My Oscar will not eat

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OFL created the topic: My Oscar will not eat

One of the most common queries and questions on forums relates to Oscars suddenly going off their food. If your Oscar does do this then there is a procedure that every Oscar owner should know how to do. Get your water tested for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Wouldn't hurt to check the pH at the same time. If there's something wrong, that could be the reason for the lack of appetite. Anyway, we're not going to talk about health issues.

If all your water readings are perfectly okay and your Oscar is showing no signs of ill-health and looks perfectly okay, it can be extremely frustrating because I can tell you from experience, it is virtually impossible to fathom why they do this.

One thing that a lot of people don't realise is that Oscars from 8 inches upwards don't need to eat a lot of food, unlike babies. I would suggest that you only feed an adult Oscar once a day. Once they reach 9-10 inches, it wouldn't even hurt to feed them every other day. And you certainly don't need to give them a lot. What you could do is feed them a reasonable amount just to keep them happy and then maybe once a week give them a little more food. You could make this something different. Maybe foods such as Lance fish, shrimps, krill, something different than just pellets. You could even give them a nice chunk of beef heart if you want.

Oscars can be very fussy about food. I have found them to be unlike any other fish I have kept. For instance, my Jade Eyed Cichlid will eat whatever she's given. There is no fussiness and never any food left behind. Oscars are a little like little children. One day they can't get enough of Hikari pellets, the next day they treat them like it's the worst food they had ever tasted. If your Oscar turns his nose up to a certain kind of food, don't go out and buy some more. If he won't eat his dinner, let him go hungry. This may sound excessive, and even cruel but you sometimes have to force Oscars into submission by starving them. Believe me, I have done quite a few times before and nine times out of 10 it works. If he's healthy, he will eat .

Because Oscars have a tendency of becoming bored with food, it is actually a very good idea to keep various types of food and try and rotate them. Oscars can become hooked on one food and when you try and feed them on something else, they just won't have it.

If you buy your Oscars at a very young age (2 1/2 inches upwards), start them off on all kinds of different food. My Oscars are a little over 3 inches and I rotate their food. Their main diet is two types of pellets three times a day. Two or three times a week I give them frozen Lance fish (thawed out thoroughly). Because I feed my other fish on frozen blood worm, they get that as well. As they get older, I will introduce them to a few more types of food and I will keep doing this into adulthood. I must just mention that if your Oscars are extremely small, 2 inches or under, don't feed them on hard pellets too much. Give them flake food, shrimp, krill.

Oscars are always going to look as though they are starving, don't let them make you feel guilty. You will not do them any good by overfeeding. My philosophy is, keep your Oscar on the hungry side, and he should eat okay. Having said all this, an Oscar may still refuse food for no reason at all so just bear that in mind.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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