after several repeated attempts to reach the
pond and decide to move on to a more easily
accessible food supply.
Of course, your presence around the pond
will be a great deterrent against herons
as well. Try to visit the pond frequently,
but don’t stick to a predictable pattern.
Otherwise, the heron will get accustomed to
your comings and goings and will learn to
simply wait you out.
Raising a Happy,
What do I need to do to keep an
oscar fish healthy and happy?
I’m planning to buy a red tiger oscar soon
and would like to know what to expect
ahead of time.
In my humble opinion, there
are three key requirements to
keeping an oscar Astronotus
ocellatus healthy and happy
throughout its life: Give it plenty of room to
grow, offer a variety of nutritious foods, and
maintain excellent water quality. These may
Albert Connelly, Jr.
Placing a net over your pond is one of the only sure ways to prevent predators like birds from
attacking your fish.
seem like obvious points—as they really
apply to all fish—but most problems that
hobbyists experience with oscars can be
attributed to cutting corners in one or more
of these areas.
For an oscar, which can reach upwards of
a foot in length as an adult, “plenty of room”
means a minimum of 55 gallons—better
yet, 75 gallons—for a single specimen. If
you plan to keep a small group, a minimum
tank size in the vicinity of 125 gallons
would be appropriate. Please don’t make the
mistake that so many oscar keepers make of
keeping a young specimen in an undersized
aquarium with the intention of eventually
upsizing the tank. Almost invariably, such
specimens are kept in their cramped quarters
for far too long, and as a result they end up
floundering in polluted water and develop
stunted, disfigured features.
Tropical Fish Hobbyist www.tfhmagazine.com