Oscar fish not as described? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 7 Old 05-26-2013, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Question Oscar fish not as described?

I am fairly confused, after many years of fish keeping I decided to buy and raise an Oscar. I got him at 2 inches, he is now 2 years old and is 9-10 inches, very healthy, very interactive and a joy to watch and play around with. My issue is that I thought Oscar fish were aggressive? My Oscar is nothing but aggressive, it is 100% friendly, it is housed with 2 Pictus catfish, and some other American Cichlids, my Convicts bred and had several babies in the same tank with the Oscar! He did not eat them, the babies are all now 1/2-1 inch long, I removed the parents so they could breed in a seperate tank, but my Oscar lives right along with offspring, they eat together and share the tank like best buddies. Is it normal for an Oscar not to be aggressive? He never displays any, he's like a big friendly teddy bear. Any one else have friendly non aggressive Oscars?!
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-26-2013, 03:29 PM
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The Oscars that I have had over the years weren't aggressive, so to speak. They would eat anything that they could swallow, but they pretty much tended to their own business insofar as other fish that were too big to eat is concerned. It is amazing that he isn't gobbling up those fry, but I'll bet there are other members who have had Oscars that behaved similarly. Actually, I think it's neat that he's so gentle.

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post #3 of 7 Old 05-26-2013, 04:29 PM
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Actually there may be a reason why your oscar isn't as aggressive. I was reading a few months ago that fishkeepers are essentially breeding out the aggressiveness inherent in many types of cichlids because less aggressive fish are easier to keep. Just like Betta splendens are more aggressive than their wild counterparts; the opposite is true with many cichlids now.

This is the article from PFK: Why aren't cichlids hard any more? | Blog | Practical Fishkeeping
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-29-2013, 02:19 PM
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I dont know if I would consider an oscar an aggressive fish really. They can be rough with conspecifics, but generally the oscars are pretty lazy when well fed. If you have never fed live food it does not surprise me that they left the fry alone.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-30-2013, 12:06 AM
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Hi again...so glad ur oscar is feeling better....!!!

That was a truly interesting post thekoimadien...kinda have mix feelings... Not that I dig aggression, but I truly love the varying personalities of oscars...

I think a great deal of past aggression with cichlids (as opposed to today) has to do with increased understanding and better practices... Here's a longwinded example: when I started raising oscars, there was no Internet - you relied mostly on ur local pet shop employee or a book (if u were lucky) at a public library... Feeders were largely a staple then and encouraged by those selling them (surprise surprise) ... You learned largely by trial and error about water conditions, compatable fishes, lighting, plants, temp, feeding, breeding, heck just about everything! There was also a completely different ideal pertain to appropriate tank size for large fish... Fish unfortunately suffered, unless u went the extra mile, and a lot of times u had no idea what that extra mile was...
Today, we know that fish keep poorly largely are either listless or aggressive (take tiger barbs for example - housed alone they are prone to fin nip - in a group, almost acrobatic in their swim behavior and little to no aggression. Just the wealth of knowledge here would have been mind boggling to the average tank owner in the early 1980s. Poorer conditions back then = meaner fish. Today, look how far we've come... Poor conditions is completely shunned by us a community and we get angered by less then ideal conditions for the fish we raise. We collectively share information and denounce a LFS that would jam 3 pacu 3 oscars and a large Pleco in a 50g tank (not an uncommon sight back then). I think the fish community is thus largely responsible for the lessening aggression in our tanks, not primarily due to breeding - but the bettering of this art. An art that also recognizes and accepts the natural behavior of a fish species (aggressive or passive) to be an ideal rather than mere entertainment.... Ok, I'll shut up now... Good night all...

Last edited by Bongox3; 05-30-2013 at 12:08 AM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-31-2013, 12:07 AM
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Because oscars are not very aggressive. They are territorial. They are nothing compared to a red devil, dovii, jaguar, even salvini are more aggressive than oscars.


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post #7 of 7 Old 05-31-2013, 02:01 AM
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Ok, very true...but the listed article attached talked not merely about oscars, but numerous other cichlids which seem less aggressive than years before...
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