What is an Oscar Fish?
Astronotus ocellatus is a species of fish from the cichlid family known under a variety of common names including oscar fish, tiger oscar, velvet cichlid, or marble cichlid. In South America, where the species naturally resides, A. ocellatus are often found for sale as a food fish in the local markets.The oscar fish can also be found in other areas including China, Australia, and the United States. Although its slow growth limits its potential for aquaculture, oscar fish is considered a popular aquarium fish. This blog provides articles on free tips and guides to help you understand more about oscar fish care and breeding.

How to Feed Live Food to Oscars

By Kimberly Sharpe

The Oscar fish (Astronotus ocellatus) grows up to 16 inches in length when kept in captivity in a large aquarium. A member of the Cichlid family, the Oscar fish lives in the waters of the Amazon where it thrives as a carnivore. In a tank setting, the fish requires a balanced diet to thrive.

It will easily consume flakes, freeze dried and frozen fish foods, but it also enjoys a weekly live food snack. The Oscar will eat anything that it can fit into its mouth with ease. Avoid feeding small feeder fish to your Oscar because feeder fish can often carry diseases from over breeding, poor pet shop handling or stress the fish endure from transport.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You'll Need ;- Meal worms, crickets or meal beetles & a Fish net

1. Feed a live food snack of meal worms, crickets or meal worm beetles. The insects are easily purchased at most pet supply stores.

2. Drop one or two of the insects into the tank for the Oscar to consume. The fish will quickly swim over and gulp up the live food.

3. Feed only a few insects at a time, depending on the Oscar fish's size. As the Oscar eats, its abdomen becomes gently rounded. Once it has a small round stomach appearance, cease feeding the fish. The Oscar might also eat the food then spit it back out into the water, which is an indication the Oscar is full. Oscars are notorious for overeating and will often become obese if they overfeed frequently.

4. Remove any live food that remains in the tank if the Oscar fish has not eaten it within 15 minutes. Scoop it out using a basic fish net and dispose of the food. If the cricket, meal worm or meal beetle is not already dead from drowning, it will usually soon die from shock. Avoid feeding dead insects to the Oscar fish because they can quickly spoil and make the fish sick.

Tips & Warnings
Never feed reptiles, such as lizards, turtles or small snakes, to an Oscar. They can carry diseases which will make the Oscar sick.

How to make Oscar Fish eat Pellets

By Jennifer L. Potts

The Oscar fish is one of the most popular tropical fish. While they usually are eager to eat, Oscar fish sometimes will get into a mood where they are not willing to eat the pellets you are feeding them.

This usually does not mean that there is something wrong with your fish. It just means that you need to figure out why they are acting the way they are in order to get them to continue eating the pellets.

Instructions ;

1. Make sure you are buying fish pellets for fish of the Chichlid variety. Remember that all fish don't eat the same type of food.

2. Match the size of the pellets to the size of your Oscar fish by referring to the label on the food container. Your fish might be not eating because the size of the food is not right for them.

3. Keep food away from your fish for a couple of days. Sometimes all it takes is enough time for them to feel hungry again.

4. Change the type of food you are feeding your Oscar fish for a few days. Oscar fish eat fruit, so rip of pieces of fruit about the same size as the pellets you are feeding, and see if the change in routine gets them back to eating pellets again in a few days.

5. Switch the brand of pellets you are feeding your fish. If your local pet store only carries one brand, consider buying a new brand online.

How to Start an Aquarium With Oscars

By Rena Sherwood

Looking for trouble? It's a big decision to take on oscars (also called velvet cichlids), because they grow into such big fish, averaging a foot in length. When they become adults, they also become very cranky. No two oscars act alike, so you may be able to have two oscars in the same tank or you may have one kill the other. Expect the unexpected with oscars.

Difficulty: Challenging
Things You'll Need:
Aquarium (at least 50 gallons large), Aquarium stand Lid with light, Brick or stone for lid, Gravel (optional but recommended for starting out), Large rocks for decoration (optional), Filter, Heater, Thermometer, Air pump, Air stone and hose attachments, Any water conditioner required

Step 1
Choose a place for the tank that can withstand several hundred pounds. Choose a basement or ground level floor when possible to avoid the tank damaging your structure. Place the stand there.

Step 2
Rinse the tank out with warm water. Place on stand. Fill with water about 1 inch deep. Check to see if the water is level. Adjust the stand if it's not. According to "The Everything Aquarium Book," uneven water pressure can cause the tank to crack (see Resources).

