Oscar fish is one of the most beautiful fish found in the tropical region of the world. They belong to Cichlid family and their scientific name is Astronontus Ocellatus. This tropical fish is known for its aggressive and dominating nature. They come under the category of freshwater fish and are found in the rivers like Amazon, Orinoco and La Plata.
Although they are native to South America, they are also found in Columbia and Peru. There are basically three types of Oscar fish: Tiger Oscar, Red Oscar and Albino Oscar. Apart from these major types, all the other fish are the result of cross breeding.
Oscar fish can grow up to 16 inches and require a lot of space. They rule the aquarium and can scare other fish. They even tend to eat small fish. One of the best quality of these fish is that they recognize their owner and can also have food from their hands. This quality has given them names like river dogs or water dogs. They even shake their head or tail on seeing their owner. Their average life span is 10 to 12 years.
Oscar fish breeding may be difficult as these creatures are very aggressive. It's better to keep 5 to 6 young fish together and let them select their own mate. If you observe a violent behavior between the fish then separate the violent one as it can even kill the other fish.
Different Types of Oscar Fish
The major types of Oscar fish are Tiger Oscar, Red Oscar and Albino Oscar. Apart from these common types there are many other types which are found as the cross breed of the types of Oscars. Lutino Oscar, Lemon Oscar and Yellow Oscar are some of them.
Tiger Oscar is considered to be the original Oscar fish. They have crimson and orange markings on the chocolate brown or gray base. They are said to be the wild Oscar with which many other breeds were made. These fish are pure breed and no abnormality can be found. They are very good as pets, as they possess the true behavior and characteristics of the Oscar.
Red Oscars are found in many shades of red. They can be found in deep red, bright red, rusty orange etc. They lack the marking or the patchy spots which are found commonly in the Tiger Oscars. Red Oscar and Tiger Oscars are among the most popular and readily available fish in the market. The red scales of these fish, blending with the colors sometimes give them a velvety look. This makes them eye catchy and attractive.
Albino Oscars, as the name suggests, are white in color. They can be found in a combination of red and orange but usually you will find them in white base. Although they look different from the other types, they are true in their breed and their behavior. They have shiny white scales which give them a velvety look. A real albino is recognized by its white base coat and red eyes.
How to Care for Oscar Fish
So now you have options in Oscar fish and can get the best among them. But it's very important to take proper care of these creatures if you really want them as a pet. Following are some of the tips which may help you with Oscar fish care. Just have a look.
- The length of the Oscar fish and its aggressive nature makes it is very important to have an aquarium which can contain 40-45 gallons of water approximately.
- Place the aquarium where the influence of light, noise and temperature is minimum.
- The temperature should be maintained between 74º to 81º F. Never keep the aquarium in direct sunlight.
- Buy and keep the Oscar fish in pairs. As they scare the other companions of the aquarium, it is better to keep them away from the other variety.
- Maintain the fish tank and clean the water with the help of condenser. Recycle 10 to 15% of water every week and clean the impurities
- Oscar fish like to hide themselves and feel comfortable. Hence they try to move the objects inside the aquarium or tank and find place. Hence you should keep light objects. It is found that the more place they will get to hide the more they be energetic.
You can select any one from the types of Oscar fish given in this article. If you want to have this amazing creature as your pet then just keep the important points in mind before buying.