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Oscars or Astronotus
ocellatus is part
of the family Cichlidae
more commonly referred cichlids.
Oscars are endemic to South America. They can be
found in the Peru, Venezuela, Columbia, French Guiana, and the Amazon
River basin. They are a member of the Cichlidae family more commonly
refered to as cichlids. This family includes, angelfish, discus and
African cichlids. Numerous numbers of new cichlids are discovered every
year. So the actual number of species belonging to the cichlid family
is unclear. Estimates vary from 1,300 to 3,000 different species world
largest species of the cichlid family. They
will grow to an adult length of 12-16 inches
and can weigh in excess of
3.5 lbs. Don’t consider buying one for your kid’s
10 gallon aquarium.
produced a number of ornamental oscars bred
specially for aquarists. Albino, leucistic, xanthistic and red marbled
oscars are all a result of selective breeding. The variety with mainly
red coloration is typically sold under the trade name, red oscar. The
patterning of the red pigment differs from one individual to another.
This is a highly marketable trait.
fish. They are aware that another world
exists outside of their aquatic environment. They come to realize who
it is that keeps them fed. Oscars will often rise to the surface when
their owners are in the room. If you put your hand in the tank they
will most likely not shy away. They have even been known to enjoy being
carnivorous. You can fed them tropical fish
flakes when they are small. There are commercially available fish foods
developed specifically for cichlids. As they grow, their dietary needs
become more substantial. Do not keep them with smaller fish. They
be there in the morning. Oscars use a suction mechanism to capture
their prey. They have been reported to lie on their sides mimicking
death in order to induce their prey to draw closer. Mature oscars can
be fed tubifex and bloodworms, insects, crustaceans, chopped meat and
are commonly kept in mono-species tanks. They require a
water temperature around 79°F and a pH level around 7.2. Ocsars
vitamin C deficiency and need to be supplemented. They will develop
health problems if the are not. If you like plant life in your aquarium
you will want to have floating plants if you intend to raise oscars.
They will uproot plants from the aquarium substrate. If they are
provided with proper living conditions they can live up to 10 years of
monogamous. They will mate with a
for life. Spawning will cease if one of the pair
perishes. Another spawning partner will not be chosen.
Oscars, like most cichlids, will clean flat surface to deposit
their eggs on wgen spawning. They are biparental substrate spawners. In
terms this means; Once the eggs are hatched they will burrow a shallow
pit to keep the eggs in. Both parents will then stand guard over the
eggs and the fry once they are hatched.
will hatch about 36 hours after fertilization. Once the fry
are swimming freely they will need to be fed. Oscar fry can be fed
rotifers, newly hatched brine shrimp, powdered eggs, or finely crushed
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