What's Wrong With My Oscar?

Kboyack

Hey everyone. I'm new to the Oscar game. I have 2 baby Oscars about 2-2.5 inches. My albino Oscar (larry) has developed a large lump under his belly where his anus is. You can see some hard poop sticking out and the hole where the poop comes out is expanding. It looks like a big hard ball of poop just sitting there that he can't get out. It looks like you could grab the end of it with tweezers and pull it out for him.. He will sit completely still and his back fin will shake as if he's pushing with all his might but the poor little guy can't pass it. I've read that peas should help but he's showing absolutely no interest in food even live fish which he loves...I'm getting worried cuz the bump has almost doubled in size and now he has a whitish fleshy something hanging off of his skin where the bump is. I'm assuming its his skin trying to heal from ripping trying to pass it. Also I haven't fed him in 2 days hoping he'd pass it himself but it just seems to be getting worse..I don't know what to do. Can you please help me? Any and all suggestions would be great!
1. How do I get him to take the pea?
Any way to get him interested in food so he'll eat the pea?
2. If not is there anything else I can do to help him? I feel so bad for the little guy.
3. Is it normal for the bump to keep growing? Also the skin around the bump is turning white, is that normal?
Please help with any info you have. Thank you
Ps it won't let me upload a photo I'll try to add one later

Here's a photo of him
 

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ValerieAdams

Dawn Michele do you know anything?
 

Dawn Michele

Hi. IM so sorry your Oscar isn't feeling well. Poor thing has probably strained himself and ripped the skin. Pristine water will help heal that. It would be great if he would eat some peas to help him poop. Unfortunately I don't now what else you can do. Maybe someone else on here knows. Keep us posted on how he is doing.
 

86 ssinit

Sorry not sure what’s going on there. But if he’s constipated and now showing skin problems I’d suggest you put him in a qt tank and add some uniodized salt and See if that helps. Salt should help the constipation and any skin infections. A 5 gal tank will work as a qt tank.
 

Dawn Michele

Sorry not sure what’s going on there. But if he’s constipated and now showing skin problems I’d suggest you put him in a qt tank and add some uniodized salt and See if that helps. Salt should help the constipation and any skin infections. A 5 gal tank will work as a qt tank.
Do you think live fish might have something to do with his problem???
 

86 ssinit

My first real fish was an Oscar and from day one he ate live fish guppies and goldfish never had a problem. If it was big enough to go in his mouth he ate it. As a kid that thing lived forever 8-10 years.
 

Dawn Michele

My first real fish was an Oscar and from day one he ate live fish guppies and goldfish never had a problem. If it was big enough to go in his mouth he ate it. As a kid that thing lived forever 8-10 years.
I was just wondering. I have never seen anything like that. Do you think Epson salt would be better???
 

coralbandit

Possibly look in camalanus ? The picture is not real clear for me.
 

Dawn Michele

Possibly look in camalanus ? The picture is not real clear for me.
Hey Tom. Looks like poop to me. His Anus is swollen.
 

THRESHER

Hey Tom. Looks like poop to me. His Anus is swollen.

I agree. I had Oscars and that looks like he's blocked up and not pooping. Poor guy. I'll bet he's miserable. If he doesn't poop, you might have to take matters into your own hands. Take him out and "help" him relieve it. Be gentle tho. I had to do that to one of mine.
 

Dawn Michele

I agree. I had Oscars and that looks like he's blocked up and not pooping. Poor guy. I'll bet he's miserable. If he doesn't poop, you might have to take matters into your own hands. Take him out and "help" him relieve it. Be gentle tho. I had to do that to one of mine.
Hey Neb!!! You had to do a fishy enema on your Oscar???
 

THRESHER

Hey Neb!!! You had to do a fishy enema on your Oscar???


lol, not really, it was more of a manual enema. I held him in my palm and then with my thumb add a tiny bit of pressure right before his anus and then slide my thumb towards it. His poop just zipped outta him and he was flapping around to get back into the tank. He's good to go after that.
 

Dawn Michele

lol, not really, it was more of a manual enema. I held him in my palm and then with my thumb add a tiny bit of pressure right before his anus and then slide my thumb towards it. His poop just zipped outta him and he was flapping around to get back into the tank. He's good to go after that.
Hopefully she can do that to hers and he will feel better.
 

THRESHER

Hopefully she can do that to hers and he will feel better.

I hope so. She better do it soon or the poor guy is gonna be in serious trouble. Hope she's not squeamish either!
 

