OSCAR FISH AND OTHER
MUHAMMED ANZEER F
“Ornamental fishes usually mean attractive colourful fishes of
various characteristics, which are kept as pets in confined
space of an aquarium or a garden pool for fun and fancy”.
Ornamental fishes are usually kept in glass aquarium and
hence popularly known as ‘’Aquarium Fishes’’.
not only bright colours but also peculiar
characteristics such as body colour, morphology, mode of
taking food ,territorial behaviour etc.
Aquarium keeping is 2nd most popular of hobbies after
Largest market - European Union
Largest importer - United States (US) (FAO 1996-2005;
Exact figures on the value and trade of the ornamental
fish industry do not exist, the total value of ornamental
fishes and invertebrates imported is $278 million US
dollars (FAO 1996-2005).
Pet industry surveys have estimated the aquarium
industry worth over $1,000 million USD (e.g., Cato and
Brown 2003; AAPMA 2005).
Although most fish kept in aquariums are from
freshwater, the acquisition of marine ornamental
fish has greatly increased, popularized by
Recent advances in fish husbandry and
Aquarium equipment technology
We have to recognize this amazing fact!!!!!!!!!!
The retail value for 1kg of coral reef fish for the
aquarium trade may be worth $500 to $1,800 USD
while a marine fish used for human consumption
can be priced only in between $6 and $16.50 USD
per kilogram (Cato and Brown 2003; Wabnitz et al.
Approximate Number of
Fresh-, Salt-, and
Southeast Asia, Americas,
Corals (hard and soft) 102
the Red Sea
(e.g., shrimps, crabs,
the Red Sea
Reference: various sources; principal, Cato, J.C., and C. L. Brown. 2003. Marine
Ornamental Species: Collection, Culture, and Conservation.
Astronotus - Marked with stars
ocellatus - with eye spot on tail
: Acaracompressus, Acarahyposticta, Astronotus
ocellatus zebra, and Astronotusorbiculatus.
velvet cichlid, red oscar, marble cichlid etc.
The species was originally described by Louis
Agassiz in 1831 aslobotes ocellatus, as he mistakenly
believed the species was marine; later work assigned the
species to the genus Astronotus.
In general, cichlids (Cichlidae) are superficially
similar to North American native sunfishes and black basses
(Lepomis and Micropterus; family Centrarchidae). Cichlids
can be distinguished from centrarchids by a single nostril
opening on each side of the head (vs. two openings in
centrarchids) and the presence of a discontinuous or two-part
lateral line (continuous in centrarchids). Kullander (1986) and
Page and Burr (1991).
Maximmum size : 45 cm (18 in)
Weight : 1.6 kilograms (3.5 lb )
Colour : darkly coloured with yellow-ringed spots (wild-caught
Able to rapidly alter its colouration. Juvenile oscars have a
different colouration from adults, and are striped with white
and orange wavy bands and have spotted heads.
An ocelli on the caudal peduncle and on the Dorsal fin (to
function to limit fin-nipping by piranha(serrasalmus spp.),
which co-occur with A. ocellatus in its natural environment.
o A.ocellatus is native to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, and
o Amazon River basin (Amazonas, Içá, Negro, Solimões,
and Ucayali River systems).
o Approuague and Oyapock River (drainages).
o China, northern Australia, and Florida, USA - as a byproduct
of the ornamental fish trade
o Limited in its distribution by its intolerance of cooler water
temperatures; the lower lethal limit - 12.9°C (55.2°F).
Habitat : Benthopelagic, Freshwater - slow-moving, quiet
shallow waters in mud-bottomed or sand-bottomed canals
and ponds sheltering under submerged branches.
pH range: 6.0 - 8.0;
DH range: 5 - 19.
Tropical; 22°C - 25°C ;
Captive oscars - prepared fish food designed for large
carnivorous fish, crayfish, worms, and insects (such as flies,
crickets and grasshoppers). Feeding live foods - increase the
rate of growth but may cause endoparasites.
Live feeder fish can be given, Most fish eaten by A.
ocellatus in the wild are relatively sedentary catfish,
including Bunocephalus, Rineloricaria,
and Ochmacanthus species but fish such as goldfish and rosy
red feeder minnows should not be fed. These contain an
enzyme (thiaminase) which binds vitamin B1- deficiency.
Just about anything that falls into the water would be eaten
These fish eat fruit in the wild, items such as melons,
oranges, and other fruits.
