View Full Version : Oscar and Strange Behavior. Help?

03-09-2004, 07:14 PM
My tiger oscar has been really pale for about 3 days and has started swimming funny.

I did a 50% water change 3 days ago but took a water sample into Petco yesterday and was told my nitrate levels were super elevated, so I pulled everything out of the tank, vaccumed the gravel and did about another 1/3 water change. I also added this nitrate absorbing pouch to the filter. Today Oscar's color is back a little but he's still swimming funny.

He's twirling and rolling over and over and over like he's doing a water ballet. Yesterday when ever he moved his tail fin his backend jerked downward. He also rests at an angle (not on the ground). He just kind hangs out with his top end leaning over. Is he just entertaining himself? Or is he sick?

I've been searching online for days and have not found anybody with similar concerns nor have I found evidence that this behavior is normal.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

03-10-2004, 02:26 AM
I would suggest you talk to strawberrysue!

03-10-2004, 06:47 AM
everything you wrote down there is exactly what happend to my oscar, you have hole in the head, these little things are eating into its head, mine went so pale at one stage i thought that was it his going to die, im treating him at the moment with some tablets i got at my lfs, sorry but i cant remember the name of the product, but you lfs will know what it is, this is all i can tell you to do untill you start to treat it, if you have carbon in your filter remove it, but keep your filter running, and if you have anything that isnt made for a fish tank ie: rocks, wood, anything, take it out as well.
The reason why you get hole in the head is because of poor filters, what are you running now?

03-10-2004, 06:50 AM
this is him right now as he is still sick but the holes in his head seem to have stoped

03-10-2004, 07:46 AM
Resting at an angle at the bottom is normal for oscars, but the water ballet sounds like a swimbladder problem to me... Super high nitrates can only be fixed with regular water changes. Don't feed him for at least 3 days. Water condition is the most important right now.

03-10-2004, 07:47 AM
im still going with hole in the head from what she explained

03-10-2004, 08:51 AM
He doesn't appear to have hole in the head, though.
I'm running two emperor 280s in a 55 gallon tank, which is MORE than adequate filtration.

03-10-2004, 09:10 AM
He doesn't have hole in the head. At least I'm pretty sure he doesn't. I've kept an eye out for that since we got him.
The tank is being filtered over twice what it's requirements are. (55 gal tank with to 60 gal bio/mech filters)
Aside from his color changes, it seems only his equilibrium is awry. Someone above mentioned the swim bladder. Would high nitrates cause something along these lines? He also seems to have lost his appetite. Usually, he comes up to the top of the tank to be hand fed, even leaving the water to take food. Not a shy fish typically. Now he is very reclusive and shy. Seems to barely be eating, if at all.
Everything in the tank is tank safe.

03-10-2004, 04:41 PM
yeah, same as mine, watch for holes, they going to start coming up

03-10-2004, 05:21 PM
Maybe I'll just eat him then. . . :pop:

03-10-2004, 07:32 PM

03-10-2004, 07:34 PM
i gave my oscars two cube's of bloodworms and the baby oscar ate all off it and my big oscar with the holes just grabbed single ones that were floating only a couple tho

03-12-2004, 08:00 PM
Actually i'm assuming the E280s do 280 gph am I correct? I would think that if you are having problems maybe your 2 filters should still be increased, can't have to much filtration they say!:)

If you possibly have any feeling that it is HITH do not feed your Os live fish! Oh the meds that you would need are for treating Hexamita.

03-12-2004, 08:51 PM
ahhh, yes i have to agree with 209, HITH is caused by poor water witch means poor filtration!

03-12-2004, 08:52 PM
Has he been pooping? If so, is it normal looking? I know its a funny question, but if he's not eating normally, check to make sure the poop isn't white and stringy. Is there any swelling around the anal area or in the belly? From what you explained it doesn't sound like hith.... I was the one that mentioned the swimbladder, and that makes more sense to me than hith.

Out of curiosity, how high are your nitrates? Are you sure that it wasn't nitrites that are elevated? That would more likely cause poisoning than nitrates...

03-13-2004, 11:43 AM
No, it was definately nitrates. They were up around 160, I've done 3 water changes this week and on my last test they were between 40 and 80.

As far as my filters go, one emperor 280 filters a 60 gallon tank. I have 2 emperor filters and only a 55 gallon tank.

His color has come back a bit and he's eating at least...sometimes he eats the pellets and then just spits them back out...but he eats really agressively...he attacks his pellets, which he never did before.

His water balleting seems to have subsided, but his back end still drops when moves his tailfin...maybe he's doing it on purpose...I don't know.

He's definately not himself, but I still don't see signs of HITH.

03-13-2004, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by 2qik4u
ahhh, yes i have to agree with 209, HITH is caused by poor water witch means poor filtration!

...or not enough water changes.

03-13-2004, 12:03 PM
Two 280's are plenty on the 55g. HITH has been blamed on just about everything that could be brought up at some point even voltage leaking into the water from heaters. If your nitrates were at 160 then it's the most likely reason for your problems. Some water sources can actually contain nitrates straight out of the tap. This past Christmas we took a trip to California and in either AZ or NM there was a sign at a rest stop warning that elderly people and young children shouldn't drink the water because of high nitrates. That's pretty bad.

I'm pretty sure it was on I-40 though, quite a ways from Phoenix.

03-14-2004, 02:21 AM
Yeah, I saw a sign like that between here and Tucson at a Dairy Queen.

I actually tested my tap water yesterday for nitrates and didn't see anything...so...

I'm doing another water change tomorrow.
His mood just sucks. HiJinx (my fiance) petted him earlier and he turned pale, dropped to the corner of the tank and sulked. He used to like being petted.

03-14-2004, 02:54 AM
i brought a jebo 835, and changed my tank around, mine stopped going pale and has started to eat alot more, but he is still gentel with his food is yours doing the same? he acts like he really wants it but then when its in the water he just looks at it and takes little nibbles?

03-14-2004, 12:16 PM
no, mine is attacking his food.

03-16-2004, 05:28 PM
but he didn't used to attack the food. Before, he would just confidently approch it and eat it, unless it was live, in which case, he would skillfully hunt it and devour it like he should.
He used to eat from our hand too, even leaving the water to take food from my fingers.
Now when ever the hood is lifted, he sheepishly vacates to some recess of the tank. Then, he'll cautiously approach the pellets, then violently attack them, only to spit them out and eat them again. I thought that maybe he wanted live food again, so put in two feeders. A week or so later, they still reside in the tank. *shrug* Sometimes, he'll follow them around like he wants to eat them, but then he'll "get bored?" and just move on to some lonely corner again.
If I didn't know better, I would say he's depressed.
Oh, last night, out of the blue, he bolted towards the glass and slammed into it and then resumed his normal pacing of the tank. WTF? strange poor guy.
I miss the old Oscar. :(