Red Tiger Oscar
Whether you are an experienced aquarium hobbyist looking for a new challenge or a novice in the aquarium hobby, Oscars are a great species of tropical aquarium fish to consider. These fish belong to the family Cichlidae, the largest family of freshwater fishes in the world, and they make excellent pets. Not only are Oscars relatively low-maintenance fish but they have been known to display a variety of intriguing behaviors which make them a joy to care for. If you are looking for a new adventure, consider starting an Oscar tank!
Facts About Oscar Fish
Oscars are a species of cichlid native to the tropical waters of the Amazon region – they are widely distributed throughout parts of Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Argentina. Because these fish are often sold as juveniles when they are only one or two inches long, many aquarium hobbyists do not realize that Oscars can actually grow to a length of twelve inches or more in captivity. Due to their large size, Oscars require very large tanks – a single Oscar should be kept in a tank no smaller than 55 gallons, though a 75-gallon tank is recommended.
What makes Oscars such a joy to keep is the way they interact with their owners. If you feed your fish immediately after turning on your tank lights in the morning, most fish will eventually form a habit of coming to the top of the tank when the tank lights turn on. Oscars, however, take things one step further. These fish actually learn to recognize their owners and engage in a variety of interesting behaviors - they have been known to greet and beg for food from their owners. In addition to begging for food, some Oscars will actually let their owners handle them.
Tips for Oscar Tanks
Though their significant size may make these fish somewhat more difficult to keep than guppies or livebearers, Oscars are actually very adaptable when it comes to tank conditions. Tank-bred specimens can tolerate a range of water temperatures between 72° and 78°F and a pH range between 6.0 and 7.5. One of the most important things to consider when setting up an Oscar tank is the filtration – because these fish are so large they produce a significant amount of waste and if your filter is not strong enough, the water quality in your Oscar tank may decline quickly.
While selecting a high-quality filter for your Oscar tank is incredibly important, there are other things you can do as well to help keep the water quality in your tank high. Introducing an EcoBio-Stone into your Oscar tank is a simple way to boost the colony of beneficial bacteria responsible for maintaining the nitrogen cycle in your aquarium. EcoBio-Stones are made from natural volcanic rock and cement and are infused with live beneficial bacteria as well as the nutrients they need to thrive. Once introduced into your Oscar tank, these bacteria will rapidly multiply, working to keep your tank water clean and clear. One of the best things about EcoBio-Stones is that they look completely natural so they will easily fit into the décor scheme you already have in place in your Oscar tank.