The species also has an absolute requirement for vitamin C,
and develops health problems in its absence. Poultry and/or
mammalian flesh, including beef heart, should not be fed long
term as these fatty foods will contribute to fatty liver disease.
Mode of capture prey
The species uses a suction mechanism to capture
prey, and has been reported to exhibit "laying-on-side"
death mimicry in asimilar fashion to
Parachromisfriedrichsthalii and Nimbochromislivingsto
Oscars will often lay claim to an area of the aquarium and will
be very aggressive towards other fish encroaching on their newly
established territory inside the aquarium or lake.
The size varies depending on the size and aggressiveness of the
fish based on its surroundings.
Once the oscar establishes a territory, it will vigorously defend
it by chasing away other fish.
sexually monomorphic, eventhough, males have been
suggested to grow more quickly, and in some strains(wild)
males are with dark blotches on the base of their dorsal fins.
sexual maturity - around one year of age,
will reproduce for 9-10 years.(time and frequency depend
A. ocellatus fish are biparental, substrate spawners
(aquarium condition), (in wild it is disputable.)
The only reliable method is to observe a pair when they are
breeding and the breeding tubes are extended.
The female's tube
rounded at the end,
while the male's tube
pointed at the end.
obviously, the female is the one with all the eggs coming out of
In captivity, pairs are known to select and clean
generally flattened horizontal or vertical surfaces (no egg
will be on top of another one), on which to lay their
1,000 to 3,000 eggs. (ciclids)
In aquariums, A flat rock like slate is ideal, or they
have been known to clear the gravel and lay on the bare
bottom of the tank. They will work for days picking up the
gravel building mountains in the corners.
Between “digging ” they will go through liplocking,
shaking, quivering and sometimes aggression towards each
other. Their color variances also intensify during this period.
This is all normal but the twist of this is….The female may lay
eggs regardless of whether there is another fish in the tank or
not. It is also possible to have two females and have one or the
other lay eggs.
Place the slate upright at the back of the tank and place
an airstone in at the base to agitate the water in front of it.
This will mimic the fanning that the parents do. Within a
few days you might see a thickening or a fungus growing
ontop of the eggs. This thickens as the eggs hatch. You
could use use product called Meythlene blue to prevent the
spread of this ” fungus.
After the eggs are laid, you should be able to see
wigglers in the “fungus” within 2 to 3 days. Shut the
tank lights off and use a flashlight to look around at
different angles. If you don't see wigglers the eggs were
not fertile, fungus killed them or they have moved off
the slate into there hiding spot. There might be times
that you think the fry are dead or have been eaten but
they are in fact hiding in the gravel pits, underneath the
gravel or behind the slate.
To further confuse things, two females may become
aggressive towards each other while one, or the other, or
both are laying eggs. To the untrained, or even the
trained eye, this sometimes looks like mating behavior
between a male and female.
o unfertilized eggs – white
o Fertilized eggs - amber (yellow).
A.ocellatus practices brood care, although the
duration of brood care in the wild remains unknown. New
parents might raise the fry right away but unlikely. They
teach the fry to come to the front of the tank for feedings
and if the fry stray too far away they will suck them in to
there mouths and place them in the “pits”.
The eggs might be there lunch or they might let the
eggs hatch to the wiggler stage and then eat them. if there
is any other fish in the tank, they might just get a midnight
snack, If you think or know that you have a breeding pair
and you want them to raise their fry, the best thing to do is
keep them in a tank by themselves with no other fish.
A number of ornamental varieties of A. ocellatus have
been developed for the aquarium industry. These include
forms with greater intensity and quantities of red marbling
across the body, albino, leucistic, and xanthistic forms. A.
ocellatus with marbled patches of red pigmentation are sold
as red tiger oscars, while those strains with mainly red
colouration of the flanks are frequently sold under the trade
name of red oscars.
The patterning of red pigment differs between
individuals; in the United Kingdom, one A.
ocellatus reportedly had markings that resembled the
Arabic word for "Allah". In recent years long-finned
varieties have also been developed. The species is also
occasionally artificially coloured by a process known
Absolute minimum tank size for single one is 48" x 15" x
12“ if it is a pair - 48" x 15" x 18”. You should bear in mind
that a small 4" fish will only take 12 months be be a massive
9" fish and so if you cannot provide a big enough tank to
start with then don't buy Oscars. Promises that you will get a
bigger tank later never seem to become a reality. Besides,
you will need that bigger tank in less than a year, so it is best
to wait until you can afford it and get the Oscars then.
