Beginner's Guide

How To Care For Blueberry Oscar?

Are you new with fishkeeping blueberry Oscar in the tank? I know what it’s like to take care of a new type of fish without any background knowledge. Do not do anything hazardous before knowing the future consequences of your actions in your fish life. Your fish can be fragile and sensitive and has its own basic needs to meet. So, learn more about them before doing anything. And the case is not different for Blueberry Oscar as well. You need to know what you are doing and take proper care of this blueberry Oscar. But the question remains: How to care for your blueberry Oscar?

Well, if you pay enough attention and do what Blueberry Oscar asks for, it is not a big deal to take care of them. Make sure the water quality, parameters, and tank condition are optimum, and give them a proper and balanced diet if you want to take care of blueberry Oscar properly.

You need to learn in detail about these fish so hence I have written an entire article to support the cause.
Hope this will help.

Characteristics of Blueberry Oscar: An Overview

Blueberry Oscar has their own characteristics. It is important to know your Oscars well to keep them comfortably and in a good environment.

Category Rating
Scientific name: Astronotus ocellatus
Common Name: Oscar fish, Painted Fish
Size: Up to 14 inches
Color: Blueberry
Origin: Cichlidae
Care Level: Moderate

Size

The Blueberry Oscar is quite a large fish. These fish usually grow from 10-14 inches. The males seem to grow more quickly than females and reach massive sizes.

Behavior

Blueberry Oscars look very attractive with their colors and appearances. But they do have complex behavior as well. These fish are aggressive and territorial. They tend to develop and defend their region.

Blueberry Oscars are omnivorous and not afraid to attack other fish. They have no control over their aggression and end up uprooting the plants and decorations in the tank. So remember that these fish need proper mating and feeding times to control their aggression. Give them enough space from 125 to 150 gallons and they will get along smoothly.

Breeding

Blueberry Oscar is one of the hardest to breed. These fish reach their sexual maturity around one year of age. They reproduce for 9-10 years of age. It is better to buy a settled breeding pair. The females lay 1600 eggs on average and the males fertilize them.

Both parents protect and clean their eggs until they hatch. These fish naturally breed in the rainy season. So, in an aquarium, you can alert them by lowering a couple of degrees the temperature of the tank.

How To Care For Blueberry Oscar

Blueberry Oscars are a popular and delicate species to care for. They are intelligent fish however, they need some space too. I keep track, check up on them from time to time, and make sure they are keeping up. And this guide has everything you need to know about caring, feeding, and maintenance of the tank for Blueberry Oscars.

Every species have their aquarium requirements. As for Blueberry Oscars, it is necessary to maintain their aquarium in a specific way due to their aggressive and territorial behavior.

Tank Setup

Blueberry Oscars are generally a large size fish so you need larger tanks. It is important to keep enough water for the fish tank according to the size of the fish. The amount and space in the water tank matter for the good health of Blueberry Oscars.

You might like to know in detail about Setup a tank for Oscar Fish: Step By Step Guide

Tank Size

I am using a 55 gallons tank for my Blueberry Oscar. SO you can keep a 55-75 gallons tank for an Oscar. If you are keeping two or more Oscars then, a 125-150 gallon tank would be good. These fish make a lot of mess.

Here is an article on How To Set A 50-Gallon Fish Tank?

Lighting

Adding Aquarium lights are suitable for Blueberry Oscars. They do not require any special lighting. Keeping them in a room filled with daylight works well. But if you want to add decorating lights to your tank, that is also acceptable. They prefer dimmer light. So you can consider adding moderate-low lighting to your tank.

Water Condition

Water condition plays a vital role in keeping every fish in good condition. Aquarium water is not like the natural water habitat, so water needs to be tested and maintained at appropriate temperatures where fish can survive.

Water Test

To care for Blueberry Oscar, you need to maintain the water quality very much. You need to provide Oscars with clean and warm water. Make sure you have a freshwater test kit to check on the water parameter regularly. And a filter to clean the water from time to time.

