products (though some can be beneficial in assisting in cycling).

There are some other excellent large cichlids that would house nicely in an extablished 55 gallon. Maybe a Jack Dempsey instead?

If your LFS is any good he will hold the fish for you. My LFS has held fish for me for weeks until I was ready to bring them home. Plus it will give you a good idea of how healthy the fish really is.

Angel079 11-19-2009 08:39 AM

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.

MrHumphries 11-19-2009 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NC Frank (Post 276778)
The fish will quickly grow and will need a tank bigger than a 55 gallon. The bioload for a single young oscar is probably more than my 4 discus. A couple of tetras would not produce a load large enough to even equate to the load of the smallest of oscars.

When I had oscars I was running 2 canister filters on a cycled tank and did weekly large water changes just to keep up with their load.

Do some research on proper cycling techniques. Do not rely on the so called instant cycle type products (though some can be beneficial in assisting in cycling).

There are some other excellent large cichlids that would house nicely in an extablished 55 gallon. Maybe a Jack Dempsey instead?

If your LFS is any good he will hold the fish for you. My LFS has held fish for me for weeks until I was ready to bring them home. Plus it will give you a good idea of how healthy the fish really is.

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


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