Aquarium Fish – Tiger Oscar

Tiger Oscar

The Tiger Oscar (also known as the Marble Cichlid or the Velvet Cichlid) is one of the more popular aquarium cichlids. They originate from South America and have the closest resemblance to wild Oscars out of all the selectively bred Oscar variants.

Oscars are a tough, hardy and extremely intelligent aquarium fish.  As they mature they will develop unique and interesting personalities and can be trained to eat from their owner’s hand.

Tiger Oscars have a base color of black, tan and gray with bright orange markings on their body and fins. They have the ability to change color based on its mood. After a time some fish keepers can tell the mood of their Oscar at a glance.

Tiger Oscars are usually purchased while they are still relatively small, 2-3 inches. However they grow quickly and a size of around 10 inches after 1 year is common. A fully grown Tiger Oscar can measure up to 18 inches and will need a tank of 55 to 70 gallons. 

The tank should be fitted with a strong filtration system, along with a deep sand or gravel substrate and a few large rocks and pieces of driftwood. Tiger Oscars enjoy digging up plants; so any plants should be securely rooted with the roots covered with rocks. Floating plants are a good alternative to this problem.

The Tiger Oscar is an omnivore with an insatiable appetite and will eat a wide variety of food including flakes, pellets and live foods. To keep them healthy and their colors bright, it is recommended that live foods be given to them frequently. Feeder guppies and goldfish are a good choice but should be quarantined for a period prior to feeding.

Tiger Oscars are very hardy fish, but they are also very messy eaters. Health problems can be encountered if the aquarium water quality is not properly maintained, with Hole-in-the-Head disease being a common ailment. A 25% water change weekly is recommended.

A male and a female Oscar will pair up and will readily spawn with the right water conditions. The female will lay from 1,000-2,000 eggs on rocks that have been carefully cleaned. The eggs are opaque at first, turning transparent in 24 hours. The eggs will hatch in 3-5 days and the fry will be free-swimming within a week. The newly hatched fry can be fed a diet of baby brine shrimp or crushed flake food and moved to other foods as they mature.

Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons 
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-aggressive 
Water Conditions: 72-77° F, KH 5-19, pH 6.0-8.0 
Max. Size: 18″ 
Color Form: Black & Orange / Albino
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Amazon, South America

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