I woke up yesterday and BOTH Oscars have something white on their heads ??

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Marie0717 created the topic: I woke up yesterday and BOTH Oscars have something white on their heads ??

Hi all,
Been here before. My Oscars are in separate tanks, side-by-side, 75-gallon tanks.
Woke up yesterday from a nap and noticed both my O's have some kind of white patch(es) on their heads. This did not come on gradually. Just showed up out of the blue, at the exact same time. I'm not thinking HITH, only because I didn't think it's contagious. I do use the same siphon to clean their tank water and gravel, but again, they are in separate tanks (extreme fighting after owning them for 1 year.) I've now had them both for about 2 years.
Water params are fine, temps both at 80, no diet changes. Just the white on their heads.
The only thing that <may have> stressed them a bit was 2 weeks ago we had painters coming in and out of the house. They were painting the kitchen, not the room my Oscars are in. But they did see a lot of hustle and bustle with the guys walking in and out of the house, something they're not used to. Other than that, no changes. Can't understand what this is, and afraid to treat unless I DO know what this is. Did a really good water change and gravel cleaning yesterday after seeing the stuff on their heads, and another one early this afternoon. (50% each time). Heads don't look any better or worse than yesterday. Please see pics.
*Note: That white gash you see on the Red O's side, he did that himself in the middle of the night about a week ago. I'm more concerned about this new development on BOTH their heads, appearing at the exact same time. Thanks so much for any help/advice. Possible fungus??
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Marie0717 replied the topic: I woke up yesterday and BOTH Oscars have something white on their heads ??

Sorry for double-posting, but I was able to get more clear photos - I used my mom's phone this time. Thanks
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Suprd71 replied the topic: I woke up yesterday and BOTH Oscars have something white on their heads ??

You say water params are fine. What does fine mean exactly? Those white marks are often the precursor to hith. Your fish look generally very good. Clean water is the key and with a water change, you reacted properly. May I ask what is your regular water change schedule?


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Marie0717 replied the topic: I woke up yesterday and BOTH Oscars have something white on their heads ??

Hi, and thanks for your reply. I remember you helped me last time too. :)
Water params: Nitrites: 0 Ammonia: 0 Nitrates: 15/20 (close to 20) pH: 7.5 Temp: 80-81 F
I do a 25-30% water change daily. I do this to make sure there is no waste or uneaten food floating or sitting on the bottom. I just feel better going to sleep knowing their water has nothing unnecessary still lingering around. The filters do catch almost everything, but because Oscars like to spit some of their food out, you get those tiny pieces that get stuck in corners up against the glass.

And thanks, yes, they both still look healthy otherwise and are still swimming and eating (Black O has always eaten better than my Red O, just the way it's always been.) I just find it so odd that they would both have this sudden white on both of their heads starting on the exact same day. I stare at these fish almost all day. I know I would have noticed this, even when it first started. They went from having nothing on their heads, to suddenly both having white on their heads. At the same exact time. Strange.

But if you could just tell me exactly what you would do in this situation, I'd really appreciate it. I'm hoping no meds. I really try to avoid them if possible. They can really mess up the cycle. What would you recommend for water changes starting right now, in the hopes of stopping HITH in its tracks before getting worse....just tell me what percentage and how often, and you KNOW I'll do it.

Thanks so much! Will check in later.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: I woke up yesterday and BOTH Oscars have something white on their heads ??

No meds needed, I am quite certain of that. I appreciate the care and concern you have for your fish. I would alter your water change sched. A single large volume change is better than multiple ones of equal volume. To simplify, a 75% every 3 days is better than 3 days of 25% per day. You have large adults in a relatively small volume of water. The smaller daily changes may be just maintaining a "decent" state of water, but its possible that nitrate is always hovering around 20ppm. Oscars do so much better with a level closer to 10. I would do as large as possible water change every 3 days. Take it down to the fish's back. That way with a level of 20ppm prior to w/c, you will take nitrate as low as possibly 5. In 3 days you may be back to 15ish. Do another big change, and you maybe under 5. The average the fish lives in will be consistently lower than what you have now. I can almost guarantee positive results, those white marks will disappear and never return.


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Marie0717 replied the topic: I woke up yesterday and BOTH Oscars have something white on their heads ??

