Oscars are all the same species (Astronotus ocellatus), however, there are several color varieties and forms available.
There are no differences in care for any species, with the exception of Albino Oscars, which may require decreased lighting due to a potential sensitivity to bright lights common in albinos of any species.
The most common varities are those Oscars we normally see at most fish stores. They include Tiger Oscars, Red Oscars, and Common Oscars.
(Dark base color with orange/red stripes).
It is believed that Tiger Oscars are the result of selective breeding of Red Oscars back to Common Oscars and "fixing" the resulting strain.
(Dark base color with solid or mostly solid orange/red that does not form bold stripes.)
Red Oscars are a strain originally developed by Charoen Pattabonge, a Thai businessman, who noticed some oscars with abnormally high red coloration in a recent shipment and was subsequently able to fix a strain we know today as the "Red Oscar". This strain starting becoming prevelent in the hobby in 1969. One of the distinquishing characteristics of the Red Oscar is that it does not have an eyespot on the tail.
Common Oscar (aka Wildtype Oscar)
(Dark base color with lighter stripes, generally yellow, grey, or pale green, and very little to no orange. This is the color of wild oscars)
“Albino” oscars come in red & tiger patterns.
Albino Tiger Oscar
(White/light base color with red/orange stripes)
Albino Red Oscar
(White/light base color with solid red/orange)
(White/light base color with orange stripes and some brown/grey on the fins and/or body)
(White/light base color with solid orange and some brown/grey on the fins.)
Rare Oscar Varities
Sunshine Lemon Oscar
(similar to a red oscar, but has more of a yellow/golden color instead of red/orange)
Bloody/Super Red Oscar
(an extreme red oscar which is a very vibrant, solid red)
Oscars have also fallen victim to the process of dyeing.This is a horrible process which weakens the fish making it much more susceptibe to illnesses and shortens its lifespan. Plus the color eventually fades so you're left with an expensive, sickly, “albino”/lutino. Please do not buy dyed fish.
(“albino” or lutino red/tiger oscars dyed blue)
(“albino” or lutino red/tiger oscars dyed red/pink) These aren't as common as “blueberry” oscars. Also, some albino/lutino oscars naturally have a pink/peach base color, but on a dyed oscar, it won't look as solid or evenly distributed.)
Along with the different color varieties, oscars have also been selectively bred for different body/fin shapes.
(Have longer than normal fins & tails. Come in all common color varieties)
Short bodied/Balloon Oscar
(Have a shorter, more compact body than normal) Come in all color varieties. These are relatively rare and in many cases, oscars with shorter than normal bodies are actually stunted and horribly deformed from being kept in poor conditions rather than selectively bred to be that way so be leary about buying short bodied oscars.