Black Oscar fish – A Complete Guide

Black Oscars are beautiful and simple. The fish present a stunning appearance, Black Oscar fish are some of the most beautiful and attractive fish in the Oscar Cichlids category.

Black Oscar coloring is mainly black with yellow and orange scales making irregular patterns across their body in splotches. Some of these fish are known for their stunning color gradient in terms of how the orange meshes into the yellow so beautifully.

They sometimes have the same tiger-like pattern decorating their scales in irregular patterns all over their bodies. The appearance and shapes of the pattern may differ from one fish to the other.
Their fins are completely jet black and their eyes have an orange rim with a black center. That makes them even more beautiful.

Black Oscar Overview

Black Oscar fish is often crossbred off of the ordinary Oscar fish. Jet black in color with many variations of the orange and yellow color appearing in splotches all over their bodies., This fish is often described as “mystic” or “regal”. The many shades of the highlighting orange that adorn its body give them a powerful presence. Seeming to have a life of their own when the black Oscar is underwater. Many have described the fish as a “glowing” fish. But something else that stands out for this fish is its majestic irregular pattern. Almost as though defying every rule and regulation anyone may have for them. They definitely are distinct from their cousins.

Black Oscar fish patterns

The Black Oscar fish pattern appears in a very lawless and irregular way. As though daring the world to do their worst. The skin channels where there are splotches of orange and yellow are filled with bright backlights that make them seemingly glow in the aquarium. In the place of the order and gradient appearance of the black Oscar fish patterns, black Oscar fish touts defiance that rarely any other cichlid sports. No specific rules to the appearance of black Oscar fish patterns. Each fish seem to have their own thing going on at all times.

Black Oscar fish Size

The Black Oscar population seems to grow a little smaller than the usual Oscars. The adult black Oscar ranges between 10 inches to 15 inches at adulthood and full maturity. There isn’t any specific explanation for this but it is the fact of black Oscar’s life.
The black Oscar is however not exempt from the basic rule of housing. They need a tank that is big enough for them to swim. Around so that they can achieve their full length.

Black Oscar fish Lifespan

These factors and more contribute to how long the average black Oscar fish lives.
In the wild, black Oscar fish may live as long as 15 years. In captivity, however, they may live up to eighteen. Before you decide to keep an Oscar fish, you should try as much as possible to learn as much as you can about the fish first. You should also make sure you are in the position to provide them with a fairly good life in the form of a roomy tank, (up to 50 gallons per fish) and the right filtration.

How to make my black Oscar fish live long

The black Oscar fish life span may be influenced by the common factors that affect any other Oscar fish. They are really dependent on whatever sort of lifestyle their keepers give them. If they are being well-fed, and in the right balance and in the right proportion too. Is the tank big enough? Are they keeping to the right temp and pH?

Black Oscar fish behaviour

Most Oscar fish are generally popular for their aggressiveness. They are also known to be quite territorial. The case is not any special with the black Oscar fish. However, it’s important to note that there is a variation from fish to fish. Each Black Oscar fish have their own personality and they are not all necessarily aggressive. It may also depend on a lot of factors such as whether or not they have tank mates, mating partners, or if they have enough food and space to mark their own territories.

Black Oscar Tank Size

An adult black Oscar fish needs a good amount of space to swim and play on her own. Most specialists recommend a minimum of 50 gallon tank for the average adult black Oscar. A smaller tank would just be too small and this could make the black Oscar fish fall sick and die. They will probably stop growing and their eyes may grow disproportionately bigger than their body. It is important to note that your tank should be big enough to hold the number of fish that you want to keep. You may want to purchase a tank while considering whether or not your black Oscar fish will be having tank mates.

Black Oscar Food

Black Oscars’ diet is very similar to that of most other Oscars. While they are In the wild, they survive mostly on small fish, plants, and other sea creatures. Things are however different when they are in captivity however, you can feed them a wide variety of foods. From readymade processed cichlids food to frozen foods like worms and fish. They can also eat fruits and vegetables. In reality, it is very imperative to include fruits and veggies in your Oscar fish diet. They need it to get a good dose of vitamins.

Are black Oscar fish carnivorous?

To be honest, your black Oscar fish will eat almost anything that will fit in the hole in its face. From fellow fish to cake. They will even bite your fingers if you offer it. This is why it is important that you are intentional with deciding what you feed to your cute black fish. Without the right doses of vitamins and minerals, all that fascinating black and orange will give way slowly. It is usually a sign that your fish isn’t getting enough of the right vitamins. But it could also mean that your fish is sick and in urgent need of a vet.

Black Oscar Tank Mates

Just as we discussed before, black Oscar fish are really just popular Oscar fish with glowing black and orange scale. This is no different in terms of the right tank mates for them either. Black Oscars have just about the same potential to be aggressive devils as any other Oscar fish with the intent. The distinction would however be that the aggressive devil you have will be black and orange in color.
Black Oscar fish are very territorial just like their cousins. They are really best kept in their tanks alone.

