Suddenly I Have An Oscar...


Hi, I'm new. I found this site while surfing for Oscar info. & liked what I saw & thought it might be a good place to find some help & learn more.

I went to Petco this evening w/ the intention of purchasing some large fish for my 150 gallon tank. There weren't any & suddenly I spied a single large fish & not really wanting it, but curious about it, I asked. I was told, "It's an Oscar that's actually up for adoption." I asked how much & received a quick reply of "Oh, it's free! Someone brought it back because it hadn't eaten for two weeks & is unhappy." So feeling sorry for it, I decided to take it. The pet store eagerly just gave me the fish, plus a free large plastic tank w/ lid to transport it. Even the feeder fish in the tank. I thought it sort of odd that everything was free, but why look a gift horse in the mouth, right?

The fish seems to like my tank. Instead of just sitting still on the bottom of the approximate 25 gallon tank like in the petstore, it is swimming around & I think maybe it likes me. I took some pics & showed an online friend who is an avid pet fan. Together we looked up information on Oscars. I see I have a very unique fish & I'm wondering what I've gotten myself into. lol

I came upon this & while I find it hilarious, I see I have a lot to learn to properly care for this fish.

I think my Oscar is an Albino Tiger Oscar or simply Albino Oscar (not sure the difference, if any). I don't know the gender or age. I am a female w/ average sized adult female hands. My fish is slightly longer & wider than one of my hands.

Here are some things I am wondering:

1. Since Oscars supposedly should be in pairs, do I need to get another Oscar?
2. If so, do I need a specialist to determine the sex of my fish & then get an opposite sex fish friend for mine? And should the 2nd Oscar be the same size?
3. As a novice, how do I learn how to maintain the water levels...something along the lines of 'Maintaining Your Tank For Dummies.' lol
4. Petco gave me live feeder fish, but after reading about Oscars, wondering should I also give raw hamburger, tuna, salmon, earthworms, insects, insect larvae & other things?
5. How often should I feed my fish?
6. Is there a way to tell the age of my fish?
7. What other vital things should I know?

Thanks in advance for any help! 

Here are some pics.


hey there! that was a hilarious thread! It helped wake me up this morning...and really made me grateful that I said no repeatedly to my mechanic that was pushing me and begging me to take his oscar for free! lol I don't think I'd have any fish left in my tank except him, as he is already about 8 inches long and FAT. Good luck with yours. I've heard many good things about oscars personalities...they just eat anything they can fit in their mouths, I believe..and they rearrange the tank to their liking..kinda like my teenagers! ha!


lol good of the mods will answer your questions soon....heres my oscar his name is bart

...I think its a male if not I'm screwd ive been calling it bart for ever,
read my thread my fish a crazy personality also..


Welcome to FishLore! It's great to have you with us!

1. Oscars do not need to be in pairs. I think they actually like having their own tank, so they don't have to share.

2. If you do decide to get another one, make sure it's close to the same size. Your first oscar will probably bully it for awhile, and it may not not work out. Determining the sex of your oscar is near impossible unless you see them spawning, and even then it's difficult. You might be better off getting a really cool large plecostomus, and just have those 2 fish in your tank.

3. You need to learn the art of cycling immediately. Go to the beginners forum and click on the "FishLore Articles for Beginners". Make sure you understand cycling completely. If you don't, your fish will not do well, and you will probably not stay in the hobby. We are here to help you achieve this.

4. Variety is the key to healthy fish. Oscars love live food! Feeders are not recommended unless you quarantine them for a couple of weeks before feeding them to your oscar. They may be diseased and you don't want to get your oscar sick. They also are not usually very nutritious, but with quarantine and you feeding them good food, your oscar will get much more benefit. I would not recommend the raw hamburger meat. You can usually feed your fish just about anything that you can eat as long as it's not spicy. I wouldn't go as far as feeding cheese or stuff like that, but if you have leftover fish, veggies, etc., your fish can probably eat them. Oscars don't usually eat any veggies. I believe they are carnivores, but it would be great if yours could eat something containing veggie matter. You may want to consider making your own food for your oscar and put some veggies in it. There are quite a few recipes out there. As long as you know there's not a lot of chemicals on the ground in your yard, your oscar would love a few earthworms and any bugs you can find. There's also very good cichlid pellets out there. I feed mine Omega One large cichlid pellets.

5. I feed my oscars once a day. Oscars are very messy fish, and will overeat if you let them. Plus they poop a lot, so it's not necessarily a good thing to feed them a lot.

6. I really don't know how to tell the age of your oscar. I do know that they can live for 10 years, and continue to grow. Mine are almost 3 years old and probably close to a foot long each.

7. Make sure you have adequate filtration for your tank. You will know about this once you understand cycling and you start to get your tank in balance. You will be doing a lot of water changes right now because your oscar is a pig, and will produce a lot of waste in your tank, and your tank is not cycled. Don't try and have an artfully decorated tank. Your oscar will move things around to his liking, and that might change daily. Live plants and delicate things don't do well in an oscar tank. He will destroy them. And you are correct. He is an albino tiger oscar. I have 2 of them. They are in a 100 gal. tank with a common pleco that is now over a foot long. You could probably find one of these large common plecos cheap from a store that sells pond fish. Your fish looks very happy. I commend you for taking the plunge, but be aware that you have quite a challenge ahead of you trying to cycle that tank, and learning what keeps your oscar happy. We are here for you, so let us know about your progress.


I congradulate you and your new oscar! I bet you will be a great oscar keeper! I really do admire people that adopt/rescue pets.


Yay a Oscar fish! they are very fun my dad used to have a 180 gallon tank and he had a bunch oscars but when I saw his old tank well.... it was equipted with quite a bit of different filters seeing as how they are so messy but I highly, and I mean highly recommend you getting a undergravel filter but they are awsome fish.

Always adopt if possable.... its usually free.

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