Red Oscar


The Red Oscar is a color variation of Astronotus ocellatus Oscar. It is also known as the Marble Cichlid or the Velvet Cichlid and is a colorful addition to a large aquarium. The Red Oscar is orange-red with dark gray shading and an eyespot on the dorsal fin. They will form a pair, make a nuclear family and are generally peaceful in nature. It is hard to tell the difference between the male and females, but during spawning the female has obvious genital papilla.

The Red Oscar requires a large aquarium of at least 70 gallons with a deep sand bottom and a few large rocks. They will dig up plants; so any that are in the tank should be potted with the root surfaces covered with rocks. Using floating plants is a good compromise to this problem. Tiny Oscars form a tight cluster for protection and this is normal behavior for juvenile fish. Large Oscars are not as territorial as most other cichlids when full grown but will consume anything they can fit into their mouths.

A large tank should be used for breeding, as much as 100 gallons if possible. The Red Oscar will spawn in soft or hard water as long as it is clean and clear and has a temperature between 79-86°F. The female will lay from 1,000-2,000 eggs on rocks that have been carefully cleaned. The eggs are opaque at first, turning transparent in 24 hours. The brood will be carefully guarded and cared for and the fry will be kept in pits and may even be covered. When they are free-swimming, the fry should be fed Cyclops. Sometimes the fry will cling to their parents.

The Red Oscar is a carnivore that is a predaceous and hearty eater. Oscars will eat a variety of meaty foods, including small fish and earthworms, Cichlid pellets, larger flake food, ocean plankton, bloodworms, and tubifex worms.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda November 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I got a 12″ oscar from a friend, believe me, if you want nice things in your tank, ex. bubble wall or plants, do not get an oscar lol. they love to move everything around, which is a pain, but they sure do have a lot of personality. Mine enjoys minnows and goldfish, as well as Cichlid pellets. He’s very large, and is supposed to get bigger, cant wait.

Emily Wu December 18, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Red Oscar are quite small and have a lot of bones. You must be careful not to overcook this delicious fish.

If you marinate the fish with lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda before cooking you can soften and make harmless the many small bones.

Leave a Comment