Oscar fish have long been considered to be among the most popular types of cichlids. These are huge fish that look very impressive in home aquariums.
Of course, you might want to look into all of your options when buying these fish. There are different types of oscars that will appeal to different people.
How many types of oscar fish are on the market? Which type of oscar fish is the best one you can purchase?
Below, you’ll learn about various popular types of oscar fish. This will ensure that you have a good understanding of your options so you can make an appropriate decision for your home fish tank.
(Almost) All Oscar Fish Are Very Similar
One thing that you should know before going further is that all oscar fish are very similar. In the past, there were only three oscar fish types.
There were red, albino, and tiger oscars. Over time, breeders managed to create variants of oscar fish due to cross-breeding efforts.
The fish that resulted aren’t necessarily a new species of oscar fish. They’re simply crossbred variants that have different body colors and patterns.
So the major differences between these fish have to do with appearance. They’re all going to be around the same size, and they will have the same care requirements as well.
You can’t find oscars that are radically different. Oscars are simply a large type of cichlid that has become very popular in the aquarium world.
This doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth looking into the different options. You’ll see that there are many stunning oscar fish types to choose from by reading the information below.
There is a caveat to mention. The normal oscar fish all fall under the category of Astronotus ocellatus.
This is the category for all of the oscar fish that you see in the pet stores.
There is another category of oscar fish that is very rare. These fish fall under the category of Astronotus crassipinnis.
Fish from this category are like normal oscars except they’re smaller and darker in color than standard oscars. These fish aren’t generally sold in pet stores, and finding them is extremely rare.
Thus, they won’t factor in when you’re looking for oscars for your fish tank. It’s still worth noting that they exist from a curiosity standpoint.
Do the Different Oscars Grow to Different Sizes?
No, the oscars mentioned above will all grow to be around the same size. No matter what type of oscar fish it is that you’re considering, they’re all going to be large at maturity.
Oscar fish reach between twelve and fifteen inches in length at maturity. Some oscars might hover a little bit under the twelve-inch mark, but they will be close.
It’s very common for oscars to grow to be twelve inches in captivity. With great care, some of the fish might grow to be even larger.
Of course, the oscars will need a rather large fish tank to be able to grow. You’ll also need to feed them a healthy diet.
Oscar fish won’t be practical for those who don’t have room for large fish tanks. It’s best to keep oscars in a large tank even when they’re small so you can encourage maximum growth.
As you likely suspected after reading about the dwarf oscars earlier, there is an exception to this information. The rare fish that fall under the dwarf oscar category will stay smaller than standard oscars.
However, these fish aren’t common, and they’re not sold in pet stores. So they’re not really worth considering when you’re looking into options for your fish tank.
All of the oscars that you can buy from the store will be around the same size. Or they will grow to be close to the same size once they reach maturity.
1 – Veil Tail Oscars
Veil tail oscars are among the most impressive to look at. These gorgeous cichlids have long transparent tails that stand out in a fish tank.
You can find these types of oscars being sold in several different colors, too. They can add color to your tank and are generally a joy to own.
Anyone who is looking for a fish that looks pretty will be pleased with these oscars. They’re large fish that will be good additions to your aquarium.
2 – Red Oscars
Red oscars might be the most common type of oscar fish that you can find. These fish have a classic look that aquarium enthusiasts enjoy.
They have red and black bodies that look really neat in a fish tank setting. The way the colors merge on these fish looks really impressive.
This is one of the most recognizable types of oscars in the world. Getting one of these fish for your aquarium could be a lot of fun, but be careful because they’re carnivorous.
3 – Tiger Oscars
Tiger oscars are some of the most popular and common oscar fish that you’ll see at pet stores. These fish might also be sold as velvet cichlids or marble cichlids at some stores.
They’re very colorful with blue-black bodies that have an orange and red pattern. The pattern often resembles that of a tiger, so that’s how the fish got its name.
Overall, these are gorgeous fish that you’re going to love owning. They can be problematic if you put them in a planted aquarium, so choose aquatic plants wisely to avoid issues.
4 – Albino Oscars
Albino oscars are among the original types of oscars that have been bred to produce variations. Albinos have mostly white bodies, but they do have some orange and red patterns as well.
The patterns are always going to be unique when looking at any given fish. Typically, the red and orange patterns show up more on the rear of the albino oscar’s body.
These fish are stunning, but they can be a bit shy until they grow large. You will have a good time caring for them if you choose to buy some.
5 – White Oscar
You might be wondering what the difference between an albino oscar and a white oscar is. Do these fish differ enough to truly be distinct?