Got it. Thank you so much, will do exactly what you said.
I'll report back if/when I hopefully see some improvement. To be honest, Tiger Oscar is already looking a bit better with the white on his head, the Red Oscar looks the same. The Red O was a lot sicker than the Tiger when I got them the heck out of Walmart 2 years ago when they were just little kiddies. And to this day, the Tiger has always been healthier, friendlier, more carefree. They had rough starts, both of them. But the Red Oscar is the weaker of the two (and more emotional/sensitive.)
Thanks again - will keep you posted! :) :)
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DRACO replied the topic: I woke up yesterday and BOTH Oscars have something white on their heads ??

I totally agree with Suprd71.
pls give us update for the improvement...
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Marie0717 replied the topic: I woke up yesterday and BOTH Oscars have something white on their heads ??

Hi!
Back with an update. I think I am seeing some improvement. I've been doing exactly as instructed. I did start with a rather large wc right after reading the response, and then continued with recommended protocol. I'm posting new photos just to make sure I'm not crazy or seeing things. The white on my Tiger Oscar's head seems to be confined more to the left now, almost completely gone on his right side. And to my surprise, my Red O's head now appears to be almost completely clear. He was slow to respond at first, but once he did, it was almost as if he got better overnight. My Tiger, I will have to be a little more patient with. He still has a little white on his head, but only one-sided now. A bit strange, he is usually the tough guy of the two. Would also like to add that my Red O's appetite has also strangely improved....the other day he actually jumped for some krill, something he's not even that crazy about. lol. This fish NEVER jumps for his food, any food. That's HUGE to me. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Will continue with updates just in case things go south, I don't wanna jinx anything here. But thanks again, I really appreciate the help here so much!!! See photos. :)
Let me know if you agree that there is some improvement.
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DRACO replied the topic: I woke up yesterday and BOTH Oscars have something white on their heads ??

congratz! nice update.

i always believe that oscar ( and any other fish) will become lazy whenever something is wrong with the water... so when they swing mood from active to lazy, always do large water change ... (reminder, do not over clean the filter when doing water change).. you may wash the fiber wool with water from the tank to make good use of it.
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Marie0717 replied the topic: I woke up yesterday and BOTH Oscars have something white on their heads ??

Thanks, I'm very pleased with the results (Red Oscar is officially out of the woods, he's clear.) Still concerned about my Tiger. Not seeing much improvement. What I did today was something that needed to be done for a while now. I removed his glass lids from the top....there was some algae growth directly under the lamps (underside, very close to his water surface.) Some of this algae had turned black, almost worried I was dealing with mold. Either way, both aquarium lids are now free of this dark green/black stuff and because of that, of course the lighting is brighter and I am able to see the white a lot more clearly on top of my Tiger Oscar's head. It looks worse to me, but I know that's because the lighting is just so much more clear since I cleaned the lids. It's not really so much his head that has some white, more like neck region, right on top of it. I'm still very concerned it's the beginning HITH. Tomorrow, as soon as I turn their lights on, I plan on using my Mom's phone to take a very, very, clear photo so we can see exactly what might be going on with him. He's not any worse, maybe even a little better, still eating, etc. But I know I will be able to get a pretty clear shot and then we can go from there or do anything else necessary in case this could advance to something more serious.

Just a quick question, I know Suprd71 and DRACO (my 2 faves, always giving me the best advice and the only reason I come here for help) - both of you say that getting the water much better to the point of it being "pristine" does wonders for an Oscar with some type of ailment/illness. I believe you. That's why I always listen and do as instructed. I'm just wondering why it works. If a fish has a parasite, even if the water quality was less than perfect and that's what caused the fish to get sick, how does improving the water quality and params actually help get rid of the illness? I'm just curious because if the fish already has the parasite (or anything else) - is it that the parasite can no longer thrive in the water (or in the fish) because the water is so perfect and clean/low nitrates and therefore unfavorable for it to survive? Or is it that because the water is so perfect now, it strengthens the fish and then he is able to fight off whatever he has on his own? This is a question that's always been on my mind right from the start. I'm SO HAPPY it works :) ....but at the same time, wondering how and why it works so well? Thanks in advance if you can answer that one for me.

Tomorrow I will post one, clear, photo of my Tiger Oscar, front and center, so you can see both sides of his head/neck...and then I'll just need to know if this may be Hole in the Head that isn't going to budge, no matter how hard I try to keep that water perfect for him. That's the only thing I'm worried about. I DO NOT want to lose this guy, love him so much.
Thank you both for all your help, will be back tomorrow with pic. Have a good night, and thanks again! :)
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