Oscar fish consider one of the intelligent aquarium fish which most aquarist love to keep them as pet. The fish have an incredible memory which can do tricks and most aquarist love keeping them and also plan to breed the fish. Breeding Oscar fish definitely are fun and excited until you watch the fish lay it eggs in the aquarium.
Once the eggs is hatch you able to see hundreds of fry swimming around and the fish are not going to stop breeding which you need to think of a solution on handing the fry. It is better plan ahead before breeding Oscar fish which you won’t panic on dealing with the situation.
Setup Suitable Environment Before The Fish Breed
The fish will reach it sexual maturity in 16 month and the fish will grow up in between 15 to 24 cm. It is recommended prepare a 100 gallon or 125 gallon aquarium to breed the fish. Don’t forget prepare another 55 gallon aquarium for new born fry which you can move them after hatching from the eggs.
Prepare a filter which can accommodate the waste of the Oscar fish. Install a large canister filter and undergravel filter to keep the water clean. Oscar fish is a messy fish and it is better place a heavy rock and cover with 3 cm sand when installing undergravel filter.
Decorate the aquarium with rocks, flowerpots or large PVC pipe which the fish can have plenty place to hide. Either one of the fish will act aggressive after or before the spawning. Do not place a live plant in the aquarium because Oscar fish will eat it.
Feed Them And Monitor The Water
Feeding the pair is important which the female fish can transfer essential omega fatty acid and other nutrient to the eggs. It is important to feed the breeding pair with rich nutrient to prevent the breeding pair fail to hatch the eggs.
Do not feed the fish with unfamiliar food that use to feed them because the fish will not accept the food even with good nutrient in it. Most breeder feed the fish with frozen adult brine shrimp, small fishes, live cricket, thawed beef heart, trout chow, or live black worms during breeding season.
Change the water in the aquarium weekly. The fish have a messy attitude which changing the 20 -50% of the water in the aquarium to keep the water clean. Set a temperature of 27-29°C which are suitable for the fish to spawning.
It is important to install a heater and thermometer in the breeding aquarium to monitor the water temperature. Install a heater with a solid state submersible heater in the aquarium. Oscar fish would think the heater as a toy and play with it if leave the heater submersible or hanging in the aquarium.
Get A Pair
Breeding Oscar fish, you need a pair which but how to differentiate the a male and female Oscar fish? Some claim that Oscar fish can be differentiate it sex by looking at it fin shape and coloration. The claim are not valid because female and male oscar fish share the same shape.
You don’t have to feel disappointed because there is a way on differentiating the sex of the fish. There is a process which name “venting”. It is a person who know what to examine the genital of the fish on differentiating it sex.
If you couldn’t found someone around you, you can try buying 6 juveniles and grow them up. The fish takes 16 month to mature and able to spawn successfully. But some Oscar fish would take 2 to 3 year to spawn which it really depend on the fish. This method would take times which you really need to be interested of breeding Oscar fish.
Breeding the fish, mix them well with different coloration. You can breed red, tiger albino, yellow and white oscar fish which can breed. DO NOT buy a pink or purple color fish because it not it natural color.
The fish will start showing a changes behavior during swimming which is a sign of mating. The pair also will start slap each other tail, fin spreading, begin gill faring and chasing each other around the aquarium. One of the fish will start clearing the surface and prepare to lay the eggs.
The first sign of spawning is the female will show a false passes on the surface. The eggs will start laid and the male place the egg to the clearing surface. The female Oscar fish will give birth 2-3 days after the mating. The female lay 100 eggs and it lay about 1000 eggs in a total period of few days.
The Oscar fry hatch in 3 days after the eggs laid. If the eggs disappear which mean the eggs are not fertilized and the parents consume the eggs. Another reason of the parent consuming the eggs because of the aggression behavior. Pay attention on the eggs because it may develop cotton wool fungus diseases on it.
The cotton wool fungus diseases occur to unfertilized eggs and also fertilized eggs. Preventing the eggs infected by fungus diseases, add Methylene blue to the aquarium which the water are darken. It protect against fungus diseases such as velvet and other fungus diseases. Add formalin into the aquarium with 2 drops of it and change the water when the eggs are hatch.
Don’t feed the fry until their able to swim freely in the aquarium. Change the water every fourth day to keep the water clean. Before eggs hatch, you can move the new born fry to another aquarium or raise it together with the adult. Raising the fry together with the adult, the adult may consume the fry.
The fry able to grow up together with the parent but with fewer number of fry. The fry able to swim along with the adult when it reach 3 cm but it is better remove the young Oscar fish to a different aquarium to prevent the fish become aggressive and territorial.
If you worry about the adult consuming most of the fry you can move the eggs to a container without exposing to air. Leave the egg hatch naturally in a 10 or 20 gallon aquarium. The eggs will hatch in 3 days. You don’t have to feed the young fry because the fry can consume the egg sack as it food. After 4 days, feed them with insofuria and baby brine shrimp after a week.
Feed the fry 3 times a day and remove any excess food from polluting the water. Make sure the temperature of the aquarium are set to 25°C which the fry can live comfortable so with the breeding pair. In the 3 week, the new born fry can be feed with flakes. There are plenty of ways to breeding Oscar fish and I personally prefer this method because it simple and works perfectly fine.
Stay patient when comes to breeding Oscar fish because you may lose some eggs once they breed. If breed the fish successfully and you having trouble of keeping them, you may consider of selling the fish in small size.