Oscars are all the same species (Astronotus ocellatus),
however, there are several color varieties and forms
available. There are no differences in care for any species,
with the exception of Albino Oscars, which may require
decreased lighting due to a potential sensitivity to bright
lights common in albinos of any species.
The most common varieties are those Oscars we
normally see at most fish stores. They include Tiger Oscars,
Red Oscars, and Common Oscars.
Tiger Oscar (Dark base color with orange/red stripes)
It is believed that Tiger Oscars are the result of selective
breeding of Red Oscars back to Common Oscars and "fixing" the
Red Oscar (Dark base color with solid or mostly solid
orange/red that does not form bold stripes.)
Red Oscars are a strain originally developed by
Charoen Pattabonge, a Thai businessman, who noticed
some oscars with abnormally high red coloration in a
recent shipment and was subsequently able to fix a strain
we know today as the "Red Oscar". This strain starting
becoming prevalent in the hobby in 1969. One of the
distinquishing characteristics of the Red Oscar is that it
does not have an eyespot on the tail.
Common Oscars (aka -Wildtype Oscar)(Dark base
color with lighter stripes, generally yellow, grey, or
pale green, and very little to no orange. This is the
color of wild oscars)
True albinos are mostly white with potentially very vivid
orange/red coloration. Most people call any oscar with a light
base color and no dark pigment “albinos” even though they
are not true ablinos. The key indicator as to if your Oscar is an
Albino Oscar is the eyes and fins. If the eyes are pink (or
possibly orange) and there is no dark coloration on the fins, it
is an Albino. Otherwise, it is a lutino.“Albino” oscars come in
red & tiger patterns.
Albino Tiger Oscar
(White/light base color with red/orange stripes)
Albino Red Oscar
(White/light base color with solid red/orange)
These look like “albino” oscars, but have some darker
coloration, generally on the fins or the eye spot. They also come
in red & tiger patterns. If you have an Oscar displaying any
black coloration, in the eyes or fins, but otherwise looks like an
Albino, it is a Lutino. Albino's cannot produce black, brown, or
(White/light base color with orange stripes and some
brown/grey on the fins and/or body)
(White/light base color with solid orange and some
brown/grey on the fins.)
Bloody/Super Red Oscar
(an extreme red oscar which is a very vibrant, solid
Oscars have also fallen victim to the process of
dyeing.This is a horrible process which weakens the fish
making it much more susceptibe to illnesses and shortens
its lifespan. Plus the color eventually fades so you're left
with an expensive, sickly, “albino”/lutino.
(“albino” or lutino red/tiger
oscars dyed red/pink)
These aren't as common as
“blueberry” oscars. Also, some
albino/lutinooscars naturally have a
pink/peach base color, but on a dyed
oscar, it won't look as solid or
Along with the different color varieties, oscars have also
been selectively bred for different body/fin shapes
(Have longer than normal fins & tails. Come in all
common color varieties)
Short bodied/Balloon Oscar
(Have a shorter, more compact
body than normal)
Come in all color varieties. These
are relatively rare and in many cases,
oscars with shorter than normal
bodies are actually stunted and
horribly deformed from being kept in
poor conditions rather than
selectively bred to be that way so be
Leary about buying short bodied
There are also 2 other species
belonging to the genus
Astronotus. These are not oscars,
but they are closely related and
look somewhat similar. They are
also pretty rare to find in LFS's.
There is some debate as to if
these are two different species or
Water quality is of super importance. Do a 25% water
change daily cleaning the bottom of the tank to remove all food
residue. The best way is to use an airline to suck it out into a
cup, bowl or pitcher. Then siphon the babies that you pick up
back into the tank. It is almost impossible to clean the tank
bottom without sucking up a few of the wigglers. When you
refill the tank, be sure that the water you put in is the same temp
or maybe just a little warmer than the tank. Siphon it in with an
airline slowly to minimize the effects of any variances in water
As far as tank mates go, choose something as large as
the Oscar itself. Despite their reputation Oscars will not be
able to cope with large territorial Cichlasoma. South American
cichlids like the larger Geophagines are milder in
temperament and can be kept successfully with a single Oscar.
If you intend to keep a pair, they will need a tank to
themselves; if they decide to breed then all tank mates will be
seen as a threat.
