Pigmy Oscar ????

ShopDave52

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Hello to all, New member here .Hope you can answer my question. Me an my daughter bought two Oscars same size,an also two 10 gal tanks to start with. They were 1. an a half ins. long both.Every thing was the same, An I feed them both . That was 4 or 5 months ago.My oscar is about 6in. long. An my daughters is the SAME SIZE as it was when we bought it.Even the water tests the same !!!!! Do we have a pigmy oscar or what I know my daughter is very upset. ANY help would be great. even if its something I think I.ve covered.
Thank -you ShopDave52 ???
 

0morrokh

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A 10 gallon is WAY too small for an Oscar. You do know these guys get like 12 inches long, right? I think a full grown one would need at least a 55 gallon tank.
What are the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in each tank? (if the readings are different, please specify which tank) Also, what is each being fed? Maybe this will give a clue as to why one of them isn't growing.
 
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ShopDave52

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I know the 10gal. tanks are going to be to small , but we had them already . So we started off with them for now. Got my eye on those 55 gal. at Wal-Mart, Are they good tanks , filter system that come with it any good -or good enuff for oscars ??The price here is $145. for complete kit. good - Bad !Sorry got a little side tracked there.I take care of both tanks an feeding. Water changes tests etc... are all done at the same time an the water tests are the same. even down to what all is in the tanks ( gravel, etc... ) They get feed the same , Well they did now they don't because of the other ones size.High protein food that Others have have used.So what you think !! :-\ Can my bigger oscar still be paired up, or do they have to be small when they do that ? An still can not tell Male or Female that I have They say by color but if you don't have a lot of them how do you compair color ?? Thank again ShopDave52
 

Gunnie

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I have never heard of a pygmy oscar. Starting them out in a 10 gallon tank is okay when they are an inch long, but a 6 inch oscar is way too big for your tank! Just like anything else in nature, oscars will vary in growth and size. It would be very hard to maintain an oscar in a 10 gallon tank for very long because they generally grow about an inch a month for at least the first six months. Some say they grow an inch a month for the first year, but my oscars have pretty much been in a 100 gallon tank since they were small, and they probably to about 7 inches that first year. They still grow after that, but at a much slower rate. I think you have done an amazing job if your oscar is 6 inches in that tank. I think it would be very hard to maintain optimum water quality since they are such messy eaters and big poopers. You might want to check your nitrates to see if they are above 20. It's even difficult for me sometimes in a 100 gallon tank!

My guess is that the smaller oscar is not as healthy as yours, and it could just be that it's just genetics. I would recommend that you get that 55 gal. tank - 1 for each oscar. Since they have been separated for this long, and there is such a size difference, the smaller one will most probably be bullied to death by the bigger one. Oscars get grumpier as they get older, and really do not get lonely. They prefer having their own tank. Mine fight constantly. I have one of those 55 gal. tanks from Wal-Mart, and it's fine for a 1st 55. As you get more into the hobby you will know what I mean. If you are gonna use them for oscar tanks though, you will probably have to add filtration to the tank. You will probably want to add a large aqua clear or similar HOB (hang on back) filter to that tank and place it on the other side, so you have filtration on each side of the tank. I don't think the filter that comes with the 55 tank kit will be enough for an oscar tank.

It is near impossible to sex oscars unless you actully see them spawning. I have had mine 3 years now, and thought I had 2 males, because they are both pretty aggressive and fight alot, but a few weeks ago, I had eggs on the bottom of the tank! Now I don't know if I have a pair, or 2 females. The eggs were gone the next day, so I don't know if they were even fertilized.
 
