Oscar laying on its side

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Oscar laying on its side

Postby TSenft706 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:35 pm

I am new to Oscars. I just got 2 of them one it a tiger oscar and the other is an albino tiger. they are still very little only about 2 inch. i have seen them lay on there sides from time to time. they do not do it for very long the longest has been about 8-10 min. is this ok or are they sick? :(
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby Jon M » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:47 pm

Welcome to O fish. Laying on their side usually isn't a good sign. A picture of them doing this would help a lot. Also providing more detailed information would help.

1. tank size
2. tank stock (number of fish in tank and what species, size, etc.)
3. water test results (preferably done with a chemical test kit, nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, pH, etc.)
4. was the tank cycled? did you just purchase it or was it previously established?
5. what's the fish's diet?
6. are they breathing heavy?
7. does their feces look normal?
8. what type of filtration are you using?
9. water temp?
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby Tom » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:53 pm

Welcome to OFish! :D
Are you aware of what a "cycle" means in terms of an aquarium?
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby TSenft706 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:08 pm

The tank is 55 gal i have the 2 oscars 2 jack demsy one catfish and ine dragon goby. the tank is new but i did cycle it for two weeks using some of the water from another tank of mine and some guppies. the guppies are now in my childs tank. the water temp i keep at 78 the ph is 7.0 NO2 is 0 and NO3 is 0. i feed the fish twice a day with cichlid sticks and about every third day will use a frozen food like blood worms or beef hearts. they do not breath heavy and i am using a filter that is good up to 80 gal tank. as for the feces i dont know what normal should look like.it looks just the same as the oler fish just a little thicker. i have also been doing a 10 pecent water change every week since i have gotten then that is about one month now. they also eat great.
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby Tom » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:24 pm

Does the O display the behavior only when you're at the tank?
Try turning the light off and watching from somewhere the fish can't see you.

How big are the other fish?

We recommend adult Os be provided with 50g each, adult JDs need 30-40 each...
Your Os are babies I realize, but they grow unbelievably fast.
I hope you have plans to provide some more tank space.
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby Jon M » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:28 pm

55 gallon is much too small for two O's alone. Two JD's, a catfish, and a goby, you are WAY over stocked. If they are all juvenile they should be okay for now, but not for long at all. Plus you have high chances of running into territoriality issues. 55 gallon 4 ft is minimum for ONE O.

I believe the majority of bb dwells in your substrate and filtration media so water is not adequate for starting a cycle. With that said, 0 nitrites, and nitrates it's quite apparent that you most likely at the beginning of a cycle and have high ammonia considering you have no nitrites or nitrates yet. This alone can be very harmful/fatal for your Os (and other fish).

As far as the feces one of the usual things to look for is that it is not white and stringy which is usually a sign of parasites.

A lot of companies advertise their filtration can handle more than it really does. What exactly are you running? ie: canister, HOB, etc.

10% wc weekly is much too low. Especially for a 55 gallon with 2 Os 2 JDs a cat and a goby. With this stock I'd say you'd have to do AT LEAST 2 large wcs a week (minimum 50%) to keep nitrates at a manageable level with your stock and tank size. When they're full size I don't see it ever being manageable though in this tank size and with this stock. (I can see them tearin' each other up with 2 JDs, two Os alone minus the rest of the stock)

As for what to do, I would test your ammonia levels. I bet they are pretty high since it seems your tank is not cycled. Prime to try and reduce the toxicity of the existing ammonia levels. Except large frequent wc's to lower the ammonia, and eventually nitrite levels, the only other thing I could recommend is not having the fish in a tank going through a cycle. Some fish can handle it and do but it's not good for them long term. Also if yours are laying on their sides they most likely aren't handling it too well. :-?
Last edited by Jon M on Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby TSenft706 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:32 pm

they are ok with me because they will eat from my hand and they do swimm alot. i am sitting right next to the tank and they are swiming right now. they will just stop all of a sudden and lay on there sides. as for a bigger tank it is in the works.
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby 1oscar » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:16 pm

Just a note about the Dragon Goby.

They're brackish fish. They need part Saltwater and part Freshwater. My advice is either set up a brackish tank, or take the fish back to the pet store.
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby Jon M » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:18 pm

1oscar wrote:Just a note about the Dragon Goby.

They're brackish fish. They need part Saltwater and part Freshwater. My advice is either set up a brackish tank, or take the fish back to the pet store.


