The Oscar Fish: amazon peacock
Oscar fish (Ocellatus astronotus)or also called the Oscar Tiger fish belongs to the cichlid family and are native to South America. They have a large size as well as very striking colors. They are considered very intelligent fish due to their behavior and personality.
When they are a few months old they are very small but when they reach adulthood they can measure up to 35 cm. It is currently one of the most valued by aquarists.
It is considered one of the most intelligent fish but at the same time with greater character and aggressiveness.
In daily life you will be surprised to see how these fish let you touch them. Many fans come to consider them as if they were a pet, such as a dog or a cat. You can give him food from your hand. Of course, be careful lest you take a bite.
In recent years, due to the fame and popularity that this species has achieved, aquarium enthusiasts have bred and introduced several varieties of this species.
Among these species are the albino Oscar, the blue Oscar, the gray Oscar and many varieties with different colors. All of them with spectacular shades and aspects.
All these types start from the red Oscar, which has a body composed of red and orange tones.
Although they differ in their appearance, they all require the same maintenance and feeding.
Luckily for all of us who like Oscars, the care they require is quite simple and it is a recommended fish, even for beginners. The size that this type of fish can reach is the only handicap that can prevent us from keeping it in our fish community.
Remember that its growth takes place very quickly and that it eats the rest of the fish that are smaller than it. Astronotus, like all large and omnivorous cichlids should live in an aquarium with a capacity of more than 53 gallons.
Astronotus was discovered for the first time in 1831. It is native to South America, specifically from the Amazon River basin, the Negro River, the Paraná River and the Paraguay River.
Coincidentally Óscar was introduced in China, Australia, Florida and Chile. Here it acclimatized fairly quickly and a large part of the native marine fauna became extinct. it is considered an invasive fish.
Óscar has a bulky, oval body and a large head, with large, thick lips.
How big can it get?
Specimens of up to 45 cm have been sighted living in their natural habitat. In contrast, aquarium specimens measure around 20 to 25 cm.
How long can you live?
They can live for more than 10 years. Everything will depend on the living conditions of the fish.
What colors do you have?
The species that live in our aquariums have dark tones combined with orange and red spots on their backs and gills. They have a large black dot with orange edges on the head. Due to this characteristic this fish was called astronotus ocellatus.
You will notice that Oscars often change color when they are stressed, during fights, or when they are protecting their territory.
Although Oscar is an intelligent and easy-to-care-for fish, we must bear in mind that its size and peaceful behavior during its childhood will not be the same during its adult stage. During its juvenile stage the fish will tell me about 3 cm and you can keep it with any other fish.
But as we have mentioned before, this cichlid grows very fast. For this reason, we must be careful that it shares an aquarium when it grows.
Another aspect that you must take into account before acquiring this species is that its food, like the same one, will be quite expensive economically.
Oscar fish feeding
We are facing an omnivorous fish. In its natural habitat it feeds on both live food and plants. Insects, larvae, zooplankton, plants and algae as well as live fish are the basis of their daily diet.
In captivity, it should be fed in the same way as it is in its natural environment.
Live frozen food is recommended.. In this way we will prevent our sick animal due to bacteria.
We can give you earthworms, crickets, shrimp, fish fillets, mussel meat, frog larvae, grasshoppers and large food. Other live fish such as guppies and goldfish can also be introduced, making sure beforehand that these fish are healthy. When we introduce live fish as food for Oscar, we risk that if they have any disease they will transmit it to our pet.
Here you have a video where this cichlid fish eats a mouse. Therefore, it is not advisable to put it with tankmates that may be easy prey for this majestic animal.
Once the pair of Oscars to procreate has been distinguished, the two are separated and fed well for 15 days with top quality food, while we prepare the breeding tank, which must be about 80 gallons. The breeding aquarium must have flats at the bottom of the aquarium that will serve as a support for the eggs.
After bringing the pair of oscar fish together, the pair will clean the surface of the flat stone chosen for laying and later the female oscar will lay the eggs (between 300 and 2000) and the male will fertilize them. This is the moment in which we will be able to observe if the parents eat the eggs or not. If they are eaten, we will proceed to separate them from the adults and introduce them into a small aquarium with the same water conditions, placing an air diffuser nearby so that it produces a slight current of water that oxygenates the eggs.
Incubation lasts 3 to 4 days. The newly hatched oscar fish fry are poorly developed and after another 5 days the fry are free swimming.
At the beginning they are fed artemia nauplii and as they grow, they change the food for one appropriate to their size and they are in turn introduced into larger and larger aquariums. The development of the fry does not present any difference with respect to that of any other cichlid.