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TOPIC: Getting back into Oscars...my thoughts on stocking

Getting back into Oscars...my thoughts on stocking 9 months 2 days ago #70382

  • twhittle
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So I've decided to return to Oscars. They were the cichlid that got me started 25 years ago and I made the decision today to go back.

I bought two oscars today, both about 2 inches. One is a tiger and the other an albino tiger. They are in a 38 gallon until I clear the current stock out of my 180 gallon over the next few weeks and they get a little bigger.

My plan is to keep the following in my 180 gallon which has a 30 gallon sump system and 2 fluval canister filters.

2 Oscars
1 Jack Dempsey (he's 5+ years old and almost 10 inches-very relaxed jd)
3 clown loaches (all about 6 inches)
1 pleco (about 6 inches-once they hit 12 inches i trade them in for about a 6 inch one...cleans better)

I do have a 7 inch green terror that is in the 180 right now that I might try with them. He's been very non-aggressive over the year or so I've owned him. May try it, may not.

How does that sound as far as an "Oscar-centered" 180?
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Getting back into Oscars...my thoughts on stocking 9 months 2 days ago #70383

  • toom
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Hello

Very heavy stocked and there are some hooks to your plan.

1# The chance of buying two Oscars and hoping they get along with each other is very low. If you want a harmonizing pair always get at least 3 better 4 and 6 and wait will two find each other ok.
A 180G with your filtration would allow this Kind of stocking for that time. What would be around 12 to 16 months after buying 2" Astronotus.
Of course it must be reduced to two again than its unlikely more than 2 Oscars work under 240G and a decent length of 8 feet.

2# Clown loaches, Jack Dempsy, Pleco, Goldsaum are all very bottom orianted fish and become far from small, than there will be at least one Astronotus around that will become at least the second largest fish in there after the pleco.
It will get very cramped and the mix is very bad with heavy swimmers like the loaches and so many terretorial cichlids and an arm sized pleco.



If you want Oscars i say the pleco and may one of the other cichlids or 4 cichlids and no pleco and you are still heavy stocked for a 180G.
Not filtration wise but depending on footprint.
We need to stop talking about the people as if they were the crown of creation.
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Getting back into Oscars...my thoughts on stocking 9 months 2 days ago #70384

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Thank you for your thoughts. I will certainly watch the aggression as they age. I am blessed to have enough tank space large enough to handle separating the Oscars if it comes to that.

As I said on the pleco, I do not keep them after they get about 12 inches. In my experience they are very messy and don't do a lot of work at that point.
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Getting back into Oscars...my thoughts on stocking 9 months 2 days ago #70386

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In this case I would still reduce and rehome the loaches and stay with an cichlid only tank. The point is that they would bring alot of disturbence into more an terretorial setup.

Maybe even reduce the JD and stock another to Goldsaums. So you would have an SA setup.
We need to stop talking about the people as if they were the crown of creation.
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Getting back into Oscars...my thoughts on stocking 9 months 2 days ago #70387

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So your suggestion of removing the loaches is based on territory more than bioload?
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Getting back into Oscars...my thoughts on stocking 9 months 2 days ago #70388

  • beretta96
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:welcome:

twhittle...I'll echo much of the feedback you've received from toom. He's extremely knowledgeable when it comes to fishkeeping and American cichlids.

When considering the long term care of your fish, IMO you need to manage/balance two components....1) Nitrates 2) Species Compatibility/Aggression

Nitrates
It's generally accepted, at least by the majority of regulars on this Oscar forum, that an Oscar needs to have minimal exposure to nitrate levels over 20ppm. I can't speak for the others as to why they hold that opinion but I became convinced after learning of an academic study that observed fathead minnows (a fish much heartier than an Oscar) began experiencing physiological changes at nitrate levels of 21ppm. That's when I realized I need to try to keep my Oscar's nitrate levels closer to 10ppm than 20ppm in order to minimize the negative consequences of my condemning him to a glass box for the entirety of his life.

