How to care Oscar fish and you know how many types of Oscar fish you have ?
Oscar fish is a fairly popular aquarium fish of the family of cichlids, known mainly under the generic name astronotus. Ocellate astronotus lives in the east of Venezuela, Guiana, the Amazon basin, the river: Rio Negro, Parana, Paraguay.
The size in natural conditions is up to 35 cm, and in aquarium conditions up to 20-25 cm. The shape of the fish body is oval, compressed from the sides, the fins are large, somewhat elongated. Head and eyes are large, the fish have a large convex forehead. Color uneven – the general background is from grayish-brown to black, on which spots and streaks of yellow color are scattered, often with a black edging of each spot. At the base of the caudal fin, there is a large black spot bordered by an orange band, resembling a large eye. Perhaps, it is for this stain that Oscar fish got their specific name ocellatus, which can be translated from Latin as “eyeball”.
The body of the aquarium Oscar has an oval shape, slightly flattened on the sides. Fins large, elongated. The fish has a large head with a prominent forehead and eyes. In astronotus, which is kept in captivity, the color of the trunk is uneven: depending on the species, the general background can vary from silvery to saturated black, along which yellow spots and lines are scattered in a chaotic order. Some Oscar fish near the caudal fin have a large spot that is similar in shape and color to a large eye. During spawning, the body of the fish turns black, and the divorces change the shade from yellow to red. Young astronotus have a black color with white divorces and specks. With age, the color changes and becomes more saturated. In fish, there are almost no sex differences, males differ only in bright color and a wider body. Also, males have pointed and long anal and dorsal fins.
Aquarium Oscar fish is not too demanding, to the conditions of detention, fish, and they can successfully contain even beginners. The only nuance that makes them problematic is the size. These pets grow very quickly and in the process of growth they eat all the neighbors, which is smaller in size. Like all large, predatory cichlids , they should be kept in domestic aquariums from 400 liters or more, and preferably alone.
These fish grow to their maximum size for 3-4 years, with good care, they live up to 15 years, while the ability to multiply in many individuals is preserved until old age. These are quite large fish, therefore, when they are kept, the aquarium should be selected appropriate.
Water and Temperature
As for the parameters of water , the astronotos to them are not fastidious. Acidity can vary from 6 to 8.0 pH, water hardness – up to 23 °. The temperature of the water in the aquarium, where astronotus are contained, should be from 21 to 30 degrees, but these pets can carry and a smooth decrease in water to 16 degrees. Since the individuals of this species are very large, it is worthwhile to equip the reservoir with filters , aeration and daily to change 20-30% of the total volume of the reservoir. It is also worthwhile to purchase a productive bio-filter, because fish produce organic waste, because of which ammonia accumulates in the water.
The soil may be from pebbles, coarse sand or gravel. If you want to add elements to the aquarium, let it be large stones or driftwood, astronotics are very fond of exploring new territory, digging it and dragging objects from place to place. To artificial plants, we can attach weights so that Oscar fish can not easily move them. From natural plants the society of large fish will withstand echinodorus , Thai fern and Bolshitis, long-stemmed algae species of this species are severed. More astronoths need to provide 4-5 shelters, because these fish are rather fearful.
Particular attention should be paid to the pair before the planned breeding. That the offspring turned out to be healthy and left whole, parents should be fed a lot and qualitatively. Due to their size and gluttony, astronauts leave a lot of waste. Therefore, the aquarium should have a good filter, and the water should change regularly.
Many aquarists use forage meat of mammals (beef heart, chicken), which must be excluded. Fat contained in this meat can not be metabolized in the body of fish, which will lead to its accumulation and even degeneration of the organs. On the contrary, it is recommended to feed Oscar to the live-bearing carpophages (guppies, swordfish) and goldfish, which can be specially bred for this purpose. In this case, it is necessary to avoid the use of purchased fish, which can potentially be a carrier of diseases. In addition, in meat of fed fish, for example, goldfish, there is an enzyme of thiaminase, binding vitamin B1, so a diet of goldfish leads to a deficiency of this vitamin.
In the wild nature there are tiger Oscar. Their content in the aquarium is also possible, but other varieties are found only in captivity. As a result of the selection, monochrome specimens (yellow, blue, red) were hatched, which does not quite correspond to the name of the “star” fish. Tiger astronoths have a corresponding color.
In the artificial reservoirs of America and in captivity there are also albinos. Their white body is slightly covered with red spots of various shades, which gather in a traditional star or form a kind of rings. A small number of colored inclusions are also found in monochrome specimens. As a rule, spots are red, gold or orange. Regardless of the color and pattern on the body, any specimen is called the general term “Oscar”.
In addition to the fact that these fish like to eat and do not get along very well with their neighbors, there is another problem that must be known beforehand, before Oscar fish appear in the aquarium. Their content in captivity often ends in death outside the home. That is, they are simply thrown out. This can be due to both a lack of oxygen in the water, and with natural instincts. In the natural environment, the Oscar fish often jumps out of the water, trying to grab the insect near its surface. When feeding in an aquarium, the fish, following instincts, repeats the trick and is on the floor. To avoid these problems, you must always use the lid and do not forget about the compressor.