Large American Cichlids

A basic guide to keeping Large American Cichlids.

Red Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus)

The Red Oscar is also referred to as the Marble Cichlid or the Velvet Cichlid. The Red Oscar is orange/red in colour with dark gray shading and boasts an eyespot on the dorsal fin. It grows to around 12 inches in size.

The Red Oscar needs a large tank with a sandy bottom and large rocks. The Red Oscar will pull up plants in the
aquarium, so plant roots should vovered with rock. Alternatively, floating plants can be used. Oscars are not as territorial as some other cichlids..

The Red Oscar is a carnivore with a hearty appetite. They should be fed good quality Cichlid pellets, larger flake food, bloodworms and tubifex worms.

Aquarium condition and requirements for your American Cichlids

Minimum Aquarium Size - A tank of 900mm x 380mm x 300mm (36” x 15” x 12”) is suitable for the smaller species of these large Cichlids. Even larger tanks are better.

Water temperature - 23o/28oC 73o/82oF. Some fluctuation is normal in nature. Water parameters: medium to hard, neutral water is considered ideal for the fish. Should be well filtered and remain ‘sweet’.

Habitat - Gravel substrate with plenty of rocks. Large American Cichlids will re arrange gravel and rocks to suit themselves, often on a daily basis. Any plants will be uprooted continually.

Large American Cichlids’ behaviour with other fish

Generally large and aggressive, some can grow to 24 inches (600mm).

Large American Cichlids’ diet

Most of this variety should be considered as carnivores. Some can be persuaded to accept special pelletised dried foods.

Large American Cichlid’s health

Generally quite healthy. Damage to the fish caused by territorial disputes should be carefully monitored and treated as necessary.