Dawn Michele

I hope so. She better do it soon or the poor guy is gonna be in serious trouble. Hope she's not squeamish either!
How would he get so seriously constipated like that???
 

THRESHER

How would he get so seriously constipated like that???
Maybe overfeeding? Possibly the type/quality of food too. My Oscars would puke and not eat certain cheap/poor quality foods. I would give them quality flakes, pellets and live feeders. The feeders I got were from a reputable LFS at the time. I lucked out as not of mine ever got sick, just the one got constipated and the fish store employee guided me to what I had to do to help him.

Your Big Boy is gorgeous! I hope he stays happy and healthy for a long time! You sure have him spoiled!
 

86 ssinit

Fishy enema!!! You got skillzs Neb
 

Dawn Michele

Maybe overfeeding? Possibly the type/quality of food too. My Oscars would puke and not eat certain cheap/poor quality foods. I would give them quality flakes, pellets and live feeders. The feeders I got were from a reputable LFS at the time. I lucked out as not of mine ever got sick, just the one got constipated and the fish store employee guided me to what I had to do to help him.

Your Big Boy is gorgeous! I hope he stays happy and healthy for a long time! You sure have him spoiled!

Hopefully when she gets her Oscar to feeling better we can have her put him on a better diet with quality food. Splitting up the feedings would help. Thanks for the compliment and well wishes for Big Boy!!! He is my BIG spoiled boy!!!

Fishy enema!!! You got skillzs Neb
Indeed he does!!!!
 

Kboyack

Thank you all for your help. I'm not squeamish at all lol. I'm going to attempt to help him out .I've wanted to just didn't know if thatwould hurt him...he's my little guy I know it sounds silly but I already love him so much don't want to hurt him. I'll let you know how it goes. The water is perfect. All the tests came back right where they should be. I'm assuming its because he was eating pellets at the fish store and I switched him to rosy red minos this last week...my other Oscar about the same size and age is doing great on the sale diet switched at the same time...so I don't know maybe he just over ate?
 

Dawn Michele

Hope it goes well!!! If you need help Nebulous is the fishy enema expert!!! Keep us posted!!!
 

Kboyack

Nebulous I just tried gently pushing it out myself. In the water it looks like a lump full of poop. When I take him out of the water it goes flat but where his anus is (where the huge lump is) is stark white and the edges of the white look like they are about to spilt and bleed like his entire skin down there is white...? When I pushed/pulled my thumb along it only clear/brownish/reddish liquid came out. Nothing solid at all...I was scared it was water mixed with blood instead of poo but I can't tell so I put him bank in the tank. As soon as he was in water again the lump went right back to looking full of poop...so I moved him into a salt bath. I've been told aquatic salt is good for healing fresh ester fish? Please tell me if I'm wrong ..I'm so worried about my little guy...

Now he's just laying on his side... I know Oscars will do that when sulking sometimes but...oh I hope I didn't hurt my little man? Please if I'm doing anything wrong tell me. I put him in my hand and right above the anus applied gentle pressure and moved my thumb down to his bottom fin. It appeared only liquid came out and then I felt a hard crystaly feeling thing kinda like a grain of sand and then more liquid...his whole anal area is stark white it looks like when you bite the inside of your cheek and it turns pure white while healing...I hope he's ok I'm sick about it all I just want my little guy to feel better and go back to his silly self

Dawn Michele is it safe to mix with microbe-lyft xtreme? It's a full function water conditioner that does multiple things at once. It is supposed to do similar things that pristine does...at this point I'm willing to try anything
 

THRESHER

You're doing everything you can. Just give him a day in the salt and watch him closely. Tomorrow try again relieving him manually until it comes out. I think it was the change in diet that got him plugged up.

Remember to be gentle, but it will come out. Once the hard part comes out, everything else will be soft. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

Kboyack

Nebulous should I keep in in the salt water over night? I don't have another tank with a filter set up I only have a 2 gallon bucket I used to soak him in salt water...or should I just soak him daily in the salt bath but still house him in the regular tank?
I got what felt like sand out and then the salt water I soaked him in had little black specs on it afterward. I'm hoping that's a good sign? Here's what he looks like after the salt bath... I think the salt made his soar lol worse but now you can really see how big it is

Hopefully you can see the clearly? It's hard to get a real good picture
 

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THRESHER

Well remember you're forcing him to expel the blockage so it might be swollen & irritated. Keep him in the regular tank and check on him in the morning. Leave him be overnight. Don't feed him anything tho.
 

