Oscar is “sick”

BWIT

Member
I have a juvenile Oscar in a new 90 gallon tank. It’s properly cycled. 7.4 pH, .25 ammonia (from Chloramine), 0 nitrite, 10 nitrate. Only decoration is a piece of driftwood which was found on a freshwater beach completely dried out. I soaked it in a kiddie pool for a week, brushed it all down to get loose stuff off, then soaked it more for another week. Anyways, Oscar was in quarantine for a bit and doing fine. When the tank was ready, I moved him over and he is the only one in the 90. Within a few days, my wife priced a few small specks of ich. I immediately began treating him and the tank with Ich-X and some aquarium salt (I was running low) and gradually raised the temp to 81. That night, he was close to dead. I gave him a methalyne blue bath and watched him for a while. 45 min later, he was slowly swimming again. It’s been a few days of methy blue baths and he is still in a very slow recovery. The ich has been gone for a few days but he is still pale, breathing heavy, not eating much, and not swimming real strong. There are times when I wonder if he has bloat or something because of how he kind of drifts sometimes. I’m continuing the baths which seem to help but I am curious if anyone has any input on what might be wrong or what else I can do to help him along. Thanks!
 

Mazeus

Member
The first thing I would do is remove the wood, do a 50% water change and then another large (ish) water change later that day or the next. My thinking is that it could be something nasty from the wood being introduced to the tank. If that doesn't help at all, at least you could rule it out.
 

Debbie1986

Member
re: "Only decoration is a piece of driftwood which was found on a freshwater beach completely dried out. I soaked it in a kiddie pool for a week, brushed it all down to get loose stuff off, then soaked it more for another week. "


You would have to boil it to remove any bad contagion.

I make my own leaves for tannin. I boil it ( rolling boil, 20 minutes on stove top) and then seal it air tight for 48 hours. This kills any bad bacteria, fungus or life/growth on the decaying material.

Depending on size of wood, baking might be preferred, but I'd put it up to 425 degrees and watch it so it did not catch fire.


the heat kills any living organism.
 
  • Thread Starter

BWIT

Member
Debbie1986 said:
re: "Only decoration is a piece of driftwood which was found on a freshwater beach completely dried out. I soaked it in a kiddie pool for a week, brushed it all down to get loose stuff off, then soaked it more for another week. "


You would have to boil it to remove any bad contagion.

I make my own leaves for tannin. I boil it ( rolling boil, 20 minutes on stove top) and then seal it air tight for 48 hours. This kills any bad bacteria, fungus or life/growth on the decaying material.

Depending on size of wood, baking might be preferred, but I'd put it up to 425 degrees and watch it so it did not catch fire.


the heat kills any living organism.
I am all for boiling it but the pieces are roughly 3 feet each. I don’t have access to anything large enough to boil it in (which is why I soaked it in a kiddie pool)

Mazeus said:
The first thing I would do is remove the wood, do a 50% water change and then another large (ish) water change later that day or the next. My thinking is that it could be something nasty from the wood being introduced to the tank. If that doesn't help at all, at least you could rule it out.
I will probably end up taking it out. It sucks because 1, it’s large and wasn’t ease to get in the tank, and 2, it’s going to look really empty with nothing in there but a 3” fish
 

Mazeus

Member
BWIT said:
I will probably end up taking it out. It sucks because 1, it’s large and wasn’t ease to get in the tank, and 2, it’s going to look really empty with nothing in there but a 3” fish
It might not be the wood, but at least you can try and rule it out as a cause.
 
  • Thread Starter

BWIT

Member
Mazeus said:
The first thing I would do is remove the wood, do a 50% water change and then another large (ish) water change later that day or the next. My thinking is that it could be something nasty from the wood being introduced to the tank. If that doesn't help at all, at least you could rule it out.
I took out the wood and did a 50% change. He’s on the floor and I have doubts he will make it through the night. I will be very surprised (and happy) if he does.
 

Kribensis27

Member
Poor little guy. I hope he makes it.
 
  • Thread Starter

BWIT

Member
Kribensis27 said:
Poor little guy. I hope he makes it.
Same. I did a watee change and methy blue bath 4 hours ago and he has been struggling since then. I can’t say he has gotten better or worse in that time though. He seems to be a fighter which is about the only hope I have for him right now.
 

Kribensis27

Member
BWIT said:
Same. I did a watee change and methy blue bath 4 hours ago and he has been struggling since then. I can’t say he has gotten better or worse in that time though. He seems to be a fighter which is about the only hope I have for him right now.
Update if anything happens! Oscars are tough. I think he might have a chance.
 
  • Thread Starter

BWIT

Member
Kribensis27 said:
Update if anything happens! Oscars are tough. I think he might have a chance.
The only decoration is a clay pot. He uses it to rest against and if he falls over, he moved himself around so he is at least upright again and then shifts so he is back resting against the pot. He’s also breathing heavy. I’m afraid he is going to exhaust himself.
 