Step 3
Rinse gravel in a bucket or colander until the water runs clear. Place gently in tank. Repeat with large rocks. Young oscars will allow decorations, but adults tend to rip them apart.

Step 4
Place in thermometer, heater, filter and air stone. Readjust until you like where they are. Then, add the lid and light.

Step 5
Add the water gently so as not to really disturb the gravel and rocks.

Step 6
Only after the water is in should you turn on all of the equipment to see if it is working. Test the water to see if you need to add any dechlorinator or other conditioners.

Step 7
Keep everything on and treat as you would with fish in it. In this way, you can check to see that all of the equipment is working and help the tank build up good bacteria.

Step 8
Find a small stone or brick to place on the lid. Oscars like to jump and are strong enough to push open the lid unless it's weighed down.

Tips & Warnings
It's good to get a separate electrical outlet strip to plug all of the aquarium equipment in. This saves on some confusion about what wire goes with what appliance. Do not get the fish until a month after the tank is up and running. There will not be enough good bacteria in the tank to keep your oscar fish alive. Never use soap on an aquarium or anything that goes inside it. The residue can linger and poison the fish.

Recommended read
To learn more on oscar fish care and breeding, download the complete ebook guide on oscar fish care at www.oscarfishsecrets.com

How to Feed an Oscar Fish

By Summer Banks

Oscars are most closely related to Piranhas. Creating a living fish environment is a soothing and relaxing way to add the element of water to your home. Oscars are a relative of the Piranha and eat just as aggressively. Oscars tend to be a dirty fish by nature. These large fish are quite easy to feed and keep the tank clean at the same time.

Difficulty: Easy
Things You'll Need: Oscar fish & Oscar Food

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Recommended read
To learn more on oscar fish care and breeding, download the complete ebook guide on oscar fish care at www.oscarfishsecrets.com

About the Signs of Breeding in Oscar Fish

By Kevin Freeman

When Oscar fish are ready to breed, common signs and behaviors for the mating process can often confuse fish owners into thinking that a fight to the death is taking place. The Oscar fish is a sometimes aggressive breed; it is not uncommon to see quarrelsome behavior. However, there are certain behaviors to watch for that are sure signs of breeding rather than fighting. If you are raising or breeding Oscars, this knowledge is essential to avoid any misunderstandings.

The Facts
The Astronotus Oscellatus, also known as the Oscar, is an aggressive species of fish, even the nicest of which will be inclined to get into an occasional scuffle with his or her neighbors. Because the signs of breeding in Oscars are so similar to those of territorial fighting, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if your Oscars are ready to breed.

Risk Factors
Common breeding signs to look for in Oscars include lip locking between mates, frequent chasing of each other through the aquatic environment, shivering or shaking that is usually accompanied by tail lashing, and even nipping and biting that can result in the violent removal of strips of flesh. Mating Oscars have even been known to kill their partner on occasion during the violent mating ritual.

Expert Insight
When breeding Oscar fish, the recommended course of action is to allow six young Oscars to grow together in a shared environment. As they reach sexual maturity, the Oscars will select their mates from among the companions. Oscars can be picky when choosing their mates, so this process will often result in only one pair being formed. Because mating pairs can be overly territorial and aggressive, it is also advisable to remove any companions once a pair has formed.

Oscar fish tend to prefer large, flat pieces of stone to lay their eggs upon. Granite slabs are a popular choice for egg-laying stones among aquarists because they can provide a smooth, flat surface on which the female can lay her eggs. When such a stone has been chosen, the fish will often clean the stone's surface with his or her mouth in preparation for the laying of the eggs. This behavior is a good indication that the mating ritual is taking place.

Time Frame
The typical gestation period for Oscar fish eggs is typically three to 10 days, depending on water temperature. As a rule of thumb, the warmer an environment's water is, the faster the eggs will hatch. After the eggs have been laid, it is important to remove any other predators from the environment as they will consume the 1,000 to 3,000 eggs, as well as the resulting fry. The parents, however, are protective toward their young and will aggressively defend the tiny offspring.

Expert Insight
If you are considering breeding Oscar fish, be prepared for aggressive behavior or the death of your fish, a picky mating selection, the need for an isolated environment and a great deal of offspring when the young are hatched. Keep in mind through the process that the water temperature and pH level must be very carefully monitored both to ensure that the fish are healthy and happy and to promote the healing of any wounds that are caused by the process.

Recommended read
To learn more on oscar fish care and breeding, download and read the complete ebook guide on oscar fish care at www.oscarfishsecrets.com