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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All, I am new to this forum and in an emergency. Please excuse if there are any rules i dint follow.

Please look at the images attached. I tried water changes, reduce pH naturally. Got API fresh water test kit.

PH is 7.5
no ammonia, nitrite & nitrate.

But still its not healing, its been a week my two oscar fishes not eating


· Super Moderator
3,025 Posts
I've been waiting a while to respond to one of these. So well, here we go.... :?
and welcome to Cichlid-forum. Hopefully we can address this problem for your sick Oscars.

I believe both of your Oscars have a nasty condition known as Hole In The Head (HITH). This is caused when a fish becomes stressed and suffers from a compromised immune system. When the fish become stressed, a protozoa called Spironucleus vortens that normally lives harmlessly in the digestive tract... increases in numbers and spreads beyond the gut tract of the fish and into the bloodstream. This affects the fish's gut wall, affecting it's ability to digest food. Additionally, the released protozoa will attack other areas of the fish, esp. the head region.


This disease can be confused with attacks from the Bacteria Hexamita, which is a different but very similar disease, and with different symptoms. The best treatment for HITH is with Metronidazole. Getting your Oscars to eat food treated with Metronidazole will have the best results.
- Use frozen food which should be thawed out and then add two teaspoons of Metronidazole powder to 0.5 kg of food, mix it thoroughly and then re-freeze. The food should be used on ten consecutive days.
If your Oscars will not eat any food, then you will have to attempt treatment of the aquarium water.
- Remove all activated carbon from any filtration equipment.
- Thoroughly clean/rinse all foam filtration media with tank water.
- Conduct a high percentage (90 percent) water change.
- Treat with Metronidazole, The recommended dose is: A quarter of a teaspoon per 75 litres. Treat every 24 hours with a 25% water change made before each treatment.
Following (successful) treatment of the HITH, a bit of salt can be added to control other problems such as fungus or secondary infections that may attack the healing lesion sites.
- Add one tablespoon of salt per 11 liters of water.

Secondary infections. Antibiotics such as nitrofurazone or erythromycin may also help prevent secondary bacterial infections that may arise from the healing HITH wounds on your Oscars. Apply and use according to the manufacturers directions supplied with the product.
HITH Prevention:
- It's not the PH of your water. And yes, Oscars prefer soft acidic water conditions in the aquarium, as that will be similar to their native habitat. However, this species is very adaptable and can be kept successfully in water at 7.5 PH.
- Water changes. High percentage - Higher frequency. Keep Nitrates down to measured level below 20 PPM. The best measured value in the water that your Oscars will appreciate the most is - CLEAN.
- Do NOT use activated carbon in your filtration. That stuff has been linked as a causal agent in HITH for Oscars and other Cichlids.
- Are your Oscars fighting? A lot? Stress caused by incompatible tankmate(s) can ultimately cause HITH in Cichlids.
- What size is the pictured aquarium? 285 liters is considered the absolute minimum size for keeping just ONE Oscar in an aquarium! And, that is a tank measuring 122cm long X 46 cm wide X 60 cm tall. Too many Oscars in a tank will cause a LOT of stress in these Cichlids - which can cause HITH.
Hopefully, you will be able to treat your Oscars successfully before the HITH becomes worse. It looks terrible, but they can recover from it. Sometimes with some pretty bad healing scars caused by the lesions. :(
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