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TOPIC: HITH Treatment

HITH Treatment 5 months 4 days ago #72188

  • Oscarmon
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Have any of you had positive outcomes with a specific HITH treatment?

Is there a certain one that has a better chance of curing (helping with) HITH?

I know there's a specific component that is usually in these treatments but I'd rather not attempt spelling it out...


I've already have read multiple articles on this odd affliction and have already lost 2 cichlids to it in the past.

What I know: My O lives in a fairly large ( over 49 gallon) tank. The Nitrates, Nitrites, Ammonia etc are all where they should be. My canister filter IS running with activated carbon. My O has been showing signs of HITH.

What would you recommend trying?
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HITH Treatment 5 months 4 days ago #72189

  • toom
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Taking off active carbon and do propper water changes. On 49 Gallons you can start with 3 to 4, 80% per week. For a small one at least 2 80% per week.
HITH is caused by multiple factors from lack of calcium and especially trace elements in the water that got cosumed by the fish himself and the tank himself, upropper water conditions like to high Nh4 and NO3. Also internal parasites and low grade food can cause it.

As an long term Oscar and big cichlid owner and forum User i observe the main cause of this often asked question for support is tank space and lack of propper water maintaince.
HITH don't appear over night, it need months to break out in a visable state and the only propper way to cure it is heavy maintaince.
Put your Oscar in a tank with the double volume and do at least 2 big 60/70% WC per week, deworm him once per year with medicadet food, feed a wide variant of food and don't forget fiber conrent for a healthy digestion and your Oscar will heal.
We need to stop talking about the people as if they were the crown of creation.
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HITH Treatment 5 months 4 days ago #72190

  • Northstar5
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The very bottom root cause of hith is stress. Stress can occur from several factors, and as toom indicated, lack of space is indeed an issue. Oscar is a cichlid that reacts negatively to lack of space, more so than most fish. It can grow an inch a month during its growth spurt period of 3-10 months of age. It needs big space to thrive. A 50g tank is too small for even a juvenile Oscar. If you prowl around enough forums, scan YouTube you will certainly find Oscars kept in smaller tanks, owners claim they are fine, blahblah. Dogs are often kept chained up their entire lives. They survive, but don't thrive or have a good life. Same thing in the Oscar world. Can you show some clear close up pics of your fish? Maybe not hith at all, could be bacterial pitting, minor erosion, scrapes, bruises etc.
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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HITH Treatment 5 months 1 day ago #72196

  • Oscarmon
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All I have to take pics is a Gen5 Kindle Fire. All the pics come out blurred due to his motion, and the camera can't adjust to the lighting properly.
I've been stepping up water changes. Now I do them once every 2-3 days at 40-50%. He's also come to like grapes and strawberries too.
Within a month or two I will be able to replace the little whisper filter with a high grade canister which gives me a bit more capacity as well as cleaner water (I also already have a Marineland canister already installed).

I've always looked at his head/face for HITH to be cautious and as he's gotten bigger his sensory pits grow too. Right now he has a couple of small, deeper pits along and around his head. They seem larger than the sensory pits and aren't clustered like them, so that's why I'm worried.

So if I eventually get him into a larger tank, do more water changes, give him even more diverse/healthy food the HITH will go away? How does exactly does it leave him?
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HITH Treatment 5 months 21 hours ago #72197

  • Aquamoo
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IMO unless your getting a tank soon, you should buy a medium to small sized plastic pool like this: goo.gl/uL3zww make sure you have cycled media in it though. This would be amazing for the Oscar and would give him a massive amount of room for him to swim (about 700 gallons). Keep in mind that you could use this temporarily until you get your big tank set up and for only $73 U.S.D. it's not a very big investment plus you can use it as a pool once your done with it :D. If you have a large empty space in your garage, this would be a great investment however you would probably have to heat the room or something as a regular aquarium heater wouldn't cut it. Also what do you feed your Oscar? I know you mentioned feeding it grapes and strawberries but what is your primary pellet?

