An aggressive species that’s known for its tantrums, the Oscar fish are a popular fish among aquarium enthusiasts. Oscar fish belong to the cichlid family which is usually seen in regions of South America. Oscar fish appear in a multitude of patterns and colours and are also referred to as marble, velvet or tiger cichlid.
The scientific name for these fish is Astronotus ocellatus and they can grow up to 16 inch in length or (40 cm) and weigh more than 3 lbs or (1.5kg). These fish can be very aggressive and require the proper attention should you decide to get them in your fish tank.
Oscar fish have quite a character and like to re-arrange the tank the way they like, they will move any item which is not secured including tiny plants ,stones and substrate (they do not care if they’re artificial or normal) and attempt to toss them outside the aquarium if they do not want them. A sandy bottom and some big stones should help you to stay hassle free.
Oscars have large appetites and need to be placed with fish of the same size or bigger, a little fish becomes an easy meal for an Oscar. Some South American cichlids as well as a big catfish are the ideal tank mates if you want to mix it up.
These guys can really put on a performance and can be very entertaining, i have seen them over the period of a few days completely rearrange the setup i had made in the tank for them.
Oscars will dig holes, move tiny rocks around the tank and love to pull up plants. So make sure every thing is secure so they do not hurt themselves. Like other creatures they will run and play with one another, make some courtship dance, and fight amongst themselves. You will also notice the gradual color changes in their skin.
Oscars will occasionally pretend they are about to die and lay on their side at the bottom of the aquarium (don’t be alarmed by this behavior, Oscars are marvelous actors), he will stay on his side and watch for little fish to get closer, and then he pounce and eat them.
Feeding Your Oscars..
People have suggested serving them with live goldfish and guppies, but it isn’t recommended , since you’ll have the potential for diseases to develop. It is a much better idea to nourish them with vegetable pieces, mixed beef, shrimps, bee, bugs and earthworms.
If you are breeding them, you must realize there will be occasions when the males may hurt the females through rough play , this is pretty normal for Oscars. The propagation of Oscar fish is pretty easy to instigate, the trick is to raise the temperature of the water. So if you increase the temperature from what normally should be 25 degrees Celsius to a warmer 28 degrees Celsius it will get them to reproduce.
The female will choose a smooth stone or rock to lay her eggs (approximately 1, 000 eggs) and male Oscars will come along and fertilize them. The thick eggs will become more visible within 24 hours and will produce young after two or three days. Observing the breeding cycle of Oscars can be very interesting to observe due to their erratic behavior.
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