Also Known As: Marble Cichlid, Oscar, Red Oscar, Velvet Cichlid
Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus) Fish Description
The Oscar (Astronotus Ocellatus) is a freshwater fish of the cichlid family. It is a large predatory fish that is known for its aggressiveness, huge appetites, and territorial behavior. It preys mainly on small fishes, crayfish, worms, insect larvae, and mollusks, although it is also known to eat some small vertebrates. There are several varieties of fish but all of them look pretty much the same with their oval-shaped bodies and fan-shaped caudal fins. The difference in varieties is mainly attributed to their different colorations and markings. Oscar varieties include:
Tiger – has a mostly black body with orange stripes
Green – has a mossy green shade with some yellow or black markings
Red – has a red to bright orange coloration with some blotches of black
Blue – has a light to dark blue body color with some yellow or orange markings
Black – has a black body with some blotches that are sometimes red/orange, or sometimes yellow or even gray.
White – has a white color with orange or yellow markings
Albino – has a white-pinkish tone with smaller (as compared to the white variety) orange or yellow markings
In captivity, Oscars can grow as much as eighteen inches in length and three and a half pounds in weight.
There are some records of an Oscar fish growing to as much as twenty-two inches in the wild.
They can live up to thirteen years in the wild and up to twenty years in aquariums.
It is said that they are one of the most intelligent fish as they can be taught to do tricks.
They have strong teeth located at the back of their throats that help to prevent their prey from escaping.