Well, white oscars actually have a pale pink pattern and white bodies. So they do have enough of a difference to be considered a unique variant.
Often, people will buy these fish and show them off by putting dark substrate materials in the tank. It allows for the best possible contrast to help the color of the white oscars pop.
6 – Lemon Oscars
Lemon oscars are another very popular type of oscar fish to consider. People sometimes mistake these fish for albino oscars, though.
When you look closely, you can tell that they have a yellow tint. The yellow color of these fish will be more noticeable if they live in a tank with excellent water quality.
The diet of the fish will also play a role in how colorful it will be. Care for these fish well, and they will be attractive additions to your aquarium.
7 – Black Oscar Fish
Black oscar fish actually aren’t completely black. They have black bodies, but they also have light-colored bellies or light banding on their bodies.
These fish could also feature a tiger pattern on their scales. The fins will always be totally black, and they have orange-rimmed eyes.
The way the colors contrast with the black sections of the fish will be impressive to look at. These fish are truly attractive options for fish tank enthusiasts.
8 – Blue Oscar Fish
Blue oscar fish are starting to become very popular in pet stores. They’re pretty fish that have a brilliant blue coloration.
Some of the fish will have different shades of blue on their bodies. The way all of the shades come together makes the fish stand out in a positive way.
There are some variations of the blue oscar fish that you’ll see being sold in stores. If blue is one of your favorite colors, it makes sense to look into these spectacular fish.
9 – Florida Oscar Fish
Florida oscar fish are most similar to the tiger oscars mentioned earlier. They pretty much have the same pattern as the tiger oscars.
The major difference is that these fish come from the wild. They have different appearances that are influenced by the things that they eat.
It’s common for these fish to go through color changes. Depending on the quality of the food that they’re eating, the color might deteriorate quite a bit.
10 – Green Oscar Fish
Green oscar fish are well worth your consideration. They are certainly going to turn some heads if you buy some of these for your fish tank.
They have green bodies as you would expect based on the name. These fish also have a yellow and black pattern that looks very interesting.
It’s common for the fish to have three black bands that go across their bodies. This is a type of oscar fish that has a unique look, and it’s a coveted fish because of that.
11 – Black and White Oscar Fish
Black and white oscar fish are some of the most long-lived oscars that you can find. They commonly live several years longer than many other oscar fish types.
They have a distinct look that many people love. They have black and white bodies with stripes that go across the bodies.
Typically, the fins are going to be gray. You’ll likely find these fish to be very interesting if you choose to purchase them.
12 – Golden Oscar Fish
Golden oscar fish have a golden hue that helps them to look gorgeous in a fish tank setting. The majority of the body is golden, but the fins are going to be gray.
To make these fish look as nice as possible, it’s recommended to buy a dark substrate material. Using a dark substrate and the right type of lighting will make these fish look amazing in your aquarium.
For some, these are among the best oscar fish coloration options. You might really enjoy having a golden oscar fish.
13 – Copper Oscar Fish
Copper oscar fish are truly beautiful fish that have dark gray or black bodies. They then have a copper-like color toward the back of their bodies along with dark gray or black fins.
This is a type of color morph that people think is really neat. The contrast of the colors helps the fish to look its best.
It is certainly strange to see these fish with so many different colors, but they have a charm of their own. You can find these fish being sold in pet stores even if they aren’t the most common color morph out there.
14 – Black Tiger Oscar Fish
Black tiger oscars have a lot in common with the tiger oscar fish mentioned earlier. They’re essentially the same, but these fish might have a bit more black on their bodies.
Some might not consider this fish distinct enough to deserve a spot on the list. Regardless, you will find fish being sold under the “black tiger oscar fish” name.
These are fairly common sights at pet stores in North America. They look nice, and you’ll love the patterns on these fish if you wind up buying them for your aquarium.
15 – Wild Oscar Fish
Wild oscars are the type of oscars that you commonly find in the wild. These are the fish that were bred to make all sorts of different variations.
Sometimes you’ll see these fish being sold in stores as “river dogs.” This is because they have dog-like personalities and can really bond with their owners.
Wild oscars are very popular aquarium fish. They have mostly gray or tan bodies with markings that can be either orange, yellow, or white.
How Long Do Oscar Fish Live?
It’s very common for oscar fish to live for at least ten years in a fish tank. You can expect your fish to live for ten to fifteen years in captivity if you take care of them very well.
These fish have the potential to live for up to twenty years, though. Many oscar fish enthusiasts have oscar fish in their tanks that have reached twenty years old.