These fish can endure water hardness levels but I suggest you keep them at the range of 12dH-15dH.

Water Change And Temperature

Blueberry Oscars are sensitive to temperature changes in water and ammonia levels.

The perfect water condition is in the range of 74 – 81 degrees Fahrenheit. And keep the pH balance between 6-8 and 5-20 KH.

You might like to read more about How to Adjust pH in Fish Tank – Fishkeeping Guide

You need an aquarium heater and a thermometer to maintain the temperature range.  And you can also find an aquarium heater with a built-in thermometer.

Substrate And Adding Live Plants

Adding substrate and live plants to the tank makes it look more lively. You can add fine-grained substrate such as sand at the base of the tank will be ideal. Because Oscars love to dig around a lot.

These species are quite messy and busy rearranging their environment themselves. It is better to simply add some live plants along with rocks and bogwood. Make sure you firmly fix them into place so that Oscars will not easily uproot them. Avoid any breakable decorations (like ceramics), things like coral, limestone, or any calcium carbonate-based materials.

I have also written an article on 9 Low Light Aquarium Plants for Beginners | Benefits of Aquarium Plants

Tank Mates

All fish are not compatible to be kept in the same aquarium. Each species have their own character and compatibility. So you have to be careful about choosing the right tank mates for your Blueberry Oscar.

Compatible Tank Mates

Blueberry Oscar species are very territorial so, you must choose their tank mates wisely. Oscars are better with large passive tank mates that can defend themselves and stay away. Few examples of tank mates for Oscars are Arowanas, Firemouth Cichlids, Silver Dollars, Jack Dempsey’s, and Green Terrors.

Tank Mates To Avoid

Be careful as Blueberry Oscars become seriously aggressive towards other tank mates at times. Any small fish added to the tank is in danger. Oscars tend to attack and even eat them. So, small fishes like Guppies should be kept away.

Food And Diets

Blueberry Oscars are omnivorous so provide them a healthy protein diet. In the wild, they feed on small fish and insects. Make sure you feed them an equal amount of foods like insects, small fish, shrimps, and worms.

Feeding Oscars some green vegetables is also a good idea. You can chop them into tiny pieces and put them in the tank. And remember to not overfeed your Oscars. Remove any uneaten food from the tank as it can mess up the water quality.

You might like to read more about Fish Food 101: A Beginner’s Guide On How To Feed Aquarium Fish

What Happen If You Fail To Take Proper Care Of Blueberry Oscar?

There are so many things that will happen when you fail to take care of your Blueberry Oscar. You might want to think again about everything before you send them in harm’s way.

Some of the consequences that will arise in the tank and the health of your fish can lead to their death as well.

Ammonia poisoning and dirty tank make it worse for your blueberry Oscar. Here is what can happen to your Blueberry Oscar when the tank conditions and food are not optimum:

  1. Stress
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Suffocation
  4. Gasping for breathe
  5. Discoloration
  6. Sluggish
  7. Fatigue
  8. Diseases
  9. Death

Common Diseases In Blueberry Oscar And Their Preventions

Blueberry Oscars rarely get sick but they will if you do not look after them properly. Here are five diseases that are common and easy to recognize in Oscar fish. Let’s find out how to track them and treat them properly.

Hole In The Head

Hole in the Head is a common disease in Blueberry Oscars. There is no exact cause for this. However, it can be caused by a deficiency of nutrients, poor water quality, or bacterial infection. You will notice the symptoms like white sores around its eyes and on top of the head. You will also know when they have a loss of appetite and holes getting larger and sores.

Well, just focus on providing them with proper nutrients and the environment. Taking care of them and following proper guidelines by consulting fish veterinarians will help reduce the chances of getting the disease.

Ich

Ich is also called white spot disease caused by a protozoan parasite. It is one of the common diseases in aquarium fish. Mostly the cause of this disease is the addition of new fish into the tank, live plants, or live food items. Symptoms that you should notice in this case are loss of appetite, reddening of the fins, white spots on the skin. Other signs include abnormal behavior such as sitting on the bottom of the tank for a long time or rubbing their bodies on the objects in the tank.

