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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My girlfriend has been luckless with oscars so far. She tried keeping one with a green terror, and the GT messed the oscar up badly, despite being both similair small sizes. She also tried keeping one alone, but it always just layed about and didn't eat, and eventually he died.

So we are trying again. This time we decided to keep the oscar with some company, but nothing aggressive. So we got some mollies. 1 young oscar with 5 mollies (2M/3F). All was well for the last 3 days, but at feeding this morning, we noticed that the largest mollies seemed to actually be chasing the oscar away from the food! I didn't make sense. So we took the molly and its crew out. And within the hour, the oscar who had been swimming around happy as could be was sulking on the floor, almost motionless. We threw the mollies back in and instantly the oscar was up and swimming around.

What should be do? The mollies were supposed to be to keep the oscar active, and give him something to chase after; not to be the boss of him!
 

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How big is your tank ? I would leave the mollies in there with the oscar. The oscar will grow fast and then boss the mollies around, then most likely eat them. My oscar always sulks & lays on the bottom of the tank when I change something in the tank. I would guess that is the same with yours. I would try feeding the oscar on the other end of the tank than the mollies and see if that helps. Just make sure that you feed the oscar on the same side each time, and it'll learn which side it gets feed on, and swim to it.

Good Luck :thumb:
 

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Whatever you try to do to get an oscar to quit sulking I would wait about 3 days to see if it was effective or not. As Stina points out, they don't like change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The tank is a 50g, 36" x 18" x 18". We're aware this might be to small for him when he gets bigger, and plans are in the works for a 75 gallon being added in the summer. But for now the little guy is only about 2 inches, so I would think that's ok. Here's some pictures of him





He's eating better now, although certainly not a ravenous eater like we expected. He's also getting along with his tankmates now, but sulks on the rocks most of the time. Hopefully he'll get more active over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Water is kept at about 80, usually no more then a degree up or down. Minor fluctuations like that seem to be a consequence of the weather, and its easier to keep it steady at 80 then to set it to 76 and it pop up to 80-81 during the day while at work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yea, I have an API master test kit, and also a digital ph meter. PH was reads between 7.2 and 6.9, depending on how close to the WC time I check it. My gf does twice a week water changes, between 15-25% about. Our tap sucks, comes out ph 8.5, gh 7 and kh 2-3.

I haven't done a major testing since just before we put the oscar in, but everything was good then. I'll do another check tommarow. It's about due anyway, since we put in a new filter (upgrade from a fluval 203 to a 404, used all the old media). The tank was cycled prior to the filter change, so I assume it should still be good.

To jump ahead to diet, should the info be needed; she feeds hikari flakes and hikari cichlid gold as staples. Also freeze dried tubifex worms and spriulina brine shrimp are once a day treats (generally one OR the other, not both)
 

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Ok, so are you adjusting the ph? If so, stop. Just let the tap water be the tap water. Just remove the chlorine and chlorimines. The more you mess with water chenmistry the more stress you'll put on he fish. My ph is about 8.2 and everyone does just fine.

As for the food, don't waste your time with flakes, all they'll do is mess you tank up more. The freeze dried tubifex worms and spriulina brine shrimp should only be fed as treats once a week in my opinion. Pellets are more than enough for nutrition.

If you're not messing with you water chemistry then you need to find out what's breaking it down in your tank and get it out.

Young oscars need consistency, nothing more nothing less. The more things change the more they get stressed. And stress kills young oscars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
TheFishGuy said:
Ok, so are you adjusting the ph? If so, stop. Just let the tap water be the tap water. Just remove the chlorine and chlorimines. The more you mess with water chenmistry the more stress you'll put on he fish. My ph is about 8.2 and everyone does just fine.

If you're not messing with you water chemistry then you need to find out what's breaking it down in your tank and get it out.
She doesn't like the idea of adjusting ph, so theres nothing going on for that. As far as the ph, it just drops over time. So when she adds water, it bumps it back up and then it drops back down over days. I don't know what else would be causing the changes in her ph besides time, since theres currently no driftwood or any decoration in the tank other then rocks and more rocks.

TheFishGuy said:
As for the food, don't waste your time with flakes, all they'll do is mess you tank up more. The freeze dried tubifex worms and spriulina brine shrimp should only be fed as treats once a week in my opinion. Pellets are more than enough for nutrition.
Good to know on the flakes. Although it seems they are alot messier then the pellets that sink and rot in the gravel if the fish don't catch them on the way down.

Young oscars need consistency, nothing more nothing less. The more things change the more they get stressed. And stress kills young oscars.
Something we'll be sure to keep in mind. Funny how keeping an oscar is proving more a challenge then raising juvenile discus.
 