Just understand that this isn’t the most common occurrence. It’s more likely that the fish will survive for somewhere between ten and fifteen years in your aquarium.
As you’d expect, getting the fish to live for as long as possible is about providing great care. Be sure to take care of the fish tank and do regular maintenance to fix any problems.
When the water in the tank stays very clean, it’s easier for the fish to remain healthy. No matter what type of oscar fish you buy, water quality is going to be of paramount importance.
Do your best to feed the fish properly, too. Putting in the effort ensures that your fish will live a long and healthy life.
Can Oscar Fish Live Alone?
Yes, oscar fish can live alone. Many people keep single oscar fish in their fish tanks.
Oscars are fish that do rather well in solitude. If you only have room for one oscar fish, it’s fine to go this route.
Of course, there are people who say it’s wrong to keep just one fish in a tank. Some say that it’s not natural and that you should keep oscars with more of their own kind.
Technically, it’s fine to keep single oscars by themselves since they do well living this way. If you’re providing optimal care, the fish is going to live for quite some time.
It might be slightly more common for people to keep multiple oscars together in a tank. Just know that you can keep them by themselves if you want to.
Are Oscar Fish Easy to Care For?
For the most part, oscar fish are rather easy to care for. These fish are hardy, and they don’t die easily.
You can kill oscar fish by making lots of mistakes, but it’s unlikely that they will die due to your making a few mistakes. If you do your best to care for these fish, they’re going to do well in your home.
Even beginners have a pretty simple time taking care of oscar fish. The only hard part is keeping the fish tank clean.
You see, oscars are very messy eaters. They make a mess when eating and this can make the water get dirty rather fast.
So you must keep up with tank maintenance to avoid having problems with the water. Dirty water will stress the fish, and that’ll make it tough to keep your oscars in good shape.
It’s wise to buy a powerful filter for your aquarium to keep things clean. Having a good filter will mitigate issues with the water getting dirty.
You still have to clean the tank yourself regularly. It’s also imperative to do regular water changes.
Are Oscar Fish Freshwater or Saltwater?
Oscar fish are considered to be freshwater fish. You don’t need to set up a saltwater aquarium to be able to purchase oscars.
Freshwater fish tanks are far easier to maintain than saltwater tanks. They’re also less expensive overall since you don’t need quite as much equipment.
Although there are many types of oscars out there, they’re all considered to be freshwater fish. So you don’t need to worry about saltwater at all.
These are types of freshwater cichlids that have become very popular as pet fish. Even beginners shouldn’t hesitate to buy these fish if they have enough room for a large fish tank.
Are Oscar Fish Tropical?
Oscar fish are indeed tropical fish. These are tropical fish that can be found in tropical portions of South America.
As you’d expect with tropical fish, they prefer to be kept in warm water. They don’t do well in cooler water.
Keep the water temperature between 74 degrees Fahrenheit and 81 degrees Fahrenheit. Many enthusiasts say that 77 degrees Fahrenheit is the perfect temperature for these fish.
Keep the pH balance of the water between 6.0 and 8.0. If you want things to be perfect, try to keep the pH balance at 7.2.
How Many Types of Oscar Fish Are There?
It isn’t known exactly how many types of oscar fish there are right now. If you consider the different crossbred variations to be unique, there could be hundreds of these fish or more.
There are three main types of oscar fish that were used to crossbreed and create different color variants. Since that time, numerous types of oscars have been created.
Red oscar fish, albino oscar fish, and tiger oscar fish are the original three. The ones that came after were created through selective breeding of these species.
They pretty much only differ in appearance, though. There are also the extremely rare dwarf oscars that you won’t find being sold in pet stores.
There are so many different types of oscar fish that you can consider buying. Depending on your sensibilities, you might gravitate toward one fish or another.
You can try to pick the prettiest type of oscar fish that you can find. Or you might like oscars that will look great based on the type of lighting and decorations that you have in the tank.
All oscar fish are going to grow to be pretty large. There are dwarf oscars out there, but they’re so rare that they’re not worth considering.
Expect the oscars that you buy to grow to be twelve inches long. You’ll need a big fish tank to care for them properly.
If you have room in your home for a giant fish tank, it can be a good experience caring for these fish. They’re hardy, and they have amazing personalities that make them good pet fish.
Be sure to keep the fish tank very clean if you buy oscars. They’re messy eaters and you’ll need to be proactive about tank maintenance.
If you’re ready for the responsibility, you’ll love these fish. They’ll live for a long time under your care if you put in the effort.
Go pick out the best fish for your tank. You’ll likely find many oscars being sold at your local pet stores.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.