Oscar is a fish species of the cichlid family. Its scientific name Astronotus ocellatus shows that it is from the genus Astronotus and specie ocellatus. Their common names include marble cichlid, tiger cichlid, and velvet cichlid.
The perfect water condition for Oscar fish must be at neutral pH, an average water temperature of 54°F, and an average of 70-120 gallons of water. You should also prevent ammonia and other toxins from accumulating in the tank.
Oscars are prevalent in the Amazon basin, but they are now common in other parts of the European and Asian countries. Therefore, it is essential to set up your tank in a way that will be identical to their natural habitat.
Places like Australia, China, and the United States of America have a high number of these fish. Oscars are being sold as food in some local markets. This fish has been economically and industrially useful.
Best Tank Conditions For Oscar Fish
Even as human beings have conditions that guide our good health. If these conditions go overboard, then living would be difficult. Oscars as well have similar demands to live well in their tanks. Certain conditions make the tank suitable for breeding, as well as overall growth.
If these conditions are not in place, then thriving will be otherwise for these fish, and they have to struggle with their health. The water conditions for these fish include:
The pH of the water must be neutral: extreme acidity and alkalinity aren’t suitable for these fish. The pH of the water must be neutral; if there would be an otherwise, it should then be slightly acidic or alkaline.
The temperature of the water should be of serious consideration: low temperatures won’t do for these fish. They only survive and thrive well in a tropical region. So their water temperature should not be less than 54 degrees Fahrenheit.
The amount of water should be enough: these fish look small when they are young, but they grow to a large size when they reach their adult stage. So, the amount of water should be enough to accommodate them, including other fish. It is always advisable to have a tank or an aquarium that can contain 70 to 125 gallons of water.
You should not allow ammonia and other toxins to accumulate in their tank.
Common diseases Of Oscar fish
Knowing the ideal water condition is good, but I will say it is more important to put them into action. So, knowing the adverse effect of bad water on these fish is imminent. The deviation from the normal activities of these fish indicates they are vulnerable to contracting a type of disease one way or the other.
It might not necessarily mean they contracted the diseases because the ideal water conditions are not, but you can indirectly link it up.
This is because pests and protozoans cannot thrive under good conditions. Likewise, bad water compromises the health and immune system of fish; thus, making them vulnerable to disease.
Oscars are not known to contract several diseases. It is rare for Oscars to contract a disease probably because you didn’t take care of them very well. They might be fragile, but they don’t fall sick easily. The only illnesses that Oscars fall short of are a hole in the head, ich, fin and tail rot, popeye disease, and bloat.
Hole In The Head
The name “hole in the head”comes from the several holes on the head and body of the fish. This disease might seem chronic, but it isn’t. It is straightforward to cure. It is caused mainly by malnutrition. If you take your time to feed them very well, then you have a chance against this disease. If this disease curbed as soon as possible, it might probably lead to the death of the fish.
Ich, also known as white spot disease, is a common disease that affects aquatic life, including that of Oscars. Protozoans are the causative agents of this disease-with its main parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is a parasite that reproduces very fast, thereby creating a sudden outbreak of the disease. The growth and reproduction of this parasite speed up in warm water, thus making Oscars prone to contacting them. It most likely found its way into the tank or aquarium through the addition of live plants, live food items or new fish. You can quickly identify this disease by loss of appetite, white spot on gills and skins, reddening of the fins, increased gill movement, and so on.
Fin And Tail Rot
Symptoms of fin and tail rot include lethargy, loss of part of the skin, milky appearance of the skin and fins, tattered and blackened fins, etc. To treat the Oscars of this disease, you have to administer antibiotics to them. Some of the medicines that you can use include; Tetracycline, Oxytetracycline, and Chloramphenicol. Change the water more frequently and administer the drug regularly.
Popeye is a disease caused by poor water conditions. It is characterized by bulging eyeballs, eyes being affected (either one or the two), etc. You can cure your Oscar fish by adding aquarium salt to the water, administering antibiotics, changing water as soon as there is a defect in the quality, and other little caution you might need to put in place.
This disease is characterized by the swelling of the abdominal part of the fish. Erratic swimming and lack of bowel movements can be seen in them. Bloat is mainly caused by overfeeding or constipation. This can be treated by not feeding them for some time, increasing the temperature and changing the water regularly.
Like most other pet fish, Oscar fish thrive best when you keep them under suitable conditions. The ideal water conditions for Oscar fish are not extreme, but they are greatly affected when these conditions are not at an optimum level.
Inappropriate water conditions can allow the pests to grow in the tank, give room for diseases to thrive, stunt the growth of the fish, as well as deteriorating the overall health of the entire tank members.