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My tap ph is also higher than my tank. I let it sit in 5 gallon bottles overnight, after treating it. It helps to lower the ph and make it closer to the ph in the tank. (Good advice I got here.) :D I have alway feed my oscar Hikari floating pellets. I can count how many I give him, and it was easier to clean up the leftovers that way.

What kind of rocks do you have, I think I read some where here that slate can change the ph.

In any case, Good Luck :fish: :thumb:
 

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Yes, certain rocks that break down will affect PH, I try to only use granite. Heavy but solid. So when you say rocks and rocks, what kind of rocks? :)

and yes, floating pellets work the best to keep the tank clean. You can drop one in at a time (keeping count) then feed that amount every time.

How often do you feed?

When you do your water changes do you vacuum the gravel too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Today's test showed a 7.2 ph, which is the same as sunday. Looks like the rogue 6.9 was an oddity, not the standard. Probably had to do with the new filter or something. The rocks are some landscaping rock we picked up from home depot and then spent a while cleaning.

I believe she does 4 feedings a day, mixing the aforementioned foods.

Heres todays test:
ph 7.2
kh 2
gh 8
Nitrate: 20-30
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: .25

Water changes always involve gravel vacuuming. Takes the same amount of time, and a hair more energy.
 

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Well, one thing is you should never have a reading of ammonia, the solve to that would be cut the feedings in half. Only feed once in the morning and once in the evening. As the oscar grows and reaches 8" or so take the feedings down to once a day. Then when it hits ten inches feed once every other day. As for the ph issue, when you say landscaping rocks do you know what kind of rocks they are? Slate? Shale? Sand stone? Do you have a picture of them or the whole tank you can post?

Some rocks will drop PH... Like limestone.....
 

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My tapwater used to test at 7.4 pH, which was the same as my tanks.
Last fall I noticed health issues with my oscar's appearance, which appeared to be in the form of enlarged sensory pits and increased (excessive) slimecoat. There were other symptoms as well, but I won't get into all that.

To sum it all up, what I did was test the tapwater parameters again...
Lo and behold, the pH was up to about 8.6, and it turns out that ammonia was 0.25 PPM! After doing some research, the consensus was that the tapwater company must be using temporary alkalides in the water to reduce pipe corrosion. These would gradually 'break down' when the water was no longer under pressure; thereby causing the pH to drop. My solution was to age tapwater under aeration for 24-48 hours (using a bubble wand) in a 44 gallon Rubbermaid 'Brute' trashbin---this would drop pH back down to its 'natural' level, which is about what I had in my tanks (about 7.4 PPM). I addressed the ammonia issue (caused by chloramine) by switching to Seachem Prime tapwater conditioner (which temporarily converts ammonia to a non-toxic form that my tank's bio-filtration takes care of).

In a nutshell, aging water under aeration for at least 24 hours and adding a tapwater conditioner (immediately before water changes) equipped to 'detoxify' ammonia may be the solution to some of the issues you've been experiencing. Still, you shouldn't be seeing any ammonia levels in the tank itself, so that is an issue which likely needs to be addressed separately (possible explanations for this include: cycling tank still needing time to develop sufficient beneficial bacterial colonies; inadequate filtration; copious overfeeding).

BV

P.S. Turns out my oscar had an Aeromonas (bacterial) infection---most likely brought on by the tapwater quality issues I mentioned earlier. He was treated with antibiotic injections and made a quick recovery. Since that time, no more issues have crept up, which is something I also attribute to having corrected tapwater issues (something [tapwater issues] was stressing him in the first place; thereby making him susceptible to infection---this stressor has since been removed, and he's had a clean bill of health ever since).
 

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You mentioned upgrading your fluval from a 203 to a 404.

Question, what kind of media did you reuse from the fluval ? I have 304, and I know you can use different things in it. Just thinking that might have something to do with the ammonia reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The 203 was using a chemi-pure media, biomax and sponge. All three went into the 404, along with another chemi-pure, 3 containers of biomax, and some filter floss for the top chambers. The 2 chemi are on the bottom, followed by 3 biomax and fully seeded sponge from older filter, and the top is two more new sponges with floss. The seeded sponge will be changed out to make 4 biomax total once the new media gets itself seeded well.

btw: oscar is doing much better now, swimming around as he pleases. He still seems to enjoy hanging out in the corner, but he seems to have lost his inhibitions and is starting to realize he's the boss. We've cut back the feeding, and no ammonia since, so I'd guess that was the cause of that.

Thanks a lot for the help. I'll post more pictures as he grows.
 
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