Sunday, April 18, 2010

Facts About Oscar

The Oscar fish belongs to the cichlid family and is usually found in areas of South America. The Oscar fish come in a wide variety of patterns and colors and are also known as Tiger, velvet or marble cichlid. The scientific name for these species is the Astronotus ocellatus and these grow upto 16" in length (40cm) and weigh over 3 pounds (1.5kg). The Oscar fish is also an intelligent species of fish and is very popular as aquarium fish as well. These are also very aggressive and you need to look after them with great care if you plan to have them in your aquarium.


Breeding Oscars
When breeding them be aware that some times males can kill the female in typical cichlid fashion. Breeding Oscars is easy as long as the water is clean and you raise the temperature from the normal 25°C (77°F) to 28°C (80°F). The female will choose a flat rock to lay her eggs (about 1000 eggs) and the male will fertilize them.

The opaque eggs will turn transparent in 24 hours and hatch after 2 or 3 days.

Watching a pair of Oscars breeding is an experience that is both thrilling and full of action. Over a period of several days the couple will work nonstop and build mountains of gravel around the aquarium. Like typical lovers they will chase each other, perform courtship dances and occasionally argue and fight. All these mood swings will be accompanied by intensifying color changes in the patterns on their skin.

Infertile eggs are white in color. As weird as it may seem, at times 2 females can engage in mating behavior.

Please remember that water quality is extremely important. A 25% daily water change and prompt removal of all food residues is mandatory, not only as a prior condition for spawning but especially after eggs and fry are present. When they are free-swimming offer the fry newly hatched brine shrimp several times per days.

Feeding Oscars
1. Choose the right food. Oscars are most closely related to piranhas. These aggressive fish love their live food, but should not eat these treats every day. The food you choose for your Oscar will depend on the size of your fish. Baby Oscars will be happy consuming large flakes and small pellets. Once they grow larger, choosing a larger pellet is the best decision.

2. Remember memory loss. Oscars are truly gluttonous fish that have a 13 second memory. That means to the owner, the fish do not remember ever having eaten. It is in an Oscar's nature to make their owner feel as though they are starving and can be seen hovering around the top of the tank nearly all day. Oscars should only be fed once a day or once every two days.

3. Never feed too much. Oscars are one of the dirtiest fish you could have in an aquarium. Over feeding the Oscar will only contribute to the build up of waste in the tank. Oscars will eat all they need to eat in two to three minutes. The best way to feed an Oscar is to drop small amounts of food into the tank and watch them eat it all before dropping in more. After two to three minutes, the Oscar has eaten enough to remain healthy.

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