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White spots

Hello im new to the cichlid community and i have a 55 gallon tank, 2 common oscars 3 parrot fish (unfortunately i did not do my research before i bout them and they are dyed) and i had two blue belly oscars until last night where i found one died. but today i just looked at my fish and i see white little specks and 2 of my parrots and 2 of my oscars, i am wondering what i can do to help the spots. thanks



Welcome to the site. Your tank is hundreds of gallons too small for that stocking. Hundreds. One Oscar requires 75 gallons...

 Your fish have ich. Did you cycle the aquarium or just fill it with water and add fish? New aquariums are not fish-ready for SIX WEEKS. Have you tested for ammonia and nitrite? That is the first course of action when a fish dies; you test the water and then replace half of it. If you don't own a test kit have your local fish store test it. Post your water parameters here. Study the nitrification cycle. You can read me going on about it ad-nauseum by entering "the nitrification cycle" in the search engine of this site. Or you can just Google it.

To cure the ich after you test your water and replace half of it you need to: Add an air stone-very important. Slowly (over a day or so) raise the temperature of the aquarium to 86º (you DO heat the tank, right?) and add 60 teaspoons of aquarium salt to the water, predissolved. Add this 20 teaspoons at a time over 36 hours. Leave as-is for 12 days. Ich will be gone.

Take the oscars back where you got them today and tell the shop they have ich so the shop can cure them; you haven't nearly the room for them. Either that or buy a 6' 120 long (not a standard 4' 120!) or 6' 125 gallon aquarium TODAY for the oscars and divide it in half, one side for each fish, and keep two of them. You cannot house two Oscars together, much less the four you had. You will need filtration for 240 gallons, 1200GPH on the new aquarium.

About the parrots: Keep their temp at 80 after 12 days is up. Don't ever think of adding more fish to that tank; you don't have room. 3 parrots maxes it out, and that is assuming that you change HALF the water every week and that you have 550GPH worth of filtration for them. If you don't, BUY MORE FILTRATION.

Whoever sold you the fish should be executed, or at least given a corn chip enema. Personally, I want to punch them in the jimmies.

ahahaha thanks for the advice, i kind of realized that i couldn't buy anymore fish(they are all still under 5 inches), but with that i dont think that it will be over stuffed anytime soon considering all of my parrot fish are dyed i dont believe they will live very long or long enough to fully grow. i just went to the local pet store and they gave me some quICK cure (they have great and very helpful people). i do have tests for nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, and ph i tested my ammonia and nitrite and the ammonia was at .25 and the nitrite was 0. I lost soooo much respect for the pet store when i found out about the fish being dyed. and yes i do have a heater for the tank that keeps the tank at about 75.

Before i had the cichlids, i had some guppies, angel fish, gouramis, and mollies, when i had those fish i went through about two nitrite poisonings (one from not having power and one from not letting the tank cycle). after that nitrite poisoning i had three poor survivors (which i know have them in a 20 gallon). I thought that i would like to move on to bigger fish after all the nitrite poisoning, which i did and the tank had been running for at least 5 weeks before i got the cichlids.

i forgot to mention my medium pleco and i have a marineland emperor 400 filter

There should be no ammonia at all. That's from the tank being grossly overstocked. Lose the Oscars.

Quick cure will ruin your silicone. It sucks.

Great filter but not enough. I have TWO Emperor 400's on my 55 with two 5" parrots and a young redhead. That's how much filtration YOU need AFTER you get rid of the Oscars. They will kill one another once they mature any way. Oscars cannot be housed together. The overstocking is what makes me want to jack your fish dealer up. The dye is a whole separate issue.

Lose the Oscars or buy them their own tank and divide it. My 55 also has a Fluval 305 canister. Get it? You need more filtration.

This is what a multi-Oscar aquarium looks like:

Two Emperor 400's and two Rena XP-3's, one pair on each side of a 1/4" polycarbonate divider. 120 gallons with 60 gallons replaced weekly.

great looking tank, is it odd that my two oscars are best friends, but yeah i think i might get ride of the two common oscars, but i dont know if i can get rid of the blue belly oscar, it is just so beautiful. how long would u expect my 3 parrot fish to live two of them are about 3 inches and another one is about 2 inches ill post some photos tomorrow morning, they are sleeping now

Your Oscars aren't mature. They will hurt each other many times each day when they are older. Their outer flesh is very soft, which is why they are called "velvet cichlids". This velvety surface tears and mars easily and they will have each other looking like hell constantly. Then come the torn fins and torn lips. Eventually one dies of infection or stress. All Oscars get along fine when they are juveniles. Then their true nature comes out. You can't even keep a mated pair in anything under 200 gallons because they hurt each other. That's reality. And it goes for nearly all of the large-bodied cichlids.

You are under-equipped and mis-stocked. You need to rectify that. Sticking your head in the sand won't change it.

Your parrots probably have shortened life expectancy. Could be 5-7 years but nobody knows. It depends on how much damage their affected organs have taken and how well you care for them.

