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Perhaps the most commonly seen cichlid the oscar is always available.
Seen when small most shops fail to note its' size potential and the
unaware new hobbyist comes home with a fish that quickly outgrows all
but the largest tanks.
Listed tank sizes are the minimum
||13+ inches (30+ cm), Same for both sexes
||55 gallons for young 125+ for adults
|| Mostly Middle, will visit all levels
||6.5 to 7.5 (neutral)
||Soft to hard (dH: 5.0 - 19.0)
||75°- 86°F (24° to 30° C)
Oscar, Tiger Oscar, Velvet Cichlid
Amazon river and its' tributaries also Paraguay.
General Body Form
Oval and elongated when viewed from the side. Very robust body. Dorsal
fin starts above the gill slits, Caudal Peduncle taller than long, Pectorals
and unpaired fins rounded and Ventral fins are pointed. They can reach
a size of up to 14 inches and are sexually mature at around 4 inches.
Varies greatly, very pretty and is different between individuals and
age. Background color of mature specimens is dark Olive Green, Brownish
Black or Blue Black. This pattern is broken up into large random spots
and black band edged with pale White or Yellow. The Dorsal fin can have
a few eye spots and males may also have three small Basal spots in the
spiny portion. The Caudal fin can have Red-Golden spots and a very jet
Black spot edged with Red at its base. The wild form of Oscars have
been selectively bred to include many beautiful varieties including
the Tiger, Albino, Red Tiger and more.
The Oscar is one of the Easiest fish to care for and for its size one
of the most peaceful. The tank should be large-at least a 55 gal with
a medium textured substrate. Keep plants to a minimum and provide flat
rocks and pieces of driftwood for cover. If you want to use plants I
suggest large leaf varieties of lilies or some floating plants, Oscars
like most Cichlids can and will dig the substrate. Water conditions
for Oscars are not critical but they do like medium hard, Acidic to
slightly Alkaline ( pH 6.5 to 7.5 )water. Feeding as you would expect
is no problem as oscars will take all types of food including flake
frozen, pellets, kitchen scrapes and of course live. Do not restrict
your Oscars diet to feeder goldfish as these do not provide all the
needed nutrients, in nature they are an opportunistic fish and will
eat anything that happens by. I even dig Earthworms from my yard for
them. Oscars are a very long-lived fish and quickly develop their own
personality, probably one of the reasons they are so popular today.
Oscars will form true pairs and stay together for the duration of their
life, each take part in the laying of the eggs and caring of the young.
The Oscar is a typical open brooder. The eggs are colored to match their
environment and adhesive and are laid in the open, on a rock or a large
leaf. They can lay a large number of eggs. The Hatched fry are looked
after and fiercely guarded until the egg sac is absorbed and the young
are free swimming. Parental care extends even beyond this point in the
form of protection from predators. This phase is very dangerous for
other fish in the aquarium as the parents can extend their brooding
territory and increase their aggressiveness.