Originally Posted by unlimitedx
does that mean I can't just feed pellets made for cichlids?
If you mean can you avoid feeding "feeders" - YES !
If you mean are pellets enough by themselves - not really.
I feed my oscar earthworms and crickets (both live), shrimp and scallops (both human grade seafood), krill and formula one cubes (both thawed from frozen), freeze dried krill (soaked in vitamins), plus pellets and food sticks.
Occasionally I'll toss in squid (calamari), small pieces of raw codfish, clam, etc.
As far as tankmates - I'd go with the silver dollars.
Personally - I've also had luck with giant danios and adult "aussie" rainbows, but my oscar is pretty mellow and lazy - he doesn't eat smaller tankmates, its too much work :) I've got SAE's, a flying fox, a red-tail shark, a gold gourami, and other fish in my tank that could easily fit in Blondie's mouth - and some of them have been in this tank with Blondie over 2 years.
I recently tossed some cichlid "culls" in this tank, thinking that the asian sun cats in the tank would eat them - the little 1" fish are still swimming around the tank 2 weeks later...
On the other hand - I've seen oscars that were raised on feeders, really loved chasing fish, and would eat tankmates so big that the tails of their prey would hang out of their mouth... so your milage may vary...