Dawn Michele

Dawn Michele is it safe to mix with microbe-lyft xtreme? It's a full function water conditioner that does multiple things at once. It is supposed to do similar things that pristine does...at this point I'm willing to try anything
The BEST water conditioner is Prime. Make sure you do 50% water changes every week. Pristine water and a good diet is very important for Oscars. How is he doing today?
 

Kboyack

Have you ever used microbe-lyft xtreme? Just wondering if you or anyone on here have any experience with it. I'm told it's an amazing chemical because it has multiple functions in one bottle. Please let me know any feedback you may have on this product.

Dawn Michele do you mean do 50% water changes weekly just while he's healing or in general? I'm assuming just during the healing process because I've always been told monthly unless there's a problem...but I want to do what's best for my babies! And you guys on here seem to know what you're talking about! Btw I truly appreciate all the help and advice from everyone! Thank you all!
 

Carbeo

microbe-lyft xtreme

amazing chemical
I haven't used that product but read the description and its a water conditioner. Some articles compared it to prime. It sounds good. Nothing to write home about though.

always been told monthly
I support the weekly 50% as regular maintenance routine. Python tube will make it easier. The differences in health I get with bigger weekly changes have been undeniable. Not sure what tank size you're working with, but Oscar's are big bodied and messy eaters.
 

Dawn Michele

Dawn Michele do you mean do 50% water changes weekly just while he's healing or in general? I'm assuming just during the healing process because I've always been told monthly unless there's a problem...but I want to do what's best for my babies! And you guys on here seem to know what you're talking about! Btw I truly appreciate all the help and advice from everyone! Thank you all!
Hello. Do 50% water changes every week normally. I have my Big Boy in a 125 and I do 50% water changes every week!!!! Its VERY important to keep the water pristine with these guys!!! What size tank do you have your little ones in? How is your one Oscar doing this morning???

Big Boy in his 125
 

Kboyack

I currently have them in a 38 gallon just for a few months till they get bigger! I'll start doing 50% weekly water changes if you think it'll keep them healthier? I was just worried that much that often would hurt them or stress them out?
My little guy is doing better I think...he looked the same this morning so I took him out again and tried to manually "help him". Unlike yesterday it was actually successful! A whole bunch of poop came out and the hard ball blocking everything came out as well! I was so happy to see it lol! He seems to be feeling a little better but the skin around the anus is really raw and it looks likethe sides of where the lump was split so he has open wounds all around his anus. I have him soaking in a salt bath right now. There are about 3 holes on his underbelly where there should only be one. The sides where it looks ripped have a little blood but isn't actually bleeding...I'm hoping the salt will help him heal up quickly. He still won't eat. I tried to get him to eat a piece of a pea but he wouldn't budge. He shows no interest in his regular pellets or other foods either....I'm assuming it's cuz he's in pain. I'm going he will return to his normal self within a day or 2.

Dawn Michele your tank and your Oscar are beautiful! I can't wait till my little guys get big like that! They have so much personality already!
 

Dawn Michele

Dawn Michele your tank and your Oscar are beautiful! I can't wait till my little guys get big like that! They have so much personality already!
Thank you so much!!! He is so much fun!!! I just LOVE him!!! IM glad yours is doing better!!! Yay!!! Keep an eye on him and keep us posted. You will definitely need to get a bigger tank for them. They get so big so fast!!! You will definitely have to do 50% water changes every week for them to be healthy in that small tank. What are you feeding them???
 

Kboyack

Do any of you know how to sex an Oscar? I've been told multiple ways but wanted to know which way is best...

Thank you so much!!! He is so much fun!!! I just LOVE him!!! IM glad yours is doing better!!! Yay!!! Keep an eye on him and keep us posted. You will definitely need to get a bigger tank for them. They get so big so fast!!! You will definitely have to do 50% water changes every week for them to be healthy in that small tank. What are you feeding them???

I'm feeding them a mixture of rosy red minos and shrimp pellets. They like to eat the placos pellets lol. I've heard that feeding live is the healthiest way to go?...but after this scare I'm thinking about doing pellets mainly with the live as a treat... I'll do whatever, I just want what's best for them to grow up healthy and happy!

I mainly feed them rosy red minos but I do have a baby placo in the tank also so they like to eat his shrimp pellets also lol. I'll feed whatever is best I just want them to grow up happy and healthy!
 

