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Old 05-22-2006, 04:10 PM   #1
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Oscar Breeding Question

Hello all,

I am new to the forums, but I was wondering if anyone could answer a question I have about breeding oscars. I have 8 oscars in a 90 gallon tank in the hopes that 2 will pair up for a breeding pair. I bought the fish from different sources all around 1 to 1.5 inches in length. They are now getting larger as expected (between 4.5 to 5 inches) but I have not seen any lip locking, nesting, tail slapping or the like. Should they be doing this by the time they get 4.5 inches or do I need to let em grow up a little more? If so what size do oscars typically begin pairing up? I'm starting to get a little concerned about the bio load of all the oscars in a relatively small tank, but I dont want to split em until they start pairing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:14 PM   #2
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I would say you are just about at that point where they will begin to pair. Stay on top of the water changes and you should be fine. It can be a tough fish to pair sometimes. Try placing a piece of slate rock in the tank. If they have a suitable place to lay egss you may see that trigger a breeding responce
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:23 PM   #3
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Thanks spence. I have a large piece of slate in there already. Also, I do regular water changes (20% twice weekly) - my ammonia and nitrites are always 0ppm and nitrates are always less than 5ppm. I use pool filter sand as a substrate and I have sprinkled some on spots on the slate to see if they try to clean out a spot or not... thus far they have not. How long (i.e. what size) do you think it is safe to wait before the bioload gets too heavy? I have read on some sites that raising the temp a few degrees may help trigger pairing - have you ever heard of that?

Thanks again,

Keith
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:46 PM   #4
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I've heard of it, but I've never really tried it. Just vary the diet, and stay away from feeder fish as they cause more harm than good. Try a quality pellet food like Hikari, then supplement with garden worms and possibly crickets (if you don't mind bringing them into your house). I belive they sell the dried ones if you don't want live. Your Oscars will love you for it.

Keep the water params stable and you should see them start to pair off. Not much else you can do but watch. Good luck
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the info - it sounds like I am on the right track. I'll let you know if i have any success!
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:51 AM   #6
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I am new to this website but hopefully someone can help me out. I have 2 albino oscars and I believe spawning is about to begin-she's about to lay eggs because of their behavior-moving gravel-clearing out so that bare bottom of tank is exposed-twitching their bodies. I'm in the process of moving them into a larger tank. I'm wondering if okay to move them now? Didn't want to interrupt this process. Also, I currently have a sucker fish in the tank with them and wondering if I need to get him away from them totally - move into another tank by himself? He's pretty big and agressive. The male oscar and him go at it sometimes. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-13-2006, 02:01 PM   #7
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It's hard to give a definite answer on this. If they are about to spawn changing their tank may in fact interrupt this process (more than likely)

The Pleco on the other hand may be helping the situation. If the Oscars focus there aggression on the it, then less aggression toward each other. Of course there is always the risk of it eating the eggs. They are a very tough fish and able to take care of themselves

IMO I would move the Oscars to a new larger tank and wait for them to spawn again.

I know I didn't give too many answers, but hope that helps.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:40 PM   #8
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Very cool. A mated pair of Oscars can be pretty valuable since they're usually in demand at much fish stores. I had a chance to buy a mated pair once for about $50, but didn't have a tank big enough for them.
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Old 07-01-2006, 08:44 AM   #9
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OoooKaaay... IME i started with 13 from various stores, 7 red tiger and 6 albinos reds. Bout 2in in size.
They dont reach sexual maturity until they are 20-24 months. @ 12months of age they reached approx 6-9 inches, it was at this time they started the whole lip locking and fighting for the best mate. The larger ones paired (not always the case) so i was lucky and started to sell some of the runts.
I then split the two colour groups because they never really got along, i called them racists!
@ that time i had 6 left, an albino pair and another 2 albinos that got along and not aggressive to the other fish. and a red tiger pair in a seperate tank.

Now the larger two albinos that paired off got extremly agressive towards the other fish and had to be separated after about 8 months. @ this time i sold the 2 red tigers, and put the pair in a 120 gal.
I always had gravel that they would burrow in. I tried slate to no prevail. Always lifting it Never happy!
To start them off you can raise the temp 2c for two weeks and do a 40%water change. Any thing can start it. Moving them will do wonders for their ego if done right! Even changing the decor in the tank, if any.
Good food is a must! Wide variety and regular feedings, 2-3 times a day. Keep up PWCs every week.
The Fighting will get a little worse before they settle, but this is all part of the mating ritual.
UNLESS THEY ARE TARING THEMSELVES APART! Then they have to be separated using a fridge wire shelf or grate etc... this is ok because she will lay next to the wire and he will still be able to ferilize the eggs. Either way give them a couple of weeks to do thier thing.
If nothing happens used a solid divider so they cannot see each other, wait two weeks and re-introduce and start ova.

Do you know how to sex them? There is no defining way to sex an oscar without removing the fish and getting a torch,and there are tell tale signs that both sexes display making it hard to tell without doing the above.. The rounded versus pointy dorsalfin and anal fins. the 1 hole 2 hole method(very hard to tell before maturity) and rounded forehead.
But IMO the only sort of accurate way was to compare the ditance inbetween the gill plates that run to the mouth, side by side you can see the diferent spacing between them. If they touch from memory its male. And females seem to be bigger, more rounded in body shape.

I hope this helps, as i know you have a long way to go.

Oh and dont expect anything before 2 years....
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Old 07-01-2006, 11:53 AM   #10
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yah what trotty said.
i read a book all about oscars and it said the same.
just make sure there are no other fish in the tank so they dont eat the eggs.
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