I have seen a number of recommendations that
armored catfish can be kept with a pair of Oscars, "to clean
up the tank floor". While this is undoubtedly true, I can't
personally recommend it. Cichlids have very poor night
vision and will be unable to defend their eggs and fry against
the nocturnal predations of a catfish, unless ofcourse a light
is left on. Proper aquarium maintenance is, in my opinion, a
far better way to keep the aquarium clean.
Decor for an Oscar tank should be kept at a
minimum. A few rocks and maybe a piece of bogwood
should be more than sufficient. A pair of Oscars will also
need a couple of large flat stones on which to lay their eggs.
A piece of slate is best. Make sure that these are at least 8" x
10" as Oscars produce an enormous number of eggs. Heaters
should be either protected by a heater guard or hidden where
the fish cannot get to them.
It is not unknown for Oscars to attack aquarium
equipment, particularly heaterstats. I don't really think the
species have anything against heaters generally but most of
these are reflective and I think that the fish is attacking its
own reflection in the mistaken belief that it is another fish.
Plants are best avoided; Oscars will treat them as expensive
toys and constantly rip them up.
Filtration, is one area where a number of otherwise perfect
Oscar set-ups can fail. Oscars are extremely messy eaters
and so good filtration is essential. While many prefer under-gravel
filters, it needs to be remembered that Oscars are
great diggers and should you adopt this method then a gravel
tidy is a must.
My own personal recommendation however, would
be to use a large external power filter filled with sintered
glass or even better, Siporax, while expensive, has the
distinct advantage that it will eventually develop some ability
at de-nitrification and help reduce the ever present nitrate
problem inherent in a tank without live plants. For the same
reason, a good activated carbon or nitrate absorbing resin
should also be added to the filter.
An internal power filter can also be added to
provide mechanical filtration and help keep the water
polished. Oscars need plenty of oxygen so set these filters
so that they create a disturbance at the water's surface or
add some aeration. Despite their Amazon origins Oscars
can be kept in hard as well as soft water providing it is kept
clean. Temperature should be in the range 26°- 30°C.
Weekly 20% water changes will help keep your water
One last thing that needs to be add to any Oscar tank is
something for the fishes to play with. Oscars just love toys; a
ping-pong ball floated on the surface will provide the fish, and
you, with many hours of enjoyment.
When considering what to feed an Oscar it is very
important to remember that Oscars can get hooked on one food
and just refuse to eat anything else. Because of this feed Oscars
something different everyday. Cichlid pellets and frozen foods
such as lance fish and whitebait are very good.
Frozen and live river shrimps are readily accepted.
One of the best Oscar foods are excess fry from other
cichlid breedings and of course the good old earthworm. I
have heard a number of people suggest the raising of
guppies/mollies/goldfish etc. to feed their Oscars. In my
experience however, the effort required to breed these
fish, in both sufficient size and number is far in excess of
any benefit gained.
Other common Cichlids
The number of cichlid species identified in the wild is
well over 1,000 and biologists think that many more are
waiting to be discovered. Cichlids are found in many
locations throughout the world and include such favorites
as the freshwater angelfish, the tiger oscar fish and the jack
They can be quite fascinating and territorial, especially
when they pair off and start to spawn. Some will tolerate tank
mates and some can only be kept as lone individuals or in very
aggressive species only tanks. Some retailers and breeders
tend to keep them overcrowded in display tanks to try and
limit the aggression and indeed it does seem to work.
However, there could be many factors at play in this scenario.
The water quality could be very poor, likely high in
ammonia (and possibly nitrites) thereby causing them to
appear more docile. theory is that a crowding situation
prevents a lone fish from becoming dominant over a few.
There are just too many other fish to dominate in a crowded
tank. Once you get a few of them acclimated and at home in
your aquarium the situation could be completely different.Use
caution when selecting tank mates and due your research
before getting any of these cichlids to make sure you can meet
Description of Cichlids
Cichlids are categorized as "secondary freshwater
fish" - meaning their ancestors were marine fish. It is
believed that cichlids moved to freshwaters from the marine
environment, and they have features relating to a number of
marine species including the wrasses, parrotfish, damsels,
Cichlids are found in Africa, Central and South
America, and a few species from parts of Asia. Central and
South America comprises a huge geographic area with
greatly diverse habitats ranging from savannas to rain
forests. Other types of cichlids are from the great rift lakes
of Africa, as well as other lakes, rivers and streams.
Consequently cichlids are found in a wide variety of
These and other large cichlids are popular food fish for the
native people where they are found. Many of the smaller sized
cichlids species, vast in number, from the great African Lakes
are also considered a tasty snack to those native peoples.