Dawn Michele

I'm feeding them a mixture of rosy red minos and shrimp pellets. I've heard that feeding live is the healthiest way to go?...but after this scare I'm thinking about doing pellets mainly with the live as a treat... I'll do whatever, I just want what's best for them to grow up healthy and happy!
When I got Big Boy he was about 4 inches. He is now a little over 12 inches. He is wide. I have ONLY fed him pellets. IMO you have to be careful with the live food. I stay away from it. This is what is feed Big Boy,
1. HikarI Bio-Gold pellets
2. HikarI Cichlid Excel
3. NLS Float pellets
4. DainichI Ultima Krill pellets

Do any of you know how to sex an Oscar? I've been told multiple ways but wanted to know which way is best...
Someone else just asked that question recently. I will try and find the thread for you.

I couldn't find the thread. I think chromedome52 has some information on it. He should see this soon have some answers for you.
 

Kboyack

Thank you
 

chromedome52

From everything I've learned, seen and heard, you can't sex them by appearance until the female lays eggs and the male fertilizes them. However, if you are familiar with the behavior of your fish, you might be able to guess, as no one here can see your fish acting up!
 

Kboyack

With a heavy heart I'm sad to say my little larry passed away this afternoon...I'm not sure what went wrong and I'm trying like crazy not to blame myself...after I helped him get the constipated poop out he was swimming around acting like he was feeling better, although he still had a large opened wound. Before I helped relieve him, the sides of the swollen skin were ripped so I made sure I was extremely gentle. He seemed to feel better but still refused to eat. I gave him a salt bath and then put him back in the tank and left him alone. I checked on him every couple hours but he kept looking weaker and weaker. So I went and got him some treatment to help him heal faster but when I went to check on him I was too late.... I can't help but feel I made him worse even though I was trying to do everything I could to sane him...RIP larry. You lived a short life but brought a world of joy to those who knew you!

Thank you all for all your help in trying to save my little larry...his tank mate is healthy but missing him. We all are... I really appreciate all your advice and will continue to post updates on my other baby (Morty). Again thank you all
 

Dawn Michele

I am so, so sorry for your loss. Don't blame yourself. You did everything you could for Larry. Keep us posted on Morty. Do the weekly water changes and give him a good diet. Hopefully one day you can get him a bigger tank.
 

Kboyack

Dawn Michele yes morty is thriving! He's looking around the tank for his friend but other than that he is healthy and happy.

This is Morty. Don't mind the water spots on the tank, I haven't had a chance to clean it since caring for larry... Morty is a Tiger Oscar. About 2 inches long. He's very active and playful!

I'm going to do a water change and cleanup the tank. What should I feed him from now on? And how much per feeding is best? I've heard several things but after losing Larry I'm really scared to offer feed...

I do want to get morty a tank mate before he gets too big, but I don't want to stress him out after losing his buddy...how long would you wait to introduce a new tank mate? I hear they do better in pairs...
 

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Dawn Michele

He is adorable!!! I LOVE OSCARS!!! You could feed him up to 4 times a day as long as you do those 50% water changes every week. I would feed him small amounts at each feeding.

Big Boy has always been by himself in the 125. He does GREAT!!!! Until you can get a bigger tank. I wouldn't think about another one.
 

Carbeo

50% weekly water changes if you think it'll keep them healthier? I was just worried that much that often would hurt them or stress them out?
Sorry to hear about your loss. The water changes will keep Morty healthier. And they shouldnt stress him out as long as the changes are consistent and match temperature and are from the same source with the same parameters (like same tap, not one day bottled). Imo, opinion, I'd get the new friend sooner while they are young and get them in the same health at the same time. Maybe name him rick if you're into the show Rick and Morty. It would be preferable to quarantine the new one, but if you are a one-tank situation it's as if you are quarantining now and be past it. Dont beat yourself up since this may be a case of baby not surviving with good health through import, distribution, retail and reaching end consumer. Once the babies are established and healthy at home you should be good-to-go. The rigorous maintenance routine being touted should help along the way. Be ready for your bigger tank sooner rather than later though!
 

Kboyack

Thank you so much! Morty actually is named after that show lol! I wanted to name the other one Rick originally but my wife named him larry before I could do anything haha! I'm sure the next one will be Rick! .... I was feeling the same way about adding another one. I know if I wait too long the chances of morty getting along with a new tank mate will be slI'm to none. I'm just trying to find one that I like that is around his size now and that will grow to a similar size at capacity... Other than tigers, reds, and albinos are there any other types of Oscars you would suggest living together? There is a lot of different chiclids I like but they only get 6-8inches...
 

