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leahleigh 02-10-2013 02:46 AM

Planted Oscar Tank
I know, I know, it can't be done! But I say nay to that, nay to you nay sayers! Lol.

So my mother, bless her heart, thinks she knows absolutely everything about aquariums when she knows next to nothing. I.E. Put two growing Tiger Oscar's in a 55 gallon and doesn't do regular water changes/siphon/additives, nothing. She fills it up when it starts making noise, but that is literally the extent of what she does to this tank for the past six months. I'm getting rid of the littlest Oscar hopefully soon, i've posted an ad on Craigslist and there aren't really any LFS's around here. Once that is done I plan to do my best to make this tank to not look ugly or bare, and hopefully give the two Pleco's and Big Oscar a fit home to live in. Now, with that being said, I am on a ~very~ tight budget, meaning purchases are going to have to be in necessity first, and cheapest option (while getting the bang for my buck) I can find or you can tell me. I don't know much outside of plants and how to take care of my Betta, i'm an aquarium person and can get by with my knowledge, but never have I taken on such a large tank.

I don't want to deck this tank out with plants, I want enough coverage for it to look healthy and green, such as things that can be tied to rocks and anchored well enough to stay out of the Oscar's way. He does fine with the Anubias tied to a rock, although seems to think it needs the occasional trimming.

As this is my mothers tank I don't know much about it, I know it has two filters running, one 75 and one 55, on each side of the tank. It's a heavy flow but any less and the Oscar's seem really lethargic. It's cycled, balanced, and i'm really just looking for a LIST of things to put in it and answers to my questions. This is going to be an on-going process rather than buy it all now.

Would Eco-Complete be a good substrate change/choice?
Supplements? I read around on this forum and it seems most people suggest some kind of chemicals for each tank? I'm lost on this.
What kind of lights should I change them into? Right now they are the one's the tank lid/light fixture came with.
Where do I get them, approximate cost?
Plants that can be tied down, or maybe some easy types of moss to fill in?
Anything that I absolutely have to know, no questions?

If you need any specs, let me know and I'll see what information I can get you. Thanks in advance! :)

KenP 02-10-2013 03:09 AM

I wish you the best. My Oscars ripped out everything, dug up the substrate, and move any rock they could.

Noahma 02-10-2013 03:22 AM


Originally Posted by KenP (Post 2494730)
I wish you the best. My Oscars ripped out everything, dug up the substrate, and move any rock they could.

not to mention the plecos will do the same.

you might be able to try some anubias... maybe some moss, but I think they will terrorize anything else.

stevenjohn21 02-10-2013 03:26 AM

I would use fake plants to make a natural effect. This is a friends tank from another forum that used plastic plants similar to those found in Hobby lobby for his Piranha tank.

And another...

leahleigh 02-10-2013 03:26 AM

@kenp and noahma - Thanks for your concern but that's not what i'm looking for. I can handle the Oscar pushing things up, but neither of her Pleco's have pushed anything other than the drift wood, and most of the time it's in search of food. Again, i'm not looking for anything serious, mainly low-tech plants that can be tied down. I'm not opposed to helping her push things back into the substrate. :)

What type of mosses would work best in this type of tank? I've been reading some articles on low-tech tanks and a lot of them don't suggest too much light.

@StevenJohn21 - That's a very nice looking set up, but i'm looking for a planted tank for specific reasons, like low maintenance and and over-all healthier tank.

Again, I am aware of the hazards of putting plants in an Oscar tank, but i'm going to be taking precautions and instead of people telling me it won't work, and other alternatives, i'd like answers to my questions. Thanks again, guys. :P

RickRS 02-10-2013 03:33 AM

Anubia may not be safe from an Oscar. I tried and finally gave up. The Oscar would tear all the leaves off the plant. Then a new leaf would start to unfurl and for a few days, a week or two, the Oscar would ignore it. And just when I start to think the Oscar was going to let it grow it would get shredded again. The java ferns in at the same time were shredded into salad, as well.

You might get lucky, but for me and everybody I know that kept Oscars, they just can't accept plants in the tank. Floating plants, maybe... There some hornwort that they couldn't shredded because it was floating. They would drag it around trying to get rid of it...

But give it a try, you might work some magic. Not in the same class, but I keep goldfish and plants together in a low light low tech, without any real problem. Most (not all) heard it can't be done and will try to talk you out of that.

steven p 02-10-2013 03:46 AM

There's an old wives tale of a planted Oscar tank with some super thick vals..

Gtdad2 02-10-2013 03:50 AM

Stick with anubias or java fern tied to rock or driftwood. They will do fine with your stock lighting. Perhaps purchase some new 6500k plant bulbs for your fixture. Don't worry with rooting plants or plant substrates. Oscars love to move things around. No chemicals other than dechlorinater. I only use Prime. Your tank is probably suffering from "old tank syndrome" from the way you describe previous maintenance. I'd recommend 10% water changes every 2-3 days for a couple weeks, without disturbing the substrate. Then, 25%, at least weekly, for a couple more weeks. Make sure to vacuum a portion of the substrate each time now. Eventually, work your way up to 60-70% every 2 weeks. Oscars are extremely messy fish and need lots of fresh water. Read up on "old tank syndrome". Your fish will love you for it! Good luck.

HybridHerp 02-10-2013 03:51 AM

No advice atm, but I say do it, plant that sucker. I say a planted oscar tank once, I believe it was a ton of anubias and java fern, BUT IT CAN BE DONE.

I appreciate all people who try to bend the rules to see what will work.

I would, for sure, try Anubias, Java Fern, African Fern, Moss, crypts and large swords, maybe even bulb plants like tiger lotus and maybe some floaters like amazon frogbit or dwarf water lettuce. Basically, anything that gets a good size and gets some epic roots going on.

It might take some time for the plants to take root, and it might take a lot of replanting, but eventually some stuff will take off for you. Your challenge will probably be that you are working with an already grow oscar, so it might take a bit to get used to everything. It would be easier to do with a younger oscar.

Also, word of note, I wouldn't have anything more than just a single oscar in a 55, because even that is pushing it due to their size (they can get 15" rather reliably, and even in a 55 it will get a foot even a 55 might not really be the best fit for an oscar). If you do have a pleco, don't keep it in this tank. I never really liked the concept of a 55 because it just seems a shame that the only thing that makes it difficult to keep some fish in it is the width.

oliver77 02-10-2013 08:05 AM

You have better luck with yellow labs.

Oscar?!?!?! u crazy, dog.

Soil 02-10-2013 12:07 PM

I had an Oscar until it was about 20cm - always plantet, nothing ripped up except some small stem plants.

caoder 02-12-2013 12:16 AM

Re: Planted Oscar Tank
1 Attachment(s)
I have one lol. With a white line pim in it with him

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Sakuras 02-12-2013 07:04 AM


Originally Posted by caoder (Post 2514650)
I have one lol. With a white line pim in it with him

Sent from my XT885 using Tapatalk 2

Thats crazy man. My oscar does not tolerate any plants or decorations in the tank.

HybridHerp 02-12-2013 10:34 AM

Planted Oscar Tank

Originally Posted by caoder (Post 2514650)
I have one lol. With a white line pim in it with him

Sent from my XT885 using Tapatalk 2

What size tank ad Oscar? Something makes me feel like he is still small yet.

caoder 02-13-2013 02:02 AM

Re: Planted Oscar Tank
He's about 5 in in a 30. Upgrading to 55 or larger in a couple of months.

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