Oscar Tank – A Complete Guide to Setup A Aquarium Tank

Setting up your fish tank is probably the thought that pops up your mind after purchasing from a fish store. This article has got you covered as it contains information on what you need to know about the Oscar tank.

Just as humans, Oscar homes need to be as favorable as possible. Especially when you are bringing an Oscar from the wild, to raise in your home aquarium. In this case, you should implement appropriate measures. Such as water cycling, humidity, tank temperature, water PH, and other factors that could affect your fish living condition.

This article helps every person who wants to raise an Oscar fish successfully as it tells what to do to care for Oscar fish. Even as a beginner, there is an explanation on how to set up your fish tank. So, there is no need to be worried. Your research got you to the right place.


Oscars are lovely specie that loves to stay in freshwater habitat. Usually, they grow to a considerable size. Whereas, they are not restricted to space when in the wild, as they move around freely. However, to ensure you are not depriving Oscar of this happy life, make sure you place your fish in a large aquarium tank. In the wild, they can grow up to 18 inches in body length. Also, Oscars have their origin from the Amazon River and its surroundings. Especially the part of the river that has aquatic vegetation. However, when you capture Oscar fish and want it to live a healthy and long life, improvise an environmental condition similar to its original home.

Oscars can be somewhat territorial. It’s safe to say; they are often overprotective. Moreover, they can’t bear to stand in cold temperatures.

Oscar Tank Size

As said earlier, Oscars are quite large in body size. You can be sure they can grow up to 10 inches in body length when captured. Generally, a minimum of 75-gallon size is suitable for one adult aquarium. However, size and age will contribute to the size of the tank you set up for your Oscar. For example, a 55-gallon size may be appropriate for a young 0oscar.

Moreover, keeping your fish in a small tank could cause stress, as it will be challenging to maintain a proper water condition. Also, if you are willing to raise your Oscar for a very long period, be ready to increase the tank size as they grow larger.

Cycling Oscar Tank

Before setting up your aquarium tank, you must cycle the aquarium. Usually, this may take up to 6-8 weeks. Aquarium cycling is vital because Oscars can be somewhat messy. However, the messiness is a result of their large size as they release some waste during and after feeding. Therefore, releasing a large amount of nitrate and ammonia into the tank.

Tank cycling is first carried out by setting up a sound filtration system. It will help remove excess waste or contaminants. Also, you should adopt the habit of regularly changing the aquarium water, as it helps maintain the tank water quality. Moreover, chemical filtration removes toxic nitrate and ammonia. When you confirm that there are zero nitrates, ammonia, or nitrites in your aquarium tank, it’s wholly cycled.

After completing this cycling process, you can then introduce the fish into your home aquarium. However, adding the fish into its new home is not just a casual thing. You should start by floating the bag containing the Oscar on the tank water. Doing this reduces the shock your fish will get when placed in the aquarium tank as you have stabilized the bag temperature.

How to Set Up an Aquarium Tank

The first step in setting up an aquarium for your Oscar is to provide the necessary ornaments and equipment in a clean state.

  • Make sure you wash each kit before placing them in the tank. This will prevent any infected material from infecting your fish tank.
  • Then, carefully place an under-gravel filter (if this the type of filter you are using) on the bottom of the aquarium tank.
  • Make you provide a large gravel substrate. Usually, 3-5 inches as there will be a need for decorations and live or fake plants.
  • Before adding water into the tank, make sure to condition it. You can achieve this by applying a water conditioner, to destroy contaminants in the water.
  • Then, pour the conditioned water gently into the tank. While at this, make sure it doesn’t disrupt the arrangements in the tank.
  • Make sure the water level reaches half of the aquarium tank. Then, you can add ornaments, rocks, and plants. However, avoid adding unnecessary items. Too many things can hinder the fish from moving freely. Also, do not add any object with sharp edges that could harm the fish. Oscars love to play around. While at this, you don’t want to create harm their way.
  • Lastly, you should cover your fish tank with a light lid. Oscars are excellent jumpers. And they may get out of the tank unknowingly.

