The directions on fish food normally tell you to feed your fish several times a day and for a given amount of time. Personally I don't take much notice of these directions as the manufacturers are just trying to make you use as much of their product as possible. In the wild fish will not have a reliable food source like they do in your aquarium, they will have to go looking for their food which may result in them going hungry for a day or two. In the dry season when the waters recede fish can often go without food for weeks.

Most people feed their fish every day, sometimes more than once a day. An adult Oscar Fish does not need to be fed on a daily basis, you could quite feasibly feed your fish every other day, or even three or four times a week and your fish would be perfectly okay. I must emphasize that baby and juvenile Oscar's should be fed on a daily basis until they reach adulthood.

I normally feed my fish as much food as they can eat in two or three minutes and then I stop. I don't put a handful of food in, I introduce five or six pellets at a time and I wait until the Oscars have eaten these and then I introduce a few more. If all the Oscars are about the same size I leave it up to them to compete for the food as I believe this keeps them active and alert.

For information on what to feed your Oscar, please visit the link below for an extensive article on various types of food you can give your Oscar fish

What can I feed my Oscar fish?

The Oscar Fish is a semi-aggressive Cichlid which means it could exhibit aggressive behaviour to any fish you put in with it. However, there is a number of fish that do make good tank mates for your Oscar Fish. Silver Dollars make very good tankmates if added in small groups. Other semi-aggressive Cichlids such as Severeum, FireMouth Cichlid, Blue Acara & Convict Cichlid can be added with caution. Other fishes that I have found to be good tank mates for Oscars include Eartheaters (Jurupari), Plecostomus, Leporinus, Clown Loach, Jade Eyed Cichlid, Syndontis Catfish. Tankmates must be able to defend themselves and compete for food. Adding fish that are too small may well end up as a tasty snack for your Oscar. Please visit our section on tank mates for Oscars Tankmates for Oscar Fish...

Water changes are an integral part when keeping fish in an aquarium. Failure to carry out adequate water changes will result in poor water quality which can make your fish more susceptible to disease and even death.

If your aquarium is big enough, stocked properly and you feed your fish sensibly then nitrate levels shouldn't reach high levels within a weekly period. In reality you shouldn't really need to change any more than one third of the water each week. However we all know that overstocking aquariums is quite common and therefore nitrate levels will be that much higher at the end of the week. In these cases water changes will need to be slightly larger. It's quite easy to work out, if you test your water for nitrate and the readings are 40 ppm, it will take a 50% water change to reduce the nitrates back to 20 ppm.

If you have tested your water and your nitrate levels are extremely high level instead of carrying out a huge water change, you might be better off carrying out several smaller water changes over a few days. Sometimes fish that have been housed in an aquarium with high nitrate actually get used to being exposed to these high levels. If you were to suddenly change a massive amount of water all at once, it has been known for fish to become shocked and die. I don't think this is a common occurrence but it's something you should be aware of.

It is important that you carry out a nitrate test properly and read the instructions fully. This video will show you exactly how to carry out a nitrate test

Using buckets to change water in a large aquarium is very time-consuming. However, there are products you can get that will make the water change a piece of cake. One such product is called the and is extremely popular amongst many of our members.

The simple answer to this question is yes, of course, you can put plants in your Oscar tank, however, don't be surprised if the Oscars uproot them, or even just completely rip them to pieces. For some reason Oscars seem to take a dislike to plants and nearly every person who keeps these fish will tell you that they are not successful in keeping the two together.

The Amazon Sword is probably the most successful plant I have ever managed to put in with my Oscars. They are native to the Amazon River so will look authentic if you want to set up an Amazon theme aquarium.They are a fairly hardy plant that will not die on you overnight. Even though the Oscar may be able to operate one of these plants, they can be rerooted fairly easily.

If you keep plants remember that you will have to look after them in much the same way as your garden plants. If you really want plants then you could try artificial aquarium plants. Some of these are quite realistic and obviously fairly tough. The Oscar will still uproot them and they will also need cleaning every now and then because they collect algae quite easily. I have tried keeping plants on various occasions but I gave up a few years ago because it just isn't worth the bother in my opinion

The beauty of using an aquarium sump filter is you can use just about any media you want.  However, we would recommend opting for large media, there's no point in trying to fill a sump filter up with very small particles of media.  When looking for media for a sump filter, try looking in the pond section, this is where you often find the larger type media that is suitable for large sump filters.

Here is a small list of biological and mechanical media that is commercially available and that works extremely well in a sump filter

Scrubbies - these are probably the cheapest option if you are looking for biological media for an aquarium sump filter, scrubbies are made for cleaning dishes, however they make excellent biological media for your sump filter as they have a large surface area for bacteria to grow on.  Three or four packets of scrubbies will give you an enormous amount of biological filtration.  The only disadvantage with this type of media is it will collect a lot of debris and dirt so you will need to clean them every few weeks.

Bio Balls - this type of media is absolutely superb, slightly smaller the ping-pong ball and containing lots of little prongs, they have a large surface area for bacteria to grow on.  1000 bio balls will be enough to filtrate several hundred gallons of aquarium water.  They are excellent as they never get dirty so you don't have the problem of trying to keep them clean like you will scrubbies

Flocor Filter Media - this media is what they call an open cell media and resemble small segments of plastic tubing.  The advantage with this type of media is they won't get clogged with debris and dirt so you never have to worry about water flow being restricted

Alfagrog - this media is extremely porous and resembles small pieces of rock.  Although extremely efficient as biological filtration, this will eventually become saturated with debris and dirt.  My advice when using this type of media is to put it in media sacks so that when you want to clean it, you simply remove the whole sackful of media

K1 Media - this is self-cleaning media, however, it needs to be aerated properly.  Once moved by continuous column of air it will give maximum effective removal rates of ammonia & nitrate.  However at nearly £70 for a small sac, it is very expensive

Filter Media Brush - these are not really meant to act as biological filtration, filter brushes make excellent mechanical filtration and when placed at the very front of your filter where the water enters will catch and stop debris from flowing through the sump filter and clogging up your biological media

Japanese Matting - Japanese matting makes superb mechanical filtration and will collect large debris.  If you've got a large sump filter then feel free to use several layers in one chamber.  Just remember that eventually matting will become clogged with debris and will need to be cleaned.

Filter Foam - this is also mechanical filtration, however it is slightly finer than Japanese matting.  I like using it just before the biological filtration as it will filter out the final bits of solid debris that makes it through the brushes and Japanese matting.  Again, foam filtration will become clogged and will need to be cleaned every few weeks depending on stock levels.