Advice on stocking a 6ft oscar tank

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

Kish

AC Members
Oct 12, 2019
12
1
3
Queensland, Australia
Oh, there is absolutely no way I'd put the loaches and pictus together - definitely one or the other (...or a third tank...god, stop me!). Each would need the 'floor space' and hiding spaces... Plus they'd compete for food - and the loaches would almost certainly lose in that scenario. Not having that.

The pictus have a few spines so it would be exactly the same deal... They would have to be grown up to full size, 5" at least, before the oscar goes in. I have read horror stories on a couple of forums about a small pictus getting lodged in an oscar's mouth because the spines got stuck...tragic for both of them. According to my research, they could work fine assuming the pictus are of an appropriate size - and I've personally seen them together in a display tank. But, that said, the pictus I saw were pretty large specimens. Apparently there are two variants of spotted pictus, with one being larger than the other. The commonly seen one is the small one, and only gets to 5"...so, if I end up growing me a giant oscar, there may be some risk with that... I know they're quick, but an oscar's predatory and, well, instincts might get the better of him/her!

To be honest, the clown loaches are the ones I really want deep down. And size wise, as long as I'm not impatient at the start and give them adequate time to grow, I think they'll be a safer choice. Plus, imagine six happy, healthy clown loaches in a 6.5' x 2.5' tank - it's a dream come true!!!

Many people in my plant club have automated systems for at least some of their stuff but my tanks are spread all over my house.

From observing my club members' tanks, I'd say plant Monte Carlo at 1 end, glosso at the other & let them fight it out in the middle, lol. Will you have co2? I have the stuff but not the "gumption" to go there just yet. I like lower maintenance tanks...
I've always done the dosing myself and it does get pretty tedious. Some of the fully automated systems look incredible...the ones that constantly monitor your conditions and do ferts, lights, co2, surface agitation, etc. I reckon I'm going to splurge on one...these are my dream tanks after all and I'll have two big ones to maintain!

I've done a few planted tanks with co2 before. I started putting co2 in any tank with plants, even my nano shrimp tank. Makes a massive difference, particularly for carpeting plants. It was one of those things that, once I started using it, I just couldn't go back. I'm probably going to have co2 in both these new tanks too. Obviously I won't be putting anywhere near as much in the oscar one but I figure, if the fish are going to be nibbling, it might be worth giving them all the help they can get.

I reckon you should give it a go too! haha! You'll see such a difference even if you just have co2 and use an 'all in one' fertiliser (whether a dry mix or things like Dupla drops or Seachem Flourish). If you get a solenoid for your co2 and a timer plug for that and your lights, it takes care of itself.... It's only when you have a really heavily planted tank or fussy plants that you need to go that next step and start dosing individual ferts and trace minerals. That involves a lot more work.

On carpeting, I got the idea to mix different species from this video (and lots of googling):

The idea is to make the carpet look less uniform and give it more natural looking texture. I've never done it before but I think monte carlo and glosso would look pretty cool. I'm sure one species will end up dominating - I reckon the glosso will layer itself over - but I love trying new things with plants.

I'm about a month or so away from getting these built now. Oh, and there's mangroves near where I live, lots of beaches and some rocky rivers too...so I'm going to see if I can find some cool driftwood and stone to use. It would be awesome to source it all myself, even though it's a lot of work to get it aquarium-ready.
 

MeganYiun

AC Members
Jan 23, 2014
42
11
8
35
Michigan
Some people don't agree with keeping oscars with silver dollars. I know chris from palmer aquatics did a video not too long ago talking about this. Silver dollars are used as a dither fish but.. they are still pretty timid and get killed by cichlids. Idk.. maybe look into that. Might be something to think about.
 

Kish

AC Members
Oct 12, 2019
12
1
3
Queensland, Australia
Some people don't agree with keeping oscars with silver dollars. I know chris from palmer aquatics did a video not too long ago talking about this. Silver dollars are used as a dither fish but.. they are still pretty timid and get killed by cichlids. Idk.. maybe look into that. Might be something to think about.
Thanks for your response!

Yeah, I saw that video too... He raises all the right points - i.e. that people are keeping small silver dollars with full sized oscars, not having enough of them (i.e. 1 or 2, which isn't good given they're schooling fish) and in small tanks with not enough cover...

I absolutely agree with everything he says. Doing that isn't fair on them...but it seems that every tank I look at on youtube has 2 little ones in a bare tank with several predatory fish! Seems a bit cruel to me.

The concept I'm going with fits exactly with his suggestions on how to make it work - I'll get them to5" to start with before introducing a single juvenile oscar, keep 8 of them in a school, have driftwood and tall planting for cover and a large enough tank. I'm looking at a 6.5ft/300g tank with about 100g or so sump, so it should be noice for them. Will have about a year to experiment with plants to make sure they have cover - thinking java fern, water sprite, a few different crypts inc. balansae for some height, bucephalandra spp. and floating frogbit...will see how they work out and whether the silver $s will rip em up.

I think the point is well made that folks get silver $s for the purposes of suiting their predatory fish, without regard for what the silver $s actually need...
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store