Types of Oscar Fish

Making a decision on the type of Oscar fish to purchase or keep can be exhausting. But here is a result of research that will help you in determining Oscar’s preference, and identifying them.

Oscar exists in many forms. However, there are three major types of Oscar. Namely, Albino Oscar, Tiger Oscar, and Red Oscar.

The three major types of Oscar have been cross breed to produce various other varieties. This article contains the different kinds of Oscars you should know and the necessary information and facts about them.

What You Should Know About Oscar Fish

Oscar fish are peaceful species that are categorized as Astronotus ocellatus. They belong to the Cichlidae family. Generally, it is believed that Oscars are very aggressive. However, it is not valid. Usually, they tend to be territorial and overprotective of what belongs to them. This is somewhat a good trait. Especially the parental care they show towards their eggs. The male fight off predators, while the female fan the eggs to prevent any internal infection.

Oscars are popularly known for their large body size. You should provide a large tank for smooth movement. We recommend you keep them in a tank size of at least 75 gallons. However, the tank size depends on the size and number of your fish. Moreover, you can add decorations to the home aquarium, to mimic the fish’s natural habitat.

It is almost painful to tell the sexes of Oscar fish. They possess strong similarities from birth until they are sexually mature. At maturity, they develop a genital papilla, which is blunt and broad in females. Whereas it has a sharp point in males.

Here is a quick chart of what you should know about Oscar fish:

Care Level – Moderate

Temperament – Semi-Aggressive/Territorial

Family – Cichlidae

Origin – South/Central America

Habitat – Amazon River

Color – Majorly Red or Orange

Diet – Carnivores

Water Parameters – 75-82° F, 6.0-8.0 pH, 5-19KH

Types of Oscar Fish

Oscars are large species with varieties of color. This diversity makes them an exciting and excellent choice for fish keepers. They add beauty to a fish tank. Therefore, various types of Oscar fish exist. They are:

Tiger Oscar

The Tiger Oscar is a widely known Oscar variety that derived its name from its skin appearance. That is, the Tiger’s skin shade. Sometimes, the tiger skin pattern is more visible on Oscar’s tail. Whereas, it may cover the whole body.

Tiger Oscar exists in the black and orange pattern, with dark patches around the body edges. The blotches along the edges in random directions. However, their upper lip and dorsal fin area often lack color mixture. Usually, they can reach up to 12-15 inches in body length. Also, tiger Oscar is one of the parental Oscars. That is, Oscars hat were cross breed to produce other varieties. Moreover, tiger Oscar has a classic color pattern that many Oscars possess.

Red Oscar

Red Oscars are beautiful specie with a mixture of red and black. The mix of these two colors is more visible at the backside of red Oscars. Whereas, the black color appears more on the fish’s tail. Like tiger Oscars, their eyes protrude slightly. The eyes appear to fall from the fish’s head. Around Oscar’s eyes is also patches of orange lines. Unlike many others, they don’t have various color patterns. Moreover, red Oscar can be regarded as a parental Oscar.

Albino Oscar

Albino Oscar is also one of the significant parental Oscars that exist. However, albino has a unique patter. They appear as white color. An intertwined red or orange line runs from the tail towards the fish’s head. The red design is usually of larger dots and scattered. This is opposite to the tiger Oscar pattern. Also, the dominant white color is a result of the absence of melanin. However, the presence of color cells such as xanthophores and carotenoid causes the color variation. The exciting trait of albino Oscar is the fact that they exist in different patterns. Also, they have smooth body textures. We can’t particularly tell the best option of all the intricate designs. Therefore, the choice varies based on a person’s preference. Nevertheless, many aquarists love to keep them due to their unique appearance.

Black Oscar

The black Oscar possesses a simple body structure. Nevertheless, they are stunning. However, some aquarists prefer this particular type because of its unique color tone and simplicity. Sometimes, they have oranges traces on their body, while the areas black all through.  Like albino Oscars, they also have patterns that vary from individual to individual. They possess some tiger-like scales on their fins. Usually, they have a full lack of fin and orange-rim eyes. Black Oscars are a nice variety of Oscar’s specie. Some aquarists prefer them due to their sophisticated look. If you dislike a flashing light, then black Oscars are an excellent choice. Also, they are best noticeable when the aquarium substrate is light-colored.

