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Are Oscar Fish Aggressive? (And Will They Attack Your Other Fish?)

Are Oscar Fish Aggressive? (And Will They Attack Your Other Fish?)

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Before buying fish, it’s a good idea to do some research. You want to make sure that everything will go well in your aquarium.

If you’re interested in Oscars, you might be worried about how aggressive they are. Are these fish aggressive or is that not a big concern?

Oscar fish are large fish that require pretty big aquariums. They might not be practical choices for certain people.

If you’re thinking of putting these fish in a community aquarium, it’s definitely important to learn about the potential for aggression. Read on to learn about Oscar fish aggression so you can make good choices.

Oscar Fish Aggression

Oscar fish are cichlids and pretty much all cichlids are at least semi-aggressive. This means that Oscar fish are no exception.

You’ll find that Oscar fish can indeed be rather aggressive. However, they aren’t the most aggressive cichlids that you can find.

When you compare these fish to other large cichlids, they aren’t too bad overall. For instance, flowerhorn cichlids are substantially more aggressive overall.

Generally, people categorize Oscar fish in the “mildly aggressive” range. The aggression of these fish isn’t hard to keep in check.

Some enthusiasts even say that they own Oscar fish that are truly peaceful. Regardless, you should expect minor aggression from these fish.

Don’t shy away from these fish out of the fear that they will be too aggressive. They’re really not that bad overall.

Oscar Fish Will Eat Other Fish

One thing that you should know is that Oscar fish will eat other fish. This isn’t unusual because Oscars are omnivorous.

They eat whatever they’re able to. It’s normal for omnivores to take the opportunity to eat a meal when it’s presented to them.

Oscars don’t eat every single type of fish. It isn’t as if they will hunt any fish that they come into contact with.

They’ll simply eat fish that are small enough to fit in their mouths. This means that you have to be careful not to put fish that are too small in fish tanks with Oscar fish.

One of the reasons why people think that Oscars are so aggressive is that they will eat smaller fish. While they’re not really that aggressive, it is true that they will devour smaller fish.

These fish grow to be quite large. On average, Oscar fish will grow to be between ten and twelve inches long in captivity.

You should just keep this in mind so you can make good choices. It’ll help you to avoid many problems in the fish tank.

Can Oscar Fish Be Community Tank Fish?

Yes, Oscar fish can be community tank fish if you take the right precautions. As mentioned above, these fish will eat other fish if they’re small enough to fit in their mouths.

Therefore, you have to pick tank mates that are large enough to survive in an aquarium with Oscars. This isn’t that hard to do overall.

Oscars actually get along pretty nicely with several different types of fish. You can put them in community tanks with quite a few different types of catfish.

Plecos are some of the most common tank mates for Oscar fish. They get along nicely with Oscars and the two fish will generally leave each other alone.

Silver dollar fish can be put in fish tanks with Oscars as well. This gives you plenty of options when you’re looking to create a diverse and aesthetically pleasing community aquarium.

Simply look into compatible tank mates for the Oscars. Choose the options that appeal to you the most while making sure that all of the chosen fish can coexist in a community tank setting.

If you do your homework, it’ll be easy to get good results. You’ll be able to enjoy the community tank and your Oscars should get along well enough with the other fish.

Why Are My Oscar Fish Fighting?

Have you noticed that your Oscar fish are fighting? This is going to be very concerning because you don’t want any of the fish to get hurt.

Why does this happen? Honestly, this is just normal behavior for these fish.

It’s typical for Oscars to fight from time to time. They will fight with each other to establish the pecking order in the group.

Male Oscars are the most likely to fight. These fish usually fight by locking lips because it’s a way for one fish to establish dominance over the other.

Some people say that putting two male Oscars in the same tank is a poor idea. You would likely be better off putting one male and one female Oscar in the tank instead.

You could keep three Oscars together if you keep one male and two females. It just might not be the best choice to have two males.

It’s also worth noting that Oscar fish seem to do very well when kept alone in fish tanks. You can care for a single Oscar fish in a tank if you want to.

There are those who think that it’s cruel to do this, but these fish truly do thrive alone. They are going to be just as happy in breeding pairs so long as you provide them with what they need.

Later, you’ll learn about some ways to curb problems with aggression. This might make it more practical to keep certain Oscars together in a tank.

Do Oscars Bite?

It’s possible that an Oscar might bite. They’re certainly capable of biting and you might see them bite other fish.

As you can tell after reading about these fish fighting each other, they will become aggressive at times. They can become territorial and might attack when they feel that their territory is being threatened.

It’s also not unusual for Oscars to bite other fish in self defense. This is something that many types of fish will do and it’s nothing that you should worry about too much.

If you’re worried about whether an Oscar fish will bite you, that’s a bit different. It’s said that most Oscars are very friendly with humans and do not typically bite.

However, it’s certainly possible that an Oscar fish could bite you. Oscars will usually bite whenever they feel threatened by something.

If the Oscar thinks you’re threatening it in some way, then it could try to bite you. Oscars might even bite you hard in some circumstances.

There are people who train Oscars to be more gentle. If you raise an Oscar fish from the time that it’s a baby, it might be easier to get it to be friendly.

It’d be normal for baby Oscars to nibble on you when you put your hand in the tank. But they might not bite hard.

Most enthusiasts agree that you can train the fish to not bite too hard. So this is something that shouldn’t be a huge problem.

Do Oscars Have Teeth?

Oscars do indeed have teeth. They have two sets of teeth, but they’re at the back of their throats and the back of their mouths.

The teeth aren’t located near the jaws. Oscars possess teeth that are well-suited to the things that they eat in the wild.

