I don't know if I'm overfeeding my oscar or not?

cichlids-are-better
  • #1
I don't know if I'm overfeeding my oscar or not. I used to feed him 3-4 cichlid pellets once a day but then he started to get really thin so I upped it to 5-6 pellets. He was still a bit thin and I know with some fish you feed twice a day so I upped it to 4-6 twice a day (morning and night) and he seems to eat them all. At first he wasn't eating at all so I did recently have to do a water change bc some of his pellets would be left over (he doesn't usually eat with me around anyway- he is very timid) he has been eatin g since so I think it may have been the water parameters- I don't have a testing kit, I'm thinking of the ones that hang in the tank and last about a month to save on some money- but yeah. He still doesn't eat with anyone near the tank so I feed him and leave the room or walk away and ive seen him eat his pellets. So usually ill feed him and leave and he will eat all his pellets but he is kind of thin. He doesn't look parasite ridden just thinner than other oscars ive seen.
Oh and also he just got through with a treatment with melafix because he had ripped his fins on a decor (which I removed). He has healed up nicely since. He ate throughout the treatment though.

Idk I just wanna know that hes eating right.
 
Floundering_Around
  • #2
How big is the tank that it's in? You could probably afford to feed him more than that. Feed as much as they'll consume in a few seconds.

As for the new substrate choice, I would go with sand or bare because with gravel, all the waste will fall between the rocks and be a pain in the butt to clean (imo)
 
OnTheFly
  • #3
Try some live or frozen food. They are carnivores. I know they usually accept pellets but probably time to mix it up some if he is getting thin. Hopefuly he is isn't ill. Skinny is usually not a problem with a healthy oscar.
 
cichlids-are-better
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Right now- and you have every right to cringe- he is in a 37gal. That's why hes getting a new tank. He is still kind of small, there are no fish with him currantly its just him some gravel and two small decor hiding decor.
Of course for the new tank I'm going for something 75+ but really would prefer a 100gal. Ive been keeping my eye on craigslist and letgo listings and in goodwills for tanks. He is eating again and I'm gonna need to do water changes more frequently in his temporary/grow out tank.
Hes only about 4 inches and ive heard they grow an inch a month, idk how true that is bc I haven't got any pics of when I first got him.

Try some live or frozen food. They are carnivores. I know they usually accept pellets but probably time to mix it up some if he is getting thin. Hopefuly he is isn't ill. Skinny is usually not a problem with a healthy oscar.
I was thinking about that but the only live foods at our lps are either reptile bugs or those nasty live fish, and I don't want to risk parasites w the latter.
The reason I haven't buy live food for him is because I'm scared that the bugs might have parasites or that they might be dusted w something that could kill him. I get kind of paranoid w that stuff...
Would the live reptile food be ok for him then? What about like nightcrawlers that you buy for fishing?
 
Floundering_Around
  • #5
nightcrawlers and earthworms should be fine. If anything, double check at the store you're going to. Crickets should be okay as well, IMO. Some people feed their carnivorous fish "people" food such as raw shrimp or cuts of fish like tilapia (bought frozen at the store). Since they are certified for human consumption, they might help put your mind at ease.
 
OnTheFly
  • #6
I fed my oscar every live food imaginable and he absolutely thrived. Goldfish, baitstore minnows, nightcrawlers (worms), crickets, beefheart etc. I completely understand your concern for disease problems though. Even earthworms carry risk. Pellets may be fine if he will eat them. They are such messy eaters so maintenance is the biggest issue or the water parameters will go bad crazy fast no matter how large the tank is. You aren't abusing a 4" oscar in a 37G but he will outgrow it very soon. Before I knew better I had a pair of small oscars in a 20G before they quickly outgrew it and I had to upgrade. I ended up in a 55G with constant gravel vacuuming.
 
cichlids-are-better
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Ok thanks. Ill try the mealworms they sell at my lps then probably. I might run down to the lfs where my dad lives to buy some live shrimp (they are exclusively a fish and reptile store and their stuff is usually very healthy so I would feel better getting fish there)

How often would you say to do water changes with the live food? I would assume its messier lol. I usually gravel vacuum 10% of the water and then just let some run for 10% of it- so its a 20% waterchange, I know some people don't gravel vacuum every time- every other week so that I'm not stressing him out too much but I'm also getting the tank clean ya know? Would I need to change that or is that fine?
 
