Dear colleagues. Today I want to talk about such a fish as Astronotus.
This is not just an aquarium fish, it is an impressively sized fish that got into our aquariums in the distant 1934 and 30 years later gained wide popularity among aquarists around the world. You can meet this “fish” in the basins of the Amazon, Paraná and Rio Negro.
But most of all, Oscar loves clean black water.
Why black you ask? Because when you look at the water in a tributary of the Amazon Rio Negru, the water has a dark amber hue, and it looks almost black.
However, despite this, the water in this river is clear and transparent. Just such a feature with her. Unfortunately I can not say for sure why, but this is a fact.
But let’s still go back to the astronotus.
Astronotus belongs to the order of large fish, which aquarists presently contain. Under natural conditions, the fish can grow up to 35 centimeters, and in conditions of captivity up to 30 maximum.
Based on these dimensions, the size of the aquarium should be appropriate. You can buy a large aquarium, or you can make an aquarium with your own hands, you can choose. The body of the fish is slightly flattened laterally, the shape of the body resembles an oval, the fins are rather large.
Big eyes and head with a prominent forehead. Yes, all this fish is great.
There are many options for coloring astronotus, ranging from grayish-brown to black. All over the body are specks of yellow color, which mainly have a black border. Also near the tail of the fish you can see a large black spot, resembling the third eye.
Perhaps this spot affected the name of the astronotus in Latin (ocellatus), which means eye-shaped.
In addition to natural forms, there is also an artificially derived albino, which is so loved by aquarists. Astronotus-albinos are colored red, the fins are white.
Thanks to this coloring, the albino form is called the “red oscar”. Juveniles of fish on their ancestors almost no resemblance, but still remains beautiful.
White stains and asterisks are scattered throughout the body of the “cub”. The main color of the young – black. If you want to choose a couple of astronotus, then forget about sex differences, because they actually do not.
The male differs from the female in a wider body and a bright color, but I think you will hardly be able to determine “xy xy” when the size of the fish does not exceed a few centimeters and they are flooded with a whole cloud in aquas.
As I said, astronotus fish is large, and the bank needs a big one for it. If you want to have offspring from these big guys, then I recommend that you buy not a couple of fish, but 5-6 pieces. Simply, if you buy 2-3, then there is a great chance that you will either come across males alone, or females alone and you will not see a litter.
While teenagers the fish are still small and not strong, and their size is less than 12 centimeters, in the general aquarium everything goes on as usual and the fish live in peace and harmony. But as soon as the size of the growing fish exceeds 12 centimeters, problems begin.
When a fish reaches sexual maturity and grows, it becomes aggressive, so I advise you to keep a couple of astronotuses apart. The content of these giants with such fish as the swordtails, gourami, neons or barbs is simply impossible, since the Oscars will simply devour them. It is better to choose thorny neighbors – tsihlazom or synodontis as cohabitants.
They can hardly bite them. In addition, I recommend also using plastic aquarium plants.
What they do not devour, they simply uproot. In general, astronotuses are big lovers of rebuilding aquariums and making global redevelopments there.
Therefore, if you create an aquarium design for these massive fish, make sure that all the décor elements (stones and snags) are securely fastened and have an impressive weight so that the adult fish cannot move it.
I like these fish as well: the fish themselves are calm and rather shy. You can even scare them with a net.
Also, this aquarium fish learns well, very well get used to the owner, may later take food from the hands and give yourself to iron.
In order for the fishes to feel normal, the volume of aqua should be at least 100 liters, and 200 would be even steeper. This fish is considered unpretentious, as it does not give a damn about the composition of the aquarium water. But do not allow the water to be very hard and alkaline.
The optimum water temperature is 22-25 degrees. Since the fish is large, do not forget to include a filter and aerator.
In addition, you need regular water changes in the amount of 30% of the total. About unpretentious fish can read here!
If you decide to buy yourself astronotusov, then immediately buy yourself and biofilter. It is better to fork out now than later at the wrong time.
Just because of the large size, the fish produces a lot of waste products, and this is an additional food for algae. You do not want to get rid of the stitch or black beard, do you?
I want to note this: these guys are eating like pigs. Suppose they do not require frequent feeding, but twice a day the younger generation should be fed, and reinforced rations.
Fodder prefer fish of animal origin, so it is not easy to keep them because of this. With a crank you do not feed them.
Astronotus will be glad squid, raw meat, beef heart or liver. Also, the fish does not mind to eat and large and juicy earthworm, tadpole or small fish. Do not forget to feed the fish with dry granulated feed, which is used for cichlids.
Under normal conditions and feeding, for 2 years the fish will grow to the maximum size and by that time will be mature. In the aquarium, the fish can live for about 15 years, and the ability to reproduce will remain with them until old age.