The actual number of cichlid species is unknown but are
generally estimated somewhere between 2000 to 5000, with at
least 1300 species scientifically described. African Cichlids are
conservatively estimated at about 1300 species, while South
American Cichlids and Central American Cichlids are estimated
at about 570 species.
The cichlid family is so vast that there many good aquarium
inhabitants, but there are also many species that are not really
suitable for the home aquarium due to size. For example,
theBoulengerochromismicrolepis from Africa, which reaches up to
36" (90 cm) is really too large for most hobbyists. Some large
South American cichlids that are occasionally available in the
hobby are the Peacock BassCichlaocellaris, which grows to a
length of 30" (75 cm), and the Wolf Cichlid Parachromisdovii,
which can reach a length of 24" (60 cm). Both of these will
require at least 250 gallons (946 L) with larger being better.
Perhaps the most popular cichlids are the Rift Lake
Cichlids, which are some of the most colorful of all
freshwater fishes. Besides the many colorful cichlids from
the African lakes, there are others highly prized for
patterning and other unique characteristics. These includeas
seen in the popular Tropheus genus, featherfins, goby
cichlids, sarding cichlids, and shelldwellers to name a few.
Like their South American counterparts, there are also
some African Cichlids that reach an impressive size, making
great specimens for a large show tank. Yet here too there are a
few species are not really suitable for the home aquarium due to
size. The Boulengerochromis microlepis, which reaches up to
36" (90 cm), is a good example of too big.
Most African Cichlids available in the hobby have a mix
of fascinating characteristics and are a delight to keep.
Lake Malawi Cichlids
The Malawi Cichlids are some of the most brilliantly
colored fishes. It is estimated there are over 800 species of
Malawi cichlids but with only about 300 currently described
by ichthyologists. They fall into two ecological groups, the
Mbuna group and the Haplochromis group. Do not mix the
two groups in the aquarium, as they are mostly incompatible.
Only combining the Utaka from the Haplochromis group with
Mbuna is possible if there is plenty of space.
The Mbuna group is endemic to Lake Malawi. They inhabit
the rocky areas of the lake.
o zebra cichlids-mbuna cichlids- This group
contains 12 genera of rock dwelling Mbuna
Cichlids, including the well-known Zebra Cichlids.
This is a popular group of very active and
aggressive personalities, often colored in blues with
black bars, and yellows.
The Haplochromis group is another popular African cichlid
group that inhabit the more sandy areas and open waters.
oPeacock cichlids - Peacock Cichlids are some of the
most intensely colored of all the cichlid varieties.
These are generally somewhat larger and more
peaceful than the Zebra (mbuna) cichlids.
o Other malavi cichlids- These include Utaka Cichlids
which tend to live in open waters.
Lake Tanganyika, the second deepest lake in the world, is
inhabited with almost 250 different species of cichlids and
over 150 species of other fish. It is renown for having two
record-breaking inhabitants, the world's largest cichlid at 31"
(80 cm) and the world's smallest cichlid at 1.4" (3.5 cm).
Lake Tanganyika Cichlids
Many Tanganyika cichlids are unique in both body shape
and in habitat. These include such varieties as the
featherfins, gobies, julies, sardines, and shelldwellers.
Goby Cichlids - The Goby Cichlids live close to the shore
in shallow waters. Like others in this group, these fish are
generally more peaceful and a bit larger than the Zebra Cichlids
These are popular Tanganyika cichlids that inhabit the more
sandy areas and open waters. They are generally somewhat
larger and more peaceful than the Zebra (mbuna) cichlids.The
popular Tropheusspecies are endemic to Lake Tanganyika. They
are widely distributed along the coastal fringes of the lake and
have many geographic variations. Many have not yet been
Lake Victoria Cichlids -West Africa Dwarf Cichlids, West
There are many wonderful African cichlids that you
may run across besides the highly popular species found in
Lake Malawi or Lake Tanganyika. African cichlids also
include a number of fish from West Africa, outlying islands
including Madagascar, and cichlids from Lake Victoria.
Lake Victoria Cichlids
There are several hundred vibrantly beautiful species of
cichlids found in Lake Victoria alone. Other types of East
African Cichlids include Victoria Cichlids found in lakes
surrounding Lake Victoria. Others are native to African rivers
and streams, and live in a wide variety of habitats
Dwarf Cichlids -West African Cichlids
Many West African cichlids are native to African rivers
and streams, living a wide variety of habitats. These include
the interesting and beautiful African Dwarf Cichlids such as
the popular Kribensis.
