oscar questions

Rabid Flea

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
Messages
467
Hey guys, its been a while since I have been around here, but I'm back with a few questions about oscars. I have kept oscars before. A few years ago to be exact. But I just need some re assurance that everything I planned out is okay. I purchased a 55 gallon tank specifically for oscars. I set it up about 3 weeks ago. My filtration is from a Rena canister filter with chemical, mechanical and biological filtration capacities. I have it stocked with bio balls and activated carbon. the filter turns the tank water approx 4x per hr. To suppliment this, I have a hang on tank power filter rated for 55 gallons and a powerhead purely for aeration via venturi jet. Lighting is managed from a pendant light with a plant grow bulb. It is stocked with all fake plants except for 2 anarachis that is alive.

Now having said all that. I have a few rosies in there that were used to cycle in the tank. 2 days ago I bought 4 baby oscars about 2 inches long. 2 tigers ( 1 albino and 1 regular) and 2 reds ( 1 albino and 1 "green") along with a small albino pleco.

Do you guys think that my parameters are okay? Filtration, lighting for the anarachis, etc.

Also I'm having a hard time getting the pleco to eat, any suggestions there?

P.S. The tank has cycled and all tests for pH is 7.2 , ammonia, nitrites are at 0.

Thanks!
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 31, 2006
Messages
838
Everything was great until you listed the # of Oscars in that tank... umm, WOW! A 55g is really only suitable for ONE Oscar and possibly a Plecostomus companion, due to the bio load they both produce and the size they potentially reach.

If you plan on upgrading to a 200g tank in a couple of months with double the amount of filtering, then you should be okay with your present set up... if not, you may want to take a couple or three Oscar kids back to the fish store. Otherwise, I am afraid you may be asking for some serious trouble down the road... illness, disease, etc. ...and all due to the tank's size and the parameters as a result of your overstocking.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it's best for you and the fishies. ;)

Forgot about the finicky Pleco... try some steamed zucchini or cucumber weighted by a spoon or "weight", a large piece of driftwood is a good idea, or a few different kinds of wafers. Mine like AquaDine... it's online or in your 'better' fish stores; or Hikari is always a good one. Make sure you leave the lights on a full 12 hour cycle daily and the algae will start to grow on the drift, offering your Pleco a buffet whenever he wants it. :)
 
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Rabid Flea

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Apr 9, 2005
Messages
467
I should have anticipated that reaction lol. I actually only bought 4 because a friend of mine at my lfs suggested I get 4 at a young age so I could possibly see if any 2 of them begin pairing off when they get a little older. He will be happy to take back the 2 that don't pair off. I know how big oscars get and the loads they produce. My question was merely to see if my current setup is okay for these 2 inch oscars and 3 inch pleco. I doubt that 2 months down the road a 200 gallon will be nececary (pardon my spelling) but yes the pair will be upgraded down the road.

Thanks for your concern but I plainly forgot to mention that part. Doh !!
 

Rabid Flea

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Apr 9, 2005
Messages
467
I do currently use the Hikari wafers. I drop a couple in at night for him. I just hope he gets em. I will try the zucchini as well. Will romaine work also?
 

Natemass

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
619
your setup should be fine for awhile but what is stated above will need to happen. check out oscarfish.com it will tell you everything you need.
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
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Jul 31, 2006
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838
JeKo, I'm sorry if it came off harsh... I really tried to be as gentle as possible. ;) And the "in a couple months you'll need a 200g" comment was an exaggerated response that usually gets less motivated folks to fully comprehend the issue.

Now that you've clarified your plans, I think your set up is great for a short time. It sounds like you know what you're doing and will do right by your new "water pups" :D Enjoy them!


...and my Yusuf sends a big splash! {D


The romaine should be okay as a treat or an appetite enticer for your Pleco. You can try collards, cabbage, etc. If you blanch (dip the veggie in rapidly boiling water for 10 seconds) first, it will be more appetizing and easier to chew on. The few minutes of heat causes the enzymes to begin breaking down, but doesn't cause the leaf or piece to go to "mush".
 

Rabid Flea

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Apr 9, 2005
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467
its ok, i have a tough skin, but last night i was totally exhaused from work and a little stuck on stupid... my mind told me i put everything on there but i didnt lol...

anyway, just in the couple of days i have had them they are already learining to swim to the surface and beg in typical oscar fasion. im falling for them which i knew i would do! I have a weakness for oscars and these guys are no exception! the pleco is much more active today but i am noticing a small spike in ammonia today. I have one of the live reading strips in there and it is just to the color of caution. 0.02 but it already has me thinking i need a bigger filter
 

green_bottle_04

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Messages
437
i have two tiger oscars and a pleco in a 55 gal. set up quite like yours. mine are doing great and i feed my pleco the hakari sinking algae wafers as well. i also feed my oscars the hakari chiclid gold pellets. with rosy reds once a week.
 

