More Darned Oscars, April, 2009
  More scoop from Aqualand Pets Plus on Astronotus ocellatus

 
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Oscar Factoids

Origin

Amazon River basin

Maximum Size

14 inches

Housing

Needs 30 gallons.  Prefers more.  Lots more.

Security

Not necessary

Planting

Tears live plants to shreds

Temperature

75 to 80o

Attitude

Eager eater.

Foods

Loves all foods – especially fish

Toys

Likes heaters, snails, and ping pong balls

Water

Needs frequent water changes

Spawning Area

55-gallon minimum

Spawning Substrate

Flat piece of slate

Sex Differences

Discernible only during spawning

April 22, 2009.  Here's some "new" used oscars.  These are trade ins.  Some people trade them in because they did not realize how large they grow.  Others are moving across the country.   LA

LA
Technically, a 9-inch red oscar.

Reds."  When you buy a 2-inch young red oscar, he's usually a bright red color.  After two months, he starts losing his colors, no matter what you feed him.  Then somewhere around ten months, he starts turning red again -- IF you feed him foods that will bring out his colors.  Look for the oscar pellets that contain red-enhancing colors, or goldfish, or crayfish.  Feed a variety.

LA
More obvious red.  Same size.  Fed better foods.  The wound on his shoulder will heal.

 Body Wounds.  Oscars are tough little beasts.  A little squirt of NovAqua and a tank of clean water will usually heal minor wounds like this one in a couple weeks.          

LA
10-inch albino.

Fin Damage.  Wounds to the spines in his fins are unlikely to repair themselves.  You'll also note a hole-in-the-head scar to the right of his eye -- another permanent wound.

LA
Flip side of the same albino.

Other Wounds.  That gill cover with the chunks out of it is probably permanent.  The split pectoral fin will likely heal.  The area with the missing scales will fill in but will never be the correct shade -- very likely why he has so many dis-colored areas.  Not exactly a show fish, but he'd still make a good breeder.  He's obviously from sturdy stock.

LA
12-inch long-fin oscar, quite a bit of it his long flowing tail.

Long-Fin Comments.  Long-finned oscars are particularly vulnerable to fin damage.  Their long fins seem to invite nips from tank mates.

LA
Same guy, other side.

Long-Fin Colors.  Maybe it's just me, but it seems like all the long-finned oscars I've seen are the original wild colored oscars.  Additional red-enhancing food will color this guy up some, but he looks like a wild oscar.  No prob.  He's a very good-looking oscar.  Really nice finnage.

LA
Former tank mate.  Less colorful.

LA
Same guy, just a better picture.

LA
8-inch snow oscar.

Snow Comments.  When is an albino not an albino?  Albino means absence of black pigments.  Snow oscars are albinos with black edging.  Still an albino? We'll have to let the Oxford Dictionary puzzle this one out.

LA
!0-inch long-finned specimen.  Not good color or pose.

LA
10-inch albino tiger oscar.  The black spots are crud in his water.  Time for a good cleaning.

LA
Same guy one day after a 90% water change.  Good looker.

LA
10-inch badly scratched oscar, probably the wild type.

Scratches.  Well, he's probably going to have scars.  But clean water, a squirt of NovAqua, and a varied diet will put him on the road to recovery.  These are not serious wounds -- just superficial.  LA

Probably more to come

LA
2.5-inch "medium" red oscar.

Color Commentary.  As alluded to earlier the small oscars (about 1.5 inches) hit the market juiced for color.  They nearly glow -- probably from methyl testosterone.  It turns on their adult coloration.  We can't buy that particular formula here in the U.S., so our oscars start fading gradually.  Then somewhere around 6 or 8 inches, they start developing their adult colors again.

Color Controversy.  Some fish keepers believe that fish treated with color enhancing hormones become sterilized.  I couldn't guess if they're right or not.  Hormones affect different species (and individuals within that species) differently.  I haven't seen any real sterility studies, only opinions.

LA
8-inch snow oscar.  Quite a bit of black on this "albino."

LA
About the same size snow.  Really beat up with dorsal fin damage

LA
Here's a severe case of hole-in-the-head disease.

LA
10-inch "pastel" snow oscar.  Very different color.

LA
Be sure to vary your oscar's diet.  Crayfish bring out their reds.

LA
Your oscar will eat them with or without claws.

LA
8-inch oscar.  He's really not this short.  He's just at an angle.  He does have a twisted mouth.

LA
Gives him a bit of a sneer and adds to his attitude.

LA
6-inch tiger oscar.

Some "not so hots."  Since hardly any fish stores will accept large fish, we get lots of large oscars.  You might even say we get buckets of them.  Not always do we get primo specimens.  Some go into instant rehab.

LA
Most of these are superficial.  Three look permanent.

LA
Some serious hexamita scars here.  Not deadly, just disfiguring.

LA
Not looking happy but at least he's healthy.

LA
We're baby sitting this guy.  He's mostly just old (and big, of course).

LA
I don't think I've ever seen one this old.  Note the tail.

LA
Note the almost tail.

LA
Here's a little 2-inch red albino. -- just starting out

LA
This might be the prettiest oscar I've ever seen.

LA
Pretty face but his body looks even better.

LA
One nice looking oscar.

LA
We sold him the same day he came in.

LA
Here's an oscar in a tank that needs a water change.

LA
Prior to a 90% water change.

LA
24 hours later.

LA
8-inch tiger oscar in murky water.

LA
10-inch snow tiger oscar.  Good poser.

LA
10-inch red tiger that came in the same container.  Not a willing poser.

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