First Oscar Aquarium!

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JamJar created the topic: First Oscar Aquarium!

Hey guys new here and i would like to quickly explain my reasons for falling in love with oscars! and then i will go on and on and on with questions as I've spent all day yesterday researching but can't find the answers in layman's language.. I'm looking for a straight answer lol :)

really short story really id never seen a oscar before at a decent size only babies in the shops.. i went home to england for a holiday and to see my friends.. one which happened to have a new 120gal tank with 5 oscars in there.. i know this is small for that many but there only 6-7 inches at the moment and 3 of them are just being fostered so will be leaving the tank soon. THERE amazing!!!!! couldn't keep my eyes off them! so! i got home and I'm now building my own Aquarium.

I don't need any help with the build as I'm a plumber/builder by trade and have made aquariums before so I've decided to make a beast! here is my project over the next week or so..

12mm thick glass

200cm Long
70 cm Hight
50cm Depth

this is 735L / 190 USgal.. but obviously i won't be filling to the rim so il say a safe 150-60 gals

i would go bigger but i have a wife that doesn't like fish lol…

first question is what is best for oscars… SAND? GRAVEL? PEBBLES? ROCKS? NOTHING?

i want to add a small rock cave at one end of the tank it will be mainly for visuals and some wood in the middle but not too much i don't want to restrict the space.. again IS THIS OK WITH OSCARS?

Filtration.. lol this is going to make u laugh… ok so I own a maintenance company here in dubai and I'm always changing and ripping out pumps from villas so I've got my hands on a 1.5hp pump that kicks out up to 3.0 Bar or pressure through a 3/4" pipe I'm not sure on the flow per hour but its well over what i need il have to play with the pressure.. I'm going to make a 250L sump tank at a guess this is enough. IS 250L SUMP BIG ENOUGH? IF I MADE IT BIGGER WOULD IT MAKE CLEANING EASIER ETC…?? Il make some space so it can be my hospital tank too ;)

i read somewhere that lighting isnt a big deal so il just setup some LED strip lights above the tank on a timer…

NOOB ALEART!@! … This might be just a stupid question! but please don't judge as i know nothing about fish tbh I'm a reptile owner.. my turtle tank suffered badly from algae.. i didn't want an algae eater as they poop more than anything I've ever seen and turtles are bad enough.. so i setup a live feed to the water… i had feeder fish in the water and they seemed to be fine (till they got munched) but with the small current running through the water i never ad a single spot of algae :) CAN I DO THIS WITH OSCARS/CHILIDS

I was thinking of only putting 2 oscars in this tank as i would like to get some tank mates.. IF I GET 1 TIGER AND 1 ALBINO WILL THEY GET ALONG?

BEST SIZE TO BUY AN OSCAR BLIND?
What i mean by this is here in the UAE its very difficult to buy fish.. they have to be imported.. the bonus of that is we know there is no diseases as its gone through quarantine but i won't see the fish until its delivered and by that time its too late lol… so whats the safest age/size to buy a oscar.

________________________________________________________________________________

Im going to write a topic in the tank mates section but i thought id add it here also as you oscar pro's might want to answer both :P :)

TANKMATES!!!!

i want quite a few in with my oscars like i said I've got 160gal of space with 2 oscars..

here is the list I've come up with from research just wanted to run it by a pro to see what you think…?

2 Oscars
2 Jurupari
1 firemouth
1 Jack Dempsey's Severum
2 Blue Acara

Possible adds…

3-4 silver dollars
1-2 clown loach
1 Catfish* CAN I?
2-3 convicts
2-3 Snails
2-3 crabs


DO ANY OF THESE FISH NEED TO BE IN PAIRS OR GROUPS TO SURVIVE THE OSCARS?? IS THAT TOO MANY TANKMATES?? CAN I ADD MORE?? CAN I ADD ANY TYPE OF CRAB OR SNAIL THAT WILL NOT HARM THE OSCAR.. IF THERE EATEN THATS TOO BAD ITS NATURE BUT I WANT TO TRY AND BE DIFFERENT.. MAYBE MY OSCARS WONT EAT THEM :P

OK SO A HUUUUGE THANKYOU IF YOU HAVE GOT THIS FAR! ANY TIPS WILL BE AMAZING AND I PROBABLY HAVE MISSED SOME QUESTIONS OR THINGS I SHOULD KNOW SO IF U WANT TO FILL ME IN PLEASE DO! I WANT THIS TANK TO BE SPECIAL :)
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face mcshooty replied the topic: First Oscar Aquarium!

first question is what is best for oscars… SAND? GRAVEL? PEBBLES? ROCKS? NOTHING?

small gravel or sand oscars /cichlids like to dig so as long as it's small enough that they can pass in case that swallow sum and smooth enough so they don't hurt their mouths but other than that you can do whatever you like

i want to add a small rock cave at one end of the tank it will be mainly for visuals and some wood in the middle but not too much i don't want to restrict the space.. again IS THIS OK WITH OSCARS?

just be careful when stacking rocks big oscars can and will move stuff so make sure its stable

I was thinking of only putting 2 oscars in this tank as i would like to get some tank mates.. IF I GET 1 TIGER AND 1 ALBINO WILL THEY GET ALONG?

the chances of 2 oscars getting along are slim not impossible but have a backup plan and a divider ready you can buy a mating pair which obviously has the best chance of working but its still not a hundred percent but if you can't get a breeding pair buy them small and cross your fingers
i have a questions do you know how the cycling process works ?

