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Discussion Starter #1
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.

THE TANK:
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.

THE FISH:
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.

THE DIET:
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.

SUBSTRATE:
There will be gravel substrate in the tank. Sand is not an option.

FILTRATION:
For this tank, an undergravel filter will be used.

QUESTIONS:

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?

OTHER:
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.

Sincerely,
British
 

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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 .
 

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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......
 

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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??
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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.
 

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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. :)
 

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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.

I might look at Eheim canister filters.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

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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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It occured to me that I did not respond to question regarding sand for the Oscar tank. Personally I love sand substrtate for most fishes. But some of the larger cichlids enjoy rooting around in substrtate and for this reason, I wouldn't use sand for Cichlids such as Oscar.
I not to long ago rinsed ,and rinsed, and rinsed, approx, 90 lbs of sand for eighty gal tank housing one electric blue jack dempsey,one synodontis multipunctatus,and one white spot pleco. It was a mistake. The jack dempsey and synodontis were quite proficent at stirring up the sand to the point that I feared it would ultimately wind up in the impeller assembly of the filter. Sand is also favored by many because the waste remains on the surface of the sand and does not become lodged in the substrate like it can do with gravel thus making vaccuming the bottom during water changes easier. Problem was,, my fish were digging around or rootiing around to the point that the waste was being buried in the sand rather than lying on top as it normally would with smaller fish or non diggers.
Long story short,, I would opt for natural colored river gravel or pea gravel which can be found at many garden or landscaping stores for much cheaper than the bagged stuff sold at fish stores or online. I paid 12 dollars for 75 lbs of this gravel to replace the sand removed from the eighty gal I spoke of. It will require rinsing to remove all dirt and dust but it looks nice and as mentioned,,tons cheaper. I would recommend not making substrate more than two inches deep maximum. I have an inch and maybe one half in the eighty gal and it makes gravel vaccuming much more efficent than it would be with deeper bed. Hope some of this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The tank is 29-35 gallons long. Not sure completely. I've measured and the fish will have three times its estimated body length in length of the tank. Would it help if I posted a photoraph?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm considering not getting the oscar.... I am concerned I will not be able to care for this fish properly. I may use this aquarium as a tropical aquarium. I need to really think about this as to not harm my fish. I do still need information on canister filters, though, because if I decide on tropical, I will be using sand. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause anyone due to my decision. I need to keep the fishes well-being in mind.

Sincerely,
British
 

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Oscars are easy to care for. I have had Oscars for 11 years now. They are messy eaters so I do 25% water changes 1-2 times a week. My personal opinion is you cant go wrong with these fish, they are very hardy fish and will adapt to almost all water conditions unless you are trying to breed them (trying to breed them was a 3 year project for me). As they reach the adult age they seem to have their own personality that is very rewarding for me to witness. As for sand Id recomend against it, Oscars love to dig and will throw that sand all over making your tank cloudy, same goes for plants, they will uproot them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I just feel I do not have the time nessicary to care for this fish.
 
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