07-11-2011, 12:29 PM
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I've no direct experience with oscars, but I'd like to make a more general comment on this issue of tank size and growing fish, since it is relevant to any and all fish.
Fish grow continuously, and they need adequate space to do so. It is perfectly possible to keep moving fish from tank to larger tank to larger tank as they grow. But, the critical issue is doing it soon enough. Without sufficient space the fish will not develop properly, and once this problem sets in, the fish is doomed. I'm not a biologist or ichthyologist so I can't say at what point this or that fish needs this or that much more space. The safest approach is putting it in more space initially, and keeping it in more space than what it might "appear" physically to require.
With the space (volume) comes the more important issue of water quality. This is where the small tank falls down. Not only does a fish, any fish, need sufficient physical space to "be itself," it needs that space for stable water parameters and conditions. Stuff like pheromones released by fish that you can't even see are in the water. In nature, all fish are able to be in different "fresh" water every second of their lives. We cannot hope to duplicate this in the largest aquarium. But we approach it with large tanks for the species and regular water changes. The smaller the space for the fish, the more often water changes are required.
So the point here is, make sure there will be suitable tank space for the fish when it becomes necessary, and this means a tank larger than what you think is needed at every step along the way.
My own personal practice is to never buy a fish that at maturity will not be well provided for in a tank that I now have set up.
Last edited by Byron; 07-11-2011 at 12:36 PM..