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QUESTION: Hey I use to have Oscars years ago n grew them to be big fish an had them for for years...I got out of it an recently just got back in it....as of yesterday I got 2 Oscars an 1 algae eater in a 55 gallon tank...they are still small n I guess my questions are that they seem happy an healthy they eat good an play around an act normal but my water is cloudy n I checked ph level it seems good n I put correct ph in the tank an a thing called crystal clear in the tank an still cloudy. But fish don't seem to mind it. Not sick or anything. It looks like millions of little bubbles an not dirt. It was clear all day yesterday an.today its just gotten worse n worse....I was just wondering if Thts bad for them an how to fix it an maybe what causes this. I'm at a lose on what to do now. I heard people tell me about ph level an ammonia buy doesn't seem to have tht or effect fish....thank you for your time an hope you have a solution for me.

ANSWER: Your aquarium is overstocked. I know you probably won't like my answer but I am going to be blunt with you. A full grow Oscar cichlid needs a 75 gallon aquarium for two full grow Oscar cichlids you are going to need a 125 gallon aquarium. Seeing that they grow 1-2 inches a month your going to either pull the money out for 125g and cycle it...or return them.

The Chinese Algae eater is going to reach a foot. All three have a high bio-load and they will probably die of an ammonia spike or a slow painful death from stunting.

Did you cycle the aquarium for 6-8 weeks?
Did you even do research on Tiger Oscars?

You should never had chemicals to the tank to make the water clear. The water is cloudy because you either didn't cycle it or because the fish are causing an unstable bio-load and now it is going through a bacteria bloom.

I HIGHLY suggest returning the two Oscar Cichlids as they will not live long or happy in that aquarium. They may look as healthy as a horse to you but in that aquarium...its just too small.

If you do not believe me I can give you links to show you what requirements they need to live healthily.

I have a 400 gallon with 3 Oscars, a long finned albino and two tigers. All three are 2 feet long.

- Ash

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

QUESTION: Well I believe you an anything helps. But I did have 2 Oscars an a algae fish in this same tank an they lived all of about 8 years an were every bit of 12-14 inches. I've raised them before in same tank. I agree need more room an would be happier I'll do tht. I'll get 125 gallon tank. Not a problem. But right now their only like 1 1/2 inches. I'll get them a bigger tank but is there anything.I can do to make this tank healthier n cleaner for now so they are not suffering?? Just for.now couple weeks maybe....an no I did not cycle tank 6-8 weeks...I hooked tank up an let it run with no fish in it for 10 days an checked ph level an ammonia n temp an all....all was well an I put fish in tank an within 24 hours it started to fog up....I do have deer antlers in the tank as decoration cause I hunt n.thought it'd be neat....my thought was calcium off antlers is causing fog I dnt know for sure. But need to help them for now. So.I can have time to set bigger tank up an.let it cycle awhile for them.....thanks for first response it does make sense

Answer
A 55 gallon is totally fine for a grow out tank but make sure you get a 125 gallon and cycle it properly as soon as possible.

Cycling a tank is pretty easy. You'll need to have some test strips, regular tropical fish flakes, and a product called StressZyme.

Here is stress zyme:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2754033&f=PAD%2FpsNotAvailIn

Weekly add the amount of stress zyme that the bottle indicates. What stress zyme does is it adds nitrifying bacteria and grows a colony in the water. Nitrifying bacteria stabilizes the aquarium's water chemistry.

Daily you need to feed "invisible" fish a few pinches of the tropical fish flakes. What this does is since there is no fish to eat it, it becomes waste at the bottom and turns into ammonia.

Do not do water changes just test the water weekly.

First Ammonia will spike really high.
Then nitrites will kill ammonia and nitrites will spike really high.
Then last but not least nitrates (make sure you don't get the two mixed) will spike high.

...and finally everything will settle out to an even.

Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 20-40 PPM
PH 7.5 - 8.0

The antlers are bone so, yes, it will add calcium to the water making the water very hard but it wouldn't fog up the tank's water. Anyways the antlers would look great in a tank but they have a water chemistry bonus, water hardness! Cichlids thrive in hard waters!

I go hunting myself and I was thinking of putting an entire buck's skeleton in my large 400 gallon cichlid sand aquarium...and maybe remove some of the sharper bones.  

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Ash WolFF

Expertise

My knowledge of fish ranges from freshwater and saltwater fish compatibility and care from easy livebearers to monster fish. I can help you set up a simple freshwater aquarium to a complicated reef tank. I would be pleased to assist anyone who is new to the aquarium hobby.

Experience

I have been in the aquarium hobby for eight years mostly dealing with large and small aquariums. I keep mostly monster fish (Arowana's, Large Cichlids; Oscars, and freshwater/saltwater eels specifically) but now that I am in college I am keeping a 30 gallon tropical community and a 45 gallon brackish aquarium while my father tends to the big monsters I left behind.

Organizations
I'm on YouTube! My 30 gallon community posts are the only ones that are up so far. My Brackish tank is next! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3gedHZNmWY28o0-o40nEpA/videos?view=0&flow=grid I'm on Yahoo Answers: http://answers.yahoo.com/my-activity

Education/Credentials
I am currently in college aiming for a job in Marine Biology.

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