help, my tank has the plague!!!! - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 18 Old 03-02-2008, 11:30 AM
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A full grown oscar wouldn't be able to turn around properly in a 55 gallon tank. A 55 gallon tank from front to back is only 12.75 inches externally(from frame to frame)... which means about 12 inches internally. An oscar that is full grown will average 14 - 16 inches...

I have seen the effects of keeping a large cichlid in a small tank, and it is one of the most heart wrenching things in the world. Imagine a room you have to stay in all of the time but you can't turn around because your shoulders hit the walls.... how happy and healthy would you be?

I have told this story before, now I feel its needed to tell it again:
A customer brought in the most beautiful jack dempsey I have ever seen. The color was brighter than I'd ever imagined and the fish was full grown at 10 inches. The guy had fed it the best of foods a few times/day and done 100% water changes every day, so his water quality was perfect all the time. The problem: The fish had been raised in a 10 gallon tank. A 10 gallon tank is just over 10 inches wide. (a good comparison to a 14 - 16 inch oscar in a 55 gallon tank) The fish's spine was so kinked, which was a permanent deformation because it didn't have the space to grow, the fish couldn't hold itself upright without the sides of the tank to support it, and it couldn't turn around. When it was put into a 40 gallon tank it couldn't swim, couldn't hold itself upright, and died within a week.
Doing something like that to a fish has to be one of the creulest things in the world.

I'm sorry, but I still can't condone all of those fish in a 90 gallon tank... and with the combination that has been listed, it's simply a matter of time before they rip each other apart.

The sores are caused by a bacterial infection and also a virus. In order for the viral infection to clear up, the bacterial infection must first be cleared up. My suggestion for meds is Fungus Eliminator, but please don't dose the tank with salt while using it. Fungus Eliminator is one of the few meds available that is capable of treating bacterial and fungal together, and this is one of the few safe meds to use for these fish with this condition.

Again, I challenge anyone who thinks this tank is properly stocked... take paper and cut it to the dimensions of each of those fish at adult size, (taking into account their width) hold them all up to the tank and please.... tell me where they would go to get away from each other???? It just isnt possible! This is nothing more than a death trap.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #12 of 18 Old 03-02-2008, 12:59 PM
Scottysgirl,....Situation Impossible. Too much fish and too little tank. There is a reason the call the one fish a Green Terror. The Jack Dempsey was named after a famous heavyweight boxer in the 1930's and 1940's. The oscar and plecostomus are simply waste machines with fins. The Geophagus is "odd man out" in this scenario as they are a relatively peaceful substrate feeder.

If I were you , I'd change the people I use for information. I doubt that the people that tell you the a 55g is large enough for a full grown Oscar and a 90g large enough for two have ever really seen a full grown one. I would have to really doubt their "knowledge". They probably say they "have" these fish in such and such conditions instead of they "keep" them in such and such conditions. They sound like "fish havers" and not "fish keepers".

Oscarman's situation came from a situation where poor water quality coupled with a volatile mix of fish, caused injury, stress and disease in the tank. I don't care if you perform water changes everyday, it will only serve to prolong the inevitable. His tank was overstocked and horribly mismatched. Even filtering at 800gph, that was not enough to take care of his stocking scheme's bio load. He should have been filtering at around 1800gph. Most of his fish were waste machines and could be very ornery and vicious. Even you, with your vast knowledge in the hobby, would have to agree that overstocking and incompatibility was the problem.