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ShopDave52

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Hi Gunnie, Thank you for answering back,Oscars are new to us an it seems theres a lot to learn from here.Charlie is 6" long an really something !!Its the first time I've gotten hooked on a pet. As the kids Re growing up we had 100s of pets all kinds . One of them even had a dead butterfly named Sally for awhile.?!! So I did not get attached to them as a parent. You know what I mean.But Charlie has gotten to me some how. And I need to regroup an start over again . This hobbie has come a long way from when I had a goldfish in a little round bowl !! Example I have checked the Ph an the ammonia levels as well as water changes, But did not know about the other tests( all the N's ) I'm getting the bigger tanks this week, had to come up with a place to put it. An I going to need help with all. If you can walk me though it or tell me of a web page for starting a tank (for an Oscar )an what all I need for him it would be great as I really like the guy an don't want to loose him.What other filter (HOB ) should I get for the tank ( Name - Brand -size etc...)I can't go crazy on one (price) but one that will work.What kind of toys do you get a fish ?? Can you tell me what they will play with or what other Oscar have played with ?As for the little Oscar hes /she what ever is very, very active an eats really good.Not sick.Also it has full colors on its body even the little circle on its tail. Somebody told me that meant something but forgot. Old age thing I guess,me not the fish. lol Thank you again ShopDave & Charlie
 
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ShopDave52

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Gunnie,. I also ordered two of those Master test kits from Big Al's. So I know that will help some.I had bought one of those underground filters , Don't know how good they are but Charlie really likes it as he /she stays under it most of the time back an forth . One minite its up then it down . Its a two piece floor.What do I put in the bottom or do I leave it bare?? ( rocks -sand -gravel -little or allot etc... ) Thanks again Dave
 

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Hi, Dave. I have some time to kill, so I'll chime in while you wait to hear back from Gunnie.

Have you already bought the aquarium? I purchased a 55 gallon kit from PetSmart and the only thing I have left is the glass itself. Hood, heater, light and filter have all been replaced. But if you've already purchased it, then you have.

As to an undergravel filter, I believe it would be inadequate for an Oscar. Oscars create massive amounts of waste and undergravel filters really aren't sufficient to deal with it. Furthermore, the undergravel filter relies on a thick and even layer of gravel above it. Cichlids are notorious diggers and will rearrange gravel as they see fit, thus nullifying the biological filtering. I believe an Aquaclear has been recommended. I have heard good things about them from people I trust, but have no firsthand experience with them. I am a fan of the Rena XP3 canister filter, but it comes with greater initial expense (about $100).

You have a couple of great fish on your hands. Because I'm not willing to dedicate an aquarium to a single fish, and 55 gallons is the biggest aquarium I have, Oscars have not been an option for me. Their personalities are hard to beat, and I'm sure you will continue to be very happy with them.

As to your smaller Oscar, if water is checking out, it may just be a "runt". I have 5 angels that have all grown up together. I have had them for a year and one is still the same size it was when I bought it. Of course the 10 gallon aquarium isn't doing your little guy any favors (I'm not saying that to scold you...just stating fact).
 

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Way way way too small of a tank for an oscar >. These guys need at least a 75 gallon tank. Oscars will get wider than a 55 gallon tank. You have to move those oscars as soon as possible. If you cant get a new tank than you will have to sell them. You probably stunted the growth of the oscars so you will have to move quickly to save them. :'(
 

Gunnie

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sillygilley said:
Way way way too small of a tank for an oscar >. These guys need at least a 75 gallon tank. Oscars will get wider than a 55 gallon tank. You have to move those oscars as soon as possible. If you cant get a new tank than you will have to sell them. You probably stunted the growth of the oscars so you will have to move quickly to save them. :'(
A 55 gal. tank is doable for an oscar. A larger tank is better, but a 55 gal. will work. Yes, his oscar may get to the point of having a hard time turning around because he is longer than the tank is wide from front to back, but that is a long way off, and they grow much more slowly after the first year. Plus they may never grow to that size especially if they are already stunted. What we're trying to do now is resolve the current situation and get those oscars into a much healthier environment instead of having to sell them, and at the same time not overwhelm the new hobbyist to the point of throwing in the towel.
 