TNeal

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
211
I agree with the posts that this setup is way to small for the future. For a few months it will be fine. An adult oscar that has been raised properly will reach a foot or so in length. This big fish will require a minimum of a 70 gallon tank for just one. I had 4 adults in a 125 gaallon and it was overcrowded. I had to change 50% of the water every two to three days to keep the water healthy, even with the excellent ifltration I provided. (Oscars in general need frequent large water changes to be at their potential size and health. I would give my oscars a 50% water change once a week and sometimes twice if I was bored)

If you are waiting for the Oscars to pair off you have a long haul ahead of you, at least 2 years. By that that they will be very large and certainly way to big for your setup. Oscars can't be sexed. The males and females look exactly alike. The only visible difference is only visible when they are actually breeding. The egg laying tube is very round and fat. It is blunt at the end. The male's fertilization tube is much more narrower and comes to a point.

Breeding oscars is really fun, but not done very often because of the wait for maturity and the inability to sex oscars reliably. I had so many oscars once that I used the babies as feeders for my adult angelfish. One thing that really confuses people is when they see 2 oscars "mating" and then nothing happens. Many times female oscars will pair up and actually lay eggs. One will lay the eggs while the other one acts as if they are fertilizing the eggs. Of course the eggs never hatch. This happens a lot, and there really isn't a clue as to why they do this. Remenber this, if you are successful at breeding oscars, each clutch will give you well over a 1000 babies. Try to visualize the tanks needed to raise them just to a saleable 2 inch length.

There is one thing I would like to touch on. Feeding live feeders to your oscars is a very bad idea. In nature oscars are not fish eater, they may snack on a wounded one every now and then, but their main diet consists of shrimp, worms, bugs etc. If you look at the shape of an oscar you will see that the short stocky body is not condusive to catching fish. Look at a real piscavoir, like a pickeral or a gar. Their bodys are long and thin, made for quick dashed to catch fish. Try these things for your pet oscar: freeze dried or frozen krill, earthworm or night crawlers(depending on the size of your oscar), oscar pellets (this is essential to make sure the oscar gets a balanced diet), shrimp from your deli (raw, just peel of the shell and let them go crazy) in the summer catch some insects, mealworms make excellent treats (as long as you match the mealworms size to the size of the oscars) and crickets easily purchased in pet shops. These items will give you beautiful oscars, that along with good water quality and lots of water changes, will also help them reach their full potential in size as well as being good possible breeders.

Last but not least, if you must feed your oscars feeders NEVER FEED THEM GOLDFISH. Goldfish are very fatty and cause a fatty liver disease in predators that are fed exclusivly on them. If you must feed a feeder feed tuffies or other small fish. But here is the problem with feeding them feeders in general. Parasites and disease. Feeders are not kept in the best of health and almost always carry parasites and disease. Add to this the fact that most oscar keepers do not do the large and frequent water changes oscars need to maintain top health. This results in an immune system that is not fuctioning at its best. Combine the lower immune system with disease ridden feeders and you have a catastrophe waiting to happen.

I hope this helps,

Tom
 

Rabid Flea

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
Messages
467
thanks for the info Tom. When it comes to my aquatic puppies the proper care will be given rest asured... just thought i would share a pic or two that i managed to capture...



 

mrbonzai211

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
537
The rue for Oscars is very cut and dry. It is proven, it works, and it's something that all Oscar owners need to abide by if they want healthy oscars over a long period of time....... ONE OSCAR PER 75 GALLONS OF WATER.....no matter what filtration or setup you have
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 20, 2006
Messages
279
We have what I believe to be a 50 gallon tank, and for a long time we used to have two oscars, a red tail shark, and two plecos (my dad also had the same combination in a big tank in his dental office). The tank got messy pretty quick but otherwise seemed to work nicely, my dad would use one of those gravity tube filter things every week to clean it, all the fish lived a long time. I guess we didn't know about the 75 gallon rule, heh, but they both grew to be huge and healthy so I guess we got lucky? I remember they were lots of fun to watch.
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 31, 2006
Messages
838
JeKo, those babies are beautiful!! :D Did you give any of your "puppies" names yet?
 

Rabid Flea

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
Messages
467
JeKo, those babies are beautiful!! :D Did you give any of your "puppies" names yet?
Yep, the green one's name is P.D.U. (pretty D*** Ugly) lovingly named ;P

Small tigers name is Lucyfer :evil:

Albino red's name is Ifrit ;)

Albino tiger's name is Mactruque (mac truck) :eek:

also here is a pic of their tank and some new pics of them today... along with their tankmate the albino pleco named Jeko :worship:

Their tank (they still look so small in there) {D




all 4 of the puppies playing/begging for food



Mactruque, ifrit, and lucyfer



PDU, Ifrit, Mactruque




Lucyfer (looking caught in the act in the last pic)





Last but not least.... Jeko the pleco



well thats my "water puppies"
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 31, 2006
Messages
838
Cute "puppies"!! They do look really small in there...... but it won't be long ;)

Lucyfer is my favorite. I just love his "busy" pattern and colors. :D
 
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