Kribensis27

Member
BWIT said:
The only decoration is a clay pot. He uses it to rest against and if he falls over, he moved himself around so he is at least upright again and then shifts so he is back resting against the pot. He’s also breathing heavy. I’m afraid he is going to exhaust himself.
Is the tank light on? If so, dim it or turn it off. Lower light levels will let him feel safer and less exposed. Less stress means an easier recovery.
 
  • Thread Starter

BWIT

Member
I’ve had it on blue light this whole time but I turned it off for the night. I would stay up and watch him all night but I’m. It sure my boss would appreciate my lack of energy in the morning.
Kribensis27 said:
Is the tank light on? If so, dim it or turn it off. Lower light levels will let him feel safer and less exposed. Less stress means an easier recovery.
 

Kribensis27

Member
Any updates?
 
  • Thread Starter

BWIT

Member
Kribensis27 said:
Any updates?
Yes. Sorry I had a busy day. He didn’t make it through the night. I didn’t have the heart to turn on the tank light today so I kept it dark.

Obviously I will eventually be getting another fish but my concern is, when? Meaning, I don’t know if there was something in the tank, or if it was the wood, or what. I’m nervous to put anyone else in there without knowing if it’s safe.
 

Kribensis27

Member
BWIT said:
Yes. Sorry I had a busy day. He didn’t make it through the night. I didn’t have the heart to turn on the tank light today so I kept it dark.

Obviously I will eventually be getting another fish but my concern is, when? Meaning, I don’t know if there was something in the tank, or if it was the wood, or what. I’m nervous to put anyone else in there without knowing if it’s safe.
I’m so sorry. It can be tough losing a fish, especially a smart one like an Oscar. Certain parasites and diseases can remain in the tank for a while (up to a few months) if not treated. I would highly recommend to drain the majority of the water, take out anything left and scrub/sterilize whatever you can, tank walls included. Make sure to leave the substrate in the tank with a thin layer of water and don’t touch it. This will keep the beneficial bacteria alive. Then fill the tank again and dose with more methalyne blue or other ich/parasite treatment. It doesn’t eliminate the threat, but makes it much less likely that you’ll run into the issue again. Then you can add back the clean decor and add a few more doses of the medication (however often it recommends) until you’ve reached a full cycle. This ensures that it’ll be fish safe. It also wouldn’t hurt to let it sit for a while after to gain back some of the bacteria it lost. Do this a few weeks before you’ll be introducing the new fish, to give time for the bacteria to grow back. I hope this helped, and I’m very sorry about your fish.
 
  • Thread Starter

BWIT

Member
I guess my concern is what if the driftwood was the culprit. I guess I won’t rally know unless I go through the same trial and error. But I’ll do what you recommend. It sucks when you have a new tank sitting empty for so long. You just want it filled and then you can also stop answering peoples question of “why are there no fish in it?”
Kribensis27 said:
I’m so sorry. It can be tough losing a fish, especially a smart one like an Oscar. Certain parasites and diseases can remain in the tank for a while (up to a few months) if not treated. I would highly recommend to drain the majority of the water, take out anything left and scrub/sterilize whatever you can, tank walls included. Make sure to leave the substrate in the tank with a thin layer of water and don’t touch it. This will keep the beneficial bacteria alive. Then fill the tank again and dose with more methalyne blue or other ich/parasite treatment. It doesn’t eliminate the threat, but makes it much less likely that you’ll run into the issue again. Then you can add back the clean decor and add a few more doses of the medication (however often it recommends) until you’ve reached a full cycle. This ensures that it’ll be fish safe. It also wouldn’t hurt to let it sit for a while after to gain back some of the bacteria it lost. Do this a few weeks before you’ll be introducing the new fish, to give time for the bacteria to grow back. I hope this helped, and I’m very sorry about your fish.
 

Mazeus

Member
BWIT said:
I guess my concern is what if the driftwood was the culprit. I guess I won’t rally know unless I go through the same trial and error. But I’ll do what you recommend. It sucks when you have a new tank sitting empty for so long. You just want it filled and then you can also stop answering peoples question of “why are there no fish in it?”
Really sorry about your fish. if you want to "sterilise" the tank, there are options that won't linger. Hydrogen peroxide would work if you wanted to break the tank down. You could also run the tank with high concentrations of salt. This would kill bacteria and parasites.
 

A201

Member
IMO, sounds like the OP overreacted with the Ick med, Medicated baths & salt. The Oscar likely was overwhelmed with chemicals & minerals, causing more stress to the fish than the parasite.
IMO, At the first sign of an Ick infection, don't reach for the med bottle. Simply bump the heat up to 86 - 87 degrees & leave it there for 10 days. That usually will take care of the issue.
Really no need to break down & sterilize a tank after an Ick infection. A big WC & elevated temp. for two weeks is usually enough.
My guess is the new tank wasn't completely cycled, and the less than perfect water chemistry stressed the Oscar to the point of disease susceptibility.
 
Top Bottom