- Aquamoo
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HITH Treatment 5 months 13 hours ago #72199

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His primary is NorthFin cichlid pellets and NorthFin veggie pellets. I also give him OmegaOne bloodworms, peeled grapes, strawberries, peas, and sometimes mangos.

I'm planning on purchasing Vitachem with OmegaOne krill along with the filter.


The pool looks pretty neat. How would you filter it?
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HITH Treatment 4 months 4 weeks ago #72201

  • beretta96
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Oscarmon wrote:
...So if I eventually get him into a larger tank, do more water changes, give him even more diverse/healthy food the HITH will go away? How does exactly does it leave him?

The diet you're feeding your Oscar is fine. Carbon in the filtration system seems to be a common theme for those trying to identify why their Oscars get HITH when their diet, stress levels, water changes and tank size are otherwise good. There's no reason to run carbon in your tank unless you're adding chemicals/medicines that need to be filtered - which I don't recall you saying you do. You should stop running carbon in your filters. If you poll experienced, successful fish keepers, those who systematically run carbon in their filtration systems would easily be the minority.

Regarding how HITH goes away.....hexamita (known as "hex") is a parasite and is the root of HITH. Fish who are stressed due to a any number of reasons (poor water quality, cramped living quarters, being picked on etc...) seem to have more difficulty fighting off hex than an unstressed fish. Feed a good diet, frequent & large water changes along with a stress free environment essentially eradicates HITH because the fish can fight of hex easily.

Once an Oscar begins suffering from HITH, they're more susceptible to experiencing it again. Since you suspect yours has it, it's something you're going to continuously need to monitor moving forward and reinforces the need for continuing with a good diet, improving water conditions and its living quarters.
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HITH Treatment 4 months 4 weeks ago #72202

  • Aquamoo
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IMO you could get by with just a canister filter in the pool if the only thing you had was an Oscar. The reason being is that all that filters do is collect waste/debris and grow bacteria (mechanical and biological filtration, you can add chemical but most people do not). The pool, has an already rather large surface area and you could grow all the extra bacteria you need in a medium/large canister filter with ceramic rings. For mechanical, I wouldn't worry as you seem to be doing water changes very frequently and I think I read somewhere that you always gravel vac all solid waste and anything that isn't handled by the gravel vac could be collected in the canisters sponge. The best reason why the pool is a good idea in the short term is that since it's so massive (for one Oscar) all byproducts (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, etc) would all be diluted. Keep in mid that if you did use a canister, the media would already have to be cycled but I think you already know how the Nitrogen cycle works so I won't get into that.

You mentioned your getting a new canister filter, what kind?
FX6/5 are great!

- Aquamoo
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HITH Treatment 4 months 4 weeks ago #72206

  • Oscarmon
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Yeah, I got a 3/4 tube and I just siphon the water while picking up the debris.
Yes I'm getting a canister to replace the minatory whisper 5-10. The little thing picks up floating debris but clogs like you wouldn't believe! As I stated earlier, I already also have a Marineland C-220 running (have you ever experienced the problems with this canister type? If not I'd love to post a review on it).

Fluval Fx4.... I think. Because the Fx5-6 won't fit under my cabinet :dry:


Beretta, Thanks for the opinion. I've read numerous articles on the topic of activated carbon and the only reason I keep it is because it's supposed to do something with the water clarity?... Something like that anyways.

If I got rid of it would there be any differences with the water? I love how it's crystal clear right now and don't want that to change :)
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HITH Treatment 4 months 3 weeks ago #72212

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Oscarmon wrote:
....Beretta, Thanks for the opinion. I've read numerous articles on the topic of activated carbon and the only reason I keep it is because it's supposed to do something with the water clarity?... Something like that anyways.

If I got rid of it would there be any differences with the water? I love how it's crystal clear right now and don't want that to change :)

Getting rid of the carbon will increase the likelihood your fish's HITH will improve and not return. My water is perfectly transparent and I've never run carbon nor do I add any water polishing agents. If shiny water is something you enjoy, consider using Purigen or a competitive product and ditch the carbon.
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