How to Care for a Baby Oscar Fish

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Baby Oscars need an abundance of space and a clean fish tank to regulate growth and prevent disease. Warm water temperatures and a good selection of hiding spots will make your baby Oscar feel secure in his surroundings. Oscars will eat a large diet of brine shrimp, causing rapid growth. Oscars can reach lengths up to16 inches and weigh almost 2 pounds. These fish can live for 10 to 15 years and are a long-term commitment.

Things You'll Need

  • Large freshwater tank
  • Substrate
  • Filter
  • Heater
  • Thermometer
  • Tank decorations
  • Siphon
  • Buy a large tank. Thirty gallons of space are needed, plus room for the Oscar fish and any other fish. Minimum tank size should be 40 gallons. Fill with substrate (sand or gravel).

  • Buy a filter. A good filter is one that turns over ten times the aquariums water volume every hour. There are many different types to choose from including canister, bio, sump, and underwater.

  • Buy a heater and thermometer. When buying a heater you will need 3 to 5 watts per gallon of heating. The thermometer should be one that mounts on the inside or outside of the tank to give an accurate temperature.

  • Cycle a freshwater (no salt) tank and make sure temperatures are 72F to 82F. Cycling allows your aquarium filter to produce a good bacteria which will start the process of removing toxins that your fish produce.

  • Provide plenty of hiding spaces with decorations and make sure there are no sharp corners. Fake plants clustered together or hollowed logs can be great hiding spaces. You can also buy fake sunken ships, treasure chests, pots or anything with a large hole will work.

  • Change 10 to 15 percent of the water in the tank weekly. If you have a 100 gallon tank this means to siphon out 10 to 15 gallons and replace with fresh water.

  • Feed Oscar once a day. They are carnivorous and need a high protein diet. High-quality cichlid pellets, worms, shrimp or prepared beef heart are ideal meals for an Oscar. Drop food into the tank or feed Oscar by hand.

Tips & Warnings

  • Oscars do best by themselves.
  • More than one Oscar needs at least an 80 to 100 gallon tank.
  • Weigh down decorations. Oscars like to rearrange their surroundings.
  • It is risky to feed Oscars guppies or live feeder fish which may cause internal parasites or diseases.
  • Unplug electrical equipment when cleaning fish tank.
  • Put a heavy object on tank lid. Oscars will jump out of tank.

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