South American Cichlids • First Oscar tank thoughts/comments/ideas

Discussion regarding only South American Cichlid species. (Oscars, Geophagines, Discus, Apistogramma, Green Terrors, Angels, Severums, Pikes, etc.)

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First Oscar tank thoughts/comments/ideas

Postby spoopykitter » Sun May 24, 2020 3:36 pm

Hello everyone! As y'all can see, I'm new here, and to add to that I'm overall relatively new in fishkeeping. I've kept fish on and off my whole life, but never anything more than goldfish. But over the past 6 months, I've set up 2 very successful freshwater community tanks, 20G and 10G, as well as a Betta tank, that also has one surprisingly happy Kuhli Loach (I say surprisingly because his 4 friends he used to have all passed away from a case of Ich that plagued the tank for a while, luckily this guy never got sick and my Betta recovered very well after medication. Also note that I didn't have quarantine tanks at the time). However, now that all of these aquariums are established and are running well, I'm looking to move on to my next tank. With me having 3 small tanks, and having a very large desk in my room, I wanted to get a bigger fish tank. I measured the desk's dimensions to see what it can fit comfortably, and a 75 fits with a few inches on all sides. After taking into consideration weight distribution, I made up my mind and will be getting a 75. At first, I wanted another community tank, looking at centering it around Mollies, but I changed my mind and now I'm looking to enter the realm of large fish. Obviously, I first went to Oscars as I know that they're very big, and don't need a very large tank in relation to their size compared to other, more active fish, and they're very personable and intelligent, making for a really fun fish to have and bond to. Now, personally, I'm not a fan of tanks with only one fish, so I thought of potential tank mates. I immediately went to Plecs because they get big too, and the Oscar wouldn't attack one that's big enough. Currently, I'm looking to get my hands on a Sunshine Plec, unless I happen to find any that are more enticing, or if having a tankmate at all is too much for the tank. However, I do plan on running very heavy filtration, with both an Aqueon QuietFlow 75, along with a Fluval FX6 and an upgrade kit for it available here: https://filterpro.co.uk/fx6--fx5-external-filter-freshwater-upgrade-kit-148-p.asp. To quickly recap: I am getting a 75G, and plan on housing an Oscar and a Sunshine Plec, and I am running very powerful filtration; is the tank big enough to support the 2 fish happily?

Also, please give me any suggestions on other types of plec that would work as a good tankmate for an Oscar in a 75! I'd love to see all the different kinds of plecs there are :D
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Re: First Oscar tank thoughts/comments/ideas

Postby Buba2424 » Mon May 25, 2020 3:35 am

Oscars are exciting fish and one of the most sentient fish I've kept, and thrive with stimulation. Personally I prefer keeping cichlids in tanks with other cichlids, for their stimulation, so they can interact and fight etc while you aren't there, but a 75 gallon doesn't leave much room for cichlid tankmates. If it's somewhere you will spend a lot of time, it will probably do ok, but if not, I think having at least a pleco in there for it to bother will be good for it.

As for plecos, I've had sailfins and commons with my big CA/SA cichlids, all doing ok, but keep in mind, common plecos can and do end up 16"+ and may be uncomfortable in a 75. Otherwise I'd suggest one because of their fast growth rate so they would never be a choking hazard for highly predatory and similarly fast growing oscars. I have no experience with sunshine plecos, but make sure they are large enough to never be eaten, a full grown one would be ok, but I'm not sure if they have a similar growth rate to oscars. An oscar full grown might be somewhat cramped in a 75, and with a pleco might be a little much, but if water changes are kept up it should be ok. I'm no equipment wiz, but those filters should be just fine for that.

Most cichlids when raised alone never warm up to added tankmates or being put with other fish later in life, so it's important that you decide what you want to add and add it with or before the oscar so it doesn't get beat up by the oscar. If you want other exciting fish with similar personality, you could try a blood parrot with maybe a blue acara and maybe even angelfish, or other slightly smaller fish, but never have two cichlids together, it never works. Three can work, more is best, but two will not. My blood parrot was raised with only a pleco in a 50 gallon and is the best and most interactive fish I've ever had, I even taught him to hand feed, swim through hoops, and to swim upside down. So it can work, having one large fish, but it's best for a single fish to get a lot of attention and stimulation.

Good luck deciding, and have fun, but know an oscar is more like a dog than a fish and could be around 15+ years. Mine liked bananas and mangoes.
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Re: First Oscar tank thoughts/comments/ideas

Postby Oscar6 » Thu May 28, 2020 10:21 am

Per your notion that Oscars dont need a big tank relative to their size. In my experience, that couldnt be more wrong. Stress is a big health factor, and stress from lack of living space will shorten any big cichlids lifespan. I've had Oscars in the 14-15in range that make 6ft tanks look small. I would never consider a 4ft tank as a long term home for an Oscar. To consider a similar sized pleco in the same environment is far worse. I currently have a 15yr old 15in Sailfin pleco. I have had him in a number of tanks over the years, he is an EXTREME strain on bioload. Currently resides in a 220gal tank with a single foot long 3yr old Oscar. 5 filters on the tank. 75% water changes every 4-5 days to keep nitrate well under 20ppm. I strongly suggest you rethink your plans for 75g. An adult Oscar and big pleco will not do well long term.
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
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Re: First Oscar tank thoughts/comments/ideas

Postby Ichthys » Thu May 28, 2020 4:33 pm

Totally agree with Oscar6.
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Re: First Oscar tank thoughts/comments/ideas

Postby Haplochromine guy » Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:13 pm

I am gonna say you don't want to put a 75 gallon on a desk.
1 gallon of freshwater is equal to 8.3 pounds.
Can your desk hold a few hundred pounds? I would go ahead and buy a stand. If you asked me which I think you have, I would tell you to put in a couple Stingrays in with the Oscar. Pacus and other large peaceful fish will go well with your Oscar, If you got a larger tank (I MEAN LARGE) you could try Arrowanas.... Cichlids: Golden Severums, Not Red Devils, Green Terrors, Jack Dempsey?, Flowerhorn?, Midas?, Oscars, large Peacocks (I confess I said it!), Firemouths? and a feew other Cichlids will do. I know a channel on youtube that's supposed to be about African Cichlids mainly but decides to talk so much about Oscar Cichlids, KGTropicals.
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Re: First Oscar tank thoughts/comments/ideas

Postby ken31cay » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:18 am

+1 on the 75gal being too small for an Oscar, not to mention another tankmate. I used to have a 125gal with an Oscar, Jack Dempsey, and Firemouth cichlid years ago. Sounded like a good idea but as they grew the tank was barely big enough for the Oscar alone.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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