Doh! I wasn't aware a Dragon Goby was the same as a Dragon Fish. Yeah, Definitely a good catch. Brackish... :-?
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby TSenft706 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:26 pm

wow thanks guys did not know that. you think that the pet store world have told me that. thanks for all the help
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby Jon M » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:27 pm

TSenft706 wrote:wow thanks guys did not know that. you think that the pet store world have told me that. thanks for all the help


That's typical of a lfs to not mention. They actually sell Dragon Fish at Wal-Mart on a regular as well. Nice of them not to mention this eh? Dragon Fish are SPAWNED in fresh water but are actually brackish fish.
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby Tom » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:05 pm

Most pet stores just want to sell stuff.
They will try to sell you additives for this and drops for that...
If your water's PH is between 6 and 8, all you should need is a dechlorinator and plenty of water changes.
Of course this assumes a cycled tank of proper size with sufficient filtration.
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby 1oscar » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:48 pm

Haha yeah Jon. The Dragon Gobies are pretty freakin awesome. They look vicious, but they're actually filter feeders.

Image

Yeah, freakin' awesome little guys for sure.
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby maseyferguson05 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:30 am

You should be fine now with that stock list, but you will defiantly either want a bigger tank or reduce the list of fish you got in there. People have a hard time controlling nitrate levels with one oscar in a 55g tank. I won't bash you tho as you say a new tank is in the works. They would love a nice 125g. Thats great, just an excuse to get a massive tank. Thats how i look at it :lthumb:

Your tank is defiantly going threw a mini cycle, did you just set it up? I suggest asking the LFS for some of there used filter media or a little bag of used substrate when you go and return that goby. Just stick it in your filter or into the tank. Usually i wouldn't suggest this because of the risk of disease, but if you just bought the fish from the store you should be good. That would help tons with the mini cycle. I would think the ammonia levels would be enough to agitate them into displaying weird behavior. I'm not sure perhaps someone else has another idea.

Heres a link to the Prime water conditioner, its made by SeaChem. The stuff smells like pure eggs but its one capful for every 50 gallons. You can buy it at just about any fish store. I would suggest a double dose for the next couple of weeks if you plan on using it. Just keep up with your water changes for the next few weeks, thats the most important thing.
http://www.petco.com/product/7929/Seachem-Prime.aspx

Sounds like you got some cool O's if they are already eating out of ur hand :D
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby Jon M » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:14 am

maseyferguson05 wrote:You should be fine now with that stock list, but you will defiantly either want a bigger tank or reduce the list of fish you got in there. People have a hard time controlling nitrate levels with one oscar in a 55g tank. I won't bash you tho as you say a new tank is in the works. They would love a nice 125g. Thats great, just an excuse to get a massive tank. Thats how i look at it :lthumb:

Your tank is defiantly going threw a mini cycle, did you just set it up? I suggest asking the LFS for some of there used filter media or a little bag of used substrate when you go and return that goby. Just stick it in your filter or into the tank. Usually i wouldn't suggest this because of the risk of disease, but if you just bought the fish from the store you should be good. That would help tons with the mini cycle. I would think the ammonia levels would be enough to agitate them into displaying weird behavior. I'm not sure perhaps someone else has another idea.

Heres a link to the Prime water conditioner, its made by SeaChem. The stuff smells like pure eggs but its one capful for every 50 gallons. You can buy it at just about any fish store. I would suggest a double dose for the next couple of weeks if you plan on using it. Just keep up with your water changes for the next few weeks, thats the most important thing.
http://www.petco.com/product/7929/Seachem-Prime.aspx

Sounds like you got some cool O's if they are already eating out of ur hand :D


The Prime is totally a funky smell. I think it smells like sulfur. :P

As far as his stock I think with 125g it would still be quite overstocked. This stock list has 2 Os 2 JDs and a catfish of some sort (assuming Mr. Dragonfish is going back to the LFS). Cut the catfish out of the equation and you still have 4 large aggressive cichlids. I've seen some pretty aggressive catfish too but we don't know what kind this is so I can't comment on that one. I myself have almost HALF this stock in my 125g (1 O 1 JD 1 Gibby and 3 dithers) and some consider that a tight stock list for 125g.
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby maseyferguson05 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:51 am

Yes your right, how big of a tank you think? 200g? Somethin 8 foot long...
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby Jon M » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:58 am

I consider a JD an O minus a bit of size stock wise but plus on aggression. I'd almost consider them an O them self when it comes to stock size so I'd say AT LEAST 180 gallons if you are going to be keeping two JDs, two Os, and a Cat. What type of cat are we talking anyhow? I know JDs are quite aggressive and territorial from experience with just having my own in my 125g with ONE O. I really couldn't fathom having 2 Os and 2 JDs in the same tank personally.
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby ~RuSh~ » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:38 pm