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ShopDave52

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Dr House & sillygilley, Thank -you for your comments. Dr House So your saying the the 55 gal. Kits are not put together with with good stuff , as buying them piece by piece ??I'am going to add one of those canister filters to it too. Do I put something on the bottom of the tank !! ( sand -rocks etc... ) Or is it better to leave it bear. An what are some proven good toys for them ???     sillygilley -  Believe me I KNOW that the 10gal.tank is to small, Thats why I join this group , so I can do it right, As I have already learned alot for you all.I know I need to move him to the bigger tank , But I have to wait for it to cycle !An you all are saying 2 weeks to 4, to cycle ?? The other little guy has not even grown at ALL. Its only an inch an a 1/4 long in a 10 gal. tank.Nothing else in the tank but a little algae eater. It is the most colorfull Oscar I've seen.
  Thank you all for the come backs an PLease answer my new Questions, an please keep on telling me what I'am doing wrong or what I need to do. (except for the size of the tank , I got that one already, lol )
      Drop a Line soon , Shopdave52
 
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ShopDave52

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Hello ,back again, Does anybody have any other big tanks for sell, Or thing for a bigger tank ?? Let me know I live in Kannapolis NC .Right by Charlotte and the race track.
thanks Dave
 

Gunnie

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ShopDave52 said:
Dr House & sillygilley, Thank -you for your comments. Dr House So your saying the the 55 gal. Kits are not put together with with good stuff , as buying them piece by piece ??I'am going to add one of those canister filters to it too. Do I put something on the bottom of the tank !! ( sand -rocks etc... ) Or is it better to leave it bear. An what are some proven good toys for them ???     sillygilley -  Believe me I KNOW that the 10gal.tank is to small, Thats why I join this group , so I can do it right, As I have already learned alot for you all.I know I need to move him to the bigger tank , But I have to wait for it to cycle !An you all are saying 2 weeks to 4, to cycle ?? The other little guy has not even grown at ALL. Its only an inch an a 1/4 long in a 10 gal. tank.Nothing else in the tank but a little algae eater. It is the most colorfull Oscar I've seen.
  Thank you all for the come backs an PLease answer my new Questions, an please keep on telling me what I'am doing wrong or what I need to do. (except for the size of the tank , I got that one already, lol )
      Drop a Line soon , Shopdave52
 
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ShopDave52

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Thank-you too Gunnie, I didn't get your e-mail till after I had already posted .Anymore help will truly be appreciated very much an all others . Before I mess up anymore .
Can you answer any of my questions ?
Dave
 

Gunnie

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ShopDave52 said:
Dr House & sillygilley, Thank -you for your comments. Dr House So your saying the the 55 gal. Kits are not put together with with good stuff , as buying them piece by piece ??I'am going to add one of those canister filters to it too. Do I put something on the bottom of the tank !! ( sand -rocks etc... ) Or is it better to leave it bear. An what are some proven good toys for them ???     sillygilley -  Believe me I KNOW that the 10gal.tank is to small, Thats why I join this group , so I can do it right, As I have already learned alot for you all.I know I need to move him to the bigger tank , But I have to wait for it to cycle !An you all are saying 2 weeks to 4, to cycle ?? The other little guy has not even grown at ALL. Its only an inch an a 1/4 long in a 10 gal. tank.Nothing else in the tank but a little algae eater. It is the most colorfull Oscar I've seen.
  Thank you all for the come backs an PLease answer my new Questions, an please keep on telling me what I'am doing wrong or what I need to do. (except for the size of the tank , I got that one already, lol )
      Drop a Line soon , Shopdave52
Those tank kits are usually put together with cheap filters and heaters.  Sometimes you can pay as much for just the tank as one of those kits, so they are a good buy in that respect.  Just check around for prices until you get a feel of what a 55 gal. tank (or larger if you choose) should cost in your area and go from there.  You can also check your local newpaper and www.craigslist.org for a used tank, but then you run the risk of the tank having a leak, so be careful of that.  Another good way to find a good deal is your local fish club if you have one.  They usually have auctions within the club, or members just offer them for sale.    How far are you from Charlotte?   They have a great club there!    

