How to Care for Oscars Caring for Oscar Fish Oscar Fish

A South American cichlid the Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus) goes by many names including the Peacock Cichlid, Velvet Cichlid and the Walnut Cichlid. A rather large fish the Oscar will be anywhere from twelve to sixteen inches long and will up to twelve years when the basic of caring properly for the Oscar are performed in the aquarium.

Water Temperature

Oscars should have lots of warm clean water that is around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The water in the aquarium should range from 74 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit so a thermometer and heater will be required to help keep the temperature around this setting. Oxygen deprivation can occur in Oscars that are kept in water that is too hot for extended periods of time and can cause damage to the immune system, nerve system and even damage to the heart. Damage to the immune system can also be done if the water is too cold or they get a sudden chill. The Oscar will be more prone to disease if the water conditions are not right.

Size of Aquarium

The tank that your Oscar is kept in should have a minimum space of thirty gallons for every Oscar you have plus space required for any additional fish. When keeping an Oscar it is recommended that you have a tank that is at least forty gallons large. Maintaining of the tank is important due to the Oscar being a messy fish.

Maintaining the Aquarium

The fact that aquariums are such a small environment means that they get dirty quickly. Water changes should be done at 10 to 15% each week to ensure the waste the filter doesn’t get is taken out to be sure the tank is clean. Filters in the Oscar tank have to be properly maintained to keep the water from developing toxicity due to improper filtration. You want to pick a filter that produces the proper amount of filtration for the size of tank required to house your Oscar. Several small filters may be used so that maintenance on the filters is being done at different times to prevent repeat cycling. (The Oscar is better able to ward off bacteria in the wild than in the aquarium.)

Feeding the Oscar

The Oscar is a carnivorous fix meaning that they eat meat so they have to have a diet that is high in protein. When Oscars are not in aquariums they eat other small fish, insects, carcasses of other animals and aquatic invertebrates just to name a few things. When keeping Oscars in an aquarium you have a choice of processed fish food and frozen fish food and a variety of them should be provided. In order to keep the water quality high there should never be more food in the aquarium than the Oscar can eat in two minutes after being fed. You should only feed Oscars once a day to help keep the water clean; never give live goldfish. The right diet will keep the immune system of the Oscar in tact and lengthen life expectancy.

Aquarium Habitat

The Oscar requires lots of hiding places. There shouldn’t be any rough or sharp objects in the aquarium to prevent them from getting hurt when they get startled. They will do better with adequate cover for hiding places.

Other Fish

When keeping Oscars in the aquarium they do better when kept alone. You don’t want to pair Oscars with fish that are too passive due to them attacking them and aggressive fish will attack the Oscars.