Raising Felix The Oscar

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Felix the Oscar is my first Oscar ever, in 45 years of fish keeping. I guess it's one of those dream fish like keeping fancy discus or an Arowana. Very few people have the time patience money space Etc, plus want to be dedicated fish keepers.

This is not my first big fish. I have raised large silver dollars and large Plecos. But I have never raised an Oscar.

When I picked him up at the pet store he was in advertised as a lemon Oscar. I have no idea how to tell and he looked lemony enough to me. I have a 55 gallon aquarium at home and an empty 30. I took Felix home and housed him in the 30.

  • #2
you will be needing something closer to a 75 gallon tank.....those fishes can reach a foot long.
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Very nice fish! How old is he now? Has he gotten too big for his 55 gal yet?
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  • #4
Oh yes...the story continues my friends. I knew he would outgrow the 55 and I built this custom stand big enough for a 90~100 gal.


Please don't be too impressed about the woodworking because I did not build the cabinetry. I made the top and I took two cabinets and joined them all together with hardwood framing and Oak base.
  • #5
Looks great
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  • #6
Anyhow that is one of my 55s & you can see my DIY internal canister filters Sponge Filter and skimmers. Also in this photograph I have had Felix 14 weeks. I have no idea how old he was when purchased. He was under 3 inches long when I bought him and now over 7".

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  • #7
(I patched this in from another thread, but I wanted to save it here.)

Okay you can see my two DIY filters & the Total flow when the filters are clean is estimated at somewhere around 300 GPH, from pumps that should put through over 600 GPH total at zero head.

These filters robbed me of about 3 gallons of tank water (as opposed to having an HOB or external system which adds water) but I have added a whole lot of biomass to the system. Some of it was well aged including all the plastic media but all the lava was not. Maybe 20% was well aged. Anyhow the biological aspect of these filters is just starting to come online and they're going to take care of my immediate problem, but only because last night my big pleco jumped out and died.


I could not add any more pictures on this post. Please see the next post for photos.

Had Big Morton survived, I don't think that even these filters would have been enough.

The green things are the skimmers (made from a spray bottle) and filled with coarse foam.

One canister has been sitting on top of my refrigerator half full of stale rice, and I had every other thing I needed to build this so the total cost was nil, but for the $7 I spent on the second canister.

The other one has two strainers and two pumps and is 2 liters larger.
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  • #8
Poor Morton r I p


Water changing day at the Oscar tank. The cart allows me to wash my dirty filters right there at the tank.


The two DIY filters with skimmers and Sponge Filter attached


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  • #9
In that photo above you can see that I put some hornwort in the tank

It was fine for about 3 weeks and then Felix just trashed it, so the skimmer is full of green bits in the hornwort is looking very threadbare.

All the other plants in his tank are fake and he routinely pulls some up and throws them around, then I replant them.
  • #10
I think the Oscars view the moving of the decorations as a game.
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  • #11
I took some pictures of Felix last night and I thought I would give an update on this thread.

Felix is nearly six months old now and his growth rate has slowed down a lot. As we are remodeling our house, I did not want to yet order the new 90 gallon aquarium.

I had to temporarily move Felix's tank to a back room at our house and I did not want to have to move and refill an even bigger tank twice.

I'm having a hard time getting a good measurement on Felix, but he is somewhere between 8 and 9 in long and is quite stout. He is a pitbull sort of a fish and he is really a hungry guy most of the time.

Because he had grown, the canister filters were not nearly sufficient and I replaced them with a 10-gallon sump.

I show all of this stuff in my other thread called Meet the fish under Freshwater Photos.

Anyhow Felix is much happier in his tank now and he is much easier to take care of since I removed all the substrate from his tank.

He now has nothing but a bare bottom and a few plants and big rocks.

Since the demise of big Morton the plecostomus Felix lives alone. He is safer that way, and so is everyone else.

In the last photo you can see Felix in a 20 gallon on the floor during Moving Day. That big scar on my wall is where I ripped loose the cabinet that was housing Felix's tank. That scar was easily repaired, but Felix had scars on his psyche that have not faded 100% yet.

I let his water down low and then caught him in a big bucket instead of a net.

The first time I transferred him to the 20 and he did not like the whole business.

But when I did it the second time, from the 20 back to the 55, he was so calm I thought the poor fish was in shock.

Actually I think he might have been playing possum, as I know my silver dollars used to do this, but I did not know what Oscar would.

  • #12
Ulu - thread is re-opened
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  • #13
Thanks Mike. When we remodeled our house I moved all the tanks around and bought some more. In the shuffle I had lost track of this thread, but not this Oscar!

Felix was eventually relocated to a 75 g tank, where he went from 10" to 12" long.

Then last year he moved to a 125 g tank with several African cichlids.

He is generally doing quite well. He has had some random but minor fin fuzz, though he has been getting a little salt bath at each water change and I think that helps.
He also has a continual blister on his lip from digging up the tank.

Felix is a very busy fish. He runs the other fish around and redecorates the plants and rocks at will. He has his favorite other fish that he hangs out with, but it changes from time to time. Right now he is buddies with a Yellow Labidochromis, and uses him as a sort of door warden to his lair.

