Oscar is carnivorous in nature but does not eat meat as its prime choice in food. A major portion of their diet is fruit falling into water in the natural environment. So, they should be provided with a high quality protein diet.
What do Oscar fish eat:
Oscar can eat almost everything that falls into the water tank. Oscars mainly eat freshwater insects and crustaceans. They do not eat fish which means that they are not piscivores.
Even if they do eat fish, it contributes to a minor portion of what they eat and primary fish food of Oscars are catfish in their natural environment. So, you should remember this while choosing tank mates for your fish and should never put catfish in the water tank as mates for your Oscar fish.
A proper diet increases life expectancy and strengthens their immune system. They should be fed with prepared fish food such as crayfish, insects and worms.
In diet, the Oscars have high requirement of Vitamin C. So, they like to eat fresh fruits to meet their vitamin C requirement. Oscar’s diet also contains algae and plants and they never seek for algae or green plants and feed them only because these are the main contents of their prime prey.
Oscar’s diet mainly consists of dried foods which is a problem for fish as they contribute to blockage, bloat and constipation resulting in the death of fish.
Dry foods containing probiotics are a solution to this problem as they minimize risks of constipation, blockage and bloat in fish, but still supplement foods with high level moisture content should be chosen as the best option. Different fresh fruits and vegetables can also be provided to Oscar as another supplement food.
Feeding live foods increases growth rate,the but also causes disease like endoparasites. Do not feed your fish mammalian flesh as they cause fatty liver disease. Also, Avoid feeding it with small live fish like the goldfish.
Instead, feed them with insects or processed food. Green peas are used to cure Oscars having constipation whereas if you are giving fruits and vegetables to your fish, you should ensure that all seeds are removed from them prior to feeding to eliminate risk of blockage.
These foods also deteriorate water. So, you should also ensure that your fish eats them away as soon as they are fed or are removed from the water tank. As they primarily feed on dry foods.
Therefore, they should be given quality pellet with good quality plant and algae in their diet containing significant amount of nutrition, proteins and vitamins necessary for your fish. Flakes are not acceptable for Oscars.
It should never be the primary food for your fish as they are inferior than pellet food when it comes to nutrition. Also, they are large and Oscars finds it very difficult to eat. So, while you are feeding your fish, you should feed them with best quality pellet.
“Remember: You will be required to clean its environment more often if the fish is over-fed or fed more than once a day.”
They are affected by five general diseases which are hole in the head, ich, popeye disease, fin and tail rot, and bloat. Common diseases are Ick, Fin & Tail Rot, Dropsy.
Overcrowding and bad water quality causes these diseases. These are most vulnerable to head and lateral line erosion also known as hole in the head disease.
This disease mainly affects the head and face, and when you see, they look like cavities and pits over head and face. It is caused due to nutritional deficiency of: Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and elements like calcium or phosphorus,
which is due to intake of insufficient and poor diet that lacks in variety and is also a result of partial water changes or over-chemical filtration with activated oxygen as chemical medium.
You need to monitor them periodically and diligently for injuries or diseases at regular intervals of time. While cultivating this fish, you should have full information about a variety of infections like parasitic infections, fungal infections and bacterial infections.
You are also advised to have more knowledge about water tank diseases and knowing the symptoms, treatment of all types of diseases which help you in cultivating happy and healthy fish. Take precautions as prevention is better than cure.
Oscars capture and claim areas of aquarium and will show aggression if other fish encroach their established territory. They like to live alone in their defined territory and do not like to live in community.
Generally, they are not aggressive and belligerent by behavior and never show aggression towards other tank mates but they are considered as predators who will eat their tank mates.
Still, it is not difficult to cultivate Oscars with other tank mates provided they have large fish as their tank mates in a large spaced aquarium of about 200 gallons.
Oscars know their owner very well and are one of the amicable fish swimming around in water tank getting bonded with their owners. For example, they love to watch day to day happenings in and around the room and also react to the sounds of their owner known for their begging for food and for performing rolling ticks.
Oscars also love playing with toys and while playing, they love to dig up plants, place tank decorative things from one place to another. They have aggressive temperament and they are a threat to peaceful fish who are slow swimmers and slow eaters. They also prove to be threat for shrimps, snails and crabs.