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How Much Do Oscar Fish Cost to Own? (Food, Maintenance, & More)

How Much Do Oscar Fish Cost to Own? (Food, Maintenance, & More)

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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.

Buying Oscar fish for your tank might be a very appealing idea to you. These fish are rather impressive and they grow to be large, too.

Many people think they’re among the best cichlids to own so long as you have room for a big tank. Oscars are full of personality and they’re hardy, too.

Of course, you need to make sure that you can afford to buy Oscars before moving forward. How much do Oscar fish cost to own on average?

Below, you’ll learn about the cost of the fish and everything that you’ll need for them. This should help you to plan things out or decide whether these fish are right for you.

The Cost of the Fish

For the most part, it’s going to be very easy to afford Oscars. If you want to keep things as affordable as possible, simply buy juvenile Oscar fish.

You can buy young Oscars that will be a lot smaller than adults. These fish might only be a few inches long when you buy them.

Often, you can find juvenile Oscar fish being sold in stores for less than ten dollars per fish. You might even find a better deal than that if the pet store has a lot of them that they’re trying to sell.

Buying Oscars that are already fully-grown will cost more money. You might wind up being $50 or so for an Oscar that is rather large.

This is especially true when you’re talking about Oscars that come in different colors. Oscars are sold in various colors such as black, black and orange, blue, orange, yellow, and green.

Some of the fish might be less common than others and will thus cost a bit more money. Knowing this, it’s easier to save money if you buy common Oscar fish.

Even the more expensive ones won’t usually be much more than $60 or so. You can always be on the lookout for good deals at local pet stores or online retailers, too.

The Cost of the Tank

You’ll need to buy a large fish tank if you want to keep Oscar fish in your home. These fish commonly grow to be twelve inches in captivity, and that means that you can’t keep them in a tiny tank.

If you want to keep just one fish, you’ll need to buy a 75-gallon aquarium or something larger. Generally, it’s considered to be better to go with a 100-gallon aquarium.

When you want to keep several fish, it’s best to go as large as you can. You should be able to comfortably fit two Oscars in a 100-gallon fish tank, though.

The cost of the fish tank will depend on various factors. What material is used to make the fish tank is the biggest point of concern.

Glass fish tanks are substantially more affordable. It’s likely that you’ll be able to find a 100-gallon glass fish tank for $500 or so.

A fish tank of the same size that is made out of acrylic materials will cost at least $1,000. Keep in mind that these fish tanks are a lot more durable than fish tanks that use glass.

It’s also a bit easier to clean acrylic tanks. If you can afford it, buying a nice acrylic tank for the Oscar fish is recommended.

The Cost of Equipment

Many pieces of equipment will need to be purchased for the fish tank. You’ll need a filter, a heater, an air pump, and some type of lighting.

Getting a powerful filter is going to be especially important. You see, Oscars are messy fish that will make a fish tank dirty faster than usual.

They defecate a lot and you need a powerful filter that can help you to maintain the tank. A filter won’t keep you from having to clean the tank or do water changes, but it can make your life easier.

Buying a powerful filter that can handle a big tank is a must. You might need to spend a bit more money on that than you usually would.

A heater is important because Oscars need the water temperature to remain steady. You want a good heater that can keep the water between 74 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

The air pump and the lights won’t cost too much money overall. You should expect to spend several hundred dollars on equipment for the fish tank when all is said and done.

The Cost of the Accessories

As you might expect, there are various accessories that you should purchase for the tank. You want the Oscars to feel comfortable and welcome in the tank.

It’s recommended to buy some little caves for the Oscars to enjoy. Caves and rock formations will give the Oscars nice hiding spots.

This is helpful when you’re trying to keep aggression issues in check. The Oscars can hide from each other when necessary.

When you’re creating a community tank this is important, too. Hiding spots protect all sorts of fish from bullying issues.

Plants can be purchased for the aquarium as well. However, Oscars can be rough on plants so you need to choose aquatic plants carefully.

The substrate is another purchase that you’ll need to make. These fish do just fine with either sand or gravel as the substrate material.

You probably won’t spend too much on accessories overall. It’s easy to spend over $100 if you buy fancy caves and other such things, though.

The Cost of Food

Food for these fish will be a monthly expense to keep in mind. It’s not going to be overly expensive, though.

You can buy the nutritional pellets that you’re supposed to feed Oscars for $10 or $20 depending on what you get. These fish should be fed three times a day.

It’s important to supplement the diet of the fish with meaty foods. These fish are omnivores and they need protein.

They like to eat foods such as freeze-dried shrimp and bloodworms. You have to warm the frozen food up first and let it thaw before giving it to the fish.

Frozen food might cost $10 or $20 per package as well. It depends on how large the packages are.

It’s also worth mentioning that some fish enthusiasts buy special color-enhancing foods for Oscars. These foods help to make Oscar fish brighter and more colorful than usual.

Foods such as this will add more cost to your monthly food bills. It’s not necessary to buy such foods, but you can do so if you want to.

The food will sometimes be $10 or less, but certain types might cost more than $20. It isn’t too pricey overall.

Maintenance Costs

The maintenance costs should be considered before moving forward. It will cost you a certain amount of money per year to maintain a tank.

Since 100-gallon fish tanks are common for Oscars, it’s best to use the cost of maintaining a tank of that size as the standard. Each year, you should expect to spend $500 or slightly more to maintain a 100-gallon fish tank.

This includes the cost of food, filter cartridges, parts, testing kits, water chemicals, and other essential things. If this sounds like it’d be a burden for you based on your budget, it might be best to wait to buy a fish tank.

Overall, fish tanks aren’t that costly to maintain. It just comes down to how much you feel comfortable spending.

If you like the idea of owning Oscar fish, this will be an appealing prospect. It can be a lot of fun, but you have to be ready to handle the maintenance costs that come along with fish tank ownership.

For some, it might be more practical to pick fish that can be kept in a smaller tank. Smaller tanks will cost a bit less money to maintain each year.

Final Thoughts

Oscars can be excellent fish to own, but it will cost money to get everything that you need to keep them in your home. Buying the fish won’t be expensive at all since you’ll likely be able to buy Oscars for $10 or less.

Some Oscars are more costly due to being colored in certain ways. It’s also more expensive to buy fully-grown Oscars than it is to purchase juvenile Oscar fish.

You’ll have to buy a fish tank and lots of equipment before buying the fish. It’s best to buy a 100-gallon fish tank, and that might cost you between $500 and $1,000 depending on what you want to buy.

The equipment that you’ll need will likely cost hundreds of dollars. You’ll need a filter, an air pump, a heater, lighting, and more.

Then you’ll purchase caves, substrate material, aquatic plants, and other things so the tank will look nice. Finally, there’s the price of the food for the fish.

It’s going to cost you between $1,000 and $1,500 to get things going. If you don’t want to spend that kind of money, you could look into buying different fish.

Smaller fish will be less costly overall. Depending on your budget, it might be better to wait to buy Oscars for a while.

If you’re ready to move forward, then you’ll love how fantastic these pet fish are. They’re really neat and have fun personalities that you’ll enjoy for a long time.

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