Oscar Fish Care - Astronotus Ocellatus
Hello and welcome to Oscarfish.com, which by serious Oscar owners is considered the pinnacle of Oscar advice and knowledge. Below is a checklist recommended by experienced owners of Oscars. Please read through the checklist and if you find you cannot accommodate all of the requirements it will probably be suggested that Oscars are not the fish for you.
This checklist contains some basic information to get you started. For more information, please search our forum or create an account to ask specific questions.
Let us begin;
- Tank Cycling is a must… The Fishless Cycle method is great and easy to do. For this you will need a good test kit for NitrAte, NitrIte, Ammonia,(pH, kH, gH would be nice).
You'll need a basic understanding of water parameters and what they should be for an Oscar tank.
Tank Filtration sufficient to handle your given tank size. 10x is the recommendation when using HOB (Hang On Back) filters or 3-5x turnover when utilizing a canister or wet/dry. I.E. 55 gallon tank = at least 550 gallon per hour filtration with H.O.B. filtration. 250 gallon per hour filtration with a canister or wet/dry sump. Some of the better filters are the Eheim Classic Canisters, Marineland Multistage Canister Filters (C-Series), AquaClear 110, Emperor 400, and Penguin 350.
The Essential Aquarists Medkit. Unfortunately, sometimes our fish become ill. When this happens, it's nice to know what medications are recommended for what ailment.
Oscars live comfortably at a temperature of 78-82* a good aquarium heater is a must. The general rule for heaters is 3-5 watts per gallon I.E. 65 gallon tank = 200w heater… Also a good quality heater will let you select the temperature you want not just select low medium and high. When you buy your heater also purchase a heater guard (or a titanium heater) as O's sometimes attack their heaters. Many an Oscar has been damaged or killed from the electrical shock resulting from smashing their heater. A review of our currently recommended heater can be found here.
Store bought feeders are not a good food source for Oscars, they carry diseases and are not balanced nutrition for an Oscars lifestyle. Your Oscar's primary diet should consist of a quality pellet. We do have an article containing extensive information related to Oscar Fish Dietary Requirements., while our reviews section may help you select a quality pellet.
You may be interested in housing your Oscar with some Tank Mates. Be advised, you don't want tank mates in anything less than a 75 gallon tank and even a 75 gallon tank limits your options. With these fish, bigger is better. With tank mates, even bigger is that much better.
Owning larger aquariums for the most part is not inexpensive and it is in you and your fishes best interest to start off right. This not only saves you money down the road but saves you grief from seeing your new pet suffer because the LFS gave you some bad information.
I hope this was helpful. If you have any other questions please feel free to post them in the Oscar Advice forum and we'll answer you as quickly as possible with real, true advice. At Oscarfish.Com, our only motive is the health of your fish and your success in the hobby.
- Submitted Originally by PierceKaine, edited over the years by the OFish staff.