If you are really looking for a fish with a fascinating appearance to help glow up your aquarium, check up on varieties of Oscar fishes. They all have bright colors and suit this purpose.
Oscar fish has one of the widest varieties of fishes out there, and the amazing thing is that they are all beautiful fishes. Aside from this fact, they are also very fun to keep. The experienced aquarists will tell you that they are one of the most intelligent fishes out there.
Also, they are not stressful to keep. They are easy-going especially when they are kept with fishes of the same kind.
- Overview of Oscar Fish
- The Various Types of Oscar Fishes
- Oscar Fishes Tank Setup
- The Tanks
- Oscar Fish Diet
- What You Should Know About Oscar Fishes
Overview of Oscar Fish
Oscar fish scientific name is Astronotus Ocellatus and it’s from the family of fishes known as Cichlidae. The fish originates from South America and was first found in rivers like Amazon, Rio Negro, and the Paraguay River. Today, Oscar fishes can be found in almost every part of the world.
At first, there were only about 3 varieties of Oscar fishes namely the Tiger Oscar fish, the Red Oscar fish, and the Albino Oscar fish. However, today, there are a lot of them derived from various breeding methods of these 3 varieties.
Oscar fishes are being domesticated for a lot of reasons. In South America, they are of high value in the food industry. This is because of how highly nutritious they are.
Oscar fishes are regarded as highly intelligent. This is because of their inquisitive nature especially when they are just being introduced to a new tank.
One of such attitude they exhibit is going close to the body of the tank and carefully staring out to observe their environment. They are also very smart and easily settle in a new environment. This and their aesthetic properties is why aquarist prefer them to other freshwater fishes.
They are very easy to purchase due to this popularity. Almost every fish store breeds once or more varieties of Oscar fish. They can also be found in local fish stores.
The Various Types of Oscar Fishes
Here are the 3 earliest varieties from which other types were bred.
Tiger Oscar Fish
This is one of the most popular types of Oscar fishes and one of the earliest varieties. The best way to identify them is with their fascinating tiger-like color, hence the name Tiger Oscar.
The color is mostly found at the tail region of the fish, but they can also take up most of the body parts. When this is not the case, they will have a lack of colors on their body with orange bands.
They have eyes that poke out of their body and are very obvious.
When they move in the tank, the combination of all these colors makes it’s a very fascinating view. You cannot but love it!
They also have a big body size with an average of 13 inches.
Red Oscar Fish
This is another early variety of Oscar fishes. They are very popular in many South American countries and you can recognize them with their double color body coatings.
Their body is a mixture of deep black color and a bright red. Each color takes up a separate part of the body before joining together in the back region. Their fin takes up the black color of the body, while the head part has the red color.
They have eyes like those of Tiger Oscar Fishes with an average body size of around 14 inches.
Albino Oscar Fish
This is the third of the earliest varieties of Oscar fishes. They get the albino name from the dominant white color of their body. They also have other color patterns like orange and red usually found in the tail region.
They are very fun species of Oscar fishes because their color pattern is not always constant. It is different from one specific fish to another and you will hardly find one that looks exactly like another.
Their amazing color also means that they are extremely beautiful and perfect for your tank because of their color diversity.
The crossbred varieties of Oscar fishes include the following;
Black Oscar Fish
This variety has a very stunning look. However, there are mixed reactions to these varieties. Some people think that they are very beautiful while others think they are scary.
The black color covers most parts of their body with other color bands taking up little parts sometimes. Some of them usually have bright colors in the lateral part of their body.
Also, some take up the tiger pattern color in tiny parts of their body. This differs for various fishes as a result of the parents used for the crossbreeding.
They usually have very dark fins with black and white eyes clearly protruding from their body. The eyes are always lined with an orange color.
Blue Oscar Fish
Blue Oscar fishes are huge varieties with various blue colors. Although they may have other color bands, they are predominantly blue colors.
All the blue colors on their body are connected in quite an orderly manner and this makes them very special. They have scales with deep blue colors that combine well with their bright blue colors from the lateral side.
Blue Oscar fishes have a lot of types too. Only their color patterns and the type of blue color they have distinguishes them from one another.
White Oscar Fish
This variety of fish is bred from the Albino species and they look plain white in color. One thing that differentiates them from the Albino Oscars is the absence of the orange bands.
They have consistent body color from the head to the tail region with a nice color blend. Their color is very obvious in the tank hence making it a very noticeable fish.
