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    Hole-in-the-head...Please help my beloved Oscar!

    Discussion in 'Freshwater Diseases and Health Issues' started by peaches, Nov 27, 2005.

    1. peaches

      peaches MFK Members

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      Hello, it's been a long time since I posted here.

      I am so worried about my pet Oscar. I am afraid he has HITH!
      Oswald my Oscar has lived in a 29 gallon aquarium since he was about 4 inches long, I've had him for a bit over a year now and he seems to have matured to about 11 inches or so. Now he did fine the entire time, he has never been sick, he grew quite fast and was always a happy boy. But recently he has developed what I am positive of is Hole-in-the-head spots. It's definately not the Sensory pits that are often mistaken for HITH. Now before I get a critized for keeping an Oscar in a 29 gallon I must say that I got this advice from a excellent fish book. Not out of date and with the best information I have ever read about fish keeping. It's the simple guide to freshwater aquariums. It noted that ONE oscar and only ONE with no other living creatures can live in a 29 gallon for his whole life provided you change 50% of his water once or twice a week. And have a excellent filter. Now the author had much experience with Oscars and he knows what he is talking about--so I followed the simple guide's advice and I guess this is how it turned out--Oswald has hole in the head. :cry:

      Here is my maintanance routine I do for his aquarium---
      Every day- I feed him of course, Hikari brand Cichlid pellets... Actually I feed him twice a day usually. Usually he always gets a treat of Krill, shrimp pellets, or algae wafers every day. He ever has never lived consistantly on Pellets. He always gets variety very frequently...
      He gets ZERO feeder fish but I do have a healthy stock of guppies that he occasionally gets a few fry but that is not a consistant food source either.

      Twice weekly- a 30-50% water change with a gravel siphon of course. His filter is also cleaned about once a week or sometimes twice if it is very dirty.
      Aquarium Temperature- 80-82 F consistant.
      Sorry I just ran out of Ammonia tests. pH is about 7.6 or so.

      Remember I have had him for about a year and half and he is by himself in a 29 gallon aquarium. He has a Whisper 30 power filter as well.

      Please if anybody has any advice on treating HITH please help. I would prefer people whom have had experience in treating Oscars themselves please.
      I will do all I can to help Oswald out. I am commited to my animals and only want the best for Oswald. :(

      Thank you guys for any help.... If I knew how to post pictures I would try to get a pic of Oswald's head.
      Thank you again....

      Happy holidays.... ;)
      Peaches~*
       
    2. rallysman

      rallysman MFK Members

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      I'm going to disagree with the author and say go with a bigger tank. I have also heard and read that carbon may be a cause of HITH but I dont know if there is any truth in that. I believe that a lot of it is contributed to stress, and he may just be getting stressed somehow. My oscar developed HITH and the only way i can get it to heal (slowly) is move him to my 300 which has no carbon in the filtraton. You may even try to go with a bigger filter such as an AC 50 or something along those lines. I'm sure you will get replies better than mine, but good luck with your fish.
       
    3. posteo

      posteo MFK Members

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      try aquarium salt and take out any carbon,i would also look into getting atleast a 55g,but if you want to keep him in a 29g get a bigger filter
       
    4. DeLgAdO

      DeLgAdO MFK Members

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      i think the carbon thing is :bs:
       
    5. joel

      joel MFK Members

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      the fish would love a larger tank. take out carbon and try a medicine called CLOUT. i have had good luck with that in the past.
       
    6. boredcpl

      boredcpl MFK Members

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      when my oscar started to develop hole in the head i cut his food in half and only fed him the best food i could for awhile.. i had 2 in a 45 for awhile.. you might want to look into a bigger tank. because the water can foul much faster in that small area for that big animal.. you might be able to get by with a bigger filter, but my advice is any size bigger tank..
       
    7. peaches

      peaches MFK Members

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      Hello, thank you very much guys! The information was well appreciated!
      I'll take out the carbon and be extra extra careful with feedings.
      I really feel bad now for keeping him in a 29 gallon. He is a very big animal both in length and width. I do have a 55 gallon with a large Severum and two Tinfoil barbs, I thought about switching these fish around somehow so my Oscar could have their 55 gallon but I don't know what to do with the other fish. I should probably give away my Tinfoil barbs, I raised them since they were very small and now they are almost the size of my Oscar and I am kind of attatched to all of them so I don't know what to do. Would it be too much for my Oscar to live with the two Tinfoil barbs? I know I'm am probably right about it being too much of an overload. It's hard when you have cichlids, you get so attatched to their unique personalities and behavior.

      Buy anyway, I am working on figuring out how to get him into my current 55 gallon that houses a large (about 6 inch) very territorial severum and two probably about 8-9 Tinfoil barbs. I know these fish can't all live together so I think somebody will have to go.........to the petstore...... :(

      Thank you very much guys! I will look into all your suggestions........
      Happy holidays~
      Peaches~* :(
       
    8. MaJiKTeRRoR

      MaJiKTeRRoR MFK Members

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      Try doing a massive water change and dechlorinate your water with prime or someting that helps restore the fish's slime coat. And dechlorinate your water every water change.
       
    9. guppy

      guppy Small Squiggly Thing

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      There is a thread in the "frequently asked questions" forum that will help walk you through posting a picture.
      I have not had many fish develope HITH but from reading and past postings here it seems they have covered the treatment, It heals very slowly.
      The main points were to try to get rid of stress from crowding, increase filtration, get rid of the carbon, keep up your water changes and use a good dechlorinator/conditioner every time (Amquel and Amquelplus are very good), keep up a high quality varied diet (possibly add garlic juice or a fish vitamin mix), be careful not to over feed, and possibly use CLOUT (I have not used it but I hear good things). I would also keep an eye on the ulcers for secondary infections and fungus, Iodine swabbed onto the ulcers early enough will stop most of those.
       
    10. peaches

      peaches MFK Members

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      Thank you all fellow aquarists! :grinyes:
      Is Amquel best because it removes Ammonia? I do use water dechlorinator everytime I do a water change but I use Stresscoat. I always wonder if the Aloe vera ingredient in water conditioner is bad and very unnatural to the fish. But I guess any water conditioner all together probably puts Osmotic Stress anyway of some sort! But I know it is an absolutle must when changing and adding water.

      I am so afraid of using a medication in the water. I have had so many problems when my Severum and Tinfoil barbs got ICH years ago (from heater failure) and they had a secondary infection from the ICH as well. I used medication and they are healed now but my water went cloudy like London streets and you couldn't see into but just a few inches. I knew it killed off the good bacteria and it took quite a while for everything to get straight and during that time I lost one of my dear little gold Severums.. These fish are highly prized and I almost feared the medication was worse than the ICH itself.
      From what I have read, HITH is mainly a intestinal tract disease, so what good does medication in the water do? Would the medicated foods I've seen for HITH work better? My oscar eats his pellets but sometimes does have spurts of loss of appetite. Overall today Oswald is doing just fine, in pretty good spirits! :)

      Would a 100 gallon aquarium be large enough for my Oscar, two 5-6 inch severums, and two tinfoil barbs? This is an idea I had for combining some of my bigger fish. Thanx for any input! Remember, water changes are like a ancient ritual for me!

      Thank you all for your patience, time and help!!!!!!!!! You all are great! :headbang2

      (sorry for all the off the main topic questions)

      :stingray: Happy Holidays! :stingray:
       

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