Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Oscar Cichlid Most favorite species of cichlids

 Oscar Cichlid

The Oscar Cichlid, or otherwise known as "Oscar fish", have been one of the most favorite species of cichlids considered for petting because they are fun to keep and are friendly to their owners. They could easily recognize their owners and be aware of what is happening around them.
They are natives to the different rivers of South America, specifically from the waterways of Peru, Brazil and French Guiana. But before going out to purchase one for a pet, there are important things to know about Oscar Cichlids that you need to consider.

Oscar Cichlid

Enthusiasts planning to raise Oscar Cichlids should prepare a large tank, spacious enough to accommodate the immediate growth of this kind of fish. Oscars grow an inch after its eight to the tenth month. Expect them to reach about 10-12 inches in their first year. Gravel is the most recommended substrate for the tanks since they are abundant in Oscar's natural environment.
However, be sure to make use of the rounded kind since these types of fish are inclined to dig, and sharp gravel might harm them. Furthermore, there are observations that these fish do not prefer bright lights. Thus, this should also be considered in preparing their tanks.

Hobbyists who are obsessed with decorated tanks should think twice to raise Oscars since they tend to be disastrous pets, often rearranging their aquarium, moving rocks and decors around. These are normal Oscar behaviors. Let them do this, for it increases their comfort zone on their surroundings.
Feeding can be an exciting experience since Oscars interact whenever they are fed. They show excitement, swimming eagerly around the tank when they know they will be fed. They eat insects and small crustaceans such as crickets, earthworms, mealworms, and shrimps.

Owners should also understand that Oscars are temperamental. This is the reason why they are considered to have personalities. They show what they are feeling. At one point they can be happy and cheerful, like during feeding, but then they will be moody, retire in one corner or stop eating for a while. Don't be bothered if this happens. This is only a phase and the Oscars will eventually get back to its original jolly selves in time.

Enthusiasts need to be aware that in most cases, Oscars are the non-aggressive types of fish, as compared to other types of cichlids. They show uncommon behavior while inside the tanks, but these are oftentimes ritualistic. They can be seen spreading their gills and opening their mouth wide while facing another fish, performing a tug of war. This is actually testing each other's strength or part of a mating ritual. Oscars may also be observed to charge the wall of their aquarium.

They might just think that their reflections are another fish trying to get in their territories. Oscars, like most cichlids, are territorial. They need to be accustomed to their tank mates for a while before they have given in. That is the reason why in some cases, it is suggested that Oscars should be bred early with another type of fish for the former to be accustomed to it while growing.

Breeders should also take note that in most cases, it is hard to distinguish a male from a female Oscars. The only indication of a female Oscar is when it becomes pregnant and begins to be bulkier. They lay their eggs on a surface of a rock and will rearrange their space to provide a suitable spawning area in their tanks. The eggs hatch after three days.
Other fish in the tank should be taken out once spawning of the female is observed since they are considered threats by the Oscar mothers. It is advised that owners let their Oscars discover their roles as parents by not removing the eggs and allowing them to figure out what to do. They are generally nourishing and protective parents to their fry, eventually providing good nourishment for the infants.

Since Oscar Cichlids, or Oscar Fish, are expected to live up until 15 years, taking care of them is a commitment to an owner should accept. These Oscars would require nourishment, attention, and care. Nevertheless, the Oscars are oftentimes referred to as "river or water dogs" because they somehow behave like dogs, shaking their heads or tails whenever they see their owners.
Oscar Cichlid, also known for their scientific name Astronomus Ocellatus is found in South America and native to Peru, Brazil, French Guiana and Columbia

Other names include Velvet Cichlid, Marbled Cichlid, and Tiger Oscar. These fish are rapid growers. Reaching an average of 12 inches in length, some have been known to reach a total of 18 inches and weigh 3.5 lbs. Typically dark, orange-ringed spots also known as ocelli are found around the gill area, dorsal fin, and on the sides towards the back end of the fish. Found in a variety of colors, Oscars can range from being mottled, all black or red, marbled, or albino. When becoming combative or territorial, they are known to change color rapidly. Juvenile Oscars have spotted heads and are striped with wavy, orange, and white bands.

Oscar Cichlids are known to be aggressive compared to other members of the cichlid family. Jack Dempsey's, Pacus and Silver Dollar will work well as tank mates as well as other moderately aggressive cichlids. Noted as being intelligent creatures from aquarists alike, they are able to distinguish their owners apart from strangers. Oscars are curious, playful, and popular among hobbyists.

Oscars are carnivores, their diet should consist of fish and insects. Feeder fish, brine shrimp, krill, and crickets are all acceptable food types. High quality prepared foods such as pellets and flakes can also be supplemented with the food types previously mentioned.

