Oscar (Astronotus Ocellatus) Information
Hello all. I am new to this forum. This is my first post.
I am looking to purchase an Oscar fish and would like as much knowledge on these fish as possible. I am going to make this board as clear as possible.
I am aware Oscars require large tanks. I have a 35 gallon and will upgrade to a 75 gallon if need be. The fish will start off in the 35, though. It measures a width of 35 inches.
Although I have not yet decided on the color Oscar I would like, (Tiger, Albino Tiger or Red) I will be purchasing this fish at a size no larger than two inches.
Varied diets are very benificial to all fish and will provide quicker growth in Oscars if vitamin-rich. As far as diet goes, I was planning on this;
Two days of pellets
One day of live Mollies
Two days of pellets
One day of frozen foods
Two days of pellets
One day of live Worms/Insects
Two Days of pellets
One day of Greens
Two days of pellets
Crab as a novelty.
This juvenile will be fed twice a day and once he/she reaches nine inches in length, only once a day.
I refuse to feed beefheart as this is not nessicary and it goes against my ways. I am a vegan and the things I have listed below are as far as I am willing to go as far as feeding goes.
I will be breeding Mollies as feeders rather than buying Goldfish from the petshop. This way I can ensure health. I will also purchase vitamins if needed to give the Mollies before they are fed to my fish. I can also give the Oscar bigger fish as he gets older this way.
The pellets will be a mix of Sinking/Floating HBH Oscar Grow, Hikari Cichlid Gold and Shrimp Pellets.
The crab will have the claw removed before it is placed in the tank and purchased at the petshop.
Greens will be; Peas (frozen right out of the bag), Algae wafers, Zucchini and Grapes.
Frozen foods will include; Bloodworms, Krill and Shrimp.
Worms and Insects will be live Mealworms, Earthworms, and Crickets.
If you see an issue with this diet, please let me know. If I need to space out the 'specialty' food items more, I would also like you to let me know.
There will be gravel substrate in the tank. Sand is not an option.
For this tank, an undergravel filter will be used.
1.) Crab: What kind of crab should I give him/her and from where? Should I buy it frozen from the market, or should I use live fiddlers with the claw removed? If I buy the crab from the market, how long will it stay good for and what kind/cut of crab should I purchase?
2.) Vitamins: What name brands of vitamins should I purchase for my feeders?
3.) Goldfish Feeders: Is it true that goldfish have serrated spines that can potentially harm the fish they are fed to and can cause more problems due to bacteria that can cause immune sytem deficiency, malnutrition and other health issues as well as any diseases intoduced by the goldfish itself?
4.) Understanding: Do I have a pretty good basic understanding of the Astronotus Ocellatus?
If you have any input on something I may have missed or am misinformed about, please feel free to speak your mind. That is the sole reason I created this board. I would like to be as informed as possible before I even start cycling my tank. If you wish to contact me privately, you may PM me for my e-mail address or AIM. You may also just contact me through PM.
Am pleased that you have researched the fish you will be housing and were it me,(and it ain't) I would go with the largest tank I could afford from the outset. A 75 gal tank in my view,would house the Oscar longterm assuming that filtration was adequate and proper maint performed.
I belive you have a good grasp on what these fish require but ... I would opt for large canister filter or two depending on size of tank. Undergravel filters sometimes become problematic with waste collecting under the plates and this would or could result in NitrAtes that are hard to control which in turn would be detrimental to the Oscar. NitrAtes should be twenty or below for overall health of the Oscar as well as many other cichlids. If you are set on using undrgravel filter,, Then I would still opt for large canister filter with the return hose from canister attached to the lift tube of the undergravel filter. In this way debri and waste would be pushed up through and from under the plate and fitered through the canister before once more, being pushed under and up through the substrate.
As for live fish,, I would have reservations in utilizing this out of fear that fish might ultimately refuse other foods as it became larger. With the prepared foods on the market today,, Many more benefits in my view, can be realized by simply feeding the prepared foods. I would however feed the chopped earthworms and freezedried crickets, both are good source of vitamins for the fish.
I do hope some of this has helped .
Its nice to see that you have done your research and have learned as much as you can BEFORE you purchased your oscar..........Sounds like you will be successful right from the start..........I cant think of anything to add, except what 1077 stated about your filter setup.......I agree, go with a quality canister filter...........IMO, an undergravel filter is not gonna be able to handle the load from a mature oscar like a canister will........A canister filter allows you many more options in case you need a specialized filter media for whatever reason......
Don't crabs regenerate their claws, or does this only apply to certain species? Why does the thought of removing a live crab's claw on purpose bother me? Is this a procedure painless for the crab??
Any specific canister filters you all could recomend for a 35 gallon?
Also, Aunt Kymmie, as far as that goes, some species do regenerate their claws, yes. The claw will be removed only before feeding and it is not much different than feeding live fish, worms or crickets. Crabs lose their car all the time in the wild so it isn't anything they wouldn't undergo at some point in their life were they in their natural habitat.
Oops, it seems when I read your post I didn't understand. After re-reading I see that the crab is intended for food, not a tankmate. :-)
Yes, ma'am. It's fine.
I might look at Eheim canister filters.
Okay, 1077. Is there a certain variety/model I should look for? I've never shopped for filters before. Also, what costs am I looking at and if I buy this filter and end up not using the undergravel filter, do Oscars prefer sand? I think if I could accomplish it if I used a canister rather than an undergravel, especially if it will be more benificial to my fish.
The filter model or size will depend in large part on what size aquarium it will be used in. For my own tastes , I would want filter capable of moving four to six times the volume of water that the tank holds especially for a fish such as Oscar.So take the number of gal the tank holds and multiply by four or six to get the number of gal per hour that the filter should turnover. You may also wish to check out www.DrsFosterSmith.com to get an idea on prices. Remember, you get what you pay for and filtration isn't something to skimp on.;-)
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