Oscar fish tend to stand out. Once you own one, everyone knows it. It’s probably because it’s one of the toughest and smartest freshwater fish out there. It also grows to a much bigger size than some other fish. With all of this to back it up, it can really command your attention.
If you’re considering obtaining an oscar fish for a business or home aquarium, here are a few things you should know.
Oscar Fish Facts
1. They’re so smart that they’re one of the few fish that can be trained to do tricks.
2. An oscar will need its own tank, but it can live with other oscars. They are actually happier with at least one companion in the fish tank. The tank should be at least 50 gallons.
3. You might be able to feed them from your hand.
4. Oscar fish generally grow to about 18 inches, and they grow quickly. In captivity, they may remain as small as 12 inches, but oscars as large as 22 inches have been found in the wild. They’re also relatively round and chubby.
5. It is a member of the cichlid family. Its scientific name is Astronotus ocellatus.
6. They are originally from South America’s Amazon River basin.
7. They tend to live for 10 to 13 years.
8. They produce more waste than some other fish, so the aquarium will require more frequent cleaning. You will also need proper filtration systems for this type of fish. Nitrates for the oscars’ tank should be as close to 0 ppm as possible, but no greater than 40 ppm.
9. While maintaining an ideal water temperature is critical for all fish, oscars especially need the right environment in order to thrive and stay healthy. The temperature should be about 77 degrees. Use a heater for their tank to maintain the right temperature.
10. They can camouflage themselves for protection in the wild, but their bodies are usually dark.
11. Males and females generally look the same. Only their genital papilla is different.
12. In addition to teeth in their jaws, they have strong teeth at the back of their throats.
13. A female oscar can lay 1,000 eggs within a few days, but they won’t all make it.
14. Oscars can play dead when they feel threatened.
15. They need vitamin C to live.
16. In captivity, they should be fed crayfish, worms, and insects such as grasshoppers and crickets.
Help Maintaining an Oscar’s Fish Tank
Clearly, keeping an oscar’s fish tank clean and safe for the fish isn’t an easy task. Oscar fish can make a mess of their tank in no time, so you really need to stay on top of it. It’s also critical to maintain proper pH levels, nitrate levels, and water temperatures, as well as use filtration systems that are up to the job.
In order to ensure the most ideal environment for your oscar, it’s best to work with an aquarium maintenance technician. Contact us at Seatech Aquariums for aquarium maintenance services or fish tank installation, or to ask questions about how to properly care for your oscar fish.