Substrate+ornaments for Oscar Tanks

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TheDavinciCod created the topic: Substrate+ornaments for Oscar Tanks

Hey all, new here, just made an account today :)
I'm currently keeping tree frogs, a bluetongue lizard and goldfish, and in two weeks i'm picking up my oscar.
I've done lots of research on them, making sure they are right for me, and how to care for them etc, but you can never know too much, so i wanted to make sure i was doing the right thing.
I managed to get a real nice tank for pretty cheap (second hand, but it's flawless, just had to clean it up is all) which holds 810 litres (213.979 gallons). There will only be the one oscar in the tank, so she should have quite a bit of room(?). Might consider tank mates later on, but i'm focusing on the one fish for now. I've always liked the look of light substrate (like white sand) but i've heard oscars dont do too well with sand, as they are messy, but wanted to know what you guys use. Obviously i'll just get whatever is best for the oscar, Health>Tank Aesthetics. Shes currently in a bare fish shop tank, but what's the best decoration/hides/just driftwood etc to have in with them? too heavy to move? or should it be light so they dont hurt themselves? i've seen a lot of contrasting advice in regards to them, so i wanted to see what you all thought. Thanks a lot :)

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Suprd71 replied the topic: Substrate+ornaments for Oscar Tanks

Hello and welcome to OFL. Substrate is your choice. I use rounded river pebbles for most of my bigger cichlids. Sand is ok, try to get a heavier grain. Oscars like to dig and rearrange, so you want to avoid cloudy water and sand in filters. I find simple rocks and driftwood suits them fine. Live plants generally dont fare well, and plastic ones are usually pulled apart as well.Thats a big tank for 1 fish, the concern is if the fish is big enough to produce enough ammonia to support the nitrifying bacteria colony that a 200g filtration system will have. Maybe you could add a pleco or other bottom feeder to the tank

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OFL replied the topic: Substrate+ornaments for Oscar Tanks

This is an easy decision for me, sand every time. I have used gravel in the early days, but then I swapped over to sand pretty quickly. You can use dark sand, but I prefer light coloured sand because it makes the whole tank looks nice and bright, with black sand the tank may look a little bit dull and you will need really good lighting. Also, sand is much easier to clean because the debris and dirt (poo :-)) stays on top of the sand and doesn't get submerged as it does with gravel. Another good thing about light coloured sand is that you can see all the dirt really easily so when you are cleaning the tank, you can take out all the crap.

I wouldn't bother with live plants, I've tried it on numerous occasions and the Oscars just rip them to pieces. Also, live plants need to be looked after properly unless you know what you're doing they normally start looking rather poorly after a few weeks.

You can't beat a nice big piece of wood, it looks awesome in a large fish tank. Also, if you can get a great big pot, or some large pieces of slate, that can also make the tank look very nice.

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