VERY sick Oscar

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> // Android version will be out soon!


AC Members
Nov 27, 2002
ok, i have a Oscar that a friend (well stupid friend)
gave me. (its a 6" tiger)

the fish was inchs from death!!
he brought the oscar over in a cooler, the oscar looked dead!
all white, and not moving. i thought it was dead till we fished it out with the net and the mouth moved! so i put him in my 30gal
to see if he could be saved!

I asked him how long did you have him in the cooler, he said two days! i think he ran out of air in the water!

well with the air stones on, i held him under the water up to the filters water, so it flowed over him and in mouth and throught gills. he started to move/wiggle after about a half hour.
and after two to three hours he was breathing ok on his own.
he would just sit on the bottom and at first didn't even hold him self up right. now he is swimming on his own (two days later)
but dosen't really look good, color is bad, and acts like its in a daze! i can't get him to eat. (if he is, its at night or when i'm out.)

i think something else is bad. he has some holes in his fins.
his lip is looking raw. (this is new from when i had him.)

What can i do for him? I have added salt, water is very clean and good. is there something i can give him? food, med. ???

will he make it? or should i put him down?

I have told my friend what he did was BAD! and explained the need for air.
he is new to fish, and from what i get out of the story is:
his tank started leaking, and he put the fish in the cooler.
he was going to try to fix the tank but now dosen't want to try.
i'm trying to help him, and get him to not just give up.
I'm not sure what happened for him to want to stop.

PLEASE give any Info!



AC Members
Oct 11, 2001
hehe, the oscar was lucky to survive 2 days.

i don't know how big is the cooler, must really small, probably an ice box. and further more there's no aeration.

heck if it was a guppy or smaller fish it'll be ok, but not for a 6" guy. lucky that the oscar isn't a heavy Oxygen consumer.

now the question would be that if the oscar was sick in the 1st place?

there's not telling how it would survive, all you can do is take proper care of it. if it's already sick in the 1st place and if it's really beyond cure, then u can expect it to die. but i would that you try to do whatever you can for him.

and er, your friend took 2 days to repair a leak? suggest that he gets a smaller stand-by/emergency tank. please remind your friend to make sure there's at least aeration and some movement space in whatever temporary containment area. and make sure the fish doesn't stay there too long.

all in all, i'm just glad the oscar survived. hopefully he will recover and be a nice fella.


you might try adding some salt to the tank,keep up the water changes,oscars are pretty good healers and you would be surprised how they can heal on thier own.try to keep isolated from other aggressive fish till he can re-gain some strenth.keep trying to feed him,mabee a cricket or a night crawler would temp him.don't forget he went threw a lot so it might take a while to come around and get used to his new surrondings.good luckand a job well done on trying to rescue him:D

there are a lot of oscar folks that can help you out on this
Last edited:


AC Members
Feb 18, 2002
Belgrade, MT
Bottom line here goldychump is that the guy is lucky to have a tough fish like and oscar thats the only reason its alive inches have nothing to do with it that jusssssst makesss and oscar tougher to kill. I would say if hes active and moving not taking food hes is jussst adjusting to the new tank generally takes a few days.


African Rift Lake or bust
Aug 28, 2001
If there appears to be any bacterial infection forming ... then you can also treat with Melafix. It is a great product and it sounds like the Melafix w/ the Salt will help your fish out.

Another thing to consider is to keep the Tank as dark as possible. No lights on .. etc. You can even cover the tank for a few days. This will help w/ the stress.


AC Members
Nov 27, 2002
well thanks for all the help.

Oscar died this morning. I was treating him with that med.
but he just kept getting sick. he had spots showing up all over his body. (like rotten spots.)

I was going to put him to sleep in a few days if he didn't get better. I guess it was better for him!