Question Oscar has hole in the head.

atoken64

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My Oscar is exhibiting signs of hole in the head. I removed both of them from main tank right away. They are currently in a makeshift hospital tank. My question is the following:

Should I treat both Oscars even if one is showing any signs? My LFS said I should as a preventive measure.

Secondly, since I live in Canada you can no longer get any antibiotics or fish medications. However; I have a bottle of Hikari Metro+. Is this medication useful and worth using? I plan to add in water as a bath daily per the directions. I have enough for about three to 4 days of treatment so just want to make sure.
They have been in the hospital tank a few days now, I have done daily water changes and added aquarium salt to help the sores heal a bit. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I have had this pair since they were about an inch a half big.
 

FishGirl38

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I don't have very much helpful information for you, but I've had an oscar who hasnt been ailed by this...but 10 years ago, my parents had a pair of oscar in a 75G, and they DID contract HITH. Granted, I was 14 and knew nothing about fish then. But now I know there was a difference between how my father cared for his tank, and how I care for mine.

and I know...what i've heard about HITH from more experienced managers and co-workers at the lfs where i work...

and what I've heard about it is that it's a parasite that can lay dormant in a fish until conditions make it suitable for the parasite to present itself. Additionally, once the fish has it and is ailed by it, I've heard that you can't necessarily cure it, Only treat the symptoms, and to my knowledge...the worse part about HITH IS the sores themselves...I believe if you could treat the sores and keep them healing...than the fish should be okay. But KEEPING them healing and avoiding secondary bacterial infection is the hard part. I remember with my Dad's oscars, the holes eroded from the middle down to the eye and they would go away and re-occur and get worse every time they did reoccur.

What are your water parameters in the tank where the issue arose? For a fish to contract HITH, there has got to be some parameter that is out of check in their home tank. How often do you do water changes, and how much water do you change? My father would do water changes about once every 2 months, MAYBE. I do water changes once weekly.

It absolutely wouldn't hurt to treat both of the fish. But 1. I don't think HITF is contagious quite like how a bacterial infection can be and 2. I believe it would help the fish MORE if you could check the water parameters and make sure your ammonia and nitrite are below .5ppm and your nitrate falls somewhere between 5-20ppm. I'll admit, I've had takes with nitrate as high as 160ppm before and the fish were healthy, (nitrate isn't so bad) But its still not a good thing. Fish's main immune system is their slime coat on the outside of their body. That can be depleted through stress caused by less than ideal water quality. This is the main reason most fish contract disease in the first place.

Its possible (because oscar are dirty fish and, if per your bio, the largest tank you have is a 55G and that's what they're in, i could imagine the waste building up fairly quickly.) that even though you're doing frequent or regular water changes, that the concentrations are still too high for the amount you're diluting? I had this happen once to me, (in the 160ppm nitrate tank, I did a 50% water change and the concentration was still through my test kit).

I just want to note, putting the fish into a quarantine is a scary thought too. How big is this quarantine and is it cycled? you've been doing 50% water changes so that's good, but I'm under the impression that the water quality in the main tank caused the issue to present, and changing that water quality again (by switching their tank altogether) might not've been the best for his immune system. Albeit, he may be in a 'cleaner' environment than before....just...keep an eye on that ammonia in the QT if its a smaller QT and definitely test your main tank parameters.

P.S. HITH is a slowly debilitating disease. It alone won't take him overnight. My parents oscars lived for years after being first affected and my dad did little to medicate or help them, assumed it was 'just something with the fish'. I believe you have time to help them.
 
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atoken64

atoken64

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I actually have more tanks then listed in bio, I suffer from MTS. At present I have an empty 20 gallon tall( water in and filter running). It's an emergency hospital tank for my smaller cichlids. I also have two 125 gallons, one 90, one 55, one 45 Bowfront and a 30 gallon. I grew my 2 albino Oscars out in the 45 and then moved them to a 90 ( doing water changes twice a week). The tank also had two fluval 406's running. I recently moved them to one of the 125 gallons with my Texan and two BRP's. I moved them back to the 90 as I know BRP'S are also susceptible to hole in the head. Both my 125 gallon tanks run with fluval fx 6's and one AC 110 on opposite side. I am up to date on water changes and always change the tanks weekly or as needed. As for the water parameters all my tanks are approximately the same, this way I can quicky move a fish to another tank if needed.

My parameters are:
Nitrate 5.0
Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0
PH between 7.2 to 7.6
My newest tank had a very low Ph but that stabilized to 7.6 and has stayed that way.
I was just asking if the Metro+ is any good as a treatment because once I use it won't be able to get anymore. In the mean time the holes don't seem to be getting worse and I think the salt has helped as well in keeping the sores from looking worse.
 

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Okay, wow, I'm terribly sorry to say I don't have much relevant help for you than, you knew everything I mentioned prior. I've never used Metro+ but....I can say hikari tends to be a reliable brand. and I did look the medication up, (we sell it where I work, I just didnt realize it was by hikari)

the active ingredients are metronidazole (2-methyl-5-nitroimidazole-1-ethanol) (active ingredient); sodium cloride, synthetic polymers and a chelating agent. Putting HITH into google for possible treatments, it mentions metronidazole. So I would think the medication should help....but I have no personal experience to back that up, I'm sorry.
 

