Need help with Os


New Member
Hope some one can help here.Just bear with me ,as I try to type this all out :-\ I have two Os in a 55 gal tank.maybe 7 & 5 ins. an one of those picos bout 5in.All is great evereybodys happy, Then I come home one day an my water is a green color .then later really green before I could do anything to it. I'am gone a lot.OK I have algae bloom, I go to the store an get some med. for the tank.I put some Algae Destroyer in like the directions said.An with Algae bloom they say your high with Nitrite an Ammonia. So I put in those Tank -Buddies tablets for, After I did the water change like it said to do. An had tons of aeration like it said.The algae bloom is gone now, So I test the tank for everthing to see where I am at. All was good , the Nitrite was just a little high ( I think that was the one ) but the ammonia was of the chart, So I go to a reg. fish store an ask then what I need. I did another water change a put a bag of Nitra -zorb for the 55 gal tank in it . After a day or so I tested the water again an the ammonia is still off the chart. Another water change an I add some of Tetra EasyBalance with Nitraban as it says its good for nitrite an some other stuff an keeping the water biologiclly & chemically balanced ??? Wait two days an test again all is good BUT the ammonia is still the same. An the temp is at 76.I have two big double filters that pumps more than I need for a 55 gal tank. I wanted bigger than I needed , because they were Oscars.Now the water is a little cloudy. BUT now they won't eat. They do the dance an all an when you feed them , they spite it right back out. Both of them , an they aways eat like crazy.I feed them TetraCichlid sticks an they have aways loved them. Its been about four days now an they are still spitting it right back out , An half the time now they won't even bother to come to the top like they used to .Ive tryed flake food an pellte food an the same happens.Its been over a week now with no change, but I do see them eating a little off the bottom some.Plus there acting really weid, They bump each other with there heads with there mouths wide open like there jositing or something. I don't know what to do now , I've never had a problem with them eating at all. An once they spite it out they won't have anything to do with it again, they just ignore you.Both of them. An that's not like them they know when you walk into or out of the room, an they go crazy, till you feed them.I know this is long ,but I tried to put everything down cause I've seen how you all answer other posts with questions, So I hope I did'nt leave anything out.Please answer ASAP

I am saying that you are WAY overcrowded and I do not think you can get the readings down with just water changes as long as you have that many of the big waste producers in that size tank. How often do you vacuum the tank and how much water do you change at a time and how often?

How long have you had the tank and what exactly are the readings for the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates (not just "high" or "off the chart")(if the ammonia test doesn't go high enough to register the readings then how high does it go?)

Exactly what pumps and what sizes are they? What is the gallons per hour that they put out?

Are you running airstones yet?

It really sounds like they are suffering from ammonia poisoning.

Gunnie is our Oscar expert and I sent her a message about your post and she should drop in. Unfortunately, I do not know much about the Oscars in particular but fish in general act this way when they are suffering from stress due to ammonia poisoning. They need a huge water change and if you cannot get a bigger tank for them, perhaps you should consider returning at least one of them to the petstore.

I do want to welcome you to and hope you will find an answer to your problem here. We do have a lot of people with different areas of expertise in the hobby and levels of knowledge. All ages and nationalities are represented and all are welcome. I do hope you like it here as much as I have.


I agree with Chickadee in that your tank is too small for the fish you have in it. A 55 gal. would be okay for one, but not 2 oscars. Your pleco is probably a common pleco, and they can get up to 2 feet long. All 3 fish are super dooper waste producers, and that is why you have an ammonia problem. Your filtration will not be able to keep up as your fish keep getting bigger. I have 2 oscars in a 100 gal. tank with a common pleco, and that tank gets a 50% water change every week. If I don't do this, the tank starts to turn yellow, and it's not good for the fish. If you can afford the money and space, please consider getting at least a 100 gal. tank for your buddies. They will be oh so much happier, and it will reduce your stress level trying to keep up with the maintenance.

Is your tank cycled? If not, please click on the sticky titled, "FishLore Articles for Beginners". It has some great information on the nitrogen cycle, plus other stuff you need to know about the hobby.

Their behavior tells me your water is stressing them. Oscars are the biggest pigs in the world, and will normally eat just about anything you put in the tank. Please post your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings for that tank for us to look at. Also, please test your water straight out of the tap for ammonia and nitrates. Some water supplies contain these 2 things, so knowing you are adding ammonia and nitrates to your tank with every water change is good to know. If you do have ammonia and/or nitrates in your tap water, and since you are currently having trouble with these compounds in your tank, try using Amquel plus in your tank as your water conditioner when you do water changes. It will not only condition your water, but it will neutralize any ammonia, nitrite, or nitrates you have in your tank where the bacteria can still consume it, but it won't be stressing your fish.

If they are coming at each other with their mouths open, and trying to lock lips, they are probably fighting. This is another issue you will have with a smaller tank. If they are jerking their bodies at each other, this may also be a sign of a little mating dance. Since oscars are very hard to sex, you will probably not be able to tell what sex they are until you actually see them spawn. I have either 2 females or a pair, but I'm not sure what they are. I saw eggs, but didn't seem them spawn, and the eggs were gone the next day. If your oscars are spitting gravel around and making a pit along with the jerky motions, I'd say they are dancing. They will also fight during this time.

Oscars are great fish with great personality, but they are somewhat more maintenance that other fish, and require more room. Hopefully we can help you get your issues resolved, and they will be happy fish once again. Welcome to FishLore! We are here to help you get hooked on the hobby!
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Thank you both for your answers.Not really what I wanted to hear , But I kinda new it.I guess I got my work cut out for me. Is there some other small fish that I can put in there .As tank mates ?Anybody live near Kannapolis NC That want some fish ???
Thanks again Dave
PS Do you think I will have to recycle the tank. I guess it was cycles the first time It stayed real nice with just the O an the pieco. Then I added the other O an that's when I lost it all. You think just a 50% or more water change an a good cleaning minus the other O will work or do I need to lose the pieco too ?
You might be able to get by with keeping the pleco and one oscar, but you will have to constantly check your nitrates to know how often to do water changes.  Are you near Charlotte?  There's a great local club there that you definitely need to join.  The folks are great, and could probably help find a new home for one of your oscars.  Check them out!   
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Gunnie, Hope you all had a Merry Christmas. I've done two water changes since we last talked An they are some what better. The levels in the tank are as follows :ammonia -1.0 nitirites-0 nitirates _0 Ph -6.0 an the temp. is 76.Now I also have two ques. for you all. I have to of those power heads, an they really put air in the water . You know what I'am talking about !! Can I( use one other them or both in place of an air stone ????Second now my tank has white stuff on all the sides ??? An you can see it floating though the water, What the H is this stuff !! Nothing on the fish just the tank. An I just cleaned the sides two days ago an its back.
Thanks Dave

If the white stuff looks like little worms, it's probably planaria. They are harmless to your fish, but indicate that your substrate has too much waste in it and needs a good cleaning.
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What ?????????Sorry I don't understand what your saying what's a sustrate ?
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Oh, OK ,thank you I did'nt know what that was. So how do I treat it. Other than cleaning it .
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That's all you need to do. Just make sure you keep the gravel clean by thoroughly sucking the substrate all the way down to the glass. If you have sand in your tank, you will only be able to hover the tube over the top, and then stir the sand at least once a month with a knitting needle or handle of a wooden spoon. If you have gravel, thoroughly clean only 1/4 or 1/2 of the tank with each water change or cleaning so you don't upset the bacteria too much.

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