View Full Version : ? Oscar behaviors in nature

01-08-2008, 11:24 AM
Hi people,

I opened this thread to increase my knowledge about oscars. i have a pair of them and i like them a lot, but i don't know almost anything about their nature.
now i ask some of my questions.

what they eat in nature? i heard from Dave they eat crustaceans, insects and worms. is that all thing they eat? don't they hunt smaller fish? so whats the use of that big mouth? lol

whats the size they reach finally? and whats the age they beat the max. size?

how many years they usually live? more than 10?

what is the age and size that they start searching for a mate and pairing off?

how often they breed in nature? is there a particular season for that?

usually how many of babies are able to live and become another mature oscar?

ok enough for now! i don't remember other questions.
all your comments and opinions are welcome.

oh and just a repetitive pic to show what the thread is about. lol

01-08-2008, 11:43 AM
That's the majority what they eat, though they will take a small fish if the opportunity arises, which isn't often. Remeber, in their native habitat there are lots of different crustaceans, worms, insect larvae. The big mouth is to crunch 'em.

Oscars top out at 14 inches, though occasionally you'll have one that'll reach 16 inches.

When I kept them, they were still breeding at 12 years old when I sold them when I moved. Oldest I know of is an 18 year old that a member of my aquarium club has.

They can start practicing mating at four or five inches, which is when they start to pair off if you have a group of youngsters.

They can breed semi-monthly all year long, but to my experience, they do it more often in the spring and early summer, which is probably the time period the breed in nature.

Oscars are excellent parents, and adult females can lay easily 2 or 3 thousand eggs. Even rearing half that many is a bunch of baby Oscars, and if you let the parents raise them, that's how many you'd have to get rid of. The prolific nature of Oscars is why they youngsters are so common in stores.


01-08-2008, 12:24 PM
Thank you very much Dave. excellent info as always.

you are here so i'm not worried and ask whatever comes to my mind http://qsmile.com/qsimages/39.gif

they start pairing at 4 or 5 inch, i think they can reach that size easily in 4-5 months, then when they start breeding? i think at 4-5 months old they are very young yet and need more time, right? i have heard that males should be at least 1 to 1.5 year old to be able to fertilize the eggs well.

another question, how many weeks they take care of babies in nature? what about the aquarium? how many weeks we can let babies be with parents? what tank and filtration we need to keep parents with fry and control that large bio-load? ( consider 500 fries for example )

thanks again. :41:

01-08-2008, 02:59 PM
They will breed every two weeks?

Many animals start breeding long before they will be good at it or are really big enoguh to do it a lot and stay healthy. Remember, most in nature don't make it to breeding adult size, so you do what you can do when you can do it.

They will probably be breeding in nature at the onset of the rainy season.

One of the books I have is by an author who had one for over 20 years. In captivity it is very common for animals to live much longer than they would in the wild.

I have talked to a number of people who have had or seen oscars at 20-24". I am skeptical of most of these claims, but I do believe at least a couple are true. So although it is rare, they can exceed the usual 10" in most aquariums when properly cared for.

01-08-2008, 03:31 PM
I heard from decent sources that Oscars are good jumpers and are able to catch insects in the air, just imagine these big, bulky animals...
The source told in a German Farum his Oscars really loved to catch bunmble bees in mid flight:hmm3grin2orange:

With my own eyes I have seen an Oscar in a german Zoo which was about 14 inches long.

01-08-2008, 05:40 PM
thanks for the inputs.

Fishguy i too have heard it from a local breeder that they can breed every 2 weeks. breeders do somethings that make them spawn and spawn. removing the eggs to another tank. or pouring cold water on them to make them believe its raining season. or separating them from each other for a few days, feeding them well an then putting them together again.

my pair bred 2.5 months ago. i didn't remove the eggs and they kept their babies for 10 days then i removed them. they didn't spawn again yet. i guess thats because of they saw their babies and told each other ok we succeed thats enough for now! lol.
i heard from many experienced people that not removing the eggs really delays next spawning. but i have no problem with that. watching those big parents take care of their lil babies is one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen.

about breeding when they are young and inexperienced i'm agree with you, just curious to know when the female is able to lay eggs and when male can fertilize at least a few of them.

Andrea, i think its not unexpected. they are really good jumpers! my 2.5 months old jumps to my hand all the time when i feed him. thats very funny to watch that little baby jumping up. theres a piece of ceramic on the tank and vapored water become cold on it and drop to the tank, sometimes baby oscar jumps to get the drops on that! lol