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Discussion Starter #1
have a 55 gallon tank with 1 tiger oscar, 1 red pacu, 1 bala shark, 2 convict cichlids, 1 bumblebee cichlid, 1 synodontis catfish, 1 common pleco, and 1 green terror. all are juveniles, the bala shark being the largest at 5" long. is this overstocked? also, lately my oscar has gotten small frays that look like bites in his tail fin and the tips are white (about 2mm line on the tip) all the way across. is this finrot? what should i do? i feed them tropical flakes, oscar grow formula, and frozen foods (beefheart,brineshrimp,bloodworms). the tank has 1 small piece of driftwood, 1 ceramic large roots cave, 1 smaller sphinx cave and some plastic plants. gravel and river rock substrate. the filters are 2 penguin 350 biowheels. water changes every sunday, ive had them for 2 months.
 

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have a 55 gallon tank with 1 tiger oscar, 1 red pacu, 1 bala shark, 2 convict cichlids, 1 bumblebee cichlid, 1 synodontis catfish, 1 common pleco, and 1 green terror. all are juveniles, the bala shark being the largest at 5" long. is this overstocked? also, lately my oscar has gotten small frays that look like bites in his tail fin and the tips are white (about 2mm line on the tip) all the way across. is this finrot? what should i do? i feed them tropical flakes, oscar grow formula, and frozen foods (beefheart,brineshrimp,bloodworms). the tank has 1 small piece of driftwood, 1 ceramic large roots cave, 1 smaller sphinx cave and some plastic plants. gravel and river rock substrate. the filters are 2 penguin 350 biowheels. water changes every sunday, ive had them for 2 months.

All of the fish you list will very soon outgrow a 55 gallon tank with the exception of the convicts and possibly the synodontis depending on species.Not a good idea to mix African cichlids with South american or Central american cichlids. Water parameter's and diet 's are often quite different.
Highlighted in blue,,you will find info on these fishes and minimum size tank suggestions.
The tail damage could be due to aggression by one or more of the fishes you list, and or poor water conditions.
Water quality in the tank will become increasingly more difficult to maintain as the fishes continue to grow and poor water quality WILL result in sick fishes.you should consider a larger tank or re-homing some fish sooner as opposed to later.
Many are those who say..."I am planning on larger tank when fish get bigger" but this does not happen too regularly and in the meantime,,fishes become sick and eventually die or,,,they are released into lakes ,streams,etc,when they become too large for the small tanks holding them.
A little research on the fish BEFORE purchasing them ,could prevent much trouble with afore mentioned aggression issues from over crowding,and or poor water quality causing the fishes to slowly suffer and die.
 

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Yes, as 1077 said you will need a much bigger tank very soon.

As for the finrot do you have a test kit and can you post your water readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? You do weekly water changes which is good. How much water do you change out?
 

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im not that inexperienced in the care for my fish, ammonia- 0 nitrite-0nitrate-5 and the PH is around 7.i change 20-30% (i fill up a large cooler) every sunday. these levels are from yesterday. i just havent seen any disease before, this morning i noticed 2 new white spots on either side of my oscar, what is causing this? i put in a weeks dose of Bio-Zyme for a newer aquarium, Bio-Zyme is bacteria and enzymes, maybe that could have infected my oscar?
 

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Yes it is overstocked. Just as an example, Oscars can grow up to an inch a month when they have the proper amount of food and enough room, so he will soon be feeling cramped and could become stunted. That oscar is going to continues to go after anything in the tank as it gets bigger. Most likely the fin damage you are talking about is from nipping, not fin rot. If you can't go with a bigger tank I would consider downsizing the number of fish considerably. My brother had an Oscar in a 50 gallon and when it got to adult size it would chase and attack anything else in the tank, many times the disputes got heated to the point that one fish would would be chased right out of the tank and onto the floor, so watch out. In the end the only tank mate we found suitable for the 8" oscar was a 10" Common Pleco.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
cool. i gave my green terror to a friend, but im not parting with anymore fish, i am getting a 30 gallon bowfront once my tax return comes, or sooner, for my convicts and smaller cichlid and pleco. leaving my 55 to my oscar, pacu, synodontis and bala shark. sound good?
 

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but the question about my oscar is still unanswered, he has 2 white spots, bright white, on either side of his body, about and inch behind his gills. he has been biting the surface of the water every so often as well. why is this?
 

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but the question about my oscar is still unanswered, he has 2 white spots, bright white, on either side of his body, about and inch behind his gills. he has been biting the surface of the water every so often as well. why is this?
He may have been nipped at by one of the other fish. My Congos are very nippy with each other and sometimes get a little white spec where they've been nipped but it goes away in a couple days. Your water parameters look good so just keep the water clean with your weekly water changes and keep an eye out for any redness or signs that it may be getting infected. A pic may help if you can get one.

Not sure what the biting at the surface of the water is about. Does it look like he's gulping air or is he going after some tiny insect on the water surface?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
tiger oscar has white spots. what is wrong??

my tiger oscar recently came up with white spots on eitherside of his body. about an inch or so from the gills. what is this? i have attached below the best pictures he would let me take.
 

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He may have been nipped at by one of the other fish. My Congos are very nippy with each other and sometimes get a little white spec where they've been nipped but it goes away in a couple days. Your water parameters look good so just keep the water clean with your weekly water changes and keep an eye out for any redness or signs that it may be getting infected. A pic may help if you can get one.

Not sure what the biting at the surface of the water is about. Does it look like he's gulping air or is he going after some tiny insect on the water surface?

he looks like he is trying to eat something that isnt there. not gulping, i posted pictures in a new post. but i will repost them here.
 