One effective way of treating this disease is by adding copper sulfate to the water. Increasing the water temperature is also helpful in reducing the effect of the ich parasite. Other products like Salt, Formaldehyde, and Malachite green are also helpful. And consult with your veterinarian as well about the directions of using the specific dose.

Columnaris Disease

Columnaris disease is caused by a bacterial infection. This disease is also called Fin and Tail Rot. This disease is more viral in cases of overcrowding, deficiency in oxygen level, or low water quality. Symptoms you will see are bloody or blackened fins, loss of appetite, fins turning slim and milky.

The treatment includes antibiotic bath treatment and potassium permanganate. Maintaining a stress-free environment and enough space for the fish is ideal.

Popeye Disease

Popeye disease describes it in the name itself. The bulging of the eye or swollen eye in the fish. Popeye disease is caused by poor water quality. One or both eyes of the Oscar can be affected by this. You need to notice the symptoms such as fluid build-up behind the eyeball, cloudy appearance to the eye, or a swollen eye.

This disease is fatal and difficult to be treated. Therefore, I suggest you thoroughly follow these steps:

  • Test the water quality in the tank and change it in time
  • In case you think another fish injured you Oscar then keep them away from each other
  • Follow the directions and use antibiotic products
  • Adding salt to the water is optional (1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of water)

Bloat or Dropsy

Bloat disease is a major condition in Blueberry Oscars. There are many causes of this disease. The common source of Bloat is overfeeding Oscar fish leading to constipation.  The symptoms are uncontrolled swimming, hard excretion from the fish, lack of bowel movements, and a bloated appearance.

If the bloating is getting worse, your Oscar may have dropsy. In this case, Oscars have the following symptoms:

  • swelling in their abdomen
  • raised appearance in the scales
  • Popeye disease
  • loss of appetite
  • Uncontrolled swimming

It also occurs with more problems in Blueberry Oscar fish such as organ damage, tumor, constipation, and blockage at the intestine. Treating this at home is not a good idea. So consult with your veterinarian as soon as you notice these symptoms in your fish.

Well, constipation can be treated by controlling overfeeding the fish, changing the water in time, and increasing the temperature of water (by one or two degrees). And treat them separately by separating them from the healthy ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

I know the questions related to Blueberry Oscars are never-ending. So, I have tried to answer a few of them for you.

Are Blueberry Oscars Easy To Care For?

No, Blueberry Oscars are not so easy species to care for. You need to give careful attention to them.

They can be quite demanding and fussy fish to care for. You have to be certain about every aspect related to the well-being of these fish.

One miss, the game finish is theoretically as well as practically applicable when it comes to blueberry Oscars.

How Long Can Blueberry Oscar Go Without Food?

Blueberry Oscars can go without food for 24 to 48 hours in a new tank. On regular basis, you can feed them twice a day.

Are Blueberry Oscar Schooling Fish?

No, they are not schooling fish because they are aggressive and territorial. It is only possible if they agree to remain peacefully with their other species in a large tank.

Why Do You Need To Maintain Water Condition?

Unlike in the natural habitat, the water in the tank does not flow naturally. The tank has an enclosed system so you need to change the water by yourself from time to time. Replacing at least 10 percent of the water is appropriate to maintain the water condition.  Besides, you need to perform water tests to prevent spiking of Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, and Phosphate levels in the tank.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Blueberry Oscars are one of the beautiful species to keep. But also they are not easy to look after unless you are a hobbyist. Having them at home feels good but you need to be very careful and make sure they are comfortable and passive. From having a perfect tank setup to caring when they are sick, you should be updated with everything your fish is going through. I hope this guide has helped you a lot in caring for your Blueberry Oscars even better.

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  3. Most Common Beginner Aquarium Mistakes When Setting Up New Tank