And where do I get my knowledge from? Well, I would hope that with 46 years in the hobby, some of what I've learned, read, and experienced would stick with me. In many cases, it has been a "been there, done that" experience that hones my knowledge. And it has been the failures that temper it.
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-02-2008, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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ok first of all thanx to all who have responded to my dilemma. second there was only 1 oscar in my tank at any time. third once my fish get a we bit bigger im upgrading to a 180 g. im not crazy i love fish. the survivors seem to show no signs of sickness stress or anything other than chillaxing so i dont know whats goin on. as far as compatibility i had most of these fish together for 3 years in a 75 and had absolutely no problems with aggression. im not replacing my pleco tho have no need of his services. chalk up 3 heartbreaking fatalities and pray thats it.
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post #14 of 18 Old 03-02-2008, 07:33 PM
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To defend the people I get my information from it is from the Oscarfish forum. I trust the information because many people have said it who have kept their Oscars alive for sometimes 20 years. I believe they know what they are talking about. My Oscar is in a 55 gallon tank, do I think this is cruel? No, I keep on top of the water and he gets good food. He would have died in the fish store, he WAS dieing in the fish store.

I respect your knowledge herefishy, not dawn's, but I do respect yours. I WOULD like to point out that just because someone has kept fish for all of their life doesn't mean that they know what they are talking about, but I know you do. I have not kept fish as long as you, which wouldn't be possible since I'm not that old , but I do try and learn as MUCH as I can, and when many many people tell me one thing who have kept fish WITH SUCCESS for a long time in a certain situation, I believe them.

I know the temperment of both green terrors and dempseys, this is what makes them ideal tankmates for oscars. When pushed they push back. I agree the geophagus needs to go, and the plec is dead so that is a non-issue. The plec would have seriously overstocked it. This is my opinion, take it or leave it. I believe if the fish co-habitate peacefully and the nitrates are always under 20 ppm then there is not a problem.

I take good care of me fish, and I do not appreciate any insinuation that I don't! Is 55 gallons a minimum size for the fish? Yes. Am I making it work, and is he happy and COMPLETELY HEALTHY? Yes. As I said, he was nearly dead in the fish store and still has the scars to show for it. Should I have let him die?
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-02-2008, 10:58 PM
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Scottysgirl, whatever your problem with me, it is not for this thread. I came here to help someone else, and considering you have no respect for me, then I know not to bother trying to help you at any point. Next time, save it for a pm!

I'd still like to know how a full grown oscar is supposed to turn around in a 55 gallon tank, though.... 14 - 16 inch fish and 12 inches of space, anyone can do the math on that one!

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-03-2008, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by scottysgirl
I keep on top of the water and he gets good food.
And that's different from her

I'll tell you a little something about what I see a lot in MY line of work, and it gets a bit off-topic (actually really off topic). I work in the horse business, up towards the top where people do a lot of stupid things for money. I cannot tell you how many times a horse has come into the barn that is either hurt or completely spazzed out (and usually about something specific so we know something didn't happen on the way there) because of how it was treated elsewhere.

"Well, the horse was fine here" is the pathetic answer we almost always get.

It comes down to that a trainer will think the horse is ok, the friends of the trainer will TELL them the horse is ok, but jeezus if ASPCA had seen what happened to this horse surely SOMEONE had been in jail. I've had people at MY horse barn that I will take one look at it and say "what the **** are you thinking?" and they just look at me like "what?".

So basically, what I'm trying to say is I don't give a darn if someone says their animal is doing fine in a situation that EVERYONE else knows is bad. Odds are there's a big blind eye right there.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-03-2008, 03:41 PM
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I am sorry to anyone I have offended. But please stop trying to tell me that I am being cruel to my fish. It is very hurtful and upsetting to me. I have verified my situation with three other forums and it has been OKed. I will not be using this forum anymore so you can all be at peace without me.

I will suggest that some of you be open to different points of view.

Flashygyrl--I too have shown and trained at the top of the horse showing business (scotty is a horse). Thanks for telling me something I already knew. Again, it is hurtful and upsetting to me to be told that I am being cruel to any of my animals. I ALSO have spent my time trying to undo cruelty at the hands of other trainers. I volunteer my time at animal shelters and just got accepted into Vet school. I plan to spend my life helping animals. It is simply my view with fish that if the nitrates are low (which would be impossible in my mind in a truly overstocked tank) and the fish are getting along that is not a cruel situation.
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-03-2008, 07:33 PM
' Enough has been said here. we will not be the scene for a stone throwing match. Thread locked.
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