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From what I understand, Metro is the ONLY medication for HITH, so you have the right one, albeit a limited amount. If they are still eating I would mix some into their food. Good luck!
 
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atoken64

atoken64

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Kjeldsen said:
From what I understand, Metro is the ONLY medication for HITH, so you have the right one, albeit a limited amount. If they are still eating I would mix some into their food. Good luck!
They are still eating and active, although bit pouty as they don't like the way I moved out some of the rocks. I was thinking of doing the daily bath, but maybe I'll try mixing with the food and also add aquarium salt with the daily 50% recommended water changes for 5 days.
 
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atoken64

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FishGirl38 said:
Okay, wow, I'm terribly sorry to say I don't have much relevant help for you than, you knew everything I mentioned prior. I've never used Metro+ but....I can say hikari tends to be a reliable brand. and I did look the medication up, (we sell it where I work, I just didnt realize it was by hikari)

the active ingredients are metronidazole (2-methyl-5-nitroimidazole-1-ethanol) (active ingredient); sodium cloride, synthetic polymers and a chelating agent. Putting HITH into google for possible treatments, it mentions metronidazole. So I would think the medication should help....but I have no personal experience to back that up, I'm sorry.
It's ok the advice was appreciated, also it's ok to assume that I didn't know what you said as I never specified anything about my tanks and parameters.
 

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atoken64 said:
My Oscar is exhibiting signs of hole in the head. I removed both of them from main tank right away. They are currently in a makeshift hospital tank. My question is the following:

Should I treat both Oscars even if one is showing any signs? My LFS said I should as a preventive measure.

Secondly, since I live in Canada you can no longer get any antibiotics or fish medications. However; I have a bottle of Hikari Metro+. Is this medication useful and worth using? I plan to add in water as a bath daily per the directions. I have enough for about three to 4 days of treatment so just want to make sure.
They have been in the hospital tank a few days now, I have done daily water changes and added aquarium salt to help the sores heal a bit. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I have had this pair since they were about an inch a half big.
My female crowntail Betta had HITH and she died not because of it but other illness .. They are cause by feeding your fish bloodworms live or of any form .. Also if you feed your fish live larva from mosquitos that you haven't flushed out from parasites this can also cause HITH .. I tried treating her with M. Blue and keeping the water conditions optimal .. Even if you manage to get rid of the parasite the damages would still be there on your Oscars.
I do recommend you treating both fishes because if they were in the same tank together and eating the same food sources then most likely your other Oscar will eventually get it .. But good luck and hope they will be okay in the end.
 
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atoken64

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RichTino said:
My female crowntail Betta had HITH and she died not because of it but other illness .. They are cause by feeding your fish bloodworms live or of any form .. Also if you feed your fish live larva from mosquitos that you haven't flushed out from parasites this can also cause HITH .. I tried treating her with M. Blue and keeping the water conditions optimal .. Even if you manage to get rid of the parasite the damages would still be there on your Oscars.
I do recommend you treating both fishes because if they were in the same tank together and eating the same food sources then most likely your other Oscar will eventually get it .. But good luck and hope they will be okay in the end.
I used to feed them frozen blood worms, they loved them. I stop feedind them that a few months ago as it made the tank dirty. I only feed them frozen or freezed dried shrimps once a week now.
 

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atoken64 said:
I used to feed them frozen blood worms, they loved them. I stop feedind them that a few months ago as it made the tank dirty. I only feed them frozen or freezed dried shrimps once a week now.
I will post you this video below about a female who lives in Canada and why she stopped feeding her fish bloodworms and what the effects did ...


 
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atoken64

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RichTino said:
I will post you this video below about a female who lives in Canada and why she stopped feeding her fish bloodworms and what the effects did ...


She lives in Montreal, I live just across the river from her! I just threw out an unopened container of Tetra's freezed dried blood worms.
 

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atoken64 said:
She lives in Montreal, I live just across the river from her! I just threw out an unopened container of Tetra's freezed dried blood worms.
Great. I am happy the video was informative to you .
 

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atoken64 said:
She lives in Montreal, I live just across the river from her! I just threw out an unopened container of Tetra's freezed dried blood worms.
Although I like their food supply people told me that Tetra stuff are generic and not many people would prefer or recommend anyone in this hobby to use most of their stuff.
 
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atoken64

atoken64

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RichTino said:
Although I like their food supply people told me that Tetra stuff are generic and not many people would prefer or recommend anyone in this hobby to use most of their stuff.
I use the Jumbo Cichlid Sticks from Tetra along with Hikari and a few other brands. I like to mix up their food so they get different things and have a variety.
 
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atoken64

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Well I read the instructions on the web site. I don't think with all that is going on I will be able to shop for grain alchohol or gelatin right now. Will try the bath method for a few days.
 
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atoken64

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Just wanted to provide an update on my Oscar's. I was able to squeeze 5 days of treatment out of my Metro+. The one most affected seems to be doing better, is more active and swimming around more. The lesions on his/her head and body no longer look red and ugly. It seems to be healing up, and I know the pitting and scars will remain but the area's look a lot better. Tonight I will do one last 50% water change and add some aquarium salt just to help the healing process. I am not putting the carbon back in and will resume the normal water change schedule on Tuesday.
 

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