TSenft706 wrote:The tank is 55 gal i have the 2 oscars 2 jack demsy one catfish and ine dragon goby. the tank is new but i did cycle it for two weeks using some of the water from another tank of mine and some guppies. the guppies are now in my childs tank. the water temp i keep at 78 the ph is 7.0 NO2 is 0 and NO3 is 0. i feed the fish twice a day with cichlid sticks and about every third day will use a frozen food like blood worms or beef hearts. they do not breath heavy and i am using a filter that is good up to 80 gal tank. as for the feces i dont know what normal should look like.it looks just the same as the oler fish just a little thicker. i have also been doing a 10 pecent water change every week since i have gotten then that is about one month now. they also eat great.



Welcome to the Forum. :D

Oscars are really the drama queens of the cichlid world. They will commonly "pout" by lying on their sides, changing colors, or hiding frequently - especially when they are first introduced to a new tank. Even after they get used to their surroundings, small changes like moving decorations, adding tank mates, or feeding different foods can induce pouting once again. Older oscars don't pout quite as much; it seems to be a juvenile thing.

You are going to run into 2 problems: 1 - Bioload. I would suspect that since your nitrates, and nitrites are 0ppm that ammonia is still quite high. This can quickly become a problem as Ammonia is toxic to fish. You should get an ammonia test to confirm or deny this, and post results. Even if your ammonia isn't a problem you should be doing large water changes. Much much more than just 10%. I would do 75% water changes every few days to keep the ammonia levels down.

2 - Aggression. A 55g is not enough room for all the fish you have, we've established that. You've stated a bigger tank is "in the works" but we need to know how big. If you plan to keep the 2 oscars and 2 dempseys you are going to need a 6ft tank. Minimum. The dragon eel cannot be kept with the oscars, it just will not work. As stated, they need brackish water and even if he did survive for a while, the oscars and dempseys would likely bully him. I know he looks mean, but they really prefer a peaceful environment - which isn't what you are going to have with cichilds. Bottom line - Keeping all cichlids together 2 JD's, 2 O's - 125g minimum> larger prefered. In a 125g with that stock, you'll probably need to do a few water changes a week to keep nitrates at a safe level.

Keep us informed and we'll do our best to help you and your fish. :D
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby TSenft706 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:48 pm

I have returned the dragon goby. i also have do a 50% wc. the nitites were high and ammonia was also high. i do not think i cycled the tank long enough.the catfish is a cory cat.i am also going to buy a 405. i hope that all of this will help until i get the bigger tank. :-?
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby Jon M » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:05 pm

TSenft706 wrote:I have returned the dragon goby. i also have do a 50% wc. the nitites were high and ammonia was also high. i do not think i cycled the tank long enough.the catfish is a cory cat.i am also going to buy a 405. i hope that all of this will help until i get the bigger tank. :-?


I'm glad you returned the Dragon Fish. Unfortunately I'm sure they'll probably just dunk him in a FW atmosphere as most lfs do with them but at least you did what you could on your part by not keeping a brackish fish in a fw atmosphere. :lthumb:

The 405 will certainly help you with filtration. If you're dealing with a tank that's a bit overstocked then definitely go above and beyond with the filtration.

The high levels of nitrites and ammonia shows that, indeed, your tank was not cycled. The good news is with nitrites showing hopefully you'll get your nitrates developing soon and be towards the end of the cycle. I would continue to observe your water perimeters daily and do at least 50% wcs every few days until the cycle is complete to help keep those nitrite and ammonia levels low for your livestock.

I hope this all works out for you and your fish all survive. I know how it is being stuck in the middle of a cycle with livestock and no where else to temporarily house them.
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Re: Oscar laying on its side

Postby TSenft706 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:37 pm

Thanks for all the help that you guys have given me i really like this site. i was doing some research on dragon gobies and this is what i found..The Dragon goby will do best in a brackish aquarium, since it originates from Florida where it inhabits the brackish swamps and river outlets. It is today also found in waters from Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico, and off the northern Brazilian coast. The Dragon goby prefers waters with muddy bottoms. It is possible to keep a Dragon goby in a freshwater aquarium if you allow it to slowly adjust to the lack of salinity, but brackish water is a better choice. Dragon gobies can also survive in marine aquariums, but they must of course be gradually acclimatized to this as well.

i found this on http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/gobyfish/dragon.php
i dont know if this is really true. itdoes not matter anyway the tank needed less bioload anyway. ;)
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