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Oscar Fish


Aquarium Decorations and Ornaments. Click on this image for more information.
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Pet Fish Talk is an Internet-Radio Talk Show about Keeping Pet Fish in Aquariums, Fish Bowls and Ponds, that is hosted by the Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, PT, each Wednesday. Click on this image for more information about Pet Fish Talk.
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Click on this image to see a list of over 100 short videos of Tropical Fish.
Champion Koi Show. Expert information about Koi Fish and Ponds.


Click here to buy Oscars like the ones shown on this page.
This page provides lots of useful comments and advice about how to keep Oscar Fish in aquariums.
  This video shows an aquarium in our facility that is full of energetic Red Oscar Fish about 3" long. Click here for more about buying Oscars from us. 

Scientific name
Astronotus ocellatus

Like many aggressive fish, Oscars do well in large groups in large aquariums, but they'll quarrel if there are just a few of them.

So it's best to keep one Oscar or many Oscars, but not just a few. In other words do not keep 2, 3, 4, or 5 Oscars in the same aquarium. Keep 1 or keep 6 or more.
We get comments from time to time that say something like, "I've got 3 Oscars living together, and they seem to be getting along well."

But we also get comments like, "I had 3 Oscars that got along well, but then one of them attacked the other two for no apparent reason."

Pink Oscar Fish, Astronotus ocellatus, at, a cichlid dealer, where you can buy Oscar and other cichlids.  

Here are some Oscar Fish for sale in our online retail Tropical Fish store. These Pink Oscars are about 2.5" to 3" inches long. With proper care they'll grow much larger. Click here to buy an Oscar from us.


Oscars grow very fast to large sizes. Pink Tiger Oscars are not as aggressive as Red Oscars and Tiger Red Oscars.

Make sure the Pink Tiger Oscars are getting their share of the food and not being made miserable by the other Oscars.


Appropriate Home
A small Oscar can live for a few weeks in 10 or 15-gallon aquarium, but very soon they will need a large aquarium with at least 50-gallons of water, an exterior power filter with a BIO-Wheel, a maximum of 1/4-inch of gravel, and an aquarium heater adjusted so the temperature of the water is between 78 and 82 degrees F.
Click here for more information about warm water aquariums. Eventually one Oscar will need an even larger aquarium with at least 80-gallons of water.

Oscars grow up best in a group with at least six Oscars. Sometime after they have grown to be 6" long, a male and a female may pair off and defend a territory from the other fish in the aquarium.
At that time it is usually best to remove most of the other fish from the aquarium. Eventually the pair of Oscars will grow much bigger and require a much bigger aquarium.


If two Oscars are kept in the same aquarium, the stronger one will make life miserable for the weaker one.

If three Oscars live together, the two weaker ones will divide the abuse of the strongest Oscar.
The more Oscars that live together, the less aggressive they all become, and the less miserable the weaker Oscars are.

It seems that six Oscars is about the smallest number of Oscars that can live together without the weakest Oscar being miserable, and twelve Oscars of about the same size will usually live together without the weakest being miserable.
We summarize these facts by saying, "Keep one Oscar or several Oscars but not a few Oscars."

Eventually each Oscar will need about 80-gallons of water. So a group of six Oscars will eventually need about 500, and twelve Oscars will need an aquarium with about 1000 gallons of water.
So if you won't be getting an aquarium with at least 500 gallons of water, you should plan to keep one Oscar. Think about this before you get an Oscar.
Click here to read more about several other groups of compatible fish.

Pet Fish Talk a Podcast about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.  
Click here to listen to a Special Pet Fish Talk Show titled "Breeding Oscars". During this show DrTom and Nevin, The Bailey Brothers, talk with Dave from Kansas about breeding his Oscars.

Good Tank Mates
Here is a list of fish that usually make good tank mates for Oscars.

Large Plecostomus and other large Neotropical Cichlids such as Texas Cichlids, Jack Dempseys, and Salvini. Click here for more about these fish.
Oscars are also often seen in aquariums with White Tip Sharks, Tinfoil Barbs, Clown Knifefish, Black Barred Tiger Fish, a group of Large Clown Loaches, and some large Eels such as a Snow Flake Eel.
Click here to read more about several other groups of compatible fish.

Red Oscar Fish, Astronotus ocellatus, at, where you can shop online for Oscars is fun.   This Red Oscar was about 5" long, when this picture was taken. At this size Oscars have outgrown eating floating flake food and need to eat floating pellet food at least twice a day.

Recommended Diet
When they are small, say less than 4 inches, Oscars should eat floating flake food for Tropical Fish.

When Oscars grow bigger than 3 inches, they should be fed pellet food.

Hikari makes a Cichlid pellet food, which is available in most stores that sell pet fish, and these pellets have special additives to enhance the coloration of Oscars.

Click here for more about feeding fish.
Oscars are often fed feeder gold fish, but it's better to feed big Oscars pellet food.

You could feed Black Worms to your Oscars, but it seems like a waste of money, and I don't think Black Worms help Oscars.

Click here for more about Black Worms.

Picture Gallery
Oscar Cichlids at, where you can shop online for an Oscar Fish.
Shown above, a 5" long Veiltail Oscar swimming in an aquarium at and hoping to come and live in your big aquarium. Notice this fish's extra long fins and many red dots.
Shown above, a 3" long Pink Oscar swimming in an aquarium at This variety is not truly an albino, because it has black eyes and red/orange markings.
Shown above, a 3" long Tiger Red Oscar swimming in an aquarium at

Size and Lifespan
Oscars rarely grow much bigger than 12" in aquariums, but I have seen Oscars that were 18" long.

When I was very young I used to visit with a very skillful fish breeder who had a gigantic pair of Oscars that lived in an aquarium that contained more than 200-gallons of water.
I remember one day I asked him about his Oscars. He told me they were more than 20-years old, and for most of that time they had spawned every few weeks.

They had, of course, lived much longer and grown much bigger than most Oscars.

Click here to go to a page in another website with lots of interesting pictures of Oscars.
Oscars are very susceptible to a disease called Hole in the Head.

Click here for information about this disease.

Click here to continue on to another page in this website with Customer Comments and our Replies about Oscars.
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