Photo taken at Wharf Aquatics
© Sean Evans
|Common name:||Oscar, Tiger oscar, Red tiger oscar, Velvet cichlid|
|Scientific name:||Astronotus ocellatus|
|Size:||12" (30cm) or more.|
|Tank setup:||A large tank (see below), with plenty of open space and robust decor. Ensure that heaters are protected from breakage.|
|Compatibility:||Not for the community tank! Small fishes will be eaten. Robust tankmates should be chosen with care.|
|Water chemistry:||Not critical: around neutral pH (6.5-7.5), soft to fairly hard.|
|Feeding:||Carnivorous: cichlid sticks/pellets and meaty foods like mussel, prawn and baitfish.|
|Sexing:||No obvious differences. Pairs are usually obtained by allowing one to form naturally from a group of juveniles.|
|Breeding:||A large number of eggs are laid on a pre-cleaned surface. The eggs and fry
are tended by both parents.|
The attractive colouration of juveniles makes them very popular, but this fish grows very large, and a single adult
is likely to require a tank of around 50 gallons (225 L) minimum eventually. A pair will require a tank of around 80 gallons (360 L) or larger.
They are enthusiastic and messy feeders, so a good filtration system is essential.
Oscars are considered one of the ultimate 'pet' fish, due to their obvious intelligence and personality - almost every long-term
oscar owner has a story to tell about the antics of their 'pet'!