Oscar Fish Are Popular
Oscar fish are popular mainly due to their beautiful appearance and vivid personality. Oscar fish are like a real pet, they can recognize
their owners and they have personality. It seems hard to believe a tropical fish can have personality, but ask any Oscar fish owner and they will confirm this unusual fact!
Oscar care requirements
Oscar fish are a good choice because they are very hardy, easy to keep and long lived, up to 16 years
however, they do have a few specific requirements and this is due only to their large full grown size. Baby Oscars are tiny and cute but
unbeknownst to most fish keepers, they grow very large, over a foot long, 12 inches and their rate of growth is extremely quick. It has
been reported that Oscar fish grow up to 1 inch per month while they are young! With that said, never purchase these little fish and put
them into a small aquarium thinking you'll upgrade the tank size "down the road".
The minimum tank size recommended is 33 gallons, and this
is only if you plan on housing one individual alone, without any tank mates. The recommended tank size for housing Oscar fish is 100
gallons, of course the
bigger the better. Oscar fish can live alone, or with a buddy. They are not schooling fish so it is up to you if you
will combine them with a partner or not. Oscar fish can be compatible with other South American Cichlids but some rules of thumb must be
followed. Be sure that the fish you are introducing is the same size as the current Oscar and that the maximum size is close to that of
the Oscar. They are very territorial and will either eat the fish if it's too small, or get beat up and harasses by it's larger tank mate,
since all South American cichlids are aggressive and territorial.
Oscars will eat anything but the recommended diet is Oscar pellets, Hikari Oscar Gold is a high quality excellent brand of fish food and
will make the colors radiate and the fish happy and healthy. Oscars will also eat bloodworms and brine shrimp - chose the frozen variety
because they are more fresh and have more nutritional value then freeze-dried. You can feed them also plankton and mysis shrimp as a treat.
Never feed them goldfish because feeder goldfish have little nutritional value, have the potential for disease because of their bad living environment from the pet store and the shipping conditions. Another big disadvantage of feeding Oscar fish feeder goldfish is that your
Oscars will only eat feeders and reject anything else, then they only want food that moves - the thrill of the hunt instinct will activate and you will have to make inconvenient stops at the pet store to pick up feeders. We strongly advise against purchasing a large amount of
feeders and putting them into the tank and letting your fish "feed at will" firstly, adding many feeders at once will cause a deadly
ammonia surge and secondly your Oscar fish will be a glutton and overeat which is very bad for the digestive system.
Oscar Care Tips
For those who want to know,
Albino Oscar fish are the same as a regular Oscar fish, just albino colored. There is no difference in the care
requirements and biology.
One word of caution about these vivacious tropical fish, they are very strong and fast moving fish that can and will re-arrange your tank and throw gravel and
Often it can occur that the aquarium heater will get cracked by the Oscars roughhousing, this will cause him to be
electrocuted, and can cause you to be electrocuted! Always purchase a high grade, heavy duty aquarium heater with extra thick glass that
will withstand being knocked around. We recommend Ebo-Jager Heaters. High quality aquarium heaters that are designed to be put into
tropical aquariums with aggressive tropical fish. The temperature required for the aquarium is between 74 - 78 degrees.
Because of the Oscar fish's vivacious nature and large size, adequate aquarium filtration is a must as they produce lots of waste and can be quite messy. A good
canister filter will provide the proper cleanliness and be able to handle the large waste load these large fish expel.