Oscar fishes can grow really bigger hence they need a larger aquarium. They require the best filtration system because they release ammonia when they breathe and excrete. They are difficult to maintain. Hence we need the beginners guide to help us with proper maintenance.

Oscar Fish – Overview

Common NameThis fish is commonly called Velvet Cichlids.
Scientific NameTheir scientific name is Astronotus ocellatus.
Habitat or OriginThey are native to South America, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia. Their habitat is slow-moving freshwater rivers.
Average SizeOscars can grow really big. They can grow up to 12 inches.
ColorationThe common Oscar fishes are dark brown-gray color body with yellow, pale green, or gray stripes.
The tiger Oscar Fishes have a dark brown-black body with red stripes.
Veil Tail Oscar fish are from dark to albino.
Life SpanTheir life span is around 20 years. However, they require a well-maintained tank for them to survive healthy.
DietIn the wild, Oscars eat live food like insects, worms, smaller fishes, and berries that can fall into their place. Similarly in the tank, they tend to eat live small fishes and worms. Provide these fishes with mealworms, insects, and other commercial food like pellets.
Gender IdentificationIt is really difficult to tell the difference between male and female. We can only find the breeding pair only when they begin to breed.
BehaviorThese fishes have the habit of jumping out of the tank. They also dig the gravel or the substrate and sometimes even uproot the plants from the substrate. They also tend to dislocate any objects that are in the substrate.
CompatibilityThey can be with passive fishes like Arowanas, Convict Cichlids, Bichirs Sailfin Plecos, Severum, Silver Dollors, and Jack Dempseys. Oscars can be kept together but they need to have enough space for them to have their own territory.
Ideal Tank ConditionsThe tank should have at least 75 gallons of water for one Oscar fish. They should have a proper filtration system that functions to oxygenate the water, remove ammonia, and other solid particles.
Water ParametersThe temperature of the water can be kept between 72 and 77 degree Fahrenheit. This can be made possible by using shatterproof aquarium heaters because normal glass heaters can be broken by the Oscars due to their behavior. The pH can be 7.2.
BreedingOscars breed by laying eggs. The female lays eggs and the male fertilizes them. After their fertilization, they safeguard their eggs really well until they hatch.
Common DiseasesWater molds disease or otherwise called Saprolegniosis is one of the most common diseases of freshwater fishes. These are caused by Oomycetes fungi. Hole in the head is caused by flagellate parasite Hexamita. Ich or white spot disease is caused by Ichthyophthirius. Fin and tail rot are another common diseases of Oscars.
Approximate CostOscars are easily available in pet stores for $10.
What to look when buyingJust make sure these fishes do not have any signs of diseases. Though they can be treated, it is better to get fishes which are free of these diseases.
Species in the MarketThe common Oscar fishes, tiger Oscar fishes and veil tail Oscar fishes are the most common species in the market.

Gallery of Oscar Fish