Raising two oscars together: doomed to failure?
My boyfriend and I are upgrading some of our fish soon, and we've been throwing around the idea of starting an oscar tank in the soon-to-be-vacated digs. We want to get a pair of juvenile oscars (the smallest size at the lfs, so we can "raise" them) and have them grow together, hopefully to form a breeding pair in a year or two.
Anyways, here the issue: since sexing is virtually impossible at that stage, is this very likely to end in failure? It's a 2 out of 4 chance we get different genders, which are pretty good odds to me, but do they stand a good chance of actually "pairing" up provided they are raised together? And if they turn out to both be female, a 1 in 4 chance, will they likely still be good to live together, even when they reach sexual maturity? I understand that two males, another 1 in 4 chance, wouldn't work out once they outgrow the juvie stage, but if the other possibilities work, that's a 75% chance of at least some success, which sounds good to me to try.
Anyways, is there anything wrong with my projections? Are two different gender oscars probably not going to pair up and need to be separated, or are two females likely to turn on each other once they get older?
They would initially be raised in a 35 gallon tank (they'll obviously eventually get upgraded to a 70+ tank as required, but we're looking to buy 2-3" fish right now), already with a sand bottom, that will have a few large rocks in it. There will probably be a pleco in there with them, since my mother keeps buying them for her 15 gallon school tank and then calling me when they outgrow it, and if I'm guessing right, one of those calls is coming soon. (I really need to just buy her a clown pleco, but she always beats me to the punch with whatever pleco catches her eye at petsmart. But that is a rant for another time....) Not planning on any other tankmates (except maybe a tire track or fire eel? Those are pretty sweet), we mainly just want a pair of entertaining oscars to spoil.
On a side note, if we did get two oscars and they did decide to hate each other, could we just put one in the big tank with my ghost knife and pleco (both about a foot long--the pleco is one of those aforementioned rescues from my mother)? Is that a workable combo?
Thanks for any advice! This will be the first time for either of to take a swing at oscars or cichlids of any sort, and we just want to try and do it right.
they'll 100g plus very soon, spawning Oscars means you'll need at least a thousand gallon of tank space since they commonly lay 2000 eggs!!
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Best to not buy fish thinking you will "later" get the tank for them. Things happen, plans go astray, money becomes less available, etc. Oscars grow fast. Don't get the fish until you have the tank and the larger the tank, the better for them.
Oscars are a great choice for fish. But I would wait until the larger tank is acquired becuase the 35g would be overstocked in a little over 3 months. If you do get a pair their should be no tank mates what so ever they will kill everything in the tank. If they are diferent genders which is a good chance of happening then its another chance for them liking eachother. But they tend to like other fish if they are raised with them.
I should specify about the tanks: we're not the "oh we'll get a bigger fishtank sometime" type of aquarists. My boyfriend and his brother build (large) fishtanks as a hobby together, and do so regularly. Right now they're working on a mammoth turtle tank, and after that they're planning on making me a 125-150 gallon tank for my biggest boys (the ghost knife and the pleco), at which point their tank will become available for whoever needs upgrading. So it is likely there will be a larger tank available before too long.
I just don't want a perfectly cycled, set-up 35 gallon to go to waste, and I've got too many community tanks as is. We'd do something else, but we've wanted oscars for a while, and this seems the perfect opportunity to get that started. Apart from the tank size, is my plan something that will work?
I would go with the 150 for the 2 oscars when they are full grown.
If you are going to have the tank set uop and cycled within 3 months and the oscars are very small when you buy them than the 35 will do.
Only for 3 months because you will be very surprised at how fast they grow!
I only suggest this because you say you have access to the tank.
You will need other tanks for all the fry,They do have a lot as already mentioned.
What do you guys charge for a 200 gal. tank?
Last edited by Northernguy; 11-27-2008 at 01:19 AM.
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Yeah! I've had my oscars for about 3 actually. And when I got them they were like one inch...one and a half long, now my big guy/girl is almost the size of my hand. The other one is not growing nearly as fast, but he/she is like 3-1/2". I cannot believe how quick they grow.
I've been having luck with mine so far though. I dont know what they are in terms of sex. When they were in my 55 g tank, they started to fight alot! Lots of missing scales and hiding fish.
Then I found a custom 5 foot long 80g tank for cheap. Got that and after a month and some, they are really cool with each other. I know there will be more episodes of aggression. But I really think since they have a nice long tank, with lots of plants and some upright standing logs to hide behind have given them their own space to calm down.
So... 2-3months in a 35 g could be... difficult. From what I've seen in mine.
I'm a noob though, and these are my first oscars.
Absolutely awesome fish though, I love mine.
Hmm....you've given me some stuff to consider. I'm not as concerned about space for theoretical future spawning, as all the resources I've seen seem to indicate at least a year and a half to sexual maturity, which would give me plenty of time to prepare for the logistics of such an occurrence.
We might just go with one oscar, and have it with some other tankmates, but being the obnoxious lovebirds we are, we're kinda hooked on the thought of trying for a pair. Cliche, but there it is. We definitely don't want to do the "buy 5 or 6" thing--I would get far too attached to pick out only two to keep. We just have this tank now, and oscars are what we want to do next. I'm used to fish growing fast--my ghost knife was insane.
northernguy--no idea what they'd charge, they've only been doing it for themselves and friends, for fun. It takes them some time to build a tank, they just kind of keep one as a work in process all the time. Right now they're building this very long, somewhat wide, and fairly shallow tank that's for the red-eared sliders, so we can keep them inside and not dig a pond the dogs will just swim in as they outgrow their tank. They're currently playing around with ideas to put holes in the center of the bottom piece, so as to build a filter into a central island. Tank building is pretty interesting, and a lot cheaper than you would think.
IMO, you can try your 2 little baby oscars. raise them in your 35g for a while and then move them to a big enough tank ( since you are sure about it )
in a 35g when they get near 6" they may start some deadly fights even if they are in opposite sex. in bigger tanks its more possible for them to accept each other. as you mentioned, oscars are very different, they may become 2 that hate each other the most but also may be a lovely pair, you can only try and see.
and no need to be worried about the future babies, I have raised 1000 oscar fry up to more than 1 inch long in a 40g tank, its hard but not impossible, so in a bigger tank its much easier.
about the age of maturity, my pair were between 6 to 9 months old when they paired off, and 12 to 15 months old when they first spawned.
80g Oscar Tank
Good for you to have someone to make your tanks. Sounds as you have things well planned out. Nice going.
Originally Posted by HannahJ