South American Cichlids • Oscars: Just How Cool Are They?

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Oscars: Just How Cool Are They?

Postby Auballagh » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:35 am

Hello All,
Like many of you, I recently stumbled upon a super-cool video on You Tube from this guy who calls himself the 'King of DIY'.
He's got an incredible fish room! And. he definitely earns some serious 'street cred' in my book - because, he seems to specialize in New World Fish, esp. Cichlids.
So, a while back he did this amazing video on his experience in keeping Astronatus occellatus, the Oscar Cichlid. At the time, I was like "oh... yeah, that's cool". But then after a new look, I realized where he was going with this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1a-GetRJxM

'Captain Hook' the Oscar, plays the supporting role in this video - and he's a good one! And well.... 'Captain Hook' is a bit like the one Oscar I have kept.
To digress?
My own Oscar came to me as a sort of 'rescue' fish. He (she??) was an Oscar that exhibited most of the Wild characteristics. That is, a single tail 'eye' (occellas) with the usual camo pattern and some red highlights. Unfortunately..... this one had lived pretty hard. I got him with a full-on, active case of HiH, It was bad... some regions on it's head had actually begun to disintegrate. Yes, and it's mouth wouldn't close normally on one side where the skin had been ripped so badly in dominance scraps with a Flowerhorn it had been kept with. This Flowerhorn was barely 3/4's the size of this Oscar... (Oscars are NOT really very good at being 'THUG'S.....). And yes, after treatment and a lot of TLC, I got this one back. This one was around 13 inches long and filled out a bit with some newfound health, but never grew much longer than that. I kept this Oscar six years, and it died of basically old age with me. Young? Probably.... but, I definitely had a huge amount of respect for what that Oscar had survived.
And hands down, that battle-scarred, beat up Oscar was definitely one of the coolest fish I have ever kept. :D
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So, please check that video out. Things to note:
- Messy! Oscars do not eat cleanly. Uneaten food is part of the deal.
- Water Changes! If you DARE to keep one of these messy, huge Cichlids in a 75 gallon tank? You may hope GOD will smile upon you. Because the God Of Water Changes? WILL NOT.
- If you do not perform your required water changes to keep this messy fish? It WILL get HiH. You will NOT be happy. Resign yourself to doing some seriously high percentage water changes (80 to 90 percent in some cases!) in some unexpected frequency ()twice per week??). Or, get a larger tank. Keeping Nitrates down to 20 PPM in a 75 Gallon tank with a single Oscar can be very.... challenging.
- DON'T put your Oscar in a too-small aquarium, with a Flowerhorn, Texas Cichlid or Red Mota Guapote' and hope that things will 'just work out' . THEY WON'T...
An Oscar has a huge amount of personality, and will eat just about anything it can (try?) to fit into its mouth. This New World Cichlid is NOT a Thug, or Tough Guy Cichlid. :?
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So, if you want that kind of beasty/burly Cichlid? Sure! Why not...? But, get an Umbee if you want a REAL BEAST. Or, get a Texas, Black Nasty or Black Belt Cichlid, if you're limited in tank size. And no - the Oscar has no business at all being kept with ANY of those Brutes!
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Auballagh
 
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 7:05 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA. US of A

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Re: Oscars: Just How Cool Are They?

Postby Stu W2 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:19 am

Hello Auballagh,

I've sent more time than I care to admit watching his vid's. LOL. They are great. Another one to watch is one he had up some time ago on his Arowanas.

The Oscar one you've linked to your post is a good one. Frankly, I wouldn't keep one again in anything less than a 72X18 footprint 135 gallon tank. That's what I kept mine in and he used it all. At the time I was very fortunate to have access to good pricing on Eheim canister filters. I used two Pro 2 model 2028s and two Pro 2 model 2026s for my bio-media as well as two AquaClear 110's with just sponge in them to take care of the mess after feedings.

Hmm, now I'm thinking it's time to get another Oscar or maybe two if they are female.

Thanks for that link.

Regards,
Stu
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:53 pm


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