Carbeo

Other than tigers, reds, and albinos are there any other types of Oscars
I fancy the lemon platinum ones. Oscar's can come with long fins now too. If you want a mix cichlid tank get committed to the bigger tank soon. The social dynamics and bioload will need space. If you get overstocked you'll end up with pickle rick.
 

Kboyack

@
 

Carbeo

just because that are acting ok with each other now doesn't mean it's good for the fish. That either they will die or stay super small and won't have a good quality of life...he won't listen. He's convinced he knows what he's doing and its ok..
You're right. Just cause they're small and surviving doesn't mean it's all good. And because fish grow so fast, the "I'll get a bigger tank later" lifestyle lasts a matter of months. He has infant fry that should grow very fast.

what is the minimum size tank he will need to house all those fish for long term? Also what is the minimum size he should have for them now?
This will get you lots of opinions really. After reading about rick and Morty earlier I was googling lemon Oscars and tank sizes and found a lot of people saying 125 for a pair of oscars with a pleco and a few smaller things. Or 4 with a 300 dollar filter and daily water changes. But never 3 because Oscars will gang up on the third wheel. He could probably aI'm for a 125 and figure it out. Why buy tanks inbetween? Cheaper to go straight to the adult size tank.
As for the frustration. Helping to educate and share is terrific. But apathy for wellbeing is tricky. Maybe like a lack of empathy and we project our own feelings "they are happy, they're fine, they like it". If he is righteous about ignorance you'll have to find a way to relieve yourself of responsibility for your own sanity. If you can create a spirit of cooperation you may be able to help over time. I see tanks here and there. I help clean or buy them things it opens up their ears to advice. If this guy doesn't want help for the love of his fish, no amount of good will can get them to listen to you. Maybe send him to fishlore, advice from strangers might go better. Or when he reads what other people do, he will decide on his own.
 

Kboyack

Thank you for the words of wisdom!
 

Kboyack

So I adopted s friend for morty today...only thing is he's a bit bigger than my little guy. The only reason I'm even attending them together is because the lady whip surrendered him said he was the smallest in get tank and is super shy. It's been about 30 min...at first they bumped each other a few times and now they are avoiding each other...well morty is super interested in him but is keeping his curiosity at a distance lol. I'm honestly not even sure what kind of fish this is...does anyone know? Also do you think it's safe to leave them together unsupervised? I haven't taken my eyes off the tank since I put the new guy in. Here's a pic...
 

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Kboyack

Her finally came out long enough to snap a photo.... anytime morty swims by him the new guy tries to slam him. You can tell my little morty is scared after being slammed a time or 2...but honestly now it seems like the new guy is trying to check morty out...am I being silly or do you think they can co habitate?
 

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Kboyack

Also on a different subject my ammonia is high. Even after 50% water change with microbe lyft xtreme and adding salt. It drops it a little bit not much then it goes right back...this was before I added the new guy also. What am I doing wrong? What can I do to fix this
 

86 ssinit

I’m thinking the new fish is a green terror
 

Carbeo

Ammonia might be from the increased bioload. Keep changing water to keep the levels down (test to make sure the ammonia isn't in the tap too). Feed sparingly and let the filter beneficial bacteria grow in the filter to catch up to the new bioload. I'm almost certain that's a texas cichlid by the shape, color and lack of green terror orange trim. Big nasty. They're known for being belligerent, territorial fish.I have a short body one. Compare the faces. It might not work out long term.
 

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Kboyack

Ammonia might be from the increased bioload. Keep changing water to keep the levels down (test to make sure the ammonia isn't in the tap too). Feed sparingly and let the filter beneficial bacteria grow in the filter to catch up to the new bioload. I'm almost certain that's a texas cichlid by the shape, color and lack of green terror orange trim. Big nasty. They're known for being belligerent, territorial fish.I have a short body one. Compare the faces. It might not work out long term.
Thank you for the info. What do you mean check the tap? Sorry new to the fish game...also I'm pretty sure you're right about it being a Texas chiclid. Yours looks identical to him. I took him out after about an hour and I'm bringing him back to the styl store for someone else to adopt. He's just too much four my little guy right now. Also I've been doing weekly water changes of about 50% adding microbe lyft xtreme and salt. I only have a 2 inch tiger Oscar and a 3 inch placo in my tank. I haven't been able to get the ammonia level down since I got them...? Should I be doing water changes more than once a week? Will it stress my little guy out? Thank you for all your hello btw!
 

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