Cautions in Setting up Aquarium Tank

  • Handling with Care: Regardless of an aquarium tank material, you should bear in mind that it’s delicate, and must be treated as such. If there is any cause to carry an aquarium tank, we recommend that you lift it from the bottom, and not by the side. It may cause the tank to slip from your hand.
  • As much as it is important to add gravel to an aquarium tank, make sure to rinse it thoroughly to prevent impurities from settling in the tank.
  • Before pouring water into a tank, make sure to treat the water with chlorine. Untreated or infected water will introduce germs to your fish, which may cause severe cases of diseases or death.
  • Rinse the rocks, ornaments, or aquarium plants well before placing them in the aquarium tank. Also, when adding fake or live plants, place the larger plants at the rearview, and the smaller plants at the front. It will allow you to easily watch your fish from outside, without the plants blocking your view.

Oscar Tank Requirement    

Setting an appropriate tank condition will make your fish healthy and happy, especially with Oscars, which are susceptible species as they respond fast to little change in temperature. However, to make sure you maintain a constant temperature, by checking with a thermometer.  Moreover, Oscars prefer a temperature between the ranges of 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit, and a PH level of 6-7.5. Also, they prefer to live in a warm water condition. As their natural habitat is mild, being tropical species.

Heater and filter are essential tools you should add to your tank. However, we recommend you get a liner heater that can be connected to a canister filter. But, if you will be getting a hang-on or submersible heater, make sure it is strong enough not to shatter because Oscars can be somewhat destructive. What a heater does is to keep the aquarium water warm.

As for decorations, set them correctly. Place them at points that won’t hinder your fish movement, especially the big Oscars. Also, put them at strategic locations, as Oscars like to rearrange their tank. Therefore, ensure the decorations are large, so as the fish wouldn’t be able to move them. Moreover, make sure there are no sharp edges that could harm your fish.

The Benefit of Owning a Fish Tank

Although having a fish tank is of greater advantage to the fish itself, it also benefits you as a fish owner. If you are contemplating whether to raise your fish in a box or get an aquarium tank, then this is for you. As you can never go wrong with getting an aquarium tank for your fish.

  • Reduces Stress: In this modern age, there is a high probability you get stressed from day to day activities. Whereas, these activities wears the body out, physically and emotionally. Therefore, you wouldn’t want to get back from work, and going through the stress of cleaning, or feeding your fish in a box. Setting an aquarium tank will ease its maintenance through the use of equipment like a filter.
  • Increases Productivity: As a fish owner, owning an aquarium tank will help you to be more productive in your daily routine. Also, a relaxed mind helps in repairing damaged tissues, thereby improving your health and well-being.
  • Time Management: Although, it’s cheaper to raise your fish in a box, or bag than an aquarium tank, it is more time-consuming. Also, you should realize that time is costly. Nothing is as good as getting things done promptly.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fish Tank

As a beginner, you would realize that several factors surface when choosing an aquarium tank for your fish. It’s simple to decide on purchasing an aquarium tank, but it’s not quite simple to make the right decision. As, there are various aquarium shapes, and size. Although money is the primary influencer, other factors should determine the choice you make. Moreover, make sure you do your research well before setting up marine life. However, there is no cause to worry much, we’ve got you covered.

  • Aquarium Size: There are various sizes of the aquarium, varying from small to big tanks. Although small tanks are cheaper, easy to clean, easy to maintain, and easy to carry. You need to be careful not to get carried away with this. As stated earlier, a fish keeper must ensure that the fish lives happily. Oscars are massive creatures that need a very large space. Also, a small tank usually contains a high amount of ammonia and nitrate. These toxins cause biological instability faster in small tanks. Whereas, it is faster to cycle large aquariums.
  • Aquarium Shape: Aquariums come in different shapes, suiting different fish types. For cichlids like Oscars, they love to play at the bottom of the fish tank. So avoid buying a taller and narrow aquarium tank for them. Also, the fish tank dimension determines the swimming space that applies to your fish.

Other tips to consider are;

  • Make sure you place suitable tank mates in the same tank with your Oscar.
  • Providing quality water for your fish.
  • Consider feeding them a balanced diet that improves their optimum growth.

