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Question
Hi,
I have a tiger Oscar who its about 5 inches long i have ran  intoa problem with food and poo at the bottom of his tank vacuum it once a week and i feel as if I'm doing something wrong should i buya pleco or am undergrav filter?

Answer
Oscars are high bio-load fish meaning they produce a ton of waste. They need large aquariums, the bare minimum for them is a 75 gallon better yet a 90-100 gallon. They eat messily as well. You should be doing 30% water changes weekly with the gravel siphon. Wait until you see them at 1 foot to a 1 1/2 foot. Double filtration is highly neccessary.

Oscars are better off in a bare bottom aquarium. When they are placed in a gravel aquarium they push it to one side and make piles as this is how they play, this can cause a sewage build-up and a release of toxins in the water.

Pleco's are super messy fish and they get 2-3 feet long. They need a 100+ aquarium with double/triple filtration. They'll messy your aquarium twice as much as the Oscar will with foot long poops. They have no stomachs so anything they eat passes right on through and seeing that they eat whole cucumber slices when they get large, you can see how messy it can get.

Undergravel filters are hard to clean and get messy. They generally are not good for the large aquariums Oscars are in. They will eventually get too dirty and turn into nitrite/nitrate factories thus degrading the water quality and killing the fish in the aquarium.

Only you can clean the aquarium, no fish nor filter will do the same job as you do, and you should have know this when you accepted the responsibility of caring for such a large monster fish.

If you know that your aquarium size is too small to house this creature would do it a favor and return it or donate it to a local petstore? These fish grow very large in size and they need a lot of care. I give you kudo's if you are keeping it in a proper housing.

- Ash

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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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