Veil Tail Oscar Fish
While other Oscar fishes are named after their body color, it is not the same for this variety. They usually have a long transparent tail.
These fishes’ color varies in varieties. The 2 most notable colors are the black and orange colors. On rare occasions, they have a red color too.
Their tail always takes up the orange color, and this elongates as far as their head region. They usually have orange color lines run across their body too.
Watching this fish swim in your tank is a beautiful sight because of how colorful their body is when they swim.
Green Oscar Fish
Even though they are being referred to as Green Oscars, they have other colors that take up most of their body parts. The green color is mostly mixed with black and yellow colors in various patterns. Some of them can also have more colors other than these 3.
The special thing about their colors is the pattern it forms. Sometimes, the green could be circled by the yellow and black colors. Other times, its either the yellow or black colors being circled.
Florida Oscar Fish
Even though Oscar fishes originated from South American countries, their crossbreeding flexibility means that a lot of varieties are being developed in other parts of the world.
The Florida Oscar fishes are from Florida, and they look just like the tiger Oscar because they are being bred from that variety of fish. They are made up of various types of colors and this is due to their wild nature.
Lemon Oscar Fish
Lemon Oscar fishes are one of the most confused Oscar fishes. This is because of their body color that quite resembles the albino and white Oscar fishes.
However, looking closely at them you will see that their color is quite different and has a somewhat lemon shade on their body. This is quite different from white and albino colors.
The shade of lemon differs. In some fishes, they have them deeper, while others will have a somewhat yellow color.
Oscar Fishes Tank Setup
Set up the aquarium to look like the fishes’ natural habitat. This way they can be able to adapt more easily and carry out their daily activities.
The first step to imitating the natural habit is the temperature of the water in the tank. The water bodies in the wild are warm, so you may have to heat up the water a little bit.
The next thing is the water pH. All Oscar fish varieties only do well in a normal pH, not acidic nor alkaline. With this, the perfect pH is 7.
The flow of water in their natural habitat is very high and they are usually exposed to sunlight too. So you should increase the flow of water into the tank and leave it exposed under sun rays too.
The bottom of the tanks should have stones, soft sand rocks, and some floating plants that can be on the water. The sands should be fine sands that are easy to burrow. This is because Oscar fishes like digging.
As long as you are setting the tank up to look like the wild, you can use any type of feature that best fits it. Do not forget the presence of cave in tanks. Oscars use it to mark their territory, hence its importance.
All of these features have to be firm before you put the fish in the tank. Oscar fishes are quite energetic and can scatter any feature that you loosely attach. This can happen during feeding.
For plants, Oscars could eat up and damage them. Solutions to this are making use of strong plants that are hardy, and floating plants.
Keep the water in the tank as pure as possible. This can be done easily with an effective filter. The temperature range is between 74°F and 81°F. This can be attained with the aid of a heater. Another option is lightning in the aquarium.
Get a cover for the tank to prevent the fishes from escaping. The cover should be strong enough because Oscars are high jumpers. If the tank isn’t big enough they might fall off the cover.
Apart from purifying the water, the filter also helps with the high current water. Another way to produce this current is with a water pump.
Oscar Fish Diet
Providing food for Oscar fishes is one of the easiest aspects of rearing them because of their omnivorous nature. They eat almost everything you give them, but for health purposes, you should provide them with a good diet.
In their natural habitat, Oscars feed on little fish species and fry. The majority of the diet is usually tiny water insects.
Following this feeding culture in an aquarium may be quite difficult. The easiest options are flakes and pellets that are prepared in such a way that they contain most of the nutrients the fishes need.
The flake and pellets can be mixed with other live foods. Live foods contain a lot of protein that Oscars need for healthy living. Some examples of live foods to feed them include blood worms and daphnia.
You can also give them leftover veggies from the kitchen. This can also be mixed with other food types to meet their nutrient requirements.
What You Should Know About Oscar Fishes
Oscar fishes are very hygienic fishes. In fact, their life span depends on how clean you keep them. If you take good care of their tank and water, they can live for a decade.
Other things that determine their lifespan is their living condition. Factors like their diet, the species of fish they live with, and how big the tank is, are very important.
Also, the quality of their up keeping determines their performances. Their sizes and how colorful their body is depending on all of the above factors.
As an aquarist, if you can successfully take care of Oscar fishes, then you should be able to take care of every other domesticated fish. They are also very good parents, hence breeding is not difficult.
You can choose from the aforementioned varieties and rear for either food, breeding or aesthetic purposes. They are a very good source of income too.