Want to Keep Oscars

Q&A about cichlids in community tanks

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Want to Keep Oscars

Post by huntersponyfarm » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:42 pm

Hi, I am setting up a 72 gallon bow front tank. It has a Fluval 204 canister filter, a 300W heater, black gravel, black background. I want to keep some Oscars, I have seen some color variations that I really like. My questions is: What type of water do they require? How to tell if male or female? How many can I keep in the tank? If they pair up, should I just have one pair in the tank? Will they eat the eggs, fry? I am just filling the tank and have to wait to cycle it. I have plenty of time for research.


Thank you for your help.
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Re: Want to Keep Oscars

Post by Pam Chin » Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:01 pm

Hi Pam!

I have never met a Pam I didn't like!! lol

You think you want to keep oscars?? If that is the case, then you will need to like triple your filtration. Your filter is only rated at 180 gph (gallons Per Hour). That is not going to be enough for a typical community tank, let alone a couple of oscars, which are one of the dirtiest cichlids going. For a 72 gallon tank you will need a minimum of 432 gph, and really for bigger fish and big polluters like Oscars you need more like 575 - 650 gph. With your tank size you are going to be pushing the envelope with two full grown oscars, so if you buy a couple of 2" Oscars you will have some time before you will need to get a larger tank.

Oscars are quite domesticated and will do well in just about any water conditions you provide as long as the water is clean. Ideally a neutral pH of 7.0 and a temperature of about 80 Degrees F. should be fine. It is really hard to sex oscars, especially if you are buy small ones, so it is going to be a roll of the dice on that one. If you do get a pair, it is possible that you can get a successful spawn. Please don't feed your oscar live foods/feeders, this is usually always a disaster as they can pick up diseases and/or parasites. Feeding live foods make them more aggressive, it is not uncommon for one oscar to take over a tank and kill everything else, including his best buddy who may be an oscar. There are so many good prepared foods; pellets are best, around these days, there is no reason to risk feeding live foods.

I always say that people should keep the cichlids that they want to, after all you are the person who is going to be seeing them on a daily basis. However I must say, that oscars are so "ho hum" , so common, so boring.... 99% of the oscars in the US are bred in Asia, you aren't even getting the real thing! lol Did you know that there are nearly 3000 cichlids to choose from?? So if you have plenty of time for research, check out the other 2,999!! And then if you still want oscars, I'll be okay with it!

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