Oscar Fish is visually sick - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-25-2011, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Oscar Fish is visually sick

My oscar fish is slowly deteriorating. Can anyone tell from this picture what is happening to him. This has slowly gotten worse over a month's time. Tried salt, tried raising temperature, and some other things. Is this lateral line disease?
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-26-2011, 04:52 AM
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Need MUCH more information.
If you could answer questions at top of page in Tropical fish diseases/emergencies section you posted in, perhap's we could help sort out what is ailing the fish.
Many times,,these particular fish suffer from poor diet's(diseased feeder fish), too small of tank's, poor filtration,too small or too few water changes,subjected to ammonia /nitrite poisoning,or all of the above.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-26-2011, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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1. What is the size of your tank?
125 Gallons

2. What are your water parameters? State the brand of test kit used.
Pet store took sample of water and said it was perfect. Nitrites, etc all look fine.

3. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or brackish water?
Was freshwater but added salt to help the sick fish.

4. How long the aquarium has been set up?
Have had the tank more than a year and fish has been fine. Lost an oscar before to this same disease and never could save him. About a month ago we moved the tank which required us to empty 95% of the water to be able to move it. The fish had already shown signs before the move.

5. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
2 Oscars, african cichlids, convicts, jack dempsey. For the most part the oscars don't fight with the cichlids. One cichlid sometimes picks on my sick oscar now because the oscar is weak.

6. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?
The fish hasn't been removed or quarantined. I have no place for him other than a 10 gallon tank which would be rough on an oscar I would think.

7. What temperature is the tank water currently? 80. Raised it up to 86 for 10 days trying to kill any parasites.

8. Are there live plants in the aquarium? No

9. What filter are you using? State brand, maintenance routine and power capacity.
Eheim. I forget the model but it is rated for 250 gallons. I put all of the bio stuff in the canister. Also added the foam-type filter things to catch all the debris. No carbon in the last 6 months.

10. Any other equipment used (aside from heater and filter which are two very important components of the tank)?
Heater, 2 airstones to give it a lot of oxygen.

11. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? What is your lighting schedule (assuming you do not rely on sunlight for our viewing pleasure)?
Some during the evening. Usually we turn the lights on from 8-12 at night.

12. When did you perform your last water change and how much water was changed? How often do you change your water? Do you vacuum the substrate?
Yesterday, 3-5 gallons. Been doing small changes every other day trying to keep it clean yet not over do it.

13. What foods do you provide your fish? What is the feeding schedule?
Flakes and now using the Hikari cchlid gold. Petstore told me that koi food would be fine. Later I find that that's more of a vegetarian diet and I possibly started this problem because they weren't getting the nutrients they needed.

14. What unusual signs have you observed in your fish?
Lethargic. Doesn't want to eat as much but still eats some. It's skin is basically rotting away. Look at the picture closely, many of the scales are just decaying. I had a black oscar that had this problem and watched the skin slowly open up into sores and it died after battling for months even though I had it isolated from other fish. I'm more trying to pinpoint what this is so I can research how to save him.

15. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? If so, what treatments did you use? State your reasons for planning ahead of proper diagnosis.
Already said some things above.

Just look at his skin. Has anyone seen this before? This is my 2nd oscar to have this happen. All other fish do fine in this tank and for some reason this happens to my oscars.

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post #4 of 8 Old 10-26-2011, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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This is an image of the black oscar that eventually died from something that looks like the same thing that my current oscar has. It is much easier to see on a black oscar.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-27-2011, 12:56 AM
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Would help to have number's from test result's as opposed to description's such as fine ,which to me is more of an opinion.
South american cichlids such as Oscar and Dempsey along with convict's do not share same water requirement's as African's.
Water for African's needs to be hard alkaline,pH 7.8 to 8.0 while South american Cichlids prefer softer more acidic condition's pH 6.8 to 7.2 or thereabouts.
You do not indicate how often you change water and vaccum gravel or substrate, but I would submit that water in the tank with fish mentioned, should in my view be changed each week at a rate of 50 percent.Perhaps twice weekly for a few weeks to provide influx of fresh water and dilute decaying organics,then once weekly after a couple weeks.
Large cichlids in my expierience do poorly with nitrAte level's much above 20 ppm as measured with test kit mentioned.NitrAtes,, while not particularly toxic, are representitive of waste accumulating in the tank from large messy fish, and the larger weekly water changes are needed to keep these as low as possiblealong with weekly gravel vac 1/2 the tank each week.
Filter should be cleaned at a minimum each month, And all material rinsed in old water you remove during weekly 50 % water changes.
Fishes kept in clean water,are far less prone to sickness,disease, and if water condition's are poor,,all of the medication's you may wish to try will be largely ineffective until the enviornment suits the well being of the fish.
Proper diet is also important. Fishes will continue to suffer if they are not receiving proper food's and the move to cichlid pellet's was wise on your part and,, I might also feed occasional foods such as Chopped Earthworms,frozen chopped Krill, frozen bits of prawn (shrimp), Freezedried cricket's found in reptile section of fish stores,along with the Hikari food you mentioned.
Would see that no one else is feeding the fish which could result in too much food going uneaten, and falling to the bottom and this combined with fish poop from large cichlids, could drive water quality down .
As mentioned previously,,NO feeder fish that are often diseased if store bought, and are also rich in thiaminase which works to deplete needed vitamins should ever be offered.
I am no expert on diagnosing diseases but Hole in head or lateral line disease would present close to what is seen in photos particularly the photo of the black tiger oscar.
This condition is most often very hard to treat and without isolation tank,, I could not imagine the cost to treat 125 gallons.
If fish is still eating,,I might consider mixing Metronidazole at a rate of 500 mg with equal amount of say blood worm or crushed pellet food. You could freeze the mixture and offer some each day for ten to fourteen day's while performing the water changes as mentioned.
Cannot stress the need for the water changes enough,
Few people consider that as these large fish continue to grow,,they require more maint to maintain clean enviornment than was needed when they were cute little three inch fish.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-27-2011, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Lately (last few weeks) I've been doing 6-10 gallon (on a 125 gallon tank) water changes daily. I clean the substrate every time.

I have no numbers to give other than the colors on my test kits matching up with the colors they should.

I do have a 10 gallon tank that I could use as a hospital tank and be able to afford medication, but a full grown oscar like that it just might kill him instead.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-27-2011, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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I'll look into Metronidazole though. Do you think that a 10 gallon hospital tank would be bad idea?

Thank you for all of your help.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-27-2011, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Schreck425 View Post
I'll look into Metronidazole though. Do you think that a 10 gallon hospital tank would be bad idea?

Thank you for all of your help.

No,ten gallon would be too small.(stress,ammonia level's would rise quickly).
Would try as mentioned to make up some food with the metronidazole which will be more effective than treating the water.
Would up the size of water changes to 50% twice a week for approx three weeks, and then 50% once a week.
Would not rely on test strips which are notoriously inaccurate.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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