South American Cichlids The South American Cichlids are also
known as New World cichlids, and include Central American
Cichlids and American Dwarf Cichlids. They are found primarily in
Central and South America, with the Texas Cichlid found in the
southern part of North America. This is a vast geographic area with
greatly diverse habitats ranging from savannas to rain forests,
consequently cichlids are found in a wide variety of conditions. The
Amazon River contains a huge number of fish, one fifth of all
freshwater fish species. Its waters are acidic and extremely soft,
and much of it has detritus covered sandy type substrate.
South American Cichlids and Central American Cichlids are
attractive, personable, and are generally quite durable fish. They
come in a range of sizes and with some very beautiful
colorations, making them favorite aquarium fish for many
hobbyists. Many also reach an impressive size and are great for a
large show tank.
There are distinctive types of South American cichlids,
Large Cichlids - Large South American Cichlids
The large American cichlids, with their
personalities, temperaments, and size, are great specimens
for an awesome show tank. Because these fish get large, a
75 gallon aquarium is the standard suggested size for these
Dwarf Cichlids - South American Dwarf Cichlids
The American Dwarf Cichlids are also called the New
World Dwarf Cichlids. These fish consist of small cichlids that
only reach up to about 4 inches (10 cm) or so. They have
attractive color patterns, and many species can be obtained in a
variety of color morphs. Many will be content in an aquarium as
small as 20 gallons. Dwarf Cichlids tend to be shy and somewhat
delicate, so they are recommended for a bit more seasoned
aquarist rather than a beginning cichlid keeper.
Unique Cichlid Types - Unique South American Cichlids
The Angelfish and Discus have some of the most
unique body shapes, and some of the most beautiful and
varied color patterns. These cichlids end to be more amiable
than others cichlids and each variety will make a great show
specimen. Some of the most unique in appearance are
hybrids such as the Blood Parrot and the Flower Horn
an ornamental fish and rarely used as a food fish(South America).
It costs more than 150 rupees per piece for an average sized fish in the
Indian market. International market value will differ in accordance with
the abundance, colour pattern , size and ofcourse the demand of the fish.
used by biologists in numerous studies ( behaviour, eye sight , auditory
systems and swim bladders).
as a game fish
popular with aquarists but not for aquaculturists,( slow growth -
Maximum length 40 cm.
A highly esteemed food fish in
Astronotusocellatus is a species of fish from the cichlid
family, originally described by Louis Agassiz in 1831, although
he mistakenly classified it in the marine genus Lobotes. The
largest of the new world cichlids, they can live 10-20 years and
reach up to a maximum length of 45cm (18 inches) long,
although they are most commonly found 25-30 cm (10-12
inches) in length and 1.6 kilograms (3.5 lb) in weight.
A popular aquarium fish, Astronotusocellatus has many
common names, including oscar, tiger oscar, velvet cichlid,
or marble cichlid, which reflect a number of bred
ornamental varieties, including long-finned varieties and
various color morphs.
Oscars are native to the Amazon river basin,
especially shallow, quiet floodplains and swamps. Native
oscars usually show characteristic orange ringed, bilateral
ocelli (eyespots) at the base of their tail which have been
shown to dissuade predators and also function in sexual
selection, as these fish are very visually oriented
Suction feeders,A. ocellatus are omnivorous, eating
invertebrates such as flies, worms, crayfish, some small fish,
fruit that falls into water, and large oscars will even eat small
vertebrates, such as mice. Oscars are an esteemed food species
in South America, although not commonly eaten elsewhere, as
they grow too slowly for aquaculture. Escaped ornamentals
and individuals purposely introduced into waterways have
established wild populations in Asia, China and North
An aquarium enthusiast can easily become overwhelmed
by the endless variety of fish, invertebrates (including corals,
anemones, mollusks) plants, and live rock available, and
ultimately forget to consider their source and method of
collection. Although many species in the hobby have been
domesticated and are produced on farms, it is important to
remember that many species are also collected from the wild
and are not in limitless supply.
To help promote resource sustainability, the potential
aquarium owner should develop a basic understanding of
the industry.A conscientious and well-informed consumer
can greatly help protect wild species and safeguard the
natural environment. Sustainability of a wild fisheries
resource is critical to maintenance of a healthy industry.
1. B. Nightingale Devia*, M. Krishnanb, R. Venugopalan and B.K.
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