Discusluv
  • #8
Can you take a picture of him? Have you added any fish to the same tank with him in the last few months? I agree with OnTheFly, there is a possibility of an inner parasite or protozoan infection with a loss of weight with fish in general and Cichlids in particular with Hexamita. Notice any white feces, pitting around the head, or erosion down the lateral line?
 
Floundering_Around
  • #9
Since you'll be feeding him higher protein foods, I would go with maybe twice a week (I keep small fish and small tanks so somebody correct me).
 
Discusluv
  • #10
Ok thanks. Ill try the mealworms they sell at my lps then probably. I might run down to the lfs where my dad lives to buy some live shrimp (they are exclusively a fish and reptile store and their stuff is usually very healthy so I would feel better getting fish there)

How often would you say to do water changes with the live food? I would assume its messier lol. I usually gravel vacuum 10% of the water and then just let some run for 10% of it- so its a 20% waterchange, I know some people don't gravel vacuum every time- every other week so that I'm not stressing him out too much but I'm also getting the tank clean ya know? Would I need to change that or is that fine?
Is this 20% weekly? This is a bit low. But, as I have been accused, I am "religious" when it comes to water changes- LOL! Cichlids should have at least 50% of their water changed weekly. However, I would do a water test of your nitrates and see what your numbers are right before you normally do a water change, this is the best test for how well you are doing with frequency and volume.
 
OnTheFly
  • #11
Ok thanks. Ill try the mealworms they sell at my lps then probably. I might run down to the lfs where my dad lives to buy some live shrimp (they are exclusively a fish and reptile store and their stuff is usually very healthy so I would feel better getting fish there)

How often would you say to do water changes with the live food? I would assume its messier lol. I usually gravel vacuum 10% of the water and then just let some run for 10% of it- so its a 20% waterchange, I know some people don't gravel vacuum every time- every other week so that I'm not stressing him out too much but I'm also getting the tank clean ya know? Would I need to change that or is that fine?
Oscars are different. You don't necessarily have to do a big WC but vacuuming the food off the gravel every couple days is not a waste of effort. More important than a WC IMO. Get the food up before it rots. Do it constantly. Live food vs pellets makes little difference IMO. They are just messy eaters and blow 1/3 of it back out when they eat anything. The shrimp is a great idea if he likes it. You can buy low grade shrimp at the grocery store pretty cheap and it should be clean of disease.
 
cichlids-are-better
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Is this 20% weekly? This is a bit low. But, as I have been accused, I am "religious" when it comes to water changes- LOL! Cichlids should have at least 50% of their water changed weekly. However, I would do a water test of your nitrates and see what your numbers are right before you normally do a water change, this is the best test for how well you are doing with frequency and volume.
Oh ok! I do 20% biweekly (and this is just an estimate its a little more than 20 but not by much lol). I read that cleaning the tank too much and too often will stress the fish so I am trying to play it safe. Ill up it to every week and probably do a bigger water change then.
Oscars are different. You don't necessarily have to do a big WC but vacuuming the food off the gravel every couple days is not a waste of effort. More important than a WC IMO. Get the food up before it rots. Do it constantly. Live food vs pellets makes little difference IMO. They are just messy eaters and blow 1/3 of it back out when they eat anything. The shrimp is a great idea if he likes it. You can buy low grade shrimp at the grocery store pretty cheap and it should be clean of disease.
Ok, if he likes the shrimp I might do that too then, just gotta wait and see lol. I'm gonna be gone from today to the 4th though so my oldest sibling will be feeding him for that time.
 
FishFish221
  • #13
nightcrawlers and earthworms should be fine. If anything, double check at the store you're going to. Crickets should be okay as well, IMO. Some people feed their carnivorous fish "people" food such as raw shrimp or cuts of fish like tilapia (bought frozen at the store). Since they are certified for human consumption, they might help put your mind at ease.
Agree, nothing's better feeding a cichlid to another cichlid.
 

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