A 75-gallon tank per Oscar is the ideal size with a water temperature range of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. PH should be maintained between 6.5 and 7.0. Although Oscars are relatively hardy fish, water conditions must be kept clean and maintained. Improper water and tank maintenance can lead to certain diseases that Oscars are susceptible to, such as HITH, (hole in the head) a disease that affects the sensory organs in the lateral lines and face of the fish, thus causing pitting in both areas.

Oscar cichlid breeding

If keeping Oscars, it is necessary to have a large tank as they grow to a considerable size when mature. They are often known as the aggressive fish, but many owners would not agree. If kept with other similar sized fish, they are not usually overly forceful. They learn to recognize their owners and are happy to bound out from the water to feed on the hand and will always come to the front of the tank when the owner is present.

Oscar cichlid breeding

They are rather a messy fish and like to dig up plants and stir up the tank decorations, so heavier items that are more difficult to move are the best if you don't what the tank continually rearranged. While this behavior can be quite entertaining, it can be annoying if the tank is constantly in a mess!
Oscars do not show any discernible differences between the sexes, so getting a breeding pair may be quite difficult. 

The best method is to raise a group of individuals together, and if you have six, there is a fair likelihood of getting at least one pair. They will bond for life with their chosen mate.
Breeding Oscars is considered easier than with many other types of fish. Just keep the water very clean and raise the temperature to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Condition the pair with live foods such as worms, crickets and other insects, smaller fish if possible, and supplement with a flake or pellet food.

When ready, the process of spawning will take place. You notice that they change colors when beginning to court. They will chase each other around the tank, build piles of gravel around the aquarium and finally the female will lay her eggs on a flat rock or piece of slate, which the male then fertilizes. A point to be aware of is that unfortunately a male sometimes may kill a female during the courtship.

The batch of eggs can number up to a thousand. A number of the eggs may be infertile and cotton wool looking fungus will grow on them. The fertilized eggs will be a light orange color. The eggs usually hatch in about three days. The Oscars know which are the bad eggs and will eat them to remove them. They will hatch in about 3 days but are totally helpless at this stage and will live off the egg sac they are attached to. After a few more days, they become free-swimming and will then need to be fed baby brine shrimp.

Oscar fish care 

Oscar cichlid of all species has become more and more popular over recent years. The reason for this is that they are really suited to aquarium life. Generally, they feed without any problems, and it is not too difficult to get them to breed. So it is easy to see why they are the aquarium fish of choice for many people. However, this does not mean that you can completely ignore them and they will be ok. That sort of approach will lead to a tank full of dead fish.

Oscar fish care

An important aspect of Oscar cichlid care is the correct diet for your fish. There needs to be sufficient variety on their diet to ensure that they remain healthy. This variety comes from live food, frozen food, flakes, and pellets. Food should be given in moderation. Oscar cichlid are like other aquarium fish, they will continue to eat when full, so it is important not to overfeed them.

There are many species of Oscar cichlid. Some species are carnivorous and feed on live food almost exclusively. There are herbivores that feed on plants and weeds, and there are omnivores that feed on both. It is important to know what species you have in your tank. You will not have a happy, or indeed healthy, carnivorous fish if you only feed them plant-based flakes.

Water temperature is another key factor in ensuring a healthy aquarium. The correct temperature should be between 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to keep the water temperature constant. Oscar cichlid dislikes fluctuations in water temperature. Fortunately, this should not be a problem, as most tank heaters can be set to specific temperatures. It is also important to think about where you position your tank. Do not place it where there could be big changes to the surrounding temperature, such as next to a radiator or window. Sun shining brightly through a window and into the tank can raise the water temperature significantly.

Oscar cichlid prefer alkaline water. This is in the region of 7.5 to 8.5 on the pH level. Alkaline testing kits are freely available at pet suppliers, as are water treatment chemicals. Treat tank water at least two days before introducing your fish to make sure that pH levels have settled down. You should also recheck pH levels after every partial water change.

Your tank should have a filter that is of the correct size and power for the size of your tank. A filter that is not powerful enough will not be able to keep water in your aquarium clean. Apart from affecting the visual appearance of your tank, it will lead to problems with the health of your oscar cichlid and make them more susceptible to disease. An appropriate filter and regular water changes will help to maintain the health of your fish.

You need to try to replicate some Oscar cichlid natural conditions in the wild. These means, for example, putting plants and rocks in your tank. You also need to have a reasonable thickness of gravel at the bottom of the tank. The gravel helps to regulate the water alkaline levels.

 Oscar fish buying

There are diversities of Oscar cichlid that are readily found in local pet stores, online, and from a known aquarist or hobbyist. Before buying it is best to do some research to learn more about the Oscar cichlid and then select which ones are great for keeping. It is also reasonable to learn about its diet, characteristics, traits, and breeding.

Oscar fish buying

Where to buy Oscar cichlid are a very important factor. Here are a few tips and guides if buying Oscar cichlid online is a good idea. Or is it better to buy the fish in local stores?

Is it a good choice to buy Oscar cichlid online?