Lots of guppies and small mollies live in his tank, and there is enough live food the fish get bored and beg for pellets. I am mostly feeding Felix Omega One floating cichlid pellets and New Life Spectrum flakes. He gets occassional worms and frozen shrimp, but i quit feeding bloodworms long ago over contamination issues.

He is getting quite stout now, though not much over 13" long. I will clean up my glass and get some good current photos posted here soon.

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  • #14
Photos taken 12/5/21.
Here’s a good shot showing his chin blister. I think he will eventually grow a big callus here from all the digging.


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  • #15
Random photos before the blister. These were all taken 16 mos ago, before Felix moved from a 75 to the 125. He was living with one African cichlid and a few guppies and mollies.


This is Lil Butterfish who is a red zebra hybrid offspring of another red zebra and an electric blue Johanni female.


This was an early experiment to see if a South American Cichlid and an African Cichlid would live together. (Now Felix lives with 4 catfish and 4 big Africans.) It works ok.

About a year and a half before these pics he was living with a 9” Pleco and they would fight all the time. Eventually the pleco jumped out of the tank and died, one day when I left the lid off.

But Felix is coexisting with the cat fish in the larger tank now. I think before he needed more dither fish to keep him from picking on the Pleco.
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  • #16
Felix The Oscar Christmas shoot!

Clearly he does not like the scrubber!

Out! Out! You get out of my tank!

I’m gonna BITE!



A monster Merry Christmas!

  • #17
Merry Christmas to Oscar and you family as well. What a story. Oscar is beautiful :)
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  • #18
Lately Felix hasn’t wanted to eat anything except the omega sinking Cichlid pellets and any slow guppies and mollies that came within his suction radius.

Felix displays his suction apparatus.


I had tried feeding him frozen market shrimp before but without much success.

Yet all the other fish seem to eat them.

But now Felix seems to be taking well to the frozen shrimp. I just defrost a few in a teacup and toss them in the tanks.

Felix has been picky and reluctant but the frozen shrimp seems to be making him happy.
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  • #19
“I don’t wanna hear any lip from you!”

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“I don’t wanna hear any lip from you!”
View attachment 838816
It could be that the little guy is like 'Wow, it is scary dark in there....' or 'I can see the light at the end of that tunnel!'
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  • #21
That’s Mojo with murderer on the right, In the photograph above, and he’s not a timid fish. He may look timid in that photograph but he went after Felix and Felix came forward to defend his territory.

He’s a bruiser and if you look at those bruises on his upper lip you can see he’s been lip locking with the other cichlids.
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  • #22
So here is a shot of Felix and his three major tank mates. There are also three smaller catfish one big Pleco, and the host of guppies and mollies.

From left to right you see Felix the Oscar, Sunflower, Mojo, and Lil Butterfish. All strikingly yellow.
  • #23
They all keep their distance.....you need a bigger tank.
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  • #24
I'm taking up a collection. You wanna donate?
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  • #25
Cichlids in Felix’s tank fight from time to time, and this is what they do. I have seen them do this with Felix as well. Felix bites their nose pretty good.

This is Black Leeloo and Butterfish.

  • #26
Glad that I stay with peaceful little Tetras :)
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  • #27
I am sad to report that our last Jewel Tetra has finally disappeared.

It was living in that Cichlid tank for years and eventually I think it just got old. I’m sure we had The Lone Tetra for over five years. Certainly for as long as I have been posting here on Fishlore.

In fact I got the fish for my wife’s birthday along with six more like it which would’ve been February 2017.
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  • #28
Over the years I have fed Felix pellets from four or five different companies and lots of red worms wax worms nightcrawlers and occasional bugs.

He also lives in a tank heavily populated with small guppies and mollies so it’s a virtual Buffet for him when he gets hungry.

He also eats these small Rams-horn snails & the large ones seem to disappear quickly.

We have tall festcue grass in our tiny front yard and there is a healthy population of snails that displays itself whenever we have a rain. I’ve been told these are common European garden snails and that people eat them regularly.

I never tried to feed them to the fish before, but I decided these snails were way too healthy to be a problem, and today I gave a 1” snail to Felix.

He had no problem sucking it down and spitting it back out crushed, before I could get a photo.

He continued crunching and spitting until it was digestible. This is the happiest I have seen Felix lately.


“mouth full…..can’t talk now….”

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  • #29
Choosing dinner. . .

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  • #30
Natural born leader. . .

  • #31
The little guy nearly fits into that big mouth....one day he will be a snack.
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  • #32
Those little fish are bigger than they seem because of the perspective in the photograph.

There are several 2 inch mollies in that tank though, and he has eaten or killed a number of them.

That yellow Cichlid is almost 6 inches long.

Oops! That’s not him. That’s his daddy, Buttercup.
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  • #33
Felix hides in the weeds, waiting patiently for a snack. He eats a lot.


Felix and his cohort have been in the 125g tank on my DIY 240g indoor/outdoor rig for a few years now. He is five years old, approximately, and has gone from 1.5” (~40mm) to over 13” (~340mm) long.


Felix is recovering from a bout of lymphocystis, but he is doing well. I do weekly water changes, but over the holidays I cut that in half, and poor Felix paid the price. It took almost 2 months to get rid of this.

See the warts and fin fungus? That fungus blooms almost overnight.

Last week: he still has scars and some fin fungus.

Now he is looking very clean.


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