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Fish/sick oscari


QUESTION: I have an Oscar that is approximately 4 yrs old. HE or she is in a 55 gal tank. I've checked the water which is fine. He's been pretty much just hanging on the bottom of the tank, and hasn't eaten in months, I can't believe he's still alive. I've tried various products recommended by local pet stores and nothing seems to work. I hate seeing him just laying there. Do you have any suggestions? I would appreciate any help. Thank you.

David M Schaeffer

ANSWER: Hi David,
 What is the temperature in the tank?

-- Ron C.
  Cichlid Research Home Page <>

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The temperature is 75 degrees.

Hi David,
 75 is okay; I would bump it up to 80oF.  Do you know that oscars sometimes just lie on the bottom even if they are perfectly healthy?  It is a hunting strategy that they use. Small fish come over to investigate and the oscar eats them.
 The one thing you should NOT do, is try to feed your oscar with feeder fish. These almost always carry various parasites and diseases which can easily transmit to your oscar.

-- Ron C.
  Cichlid Research Home Page <>


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Ron Coleman


I am an expert on cichlid fishes, particularly New World cichlids. My broader expertise includes the behavior, ecology and reproduction of fishes in general. (I am NOT an expert on Goldfish). Please do not use abbreviations, such as "my GT has a swollen eye" because I don't know what a "GT" is. The more clearly you can explain your question, the better chance I have of understanding what it is that you seek. I keep fishes both as a scientist and as a hobbyist and I currently maintain about 140 aquariums.


I am an Associate Professor at the California State University, Sacramento in the Department of Biological Sciences, and I run a website, called the Cichlid Research Home Page . I also write for many popular aquarist magazines, and I was editor of Cichlid News magazine for several years. I am a scientist and I spend my time teaching fish biology, ecology, behavior and evolution and doing research on the reproductive biology of fishes, particularly cichlids. I do research in the laboratory and in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico. My main interest is understanding the evolution of parental care in fishes. I am interested in encouraging greater public awareness, understanding and participation in science.

Cichlid News, Tropical Fish Hobbyist, Freshwater and Marine Aquarium, Science, Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, Copeia, Canadian Journal of Zoology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, AUK, Environmental Biology of Fishes

PhD (Toronto, 1993) MSc (Simon Fraser, 1986) BSc (British Columbia, 1983)

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