Albino Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus) care sheet
The tiger Oscar is one of the most personable and exciting species that you can have in your freshwater aquarium. But did you know that these South American fish are also found in an albino variety?
Albino Oscars have the personality their darker relatives have, but a platinum white body with gorgeous light pink markings that can’t be missed. These fish can have some demanding needs, so it is best to be prepared for their diet and size.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about albino Oscars, and how they differ from other types of Oscars!
The albino Oscar belongs to Astronotus ocellatus, the same species as the wild coloring. These fish can also be called Albino Red Oscars, Albino Ruby Oscars, Albino Tiger Oscars, Marble Cichlids, or Velvet Cichlids.
While they’re usually just referred to as Oscars, all of the variations of Astronotus ocellatus belong to the Cichlidae family and are actually a type of cichlid.
In the wild, these fish live all over South America and are mainly found in the Amazon in Peru, Brazil, French Guiana, and Ecuador. There they stick to slow and shallow waters with lots of plants and plants and large protective structures.
Due to the popularity of the Oscar in the aquarium hobby, it was inadvertently introduced into many non-native ecosystems.
Wild South American Oscars are a variety of shades of brown, green, gray, and black, and often feature orange spots on the sides of their bodies. They have a distinct eye spot at the base of their caudal fin that can help confuse larger fish and animals.
The aquarium hobby has since bred these fish to display a variety of colors, including lemon, red, and tiger varieties. One of the rarer colors is the albino tiger Oscar. However, these fish are often confused with the lutino coloring.
Albino vs. Lutino Oscars
Albinism is the result of one or more defective genes that cannot produce or distribute melanin in the right amount or at all. As a result, areas where melanin is present, such as skin and hair, is lacking in pigment or color intensity.
A real albino Oscar is one that has an almost white base color with pink spots. The defining characteristic of albinism for these fish is the pink eye. It is very common for aquarium stores to throw a blanket albino name on every white Oscar cichlid, but this is not true albinism.
If the fish is not genetically albino, then it is lutino. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between these two colorations, especially since lutino fish can begin to develop their darker colors later.
As mentioned earlier, when looking for a real albino Oscar, you should look for a pink eye. A lutino Oscar can have a pink eye and white body, but it can also have orange spots and shades of gray on the edges of the fins.
It can also be easy to mix lemon Oscars with albino Oscars and lutino Oscars.
How big are albino Oscars?
All of the Astronotus ocellatus, including albino Oscars, can be roughly the same size. These fish can grow very large and very quickly, which can fool beginners looking to buy Oscars as youngsters.
Oscar fish can easily reach a foot (30.5 cm) when fully grown, although it is not uncommon for them to push 61.0 cm (2 feet). It is also believed that they can grow about an inch each month until they reach their mature size.
How long do albino Oscars live?
Oscars are not only impressively big, they can also last a very long time!
In captivity, these fish can easily live to be 10 years old, and in the wild they can live up to 20 years.
Albino Oscar tank requirements
While the Albino Tiger Oscar is much rarer than other Oscar colors, they don’t need anything else. These are big fish and they need a big tank.
The minimum recommended tank size for Albino Oscar fish is 208.2 L (55 gallons) for a fish with plenty of additional filtration. A 283.9 liter (75 gallon) gallon is even better for an Oscar, and it has room for your fish so it can reach its full potential size without worrying about running out of space.
A 378.5L tank should hold two Oscars for some time, although both nutrient levels and growth rate need to be monitored. While some hobbyists use larger tanks as outgrown aquariums for multiple Oscars, overfilling can quickly occur when there are more than two in the same tank.
Otherwise, these fish don’t need anything special. They are a type of dig so a soft sand substrate will keep your fish from harming themselves. Lots of secured bog and driftwood structures as well as dimmed lighting give your fish the protection they need to stay happy.
Albino Oscar tank mates
Oscars are usually best suited for a tank just for species in which their full personality can shine. It’s also important to remember that more fish mean you will need an even larger aquarium in the long run.
However, if you have enough space and filtering power, several cichlids, arowanas, jack dempseys and plecos should be compatible with your fish. Remember that every Oscar has its own personality and compatibility is never guaranteed. they’re still some kind of cichlid!
Albino Oscar behavior
Oscars are a popular fish for their extremely sociable personality. You’re usually out in front of the tank and can even be trained to come to the surface when it’s time to eat.
However, because Oscars can get so big, they tend to be labeled as aggressive.
Are Albino Oscars Aggressive?
Albino Oscars are not an overly aggressive fish. The problem is, they eat smaller fish that will fit in their mouths.
You might find that your Oscar is chasing other fish. Keep in mind that Oscars are a type of cichlid and this can still be a sign of possible aggression. In this case, the stressed fish should be removed and placed in a quarantine tank until they can be transferred to another aquarium.
Albino Oscar Diet
Albino Tiger Oscar is relatively straightforward to care for, as long as you give them the space they need. These fish are omnivorous and very likely to eat whatever food you put them in front of them.
Always make sure you don’t overfeed your fish as this species in particular will be begging at the top of the tank until you give them something!
What do albino Oscars eat?
As omnivores, these fish accept a wide variety of animal and vegetable foods. You can get a variety of live, frozen and freeze-dried foods, such as worms (earthworms, blood worms, Tubifex worms), brine shrimp and food fish.
Oscars are best suited for a high-protein diet and should be offered flakes or pellets with an Oscar or cichlid formulation on a regular basis.
These fish may also be given blanched vegetables such as spinach and cucumber from time to time, although some Oscars prefer foods that activate their natural predatory instincts.
Breeding albino Oscars
Albino Oscar fish can be difficult to breed in the aquarium. Not only do they take up a lot of space, but it is very difficult to tell the males from the females, making it difficult to find a guaranteed pair.
Even if there is enough space for a couple, aggression is always possible and can lead to serious injury. If you are lucky enough to have your fish accept each other and mate, you must also make sure that the eggs and subsequent fry are not eaten by the parents.
While breeding Oscar fish is not impossible, it is very unlikely to be successful and it will take the aquarist a lot of time and effort.
The Oscar fish is one of the most sought after freshwater fish due to its lovable personality and its black, red, and orange coloration. Since this species was introduced to the aquarium, the elusive albino tiger Oscar has been the dream of many Oscar owners.
Body color can be deceiving on this easy-care fish, however, and many variations of white Oscars aren’t actually true albinos. Even so, your Oscar fish is a fantastic addition to a larger aquarium!
If you have any questions about Oscars or any other species of cichlid, or if you have any experience breeding the incredible Albino Tiger Oscars, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!