Oscars are ornary and like to rearrange their tank to their liking, not yours  .  I think sand would be a poor choice.  I have river rock in my oscar tank.  You can get it at Lowe's for about $5.00 a bag, and I think I used 3 bags for my 100 gal. tank.

I would also recommend stainless steel or titanium heaters for your oscar tanks, because they will knock it around and could posslibly break it.  This has happened to me, and I will never have a glass heater in that tank again.  They could have been electrocuted.  It is recommended to have 5 watts per gallon, so a 55 gal. tank will need at least 275 watts.  Instead of getting 1 heater for the tank, get 2 or 3.  This will help eliminate hot and cold spots in the tank.  I would recommend 2 150 watt heaters, or 3 100 watt heaters.  You can lay them down on their sides on the bottom back of your tank if you want to, or suction them up and down on the glass.  I have mine laying down so they aren't so visible, and my oscars don't bother them as much.  

I don't usually recommend this for beginners, but you have an urgent situation here, so here goes.  There's a product called Bio Spira available which is manufactured by Marineland.  It is basically a cycle in a bottle.  It has all the bacteria found in a cycled tank.  It is the only product there with this live bacteria.  All the other products you hear about like cycle or turbo start are accelerators, but don't actually cycle your tank, they just speed up the process.  I have used bio spira 3 times with excellent results, but it must be fresh, and the dealer must be reputable and have handled it properly.  If you see it available on a shelf, don't buy it.  It is expensive and if not handled properly, will just be dead bacteria.  It should come out of a refrigerator, and be kept cool until using it.  All you will have to do is pour it in your new tank and add your fish.  The reason I don't usually recommend it to newbies is because you need that experience of cycling a new tank to know what to do later when your ammonia or nitrites get out of whack.  My experience with the bio spira has been an instant cycle every time.  24 hours after pouring it in, I'd have no ammonia or nitrites, but 5 to 10 ppm nitrates.  It's great stuff!    

One more thing, make sure you are feeding variety and good quality food.  I highly recommend the Omega One brand cichlid flakes or pellets.  You will want to look at ingredients on the fish foods.  The better quality foods don't list fishmeal as the first ingredient.  Fishmeal is a binder, and usually consists of stuff that is not natural or nutritious for your fish.  It won't hurt them, but it doesn't add anything beneficial to your fish, so it's like feeding them a filler.  Omega One has no fishmeal in it.  New Life Spectrum is also highly recommended by hobbyists, though my fish did not really care about it one way or another.  Earthworms from your backyard if you don't spray with pesticides is something they will love.  You can also later on feed them feeder fish like minnows or feeder goldfish, but you will have to quarantine these fish before feeding them, so you don't feed your oscars any diseases.  They love all kinds of bugs including crickets.  You will see a look in their eyes that will amaze you when you feed live food.  Just don't feed them anything too big right now, at least for the smaller one.   You also need to be supplementing that algae eater with food other than algae in that tank.  Get some veggie wafers for now, and when you get a bigger tank, start feeding fresh fruits and veggies like zucchini, summer squash, sweet potatoes, etc. 


P.S. If you decide to join the Charlotte club (Highly recommended), please tell Solace and BigDan, and Chavez I said hello! They have a great bunch of folks and will help you immensely!
 

Butterfly

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I can't add anything to Gunnies advice as it seems she has covered all. but I can second the Charlotte Area Aquarist society. We went to their auction last weekend and it was great. Came home with all kinds of goodies They are a great bunch of people.
Carol
 

Dr_House

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I did not want you to think me rude for ignoring your questions, but I have nothing to add to what Gunnie has posted. Well done.
 

Timesdragonfly

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I'm a complete newbie here, and i've only seen one Oscar in my life, but I guess the question that jumps into my mind about your fish is... "Is it really an Oscar?" are there any look alikes that are more colorful (as you said your fish was) and smaller?

Just wondering
~Jamie

p.s. good luck getting your new tanks set up! New tanks are fun!
 
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