White Oscar

Sometimes, people mistake the white Oscar with albino Oscars, because of the similar body color. However, white Oscar doesn’t have any traces of orange or red color on its body, instead of pure white color. The only extra color is a pale shade of pink on their body. Whereas, it blends well with the body without being noticeable. So, it is safe to say white Oscars are completely white. Just as the name inscribes, they add beauty to a home aquarium tank, which is more pronounced when the aquarium substrate is dark-colored.

Lemon Oscar

Another type of Oscar that people confuse for the white and albino Oscar is lemon Oscar. However, watching closely, you will see some yellow lines that along their body. Some have had completely orange color, whereas others only have patterns of bright yellow. Like many other Oscars, the tank condition determines the well-being and health of lemon Oscar. Moreover, when it comes to Oscar’s territorial habit, lemon Oscars are less aggressive than the other types of Oscars. However, they still portrait their territorial behavior to some extent. As they still belong to the Cichlidae family, regardless of their unique territorial behavior.

Veil Tail Oscar

Veil tail Oscars are sometimes called special Oscars. This is due to no other reason than their unique tail. Usually, they have a long and thread-like tail. However, they have different body color, but the majority of veil tails exist in black, as the body background with orange or red patches, while the rear is mainly covered in orange color. The tail color makes the veil tails beautiful sight to watch in an aquarium. If you consider adding some beauty to your fish tank, then veil tail Oscar is the right choice.

Florida Oscar

The Florida Oscar derives its name from the introduction of Oscar into various regions. Oscars are native to South and Central America but now exist in Florida, producing their unique variety. Although they have a similar resemblance to tiger Oscar, their color can quickly fade over time. However, Florida’s Oscar appearance is majorly influenced by water and food quality. Oscars are also found in other places like Lakes, Miami, Everglades, and others.

Blue Oscar

Blue Oscar is a product of differs cross-breeding. The blue Oscar has a beautiful view of a different shade of blue. They are ranging from deep to sky blue. These fish also have different body patterns and structures. However, the difference exists in the color shades. Nevertheless, the shades are symmetrically arranged.

Green Oscar

Green Oscar’s primary color is green, as it sounds from the name. Although they have a mixture of yellow and black, this color combination is unusual. It brings out a very fascinating and beautiful view. Whereas, the scales are usually yellowish, with dark green shade. However, some people doubt the existence of green Oscar. They exist. Green Oscar is also a product of cross-breeding. Although you will rarely find them in most fish stores, many aquarists “worship” them whenever they come across the beautiful creature.


There are various questions related to the Oscar fish. Some related questions are;

Can I Keep Oscars Together?

Yes. If you are thinking of raising any type of oscar fish, or another cichlid species, is the best choice of tank mate for your fish. Moreover, you won’t need to bother about their territorial behavior if you provide a big tank that will not allow them to collide.

How many Oscars Can I Keep Per Gallon?

Oscar’s large size makes them require a huge tank. For small Oscar, you can start with a 55-gallon capacity. Whereas, a 75-gallon size is suitable for a large Oscar. Whenever you decide to keep extra Oscar fish, you should increase the tank size by 25, upon an additional Oscar.

What Is The Compatibility Of My Oscar Fish?

Although the best and safest option is to raise your fish in a species tank, however, if you want to create a community tank, there are some species to consider first, and there are some that aren’t compatible with Oscar.

Suitable tank mates for Oscars are:

  • Firemouth Cichlids
  • Severum Cichlids
  • Sailfin Plecos
  • Silver Dollars
  • Jaguar Cichlids
  • Bichirs
  • Arowanas
  • Jack Dempseys
  • Green Terror
  • Convict Cichlids

Unsuitable Tank mates for Oscars are:

  • Small fish
  • Small invertebrates like snails and shrimp
  • More aggressive species than Oscars


Having explained the various types of Oscar fish, we hope it will guide your decision-making process, when planning your home aquarium. Moreover, all kinds of Oscars are beautiful and exciting. You won’t regret your choice if you choose from any of the types listed above.