Given all the variables at play with respect to nitrate management (one of which is a 3-5ppm nitrate level of my tap water), I've found that I need him to be the sole occupant of a 125g tank with water changes every 4-6 days. Obviously, your variables will be different (eg. tap water nitrate levels, feeding schedule, water change schedule etc...), but, I don't see how you can consistently attain a 20ppm nitrate when the stock you're considering are at adulthood.

Compatibility / Aggression
I'll need to defer to toom and the other more experienced folks here on this matter. I would only be regurgitating what I've learned from their experiences.
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Getting back into Oscars...my thoughts on stocking 9 months 2 days ago #70389

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Thanks for your reply. I have been keeping cichlids for 30 years in multiple very large setups so I'm very adept at territory/aggression issues. I'm extremely comfortable with the Jack Dempsey I have and the loaches in that respect. It's the two Oscars I'll need to watch.

As to bioload, I'll have to watch that. I'm religious about water conditions. If I could figure out how to upload pictures, I'd show you my tank of which I'm speaking. It's stocked with a large jaguar, red terror, Texas, loiselli, jag, Jack Dempsey, and GT. It takes a water change every 5 days to keep nitrates at correct levels, even with 210 gallons of water.
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Getting back into Oscars...my thoughts on stocking 9 months 2 days ago #70390

  • Rob167
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I still have not dropped my JD in with Oscar.
I see you are pairing them as well.

Does everyone seem to have good luck matching oscars with JD?
I got the 180 to add her...but have aggression and damage fears.
180 oscar/silver $$s/pleco
75 female JD
125 Malawi
29 Serpae / danios/ angel
10g dwarf gaurami / Neon tetras

98 lb Irish cream Labrador retriever
200 year old miserable jack Russell rat thing ( came with wife)- RIP 6/11/17
2 english bulldogs
9 year old- for sale- doesn't do chores-
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Getting back into Oscars...my thoughts on stocking 9 months 2 days ago #70392

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That pairing has worked well for me in the past.
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Getting back into Oscars...my thoughts on stocking 9 months 2 days ago #70393

  • beretta96
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twhittle wrote:
....I'm extremely comfortable with the Jack Dempsey....
I think a large, healthy Jack Dempsey may be one of the best looking, widely kept cichlids there is. I always enjoy looking at pictures of a mature, colorful JD...something about them is just really cool!!

twhittle wrote:
....If I could figure out how to upload pictures, I'd show you my tank of which I'm speaking....
To post pictures directly into a message,
  1. Go to www.photobucket.com and create an account....it's free.
  2. Upload the pictures by clicking on the "Upload" button in the middle-ish portion of the screen.
  3. Drag your picture(s) into dashed line box that accounts for the largest portion of your screen.
  4. Click on the picture you want to post onto this forum. On the right hand side of the screen, you'll see a field called "Direct"...click on it. You'll see the word "Copied" flash onto your screen.
  5. You just copied the link to your picture into your computer's memory
  6. Come back to this site
  7. Reply to or create a message on this forum
  8. Type [ IMG ] with no spaces before the I and after the G
  9. Paste the link you copied to your computer's memory
  10. Type [ /IMG ] immediately after the last letter of the link you just pasted into your message....like in step #8, be sure there are no spaces before the / and none after the G
  11. Hit the "Submit" button to post your message to the forum
  12. Congratulations, you just posted a picture directly into a message!!
twhittle wrote:
....It's stocked with a large jaguar.....
A male jaguar is my dream fish. I'd love to be able to keep one. What an impressive fish!! It's just not the correct time right now. I also have aspirations to keep a parachromis motaguensis but, like with the jaguar, it's just not the right time.

twhittle wrote:
....It takes a water change every 5 days to keep nitrates at correct levels, even with 210 gallons of water
What are your nitrate readings after five days in your 210g? How much water do you change during a water change? What filtering do you have on your 210g? What is your heating strategy? How do you supply your tank with an adequate amount of hot water during water changes? Thanks tw....appreciate you sharing!!
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