Buying online could be risky. There are various precautions that need to be considered.

• Make sure that the site chosen is a trusted source. There are reviews that may be pondered upon to help hobbyists decide which online site offers a healthy and beautiful colored Oscar cichlid.

• Be certain to emphasize the color and type of Oscar cichlid preferred. Be specific and make sure that they deliver the right one as per specification and preference.

• It may be hard to determine whether the fish ordered is disease free because of the lack of opportunity to see the fish physically and observed if the fishers are fed with the proper food.

• It is important to find out first if the site offers a good return policy before buying the Oscar cichlid online.

• The disadvantage of online purchasing is that there is no chance for the hobbyist to have a personal interaction with the employees who are to care to care for the needs of the fish and maintaining the aquarium tank.

Is buying Oscar cichlid in the local store better?

It may be beneficial and advantageous for the hobbyist to buy Oscar cichlid on local stores but not necessarily. There are also pet stores with employees who basically does not know anything, and I mean nothing at all whatsoever when it comes to the varieties, food, and maintenance of Oscar cichlid. It is as useless as buying one online without the opportunity of physically seeing the fishes. Nonetheless, there are also advantages to buy Oscar cichlid in local pet stores.

• The first advantage is that aquarists have the opportunity to see the fish and observe how the pet store takes care of the fish. Just by looking at the fish, it is easy to determine whether the fish is healthy or not, if it eats vigorously or not and most of all gets to decide whether the fish is worth buying for. At least give some time of observing the fish, within five minutes one can already determine if it is an excellent choice.

• Buying in local stores gives collectors the chance to pick what they really want from the color to type or variety, to the number of Oscar cichlid opted in buying.

• And last, there is no shipping required, thus no chance of putting the fish into risk while in transport.

Making the choice may not be easy especially when one is left with no choice because there are no local stores in their area that carry the cichlid variety so the best choice is to get it online. But to those who have a chance to pick a choice, I suggest that a thorough research and know-how of the local store or online can be trusted. A local store can be as bad as the online store, but there may be much more advantage with local pet stores. Buy Oscar cichlid where the offer is best.

Oscar fish diet

The best cichlid food today has come a long way from the selections open to the public before. Well, I have always been a traditionalist. I believe that organic or natural food should be given to feed my Oscar cichlid. Nevertheless, there is an ongoing trend to develop and sell manufactured and processed feeds for this fish that is prevailing in the market today. There are claims that manufactured feeds are better than the organic food that has been usually the choice of enthusiasts.

Oscar fish diet

But before dwelling on that, let me discuss first the types of eater Oscar cichlid in general. They can be classified based on the selection of food they prefer to eat. Omnivorous Oscar cichlid is those that eat both plants and animals. In their normal environment, they will eat insects, crustaceans, worms, and plants. When placed inside an aquarium, their food should consist of the combination of fish flakes, live food, and vegetables. Some examples of this omnivorous Oscar cichlid are the Petrochromis, Angel Fish and Heros.

The second type is the carnivorous type. These types are those that eat mainly organisms such as insects, insect larvae, shrimp, crustaceans, worms, and fish eggs. But they also have the tendency to eat smaller fishes in the tank, making them perfect predators. Crenicichla, Pike oscar cichlid and Haplochromines are some types of carnivorous Oscar cichlid. Those that mainly rely on the plant for diet are the herbivorous Oscar cichlid. They thrive on algae and other vegetation found in their surroundings. Those living in an aquarium are more inclined to eat flake or pellet plant-based food. Sometimes, these herbivores can accept live food, often are invertebrates, while some feed on algae that rest on rocks and various structures in the water.

During spawning, it is best to provide protein-rich food for your breeding Oscar cichlid. Their fry can be fed with brine shrimp before they mature and dwell on eating bigger foods. You need to make sure that the food your feeding your pets are clean and do not have diseases. That is the reason there is a growing clamor to feed Oscar cichlid with manufactured foods such as pellets and flakes. They can be sure that these are from healthy origins as compared to live food bought in fish stores. There are times that these live foods (such as small fish) are sickly and have diseases, the reason behind why they are being sold as feeds.

The debate on which food is better is something that most breeders consider. The ease in purchasing manufactured and processed feeds is the primary reason for their abundance in the market. One good thing about these types of foods is that they are processed in a way where all the basic needs of the Oscar cichlid are identified and are encapsulated in the flakes, pellets or balls. They readily provide nutrients like Vitamin C, amino acid, spirulina, carotene and other food supplements needed by the fish. However, organic foods are better because they possess the natural nutrients that provide healthier benefits to your pets. Though finding live foods can be harder as compared to the processed types, you are assured that you provide your fish with the same quality and health content as those that are growing in their natural environment.

The best cichlid food is not determined by the availability in the market or its nutritional content. Whatever works for your pet is the most important choice to make. As long as your Oscar cichlid heartily eats whatever is served to them, you may continue to do so.

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