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TROPICAL FISH  AFICIONADO
TROPICAL FISH AFICIONADO, YOUR TROPICAL FISH RESOURCE
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 2457
Experience:  OVER 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE W/TROPICAL FISH---BREEDING, MAINTAINING, CURING
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What is the best aquarium habitat for cichlids (oscar)

Customer Question

I am trying to set up the best natural looking space for my 4 large Oscar cichlids in a 110 gallon glass aquarium that is 4 feet long 30 inches high and 18 inches deep
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  TROPICAL FISH AFICIONADO replied 10 years ago.
Hi. First let me commend you on keeping such a fantastic and interesting fish as the Oscar. Also your aquarium size is perfect as I've heard of many other cases where fish keepers keep 4 Oscars in a 55 gallon tank!
In reality setting up a beautiful aquascape for Oscar's is difficult as they are an aggressive and tempermental species of fish. They need a lot of open space to swim so it's best not to clutter up the landscape with figures and things as such.
Plants both artificial and real aren't advisable as the Oscar's will only uproot them. For substrate sand is ideal as in their natural habitat they encounter sand and/or mud at the bottom. Rocks and caves made out of rocks also imitate their natural environment. You can even use large pieces of wood, imitation or real but make sure the wood will not affect the ph.

But---the most important thing in an Oscar tank is the water quality/parameters. A ph of 7.8-8 is ideal with a stable water temperature of 78F degrees. I suggest you test your source water first to see it's ph. If it's too low you will need to use additives to raise and keep the ph high anad stable. It's important to avoid ph and temperature fluctuations in any type of aquarium as it leads to fish stress which leads to illness.
As Oscar's are big and messy fish (as a result of their appetite they excrete a lot of waste) weekly and preferably twice a week water changes of 25% are needed in addition to an excellent filtration system. In your tank's case I recommend using 2 filters, one on each side of the tank, if you're not using a cannister filter.

Please remember that anything that is placed in the tank must be durable as the Oscar's are liable to toss it around so nothing made of glass and nothing with sharp edges--they are a rowdy bunch!

I hope this information will help you and please let me know if you have any other questions.