Nitrate won’t go down, Oscar with Popeye(?)

Bruce1975

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A couple days ago I noticed that one of my Oscar’s eyes seemed a bit bigger than usual. I looked it up and read that it might be popeye. I freaked out and tested the water, everything was perfect except the nitrate level. I did a 50% percent water change, and added my usual water primer... waited a few hours to check it again and the levels didn’t move.

I then checked the filters and they all needed to be changed. I bought new filters for everything, siphoned the sand (I read the nitrates could be coming off the sand?), and did another water change. The levels still haven’t budged and I think Bruces’(My Oscar) eye has gotten a little worse. I don’t know what else to do... I’m going to do a 70-80% change tomorrow. Maybe that will help. I don’t want my fish to die because I can’t get the nitrate down. I also read that it’s hard to treat popeye if your fish has it.

I guess I really just need advice on how to treat his Popeye and how to get my nitrate down in the tank. I should note that he only has one eye that seems to be affected and my other Oscar doesn’t seem to have it at all. I’m not sure if he damaged it because he is really jumpy and sometimes collides into the side of the tank walls. If you have any knowledge about this stuff please reply. I’ll try to get a clear picture of his eye so I can post that as well.

More info: I have a 125 gallon with 2 Oscars, no other fish. I have 2 Emperor 400’s and a Fluval Canister filter, I just replaced all of the filters inside. I think the nitrate level is 80ppm but I’m not sure, I’ll take a picture of that too.
 

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A couple days ago I noticed that one of my Oscar’s eyes seemed a bit bigger than usual. I looked it up and read that it might be popeye. I freaked out and tested the water, everything was perfect except the nitrate level. I did a 50% percent water change, and added my usual water primer... waited a few hours to check it again and the levels didn’t move.

I then checked the filters and they all needed to be changed. I bought new filters for everything, siphoned the sand (I read the nitrates could be coming off the sand?), and did another water change. The levels still haven’t budged and I think Bruces’(My Oscar) eye has gotten a little worse. I don’t know what else to do... I’m going to do a 70-80% change tomorrow. Maybe that will help. I don’t want my fish to die because I can’t get the nitrate down. I also read that it’s hard to treat popeye if your fish has it.

I guess I really just need advice on how to treat his Popeye and how to get my nitrate down in the tank. I should note that he only has one eye that seems to be affected and my other Oscar doesn’t seem to have it at all. I’m not sure if he damaged it because he is really jumpy and sometimes collides into the side of the tank walls. If you have any knowledge about this stuff please reply. I’ll try to get a clear picture of his eye so I can post that as well.

More info: I have a 125 gallon with 2 Oscars, no other fish. I have 2 Emperor 400’s and a Fluval Canister filter, I just replaced all of the filters inside. I think the nitrate level is 80ppm but I’m not sure, I’ll take a picture of that too.
Do you still have the old filter cartridges? I'd recommend cleaning them in tank water (out of the tank) and putting them back into the filter. They have beneficial bacteria that will help keep ammonia and nitrites low. You can only get rid of nitrates by doing water changes.
 

HoldenOn

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That is most definitely pop eye. I don't know how to treat it, but someone here will. It is a bacterial infection, which means water quality is poor. How often do you do water changes and how much?
 
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Bruce1975

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Do you still have the old filter cartridges? I'd recommend cleaning them in tank water (out of the tank) and putting them back into the filter. They have beneficial bacteria that will help keep ammonia and nitrites low. You can only get rid of nitrates by doing water changes.
I unfortunately don’t have them any more... I discarded them when I got the new ones D: Hopefully the water change I do tomorrow will help them. I’ve been panicking since I tested the water again but I’m really grateful that you’ve replied. Thank you
 

HoldenOn

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You should probably do a 75% water change. Make sure to dechlorinate. I would also recommend adding 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt per 5 gallons of water, this will help.
 
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Bruce1975

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That is most definitely pop eye. I don't know how to treat it, but someone here will. It is a bacterial infection, which means water quality is poor. How often do you do water changes and how much?
This is one of my worst nightmares.. ugh! I clean the tank about once a week(sometimes more, depending on how much they poop), maybe 25% or so each time.
 

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I unfortunately don’t have them any more... I discarded them when I got the new ones D: Hopefully the water change I do tomorrow will help them. I’ve been panicking since I tested the water again but I’m really grateful that you’ve replied. Thank you
Of course. I would try and do daily water changes. I know it sucks but you may have accidentally caused a mini-cycle. This means that you do not have bacteria that consumes the toxins that are released from fish waste.
 

HoldenOn

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This is one of my worst nightmares.. ugh! I clean the tank about once a week(sometimes more, depending on how much they poop), maybe 25% or so each time.
Thats not too bad. We like to recommend 50 to 60% water changes every week. When it comes to filter changing you should be able to go about 3 years without a change of cartridges unless something out of the ordinary happens.
 
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Bruce1975

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You should probably do a 75% water change. Make sure to dechlorinate. I would also recommend adding 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt per 5 gallons of water, this will help.
I will do that tomorrow as soon as I get up. Will the aquarium salt help the Popeye?
 
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Bruce1975

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Thats not too bad. We like to recommend 50 to 60% water changes every week. When it comes to filter changing you should be able to go about 3 years without a change of cartridges unless something out of the ordinary happens.
I had no idea about the cartridges being able to last that long! I’ll take your advice, thank you so much!
 
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Bruce1975

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Of course. I would try and do daily water changes. I know it sucks but you may have accidentally caused a mini-cycle. This means that you do not have bacteria that consumes the toxins that are released from fish waste.
I didn’t know that could happen.. I’m pretty new to this stuff so this really helps. I got my fish as a surprise 2 years ago and had no knowledge about them... I did research on them but apparently not enough
 

HoldenOn

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I didn’t know that could happen.. I’m pretty new to this stuff so this really helps. I got my fish as a surprise 2 years ago and had no knowledge about them... I did research on them but apparently not enough
Yea, it happens to the best of us. Don't worry we all make mistakes but there are some very smart people here who can help you out :)
 
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