Recently, an increasing number of aquarists are beginning to acquire exotic fish for their artificial reservoir. And this is not at all surprising, given that such representatives of the underwater world are distinguished by a riot of colors, colors and shapes. But the representatives of the family of cichlids, or, more specifically, astronotuses, gained the greatest demand among such fish. So, the species of this fish are very diverse, but most often they put in the aquarium:
- astronotus red;
- albino astronotus;
- ophthalmic astronotus;
- walnut astronotus.
But although these species are quite common, in today's article we’ll talk about another rather interesting form of these fish, namely the Tiger astronotus.
Oscar was first mentioned back in 1831. You can meet him by going to the Amazon river basins. Prefers rivers and lakes with a muddy bottom. He uses small fish, crayfish and worms as food.
Tiger astronotus, or as it is often called an Oscar, belongs to the cichlid family. Outwardly it looks like a fish of rather large size and having a rather bright color. It also has a lively mind, which is especially appreciated by many aquarists. Very quickly reaches its maximum value - 350 mm.
Interestingly enough, the Oscar is one of the few fish that remember and recognize its owner. So, he can watch for hours how the apartment is cleaned and swim to the surface of the water as the owner approaches. Also, some of them even allow themselves to be stroked and eaten from the hands, in many ways resembling those cats or dogs. But you should be careful, because at the slightest hint of danger, a tiger astronotus can even bite.
As for the shape of the body, it resembles an oval in shape. The head is rather large with large fleshy teeth. In a natural environment, their maximum value, as already mentioned above, can be 350 mm, and in an artificial environment no more than 250 mm. The maximum duration of their life is about 10 years.
Distinguishing a male from a female is rather problematic. So, as for the male, he has a wider frontal part of the head and the body color is made in brighter colors. Females are somewhat paler in relation to males. But as practice shows, the more obvious distinguishing features of the male and female are manifested during the preparation for spawning.
Although the Oscar does not belong to fish that are difficult to maintain, one should not think that it is enough to simply purchase and run it in the aquarium. So, first of all, the aquarium must be selected, focusing on its rather large dimensions. As a rule, an Oscar goes on sale when its value is only 30 mm.
That is why many beginner aquarists make a gross mistake by placing it in a common aquarium with a volume of up to 100 liters, which it outgrows in a matter of months. So, experienced aquarists advise choosing an aquarium with a volume of at least 400 liters. In addition, it should be borne in mind that the Oscar is a rather aggressive fish, which can not only attack smaller neighbors, but even eat it.
Also, in order to exclude unexpected fish disease, it is necessary to create favorable conditions in an artificial reservoir. So, they include:
- Maintaining the temperature range within 22-26 degrees.
- Regular change of 1/3 of the water of the total.
- The presence of aeration.
- Powerful filtering.
As for the soil, sand should be used as it, since the Oscar spends quite a lot of time digging it. There is no need for vegetation as such. So, experienced aquarists recommend using hard-leaved species, for example, the same Anubias.
And most importantly, you should not even think about making the aquarium look like it was planned from the very beginning. The fact is that Oscar completely and completely considers himself the sole owner of an artificial reservoir, therefore, it is necessary to prepare for the fact that he will dig and transfer everything that he sees fit.
Important! In order to avoid jumping out of these aquarium fish, it is recommended to cover the aquarium.
In the natural environment, the Oscar is omnivorous. As for the artificial reservoir, it is necessary to adhere to certain rules in order to exclude even the slightest hint of a possible disease. So, first of all, it is recommended to feed an adult individual no more than 1 time per day, but considering its size, of course. As food, it is best to use high-quality artificial feed. Also, as a variety, you can give them live and frozen food.
In some cases, you can give a tiger astronotus and other fish. For example, the same veils or guppies. But to do this is necessary only if there is a 100% guarantee that after their use no disease will affect these fish.
If animal meat is used as feed, then an Oscar can not only be obese, but also get degeneration of internal organs.
Oscar reaches puberty when it reaches a value of 100-120 mm. Their reproduction, as a rule, occurs in a common artificial reservoir. But in order for it to happen without any difficulties in the aquarium, it is recommended to create several shelters and place pebbles of various sizes on the ground. So, it is worth noting that the creation of a shelter lies entirely on the shoulders of the male.
After the surface of the selected pebble is completely cleaned, the female begins to spawn. Then the male fertilizes her. The incubation period of eggs ranges from 4-6 days, and the fry themselves appear after 8-10 days. As a rule, on the first day the fry feed on nutrient mucus, which is secreted by their parents, but after a few days they begin to feed on their own. So, as a feed, it is best to use artemia or cyclops.
It is worth noting that with a diverse and abundant diet, fry grow very quickly. But in order to exclude the possible eating of smaller individuals with their larger counterparts, it is recommended to periodically sort.
On average, a female of this species lays between 600-800 eggs, so all the pros and cons should be weighed before starting to plan their breeding.
Oscars, like steel species of astronotuses, for example, walnut, are completely unsuitable for maintenance in a common artificial reservoir along with its other inhabitants. Although they do not differ in a rather aggressive style of behavior for large fish, but their eating small ones casts doubt on the advisability of their presence in a common aquarium. So, the ideal option is to place them in pairs and in a separate vessel.
If this is impossible for some reason, then they get along well with black pacu, Arovans, Managuan cichlazomas. But here it should be borne in mind that in some cases a conflict may arise between the inhabitants of an artificial reservoir due to the dissimilarity of their characters.