Right, looks like the Oscar fish is a good candidate to take home for you? Have you got the right fish tank for the Oscar? Let me share with you what I did which went wrong and how you can learn from my experience in setting up the right tank to rear oscar fishes.
Firstly, bear in mind that the Oscar cichlid fish can grow up to a foot in aquarium conditions. Bearing that in mind, you would want to get a tank which is at least 3 times the maximum length of an adult Oscar. A tank with a minimum 3 feet length and 2 feet wide and 2 feet tall would be ideal for an adult Oscar. I mentioned "an" meaning just one Oscar. If you want to rear more than one, get at least a 5 footer length aquarium. The reason for getting such a long aquarium is to allow the Oscar fish to roam freely without inhibition. I learnt the hard way in just providing a 2 feet tank to my Oscar and he could not grow any further than about 6 inches long. As a result, I replaced the tank with a larger tank (at a cost, of course! and full of hassles) and that allowed him to grow further.
Set up your tank bearing in mind that the Oscar fish grows rapidly, especially during the juvenile stage. Don't bother with too much decor like fake houses or colourful wheels or even plastic plants. Forget about using real plants as well as they, like many other cichlids, have a tendency to be "destructive" in the sense that they like to dig and push gravel around. It is okay to use gravel only and perhaps a couple of big rocks to give them a sense of security especially when they are still juveniles. Consider removing these big rocks when they grow big especially if you don't want them to hurt themselves brushing off their bodies against the rocks.
Invest in the best filtration system you can afford because the Oscars eat a lot and them excrete a lot. You wouldn't want to be using an inadequate filtration system which allows the nitrate levels to build up faster than it could cope. Water quality is always important when rearing fish and you wouldn't want to be killing your pet fish slowly with poor water quality. In the next post, I will discuss on the suitable types of water filtration for rearing the oscar fish.