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JamJar replied the topic: First Oscar Aquarium!

THANKYOU!

this really helps me out a lot :D i think i will still make the cave for the chilies i buy but i will make sure its all siliconed secure !

and I'm thinking of buying my oscars at around 5inches so hopefully they will be ok.. the guy I'm getting them off has 5 in a tank at the moment and he says there not fighting so hopefully it will be ok :)
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jmunroe replied the topic: First Oscar Aquarium!

Welcome to OFL. Good job on doing research first and getting setup before you get your oscar. All to often it is the oscar that gets bought first then the research is done.
As for substrate, that is personal preference. I went with sand. Easy to clean and easy for my oscar to dig in.
Driftwood is great for oscar tanks. Cave or no cave is again a personal preference. Your oscar will not use it. But he may lay in behind the driftwood at night.
The sump size will do. Having a larger sump will not make tank cleaning easier because you will still have to gravel vac the tank and change the water regularly. The sump needs to be large enough to house enough bio media that will hold enough bacteria to get the job done. DO NOT use the sump as a hospital tank. The idea of a hospital tank is to have a separate system to treat or quarantine things as required. Having the 2 systems sharing the same water defeats the purpose of a separate hospital tank.
Lighting is not a big deal. Oscars don't like bright light so any lighting is for your viewing pleasure. All I would suggest is to not have very bright light.
Algae in your turtle tank was bad because they are messy creatures meant for a pond not a small tank. With that much mess you need to change A LOT of water to keep the water clean so the algae has nothing to eat. I change too much water to have algae and actually like the natural look of algae. But the clean water and low lights that my oscar likes makes algae almost non existent.
You can never be sure about 2 oscars or cichlids for that matter, getting along. It's hit and miss and depends on the fish themselves. They will while young but will soon change if they don't like each other.
I would look for oscars in the 2 inch range for importing.
To answer your tank mates question... 2 adult oscars will fill 160 gallons by themselves. You would have room for maybe one other small cichlid like a firemouth. To have all the fish on your list housed properly you would want about 800 gallons. Your oscars will grow fast and will fill that tank within a year. Even when you put 2 small ones in that you can hardly see, within a year they will fill it. Have you ever seen an oscar that is over 12 inches in size? I would also suggest you read up on the nitrogen cycle of an aquarium. It is the life blood of the hobby and a thorough understanding is a must.

Go do a water change - the solution to pollution is dilution.
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JamJar replied the topic: Re:First Oscar Aquarium!

WOW an epic reply! answered every question thanks!

after reading this i am thinking of only getting the 1 oscar.. i mean the last thing want is to get 2 and them to kill each other!

so if i was to go with the 1 oscar how many chilids would i be able to put in with them?

i will look into the nitrogen cycle now and try and get my head around that!

thanks again!
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Re:First Oscar Aquarium!

Hello, welcome to the forum. Sounds like you will have a sweet set up. Lots of help here and DIYers to help with your setup. If you could swing it, I would reverse your height and depth perimeters on your aquarium build. Oscars prefer lateral rather than vertical swimming room and the more the merrier. Why do you not want to fill your tank water to the top? So long as you have a quality lid / canopy, there shouldn't be any problem to do this.

Also, why don't you get some Os that are a couple of inches long? In a tank that big they will grow up really fast and be a foot long inside of a year. It is fun to watch them grow too. :)

Good luck!
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jmunroe replied the topic: First Oscar Aquarium!

Your welcome. That's what I would do, one oscar and a couple small ones like a firemouth and something else. Don't get a pair of convicts as a male and female breeding pair will beat an oscar possibly to the point of death. Also don't add snails or crabs as the oscar will eat them.

Go do a water change - the solution to pollution is dilution.
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JamJar replied the topic: Re:First Oscar Aquarium!

Poseidon2.0 wrote: Hello, welcome to the forum. Sounds like you will have a sweet set up. Lots of help here and DIYers to help with your setup. If you could swing it, I would reverse your height and depth perimeters on your aquarium build. Oscars prefer lateral rather than vertical swimming room and the more the merrier. Why do you not want to fill your tank water to the top? So long as you have a quality lid / canopy, there shouldn't be any problem to do this.

Also, why don't you get some Os that are a couple of inches long? In a tank that big they will grow up really fast and be a foot long inside of a year. It is fun to watch them grow too. :)

Good luck!


that seems like a good idea I've not cut the glass yet so i can do that! i didnt realise they preferred lateral swimming! see i knew there would be a tip that i didn't ask about! :)))

thanks! :D
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JamJar replied the topic: First Oscar Aquarium!

jmunroe wrote: Your welcome. That's what I would do, one oscar and a couple small ones like a firemouth and something else. Don't get a pair of convicts as a male and female breeding pair will beat an oscar possibly to the point of death. Also don't add snails or crabs as the oscar will eat them.


ok again this might sound like a stupid question but could i do this…

if i was to buy a small 1-2 inch oscar and also buy half a dozen other chilies around the same size.. and keep them in there until they start getting big them i could take my chilies out and put them in a new tank :) i can easily sit a tank in my bedroom too! i mean if i was to buy a 2 inch oscar how many other chilids could i put with it.. i mean for the time frame of about 4- 6 months..

thanks for the reply once again :D
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face mcshooty replied the topic: First Oscar Aquarium!

cichlids should be stock according to adult size not current size if you get a bigger or another tank in the future deal with that when you get it less problemes this way

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