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but the question about my oscar is still unanswered, he has 2 white spots, bright white, on either side of his body, about and inch behind his gills. he has been biting the surface of the water every so often as well. why is this?
Spots look like minor wounds from scraping against something in the tank or possibly inflicted by other fish. Will heal with lot's of clean water and proper diet.
Cichlid pellets, Thawed bit's of frozen krill, fish,shrimp, chopped earthworms, freezedried crickets, and pellet foods with spirulina and or vegetable matter such as New Life Spectrum Pellet for medium to large fish.Would offer beef heart ,boodworms,sparingly.
Would resist the urge to offer store bought feeder fish which are often loaded with parasites or bacterial pathogens unknown.
With the fish you have ,, and foods being offered ,it would be very difficult to achieve 5 ppm Nitrates between weekly water changes and to keep Nitrates low,I would perform 50 percent water change each week without fail along with vaccuming the substrate(gravel).
As the fish get larger,,twice weekly water changes may be needed to keep Nitrates between 20 and 40 ppm with 20 ppm being ideal.
The Oscar alone will require 75 gallon tank or larger ,and Bala sharks grow very large as well. Have zero expierience with Pacu's but those I have seen are often softball size and in groups of five or more, Ditto for bala sharks.
As you say you have no intention of re-homing these fish ,then plan on a tank of 200 gallons or larger with filtration suited for tank .Otherwise,,I would expect probable health issues with your present fish stock.
 

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new 30 gallon tank

about the 30 gallon, i am definately moving my 2 paired convict cichlids to a 30 gallon, also my 1 inch common pleco (only until he reaches about 4-5 in.) would i be able to have another fish or 2 in the tank? possibly an african butterfly fish? or SA leaf fish?

that will be leaving my 55 gallon to my 4.5" oscar, 5.5" red pacu, 4" bala shark, 3.5" synodontis (still havent found out what species of synodontis, it is semi leopard spotted with large eyes and brown/yellow skin), and 2" bumblebee/hornet cichlid.

but not for long as i am looking to get a 90 gallon for the oscar and pacu, leaving my bala shark bumblebee and syno in the 55 gall which i will probably fill with a few peacock cichlids. does this sound good?

i am also looking to get 2 axolotls for my 10 gallon, would a penguin 100 biowheel (for a 20 gallon) be too strong and suck their gills off? they will be out of the cannibal stage when i get them.
 

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Yes it is overstocked. Just as an example, Oscars can grow up to an inch a month when they have the proper amount of food and enough room, so he will soon be feeling cramped and could become stunted. That oscar is going to continues to go after anything in the tank as it gets bigger. Most likely the fin damage you are talking about is from nipping, not fin rot. If you can't go with a bigger tank I would consider downsizing the number of fish considerably. My brother had an Oscar in a 50 gallon and when it got to adult size it would chase and attack anything else in the tank, many times the disputes got heated to the point that one fish would would be chased right out of the tank and onto the floor, so watch out. In the end the only tank mate we found suitable for the 8" oscar was a 10" Common Pleco.

For many years my dad had a tiger oscar and a red bellied pacu in a 75 gal (or 100 gal, forget which). Anyways...the Pacu got HUGE!!! I am talking bigger than the oscar, and meaner too! The pacu ended up throwing his fellow large and aggressive oscar tankmate out of the tank in the middle of the night, we found him in the hallway stiff in a mid flop position. Now the pacu, nor the oscar, would ever bother his smaller catfish in the tank. Just recently he rehomed the little catfish and the pacu and re-did his tank into a saltwater tank, I havent seen it yet, but I hear it is much calmer than the freshwater one with his big meanie in it! lol

Oh, and watch out for your bumblebee, those guys can get pretty mean!!!
 

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about the 30 gallon, i am definately moving my 2 paired convict cichlids to a 30 gallon, also my 1 inch common pleco (only until he reaches about 4-5 in.) would i be able to have another fish or 2 in the tank? possibly an african butterfly fish? or SA leaf fish?

that will be leaving my 55 gallon to my 4.5" oscar, 5.5" red pacu, 4" bala shark, 3.5" synodontis (still havent found out what species of synodontis, it is semi leopard spotted with large eyes and brown/yellow skin), and 2" bumblebee/hornet cichlid.

but not for long as i am looking to get a 90 gallon for the oscar and pacu, leaving my bala shark bumblebee and syno in the 55 gall which i will probably fill with a few peacock cichlids. does this sound good?

i am also looking to get 2 axolotls for my 10 gallon, would a penguin 100 biowheel (for a 20 gallon) be too strong and suck their gills off? they will be out of the cannibal stage when i get them.

I dont know if I would mix peacocks with a bumblebee. Peacocks are pretty laid back as far as cichlids go, and bumblebees are kind of meaner than a lot of cichlids when they get older, of course I have heard some people say the complete opposite. I wanted to put bumblebees in my tank, but I knew with their aggression issue it would be hard to find tank mates, so I skipped it even though they are so pretty. If you buy the peacocks the same size as the bumblebee and rearrange the tank for distraction when adding the peacocks, it might be okay IMO. That way any territory the BB has claimed is partially up for grabs when rearranging for the peacocks...plus if they are the same size, they arent as easy to pick on.
Good luck...would love pictures once you get it all set up!
 

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I've seen people bring in 20in pacus to my lfs. They are best left in the wild or a huge tank (300+ gallons). I would try rehoming the pacu and upgrading your current tank for the rest of the fish.
 
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