continued from pg. 120

Oscars make good pets, but they can grow to more than 14 inches. Adults kept singly require a minimum tank size of 50 gallons.

and pelvic fins are usually just dark colored.

Another notable feature of the oscar is its large mouth with thick lips and protruding lower jaw. The oscar is isomorphic, meaning male and female fish are of equal size and visually Indistinguishable to the human eye.

The Setup

Before deciding on a suitable setup for an oscar, one does need to decide on the lifestyle to be imposed on the fish. Is the osca^o live alone or as part of a community of other large fish? Is there any intention of trying to get a pair of oscars to breed in one's aquarium? Answers to these questions dictate the size and layout of the final aquarium design that will be needed for the oscar.

A single adult oscar could arguably be housed in a 50-gallon aquarium (36 by 18 by 18 inches), while a breeding pair should do fine in a 120-gallon aquarium (48 by 24 by 24 inches), but a community tank of large fish would need to be housed in a tank of at least 180 gallons (72 by 24 by 24 inches).

The young oscar at the LFS is usually just 2 to 3 inches in length, but with good feeding it will reach 7 to 8 inches in the first year and 12 inches or more by the end of the second year. One young oscar in a 50-gallon tank by itself sounds ridiculous, and the tank would look rather empty.

It is a tough decision whether to place a young oscar in a smaller grow-out tank for a few months to a year before moving it to its permanent home. Aquarium stores sometimes have full-grown oscars that have been returned by previous owners, which one could turn to, to have a fish in the aquarium with immediate impact. Obviously, bigger fish cost more, but it is cheaper than buying a grow-out tank as an interim measure.

The oscar aquarium, irrespective of size, should have a 3-inch base of popular freshwater f

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