Since the teeth aren’t incredibly sharp, they won’t be able to harm humans significantly. They won’t break the skin when they bite you most of the time.

That doesn’t mean that getting bitten by an Oscar fish will feel pleasant. Getting nipped by one of these fish has the potential to cause quite a bit of pain.

It’s not so serious that you’ll need treatment, though. If you train the fish not to bite hard, it won’t be much of a problem at all.

Can You Pet An Oscar Fish?

Many people like to pet their Oscar fish. This is something that you can do if you train the fish to be as docile as possible.

To get the best results, you should raise the Oscar fish from the time it’s a baby. Get a baby Oscar fish and care for it to the best of your ability.

While it’s still young, you’re going to want to start feeding it by hand. When it’s small, it’ll be easier to teach the fish not to bite you very hard.

Eventually, the Oscar will get better at taking food from your hand without biting you. You keep doing this until the Oscar is relatively docile.

After some time, you should be able to comfortably pet the fish without it getting scared. The Oscar fish gets used to interacting with you and sees you as beneficial because you give it food.

For many, this is why it’s so much fun to own Oscar fish. They’re excellent pets because you can actually interact with them a bit more than you do most other fish.

Ways to Mitigate Aggression

There are some ways that you can try to keep Oscar fish aggression in check. If you’re worried about these fish fighting each other too much, it’s a good idea to make some changes in the tank.

Below, you’ll learn about some common ways you can make Oscars less aggressive. Each of these options will be important to keep in mind when you’re trying to get the best results.

Give the Oscars Lots of Space

Giving the Oscars lots of space will make it less likely that they’ll have any conflict with each other. They also won’t get aggressive toward other fish in the tank as often.

These large fish need fish tanks that are more than big enough. One Oscar will be fine in a 75-gallon fish tank, but it’s best to go with something larger when you want to keep more fish.

A 100-gallon fish tank is a sensible choice for many Oscar fish owners. Go with a larger tank than that if you want to have a big community tank with multiple Oscar fish.

This ensures that the fish don’t feel too cramped. Avoid putting too many fish in the tank even if you buy a huge aquarium.

Too many fish can easily cause the Oscars to feel stressed. Simply be reasonable with the number of fish that you put in the aquarium with the Oscars.

Remember that having a larger tank is often more practical when it comes to keeping the tank clean. Smaller tanks get dirty faster and that will impact the water quality.

Provide Hiding Spots

Giving Oscars hiding spots can help out a lot, too. If there are hiding spots in the fish tank, it’ll be easier for fish to avoid fighting.

The Oscars will be able to get away from each other if you provide hiding locations. You might want to put aquatic plants in the fish tank to give the Oscars good places to hide.

Little caves and rock formations can also work out nicely. Options such as this can add aesthetic appeal to the tank while also being of practical use to the fish.

It’s good to have hiding spots in a community tank. You want all of the fish to feel comfortable in the tank and they should be able to avoid conflict so long as there are enough hiding spots.

You can put all sorts of hiding spots in the fish tank for your Oscars. Be careful when picking plants for the tank, though, because Oscars might be rough on many live plants.

Keep the Fish Properly Fed

Keeping the fish properly fed is imperative. Oscar fish will be more likely to fight over food if you’re not feeding them enough.

Feed the Oscars two or three times per day. It’s better to give them small meals so they don’t become constipated.

Be sure to give them a balanced diet that includes all of the nutrients that they need. You’ll likely be giving them a mixture of nutrient pellets and meaty foods.

If you do a good job feeding the fish, they should be fairly content. They won’t fight over food as often and you’ll have far fewer issues with aggression in the tank.

Do your best to feed these fish as often as you’re supposed to. Just don’t feed them more food than you need to or it’ll become a health issue for the fish.

Maintain Excellent Water Quality

Fish start to act strange when the water quality takes a dip. Water quality issues are very bad for the health of your Oscars.

You want to be sure to clean the tank on a regular basis. It’s also important to do weekly water changes.

Oscars will sulk when you do water changes, but it’s an important thing to do. You must keep the water clean and water changes will always be an important part of the process.

Get a good filter that will help to keep the water clean, too. Regularly check the pH balance of the water so you can solve any problems before they get too bad.

Maintain the right water temperature in the tank, too. Oscars want the water to stay between 74 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

So long as you’re keeping an eye on things, the fish will remain healthy. You can keep your fish in good shape by simply doing normal tank maintenance.

Final Thoughts

Now you know much more about Oscar fish and their aggression. While these fish are considered to be mildly aggressive, they aren’t really that bad overall.

For the most part, they’re great fish that won’t give you many problems. You can even train them to be docile enough that you’ll be able to pet them.

Many people feed these fish by hand starting at a young age. This practice will teach them not to bite you very hard and you’ll be able to interact with them closely.

It’s easy to see why these fish have become such popular pet fish over the years. They’re easy to interact with and they’re more fun than many standard types of aquarium fish.

You can even put these fish in community fish tanks if you want to. They do well in community tanks so long as you pick out compatible tank mates for them.

They will eat fish that are small enough to fit in their mouths, though. So you must pick tank mates that are large enough to survive in a tank with the Oscars.

Sometimes these fish will get aggressive if they don’t have enough space in the tank. This can be mitigated by giving them more than enough room to live and be happy.

You want to pick out a big fish tank for your Oscars. This gives them the best chance to be happy without getting too aggressive.

It might be wise to avoid putting male Oscars in the same tank as well. They’re a bit more likely to fight each other.

Putting hiding spots in the tank really will make a difference, though. It’s also helpful to keep the fish fed properly so they won’t feel as much of a need to fight.

You should have a very good experience if you choose to buy Oscars for your tank. They are amazing fish that will be so much fun for you and your family.

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