Aquarium Fish

Oscar Fish

The Oscar fish is also known as the Red, Albino and Tiger Oscar. Originating in the waters of the Amazon, this cichlid is another extremely popular fish. Their popularity stems from their personality, which has been compared to that of a puppy. Many keepers experience begging around meal times or the seemingly playful greetings they receive from their fish when they get home.

There are a few color varieties of the Oscar including albino, olive-green, brown and dark gray. They can get quite large, usually 12-14 inches and should be kept in a 75 gallon or larger aquarium. It is also known for being one of the more messy fish to keep. Try to get the best filtration system possible for them and be prepared to perform frequent water changes. They are known to rearrange their environment from time to time and to bash in to filter uptake tubes and heaters. If you are wanting to keep live plants in an aquarium you may not want to get one because they love to dig up plants. They are also very good jumpers, so a heavy hood is a necessity.

They will eat most flakes, pellets, frozen, freeze dried and live foods including any other fish they share a tank with that are small enough to fit in their mouths.

Also see the Care Sheet on the forum.


Oscar Fish


Fish Care Details

Scientific Name : Astronotus ocellatus

Common Names : Albino, Tiger and Red, Marbled Cichlid

Care Level : Easy, good for freshwater beginners with a large enough tank and those with an adequate aquarium filter and those willing to perform frequent partial water changes.

Size : 13 inches (33 cm)

pH : 6 - 8

Temperature : 72°F - 80°F (22°C - 27°C)

Water Hardness : 5° to 20° dH

Origin / Habitat : Amazon

Lifespan : 10 - 13 years

Temperament / Behavior : They can be aggressive if not given a large enough aquarium.

Breeding / Mating / Reproduction : They reach sexual maturity at 4 inches and will form life long pairs. Keep the water temperature around 82°F (28°C) and provide a spot for them to place the eggs. A large rock would work well.

Aquarium Size : 75 gallon or larger.

Tank Mates : Not many - Bala Shark, Silver Dollar, Pleco and Jack Dempsey fish are some acceptable tank mates. However, don't put in any fish that are small enough to fit in the mouth of this fish.

Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease

Food : Omnivore, will eat flakes, pellets, freeze dried and live foods. Give them a varied diet with lots of protein.

Tank Region : All over

Gender : Can be difficult to determine. The female is usually smaller and less colorful than a male of the same age.

Site References :

Fish Lore Forum : Oscar Forum | Oscar Fish Photos


From: BabyBoo
I bought my husband a Red Albino Oscar. My husband has never been fond of fish but he fell madly in love with the oscar who he named Claude. It's the best investment I feel I've ever made.

From: Darrel
These fish are seriously aggressive! I have had many over the years and all have been fighters. If the fish are small enough they will be eaten, only compatible sized fish should be kept in the same tank. I had a 7 inch oscar eat a 5 inch pictus cat head first, with all 3 spines stuck through the head of the oscar. The pictus died but the oscar survived with a little torque jaw after snipping the pictus spines off with diagonal cutters and pulling the fish out.

From: Larry
The agressiveness of these fish will vary on a fish to fish basis. I have owned many throughout the years and have had some that eat anything that moves, but the one I have right now is about twelve inches long and won't eat anything over one inch long.

From: Mellonie
I have my second set of them now, and they are a joy when it comes time for feeding. Be sure to feed them a variety of protein rich food with "live" food for snacks. If you aren't careful of selecting healthy "feeder fish" your fish will get sick. Be sure to watch closely, because the "live" fish usually don't last long.

From: Dennis
I alternate between hikari chiclid staple, frozen blood worms (thawed) and feeders. Make sure the feeders are small enough to be eaten in one shot as they make a horrible mess other wise. With this routine you should see about an inch a month growth. They are usaully super aggressive, easy to take care of, and are one of the faster growing fish available, making them the most popular and funnest tropical fish you can buy.

From: DeeDee
They are very spoiled and they eat other fish because they are very territorial. Buy one and enjoy the fascination that we encounter from investing in one.

From: Andrea
We just got our little guy 'A.J.' and he is fun to watch. He greets me whenever I come close to the tank. It's neat to know a fish can have a personality. He is part of the family now!

From: New Owner
I recently decided to try my hand at owning them. I started with two (along with two sharks) in my new tank only three days ago. I noticed that the two stay right under each other and follow one another around. It's really a shame considering that they have plenty of space to spread out. Is that normal? Also, I read other owner comments about these fish greeting you and acting almost "social". Mine seem to hide whenever I get close up on the tank. Am I doing something wrong?
No, you're not necessarily doing anything wrong. If you've only had them a short time, give them a little while to become acclimated to their new surroundings. They should warm up soon and become even more "sociable" or anti-sociable to their tank mates as they get bigger.

From: David R.
I started with two in my office fish tank. They were about 6 or 7 inches long. They chased each other around the tank. One morning I found one stiff as a board under my desk. Apparently, the fish knocked open the cover, so you might want to weight your tank cover especially if you have two or more guys. The remaining one is 6 or 7 years old and is over 12 inches long. He does not bother the African chiclids or Black Convict. They are all over three inches long. He loves worms and crickets, but mostly he eats green pellets. He absolutely refuses to eat the red pellets. he almost starved to death until I switched to green!

From: Karissa
I definitely believe that how they react to smaller fish in their tanks varies. I have a 4 inch one that lives very happily with a 3/4 inch long dwarf puffer. They will even eat right next to each other without competing. I used to have two, but the other puffer died after a fight with the oscar that the puffer actually started. They're both aggressive fish, despite a great size difference, but they live together just fine.

More: Tips 1 | Tips 2

More Cichlid Fish Profiles

Polit Cichlid
Pseudotropheus polit
Polit Cichlid
The Polit Cichlid is a highly aggressive mbuna from Lake Malawi Africa.
Ram Cichlid
Microgeophagus ramirezi
Blue Ram Cichlid
Awesome looking cichlid that needs to be slowly acclimated and fed a high quality diet.
Red Devil Cichlid
Amphilophus labiatus
Red Devil Cichlid
A large and mean cichlid that needs a large tank.

© - providing tropical fish tank and aquarium information for freshwater fish and saltwater fish keepers.
SiteMap | Aquarium Fish SiteMap | Aquarium Fish Dictionary | Privacy Policy | Contact Us