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Hmmm, I have no idea what to do anymore...

2543 Views 14 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Izzydawg
As last posted my oscar has been scratching, but is showing no other signs of illness. I've trated her for pretty much everything I can think water tested great, i even bought a mew master test kit to be sure. Still she keeps on scratching...the other one in the tank hasn't started scratching at all, so I guess that's somewhat of a good sign. It's been a few weeks, and the poor girl is still uncomfortable. She still eats lots without hesitation.
If it was an internal thing, would she still be scratching? There is no visable sign of anything, and I"m completely stumped...I feel sorry for the old girl...anyone have any ideas?
Any ideas or suggestions would be great....Thanks,
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Refresh my memory...What did you treat with? How long?

Is the flashing focused on the gill area?

Are their other signs of stress? Clamped fins? Darkened colour?

Any wounds or questionable areas that you can see?

I've treated for ich, gill flukes, fungus and bacterial. The other oscar seems fine. The water tested good, I even got a new test kit to be sure. Sometimes she shoots across the tank like somethings biting her. When she scratches, she does it so hard that scales float around afterwards. I'm totally stumped. :-?
Anyway, here's some pics of her....

and this is a shot of her "dirty looking head"...

Other than her dirty looking head, I can't see anything that would be an issue. Got any ideas?
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Wow, Izzydawg, what a nice oscar! :thumb:

I've had fish behave the way you are describing in the past...Not scratching themselves enough to cause scales to fall off, but the darting and unusual behaviour are things I've seen in my EBJD...It's almost as if something is going on "internally" that is spooking them? Something you can't see?

Unfortunately, it's never been something I could get a handle on. It sounds like you've tried all the meds I would have recommended.

Does she ever appear to "twitch" when she's sitting still in the water?

How long did you treat for gill flukes? What did you use? (They can be very hard to clear up, so this is something I might consider treating with again, for lack of any better ideas...PraziPro would be a good choice...)

I wonder if the "dirty head" is just some changes you're seeing as she grows older...How big is this girl? How long have you had her?

I'm going to pm TheFishGuy and ask him to take a look at this. He's got more experience with oscars than I do...If it's not gill flukes or something neurological, I just don't know what to do next.
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Well, the dirty head is a natural color change, nothing to be worried about. The scales falling off in shot across the tank bumping into things is somewhat common for an oscar. Oscars scales are not very tough at all. Their other common name is the velvet cichlid... That's one of the reasons why they get HITH and JSS so quickly.

I think what may fisx your (or her) problem is she needs to be in a bare tank that can be cleaned easily.

What size tank are they in?

What is the stock list and sizes of every fish?
Well I got her when she was about 5" long. I don't know how old she is. They are in a 100 g tank, and the only others in there are 3 3" siamese algea eaters. I do a 60% water change weekly. I never feed live fish, I use Hikari cichlid gold as my staple pellet, and give a variety of treats once in a while.
...Also, after each treatment of meds I put in cycle as the meds were not good for the benificial bacteria.
This girl is about 11" long. She is still eating well, but likes to hang around the heater.
She is not twitching when sitting in still waster. The fish shop around here does not carry prazipro. I used was AAPLUS, Anti-fluke treatment for fluke parasites...says it effectively treats gill flukes, body flukes,& fish lice. I treated for this once, and before that I used Malachite green, for ich. I've also treated with salt. Right now I'm just happy that she's still eating good.
She does swim around with my tiger oscar selvester at times too. The scratching seems to come in spurts.
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Well the scratching or flashing is usually a result of some kind of early stage external parisite...

60% weekly seems kind of steep... what about doing 30% every four days? The water chemistry might be bouncing up and down too much... Consistency is key with oscars... They hate change and 60% of a change might be causing her to "think" there's a parisite... All she knows is there's something wrong on the outside of her body and she wants it gone!

I'd also remove any big bulky type items from the tank to stop from injuring her any further...

That's all I can come up with Izzy... hope that helps... try the new w/c regiment for a few weeks and see if she stops.... humor me.... :)
LOL...thanks for the info TFG, I change water so much cause I'm paranoid of bad water.
I really like this girl, after I feed them I can usually get a petting in ....she is the one who has spawned, but I have never got fry from...I think her companoin must be a girl too?...they work together on thing for the whole spawning part and Selvester gaurds the eggs...but usually a few hours after the eggs are gone...this is why I'm guessing Selvester is actually a chick.
It's good to be paranoid of bad water, and I know a lot of people change huge amounts of water... That's fine if your tank is bare, but I think water changes should be no more than 1/3 at a shot in display tanks. (tanks with decor)
Gill Flukes would be my 1st thought, too. Mainly because I went through one HECK of a stubborn bout with it a few months back with some new fish (quarrantined thank God). Now I treat with API General Cure (the better med) for 2 full treatments.
When some people use tap only with large water changes they'll report their fish are "itchy" afterwards. So the person that mentioned that might be right. Does your Oscar do it right after the water change? Or several days later?
What I'd do (not that anyone else would) is re-treat the entire tank with Praziquantel. With that much scratching I think there's something going on besides big water changes causing it.
For the record I do 40%-75% water changes twice a week on my 3 Oscar tanks. No more than 35%-40% (max) is straight tap, the rest is aged. If aged/heated/aerated water is used on a regular basis there should be no difference between it and the tank water. (Except no nitrates in the new water obviously).
PS The stuf called "Cycle" is completely worthless and a waste of time, it doesn't work. The meds you mentioned won't hurt your benificial bacteria.
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I used the cycle after Malachite green. I have changed up the water changes, and added another dose of fluke meds. She seems more itchy on the sides and top of her head, and sometimesher right fin. She flicks it like she's trying to scratch something off of her. he other oscar wasn't scratching before, but I have noticed it scratching form time to time now. :(
well, she's still scratching, but not as often, and she's been swiming around more. I'm wondering if I should try a different brand of meds?
I can't help but wonder if the meds are affecting her slime coat???

I would be very tempted to add some Stress Coat and Melafix to the tank and watch and see what happens.

I had a group of acei once that had something going on with them, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I treated them with several different meds, and never knew which worked, but by the time I was done, they looked pretty rough. I treated them with Melafix and Stress Coat and within a week they were back to normal.
I'll give that a shot....going to town on the weekend, I'll pick some supplies up :thumb:
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