Guideline to get a tank mates for Black Oscar

They don’t need to have tank mates. But if you prefer to get them, tank mates, you cant get them tank mates that are small enough to fit in their mouths because then you are really just getting them snacks. You also should not put a much bigger fish in their Aquariums because then your black Oscar fish would also be in danger of being mauled to death or eaten. They could even starve as most of the food will go to the bigger fish. The secret here is equilibrium.

Perhaps the most important thing to note when getting your black Oscar fish a tank mate however is that you can keep Oscar fish in twos, but never threes. This is because two Oscars may pair off and ignore the third one. This will then make the lone fish a trespasser the other fish will attack him.

Black Oscar Tank Requirements

The average black Oscar fish will grow as long as 15 inches in its lifetime. They usually need an aquarium tank of about 50 gallons per fish. This tank should also have strong and effective filters along with good substrate and tank decors like plants.

Black Oscar Breeding

Oscars are generally not an easy fish to breed. There are just too many variables in a successful Oscar breeding exercise and black Oscars are not left out. As earlier stated, black Oscars are particularly rare because you can’t even be sure when you’ll get them. If you insist on breeding these specific Oscars however, here are the steps to follow.

Find an established couple.

The idea is to find a mating couple that has already reproduced at least once. This will help to remove the questions of whether or not they are going to be successful breeders or not. Oscars reached reproductive age at about two years old. The thing however is that you can’t tell male and female black Oscars apart as they generally look and act exactly the same. The one way to find out their sexes is to look around their anus for a small cone shaped organ. This is the only difference between the species.

Maybe raise them by yourself

If you find it difficult to acquire a proven couple, your next option would be to just raise them by yourself. You could buy up to 10 Oscar fish and just raise them till they start pairing up. This will definitely take more time, but you would have an assurance of gender.
You could choose to buy only black Oscars as this will ensure that the fry produced will have enough black Oscars amongst them.

How to make your Oscars start breeding

You can inspire breeding in the fish by making sure that they are in optimum health and condition. The water is the right ph. and temperature, the food is enough but not excessive and the fish are in good health. You will also need to siphon the gravel. Try to keep their feed rich in vitamins. You can include fruits, vegetables, and meals like frozen mealworms, crickets and even frozen fish food. It is however very important to first quarantine your live feeder fish before you feed them to your black Oscars because you may end up introducing a disease-carrying fish into your tank and fish.

Breeding behavior in Oscars

When your Oscar fish starts to show mating interest in each other, there are some signs that you’ll see. Here is a list of possible changes you’ll notice in their behavior that may notify you of the fact that they have started mating or are preparing to mate.

Apparent change in swimming habits:

Your Oscar fish may start to chase each other around the tank. Slapping their tails against each other and locking mouths together as though kissing. When you notice this, it is important to pay close attention to them because they may go from this rather harmless mating dance to a rather violent fight. They also need to be around the same size as this will prevent one from being able to inflict serious harm on the other. At this point, you may want to introduce a hiding place or some sort of spawning medium to the tank. An upturned plate will usually work just fine.

Cleaning of the mating medium;

The fish will soon start to clean and prepare the mating medium while still chasing each other around the tank. This behavior is usually the heads up that they have begun to mate. The laying of eggs will usually happen about three days after this. She may lay the eggs in batches of 100s. she will most likely lay about 1000 eggs over the next couple of days.

Hatching of the fry;

The fry will usually hatch within three days of laying the eggs. The success rate will be much higher than in the wild because the variables are much more stable. Your black Oscar parents will likely eat the unfertilized eggs to prevent fungus infection from spreading through the stock. It is important to try not to upset them at all at this time because they may eat the fry in defense.


Black Oscar fish parents may eat their fry if they feel threatened or start to feel territorial against the new fish. It is therefore very important to move the fry away from their parents as soon as you can as this will greatly increase their chances of survival..

Black Oscar FAQs

Do black Oscars grow big like other Oscars?

Black Oscars grow to about 15 inches. Some other Oscar fish species may get to about 18 inches. This however doesn’t make the black Oscars small fish. In fact, they will probably still eat as much as other Oscars and soil their tank at the same rate too. Another thing to note is that black Oscars also require the standard Oscar fish tank sizes of 50 gallons.

Are black Oscars aggressive

Black Oscars are like any other Oscars in terms of temperament. They can be very territorial it aggressive. But they can also be funny and entertaining. They may even grow to recognize their owners and feeders and even tell strangers apart. Now black Oscars may be aggressive just like every other Oscar. Some of them have completely distinct personalities and may even be calm and friendly. They are called river dogs for good reason.

Can I keep a black Oscar with other fish?

Yes. You can have other fish in the same tank with your Oscar so long as the tank is big enough and you have taken all the other necessary precautions. For instance, you should never keep Oscars with significantly smaller fish as the Oscar may attack and eat them.

Can black Oscars be trained?

Black Oscars are generally very intelligent fish. They can be trained to do simple tricks and can even come to recognize their owners and feeders. They may show affection or preference for certain members of the family and can be an absolute joy to watch at feeding time. So yes.. to some extent, black Oscar fish can be trained.

Do I need warm water for my black Oscar fish?

Oscar fish love warmer waters. In fact, they are native to the warm waters of the Amazonian rain forests. Those water maintain constantly warm water and most Oscar fish would not survive for long in colder waters.