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Species group: Cichlids

Other common names: Oscar Cichlid; Tiger Oscar; Velvet Cichlid; Marbled Cichlid

Scientific name: Astronotus ocellatus

The basics:
The Oscar is a member of the Cichlid family which is native to slow moving streams and rivers throughout the Amazon River basin. The Oscar is one of the most commonly kept South American Cichlids and easy to care for. 

Some of the challenges to keeping Oscars is having a large enough tank and finding compatible tank mates that are equally large and aggressive.

When they are full grown diet their can be a little a tricky too. Oscars will be perfectly healthy on a diet of pellets if they will accept them. Some times they get picky and will only eat live foods like small goldfish. Giving them a balance of pellets with other live foods will ensure they get all the nutrients they need to be healthy and have vibrant colors. 

The most common Oscar colors are the Tiger, Albino, and Red. The patterns will vary from Oscar to Oscar and each of these colors also come in a long tail version. Oscars are usually a base color of black or white with orange to red patches on them. Juveniles are sold at a cute size of 2 inches but they grow rapidly and can reach their adult size of 14 inches within a couple years.

14 inches

Oscars are aggressive and they will eat anything they can fit in their mouth including other fish, invertebrates, and snails. Because of its predatory nature Oscars are best kept with fish of a similar size and temperament like the Jack Dempsey and other Oscars. African cichlids make poor tank mates because they remain under 4 inches and will become food when the Oscar outgrows them.

The Oscar requires a 55 gallon tank with a good filter. They need a lot of room to swim around and once full grown can dash around the tank knocking over decorations and running into the tank walls if the tank is too small. A lid is a good idea too so they don't jump out when startled or they're happy to see you. 

76.00 - 82.00 °F

7.00 - 7.80

cichlid tank,exciting fish,bright orange markings,real ‘pet fish,outgoing personalities

12-14 inches,weekly water changes,truly aggressive fish,powerful filtration,messy eaters

Captive-bred specimens,playful monsters,frozen cubed beefheart,South American species

Member photos

from breeders/sellers

(Breeders and sellers have to jump through hoops to get RightPet listings, literally, we make them do circus tricks. Unfortunately no one has met our high acrobatic standards for this animal yet, but hopefully they will soon!)

from shelters/rescues

(We've had no luck finding any of these frisky fellas so far, even though we've put up wanted posters and everything! But don't worry, we're working on it!)

API Freshwater Master Test Kit

Here are products that members feel are just right for your Oscar !

Over 800 tests Kit includes laminated color card, 4 test tubes and holding tray Includes instruction booklet on how to correct unsafe water conditions


View all member recommended >