By the way, you are stunting all of their growth and shortening all of their lives by poisoning them with secreted substances that you don't have sufficient water to dilute. You need hundreds more gallons of water.

sorry for my ignorance in this, im a fourteen year old boy and i love animals, im not trying to "stick my head in the sand" i just find it hard to get ride of a fish but if it is for its better i will, i just want them to live happily with that will it be okay to keep one of the oscars

welcome to the site, i see your dilemna as far as not wanting to get rid of your oscar, i just got rid of mine, he was growing rapidly and actually ate a few of my fish... I also wanted him to be healthy and have a good home. your parrots, (depending upon internal health damage done) can live to be about 12 years if they are taken care of... It really is critical to have a good filteration. I found a huge sponge filter at my local fish store for 15 bucks. It does a good job by building up the bacteria needed in the tank and keeping the water flowing and filtrated. I would suggest to you to rehome your oscars and possibly 1 parrot, my parrots are very happy with being just a pair and having cory's and a pleco as a clean team. Even with having just them, I know I will have to upgrade to a bigger tank once they grow more, they really are teritorial and give my pleco grief for being around... good luck and your doing a great job by caring enough to ask important questions on here.

I know you aren't trying to do that and I don't want you to do that later. For the sake of the animals I want my admonition to sink in so I write with a bit of gravitas. Please don't take me the wrong way. The fact that you came here to investigate, and especially the fact that you are still here shows me that you care about your animals and want what is best for them. Often aquarists simply leave this site when they don't hear what they wanted to hear from us. Heads in the sand (or elsewhere). You have my respect, good sir.

Look on craigslist for a 75 or 90. I found a complete system there for $100. That would be the perfect size for your blue bellied friend. If you had enough filtration and were diligent with upkeep you could keep your one Oscar and blood parrots in a 90 (A 110 would be better) and sell your 55 to help pay for it.

I never expounded on the potential damages that insufficient water volume and insufficient water changes can cause to large bodied cichlids. Google lateral line erosion and HITH. Without the correct tank size and 50% weekly water changes, large bodied cichlids - especially your Oscars -  can end up looking like this:

That's a really severe case, which I post purely for shock value. This is more typical of what an undersized, under-managed tank an do to these beautiful animals:

Because you clearly are enamored with Oscars I will tell you that if you ever see one with a bulging eye you need to buy a bottle of Artemiss, manufactured  by the company Microbe-Lift, and treat him for ten days. Works like a charm on "pop eye", which is common in Oscars. You will often see them with only one eye because someone neglected the issue.

Thanks a lot guys, i will try to upgrade to a bigger tank. and that is horrible condition for a fish to live in and i would never want to do that to any creature. Thanks a lot for telling me about the bulging eye, cause the blue bellied oscar doe have it and he is such a beautiful fish, i have never seen any other oscar like him. ill try to get a pic of him at some point today

Treat him ASAP if he has a bulging eye. This is also caused by dirty water. Overcrowding and underfiltration are dangerous to large bodied cichlids. You will need to change half of your water and gravel vac, then treat him with Artemiss as per the instructions.

i got the blue belly a week ago and he had the same eyes, i will probably do a 30 water change and ill see how much the price difference is from the local store and online. ill try to get a photo of him

You don't have time to bargain hunt, bud. The fish should already be under treatment. A bulging eye is a serious issue.

yeah the prices are the same anyway, i will try to get one tomorrow, and i just took some photos of the fish ill try to get them up now

Take the quick cure back to the store. Malachite green is extremely poisonous to fish and so is formaldehyde, both of which are the active ingredients in quick cure. When advanced aquarists use this, they use one fiffth of the recommended doseage because the directions on the bottle are nothing short of an overdose and a death sentence to your already-sick livestock. This is accomplished by putting the recommended amount in a cup and adding 4 parts water to that, then discarding 4/5 of the water. It would be wise to simply return it and use salt as suggested. 86º for 12 days and 60 teaspoons of aquarium or pickling salt. Cheap and sure-fire and easy on the fish as long as you have an airstone.

okay i will use one fifth of the dosage if i need to because i dont have an air stone and i dont know how the salt treatment will be with it, did u ever see the photo? but yeah i would like to not use a chemical in the tank

Continue treatment even after it clears up because there will be invisible, free-swimming parasites to kill.

I saw your link when I read the site on my phone but didn't open it. Where's the link to the picture now? It was a flickr link, if I recall correctly.

yeah it was a flickr i dont know what had happened, but i shouldn't bother with the salt, would it be more stressful for them? cause if it is I will just use the diluted meds.

The salt isn't stressful. Most cichlid keepers salt their tanks any way as a matter of course; it enhances the well-being of the fish.

Raising the tank temperature can be stressful, which is why the air stone is so important. But it accelerates the life cycle of the parasite.and shortens the exposure. It's tough love. You've got to be cruel to be kind.

On day three now, this potentially lethal (as demonstrated in your lost blue belly) protozoan infection could already be clearing up had you followed my advice. Timing is everything.

how old is your tank and fish?

the tank is fairly old, when i was about seven i had a red tail boa and he grew about nine feet, and we had to move him into a lobster tank which we gave away when we gave the snake away. and i got the blue bellied oscar a week ago from today and the two parrots and the two common oscars are about 3 or 4 weeks old and the "baby" parrot is 2 or 3 weeks old.

[edited by PCG to make image show up correctly] [flickr-photo:id=6604572987,size=m]