Sick Oscar fish - please help... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-25-2008, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Sick Oscar fish - please help...


I have had this Oscar fish for over 2 years. He lives in a 60g aquarium along with 3 parrot fish, gourami, knifefish and a pleco. Ever since he developed the hole in the head disease (1.5 years ago), I've been changing 50% of the water in this tank biweekly. He eats dry pellets (3 different types) and blood worms. The development of the HITH disease stopped as soon as I started changing the water on a biweekly basis. However, 4 days ago I noticed that my fish started developing another "hole" but this time it was surrounded by what looked like a bruise. Today, I saw a white film coming off the spot of the new hole (please see links for photos below). I've also started feeding it with frozen dry krill 2 days ago, hoping that it might help. I have already made 2 50% water changes in the past week and have another one scheduled for tonight. Otherwise, he still eats and swims OK. There are no signs of parasites or visible bacteria nor there are signs of blood.


Please let me know what you think that it can possible be.

Any help will be greatly appreciated by both me and my Oscar fish.

Thank you,

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post #2 of 2 Old 08-25-2008, 10:21 PM
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Well, there are a number of different culprits that are believed to be responsible for hole-in-the-head disease. However, water quality is a major issue. By biweekly, do you mean twice every week or once every two weeks? What do your water parameters usually look like. It's hard to tell from the picture, but how big exactly is this oscar? I would say that due to your tank being overstocked, your water quality may not be the best.

The oscar will eventually need about 50 gallons of water on his own and should be in a tank of at least 75 gallons because the fish gets to 16" in length. The parrots will get to about 9" each. If the pleco is a common pleco, it can hit 18" and needs a 75g tank. What species of gourami do you have? Also, what kind of fish is your knife fish? I'd say that you're going to need a much larger tank for all of these fish, possibly very large if you've got something like a clown knife fish and possibly completely huge if you've got giant gouramis.

Also, your oscar's stomach looks a little concave to me in that picture, which is a sign that he's not getting enough to eat. How much do you feed him? Malnourishment has been linked to hole-in-the-head so that could be a factor as well.

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