Tips to Note When Placing an Aquarium Tank

When establishing a home for your fish, you should bear in mind that it’s going to be its home for a long time as Oscar fish cannot endure frequent movement. So, you should consider the following tips when placing your aquarium tank.

  • Make sure the tank isn’t facing direct sunlight. As sunlight hasten the growth of algae. So, you should place the tank far from the window side, or any other area exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Ensure your Oscar fish gets the attention it needs. Therefore, you should place the tank where you will be able to observe it.
  • Place the tank in a space where there is proper ventilation. As proper ventilation helps minimize the growth of mold that tends to survive in high humidity.
  • The Aquarium tank needs a filter, heater, and light source. As regards this, there will be a need for a constant power supply. However, you can achieve this by providing an electrical outlet for a secure connection.
  • Try not to place the aquarium tanks in areas that can suddenly affect the water temperature. Areas such as the entrance of a room, or a place installed with are conditioners. Although natural air is needed, it shouldn’t be in excess.
  • Make sure to check if the floor area is smooth. That is, do not place the tank on an irregular floor surface as the aquarium tank may tilt.
  • Lastly, bear in mind that the aquarium tank weighs more after setting it up because of the addition of decorations and equipment. Therefore, you need to choose the location carefully. To prevent you from going through the stress of offloading.

Oscars Tank Mates

Oscars are peaceful species that live happily with other tropical fish in the same aquarium tank. However, when selecting a tank mate for your Oscar, you shouldn’t choose a more aggressive fish than Oscar, or a less peaceful specie. As a more aggressive specie could be a threat to your Oscar, whereas, your fish could bully a more friendly specie.

Suitable tank mates for Oscars are;

  • Silver Dollar
  • Bichir
  • Green Terror Cichlid
  • Severum Cichlid
  • Black Convict Cichlid
  • Firemouth Cichlid
  • Plecostomus
  • Jurupa Earth Eater
  • Blue Acara
  • Jack Dempsey Cichlid
  • Black Banded Leporinus
  • Chocolate Cichlids

Related Questions

Some readers are curious about several related questions. These questions are:

Do Oscar Fish Need Light?

Yes. Oscars need light for clearer sight. Especially at night, or when in a shady area. So, you should fix an artificial bulb in their aquarium tank as they need light to carry out some activities, such as feeding.

Do Oscar Fish Like Light?

Somewhat. Generally, Oscars are good to go with a dim artificial light. But avoid exposing them to direct sunlight.  It may cause harm to your fish. Also, you should fix a non-flashy light in the aquarium tank. It should be as dim as possible.

Can Oscar Fish Without Heater?

No. As said earlier. Oscars need a heater in their aquarium tank, to help regulate and maintain a constant temperature.

Can Oscar Fish Live Without Filter? 

In the wild, Oscars survive without the use of a filter. This is because they have adapted to the environment. However, you should fix a filter to your home aquarium. It will help remove excess waste and ease water change.

Do Oscar Fish Need Lid?

Yes. You need to put a lid on your aquarium tank. Oscars love to jump around an aquarium tank. So, you will need a cap to prevent them from falling. However, you should get a transparent cover.

Do Oscar Fish Need Hiding Place?

Yes. Although not often, Oscar may require some moment of isolation from other tank mates. For example, during the breeding period. Moreover, Oscars love to play at the bottom of the tank. So, you will hardly find them on the surface.

Can I Put an Oscar Fish in an Outside Pond/tank?        

You should avoid transporting your Oscar often. Putting them in an outside pond isn’t the issue. But, consider if the environment is in the same condition as its first home. However, make sure you place it in a temporary home while preparing its new home. Also, you should carry out these processes as fast as possible.


Maintaining an Oscar tank is a significant contributor to the health of your fish. Whereas, the amount of information you gather before making a purchase could also determine the degree of ease you experience while keeping your fish. However, this article has covered the necessary things to do before getting an aquarium tank and how to set it up after making the purchase. Hopefully, this article provides the essential information you need to be a successful fish keeper.