My, how you’ve grown!

by Dave Weller

For those of you who haven’t seen Oscar in a while, here he is. I bought him last year around Labor Day. He was only about an inch long at the time, but now he’s close to 9″. I feed him mostly commercial pellet food, but he also nibbles on raw fish, lettuce, earthworms, beefheart and brine shrimp. He always seems to be hungry.

He also has quite a personality. If I’m rearranging things in his tank, he’ll lay on his side on the bottom. I think he’s sulking! He recognizes us when we come near, but cowers when strangers come close. At feeding time, if he’s really hungry, he jumps up to my hand above the water. His head comes about 3″ out of the water. Of course, when he comes down, he splashes on the couch, the wall, the window…

Oscar‘s latin name is Astronotus ocellatus. He is a South American Cichlid and is native to Peru, Colombia, Brazil and French Guiana, living in the Amazon river basin. In the wild they can grow up to 18″! They are often found for sale as a food fish in the local markets.