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15 Popular Types Of Oscar Fish

Oscar fish are rapidly growing in popularity, especially among hobbyists looking for a large feature fish. 

Oscars are a type of large cichlid belonging to the Cichlidae family. Initially, there were only three types of Oscar fish, Red, Tiger, and Albino. However, thanks to generations of cross-breeding, you can now find Blue Oscar fish, White Oscar fish, and even Veil Tail Oscar fish.

Read this guide to discover 15 popular types of Oscar fish that can add flair and excitement to your home aquarium setup!

Do Different Types of Oscars Need Different Care?

Even though the many different forms of Oscars look pretty different, their care needs are basically the same. 

All Oscars have the potential to grow to between 12 and 15 inches long, so you need to buy a big tank or at least be prepared to upsize when your fish grows.

Are The Different Types Of Oscars Different Species?

Oscars are large fish that are well-known for their amazing intelligence and unique personality. These striking fish can grow to measure around a foot, and command the attention of anyone who passes by their aquarium.

The Oscar fish can form an incredible bond with their human owner, even enjoying being petted and learning simple tricks, such as rolling over for tidbits of food. These remarkable characters can act spoiled or aloof, too, depending on what mood they are in on any given day!

Oscar fish are a South American fish that comprises two distinct species.

Common Species 

The common species of Oscar fish has the scientific name Astronotus ocellatus. Within that species are numerous color morphs that have been created through hybridization for the trade.

Oscar Cichlids 

There’s also a species of Oscar cichlids called Astronotus crassipinnis. These dwarf fish are slightly smaller and darker in color than the Common Oscar, but they’re very rare and hardly ever seen for sale in fish stores or online.

How Much Does Oscar Fish Cost?

Oscar fish are unfortunately not the cheapest fish in the hobby.

The variety and size of the individual specimen play a large part in the cost of the fish. So, generally, you can expect to pay from $8 to $100 for one fish. If you buy online, remember that you will probably have to pay shipping costs, too.

On the upside, Oscars live for up to ten years, so you do get a fairly long-lived fishy friend for your outlay.

15 Different Types Of Oscar Fish

So, here are 15 of the most popular types of Oscar fish that you can find for sale in your local fish store or online.

1. Tiger Oscar

Oscar fish (Astronotus ocellatus). Wildlife animal.
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

The Tiger Oscar is also sometimes called the Velvet cichlid or Marble cichlid and makes a wonderfully colorful addition to the aquarium. 

The fish has a blue-black body overlaid with a random orange-red pattern, which gives the fish its common name. Oscars form mating pairs and make a peaceful nuclear family. 

Like all Oscars, Tiger Oscars dig up plants, so you need to use pots to secure your live planting if you decide to use it.

2. Veil Tail Oscar

Vail-tail Oscar
Image Source: commons.wikimedia.org
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

The Veil Tail Oscar is a truly breathtaking variety of these beautiful cichlids. 

These fish have long, almost transparent tails and come in a variety of different color morphs, although most are black with orange markings. The tail is also adorned with bright orange spots, extending up as far as the fish’s head. When the Veil Tail Oscar spreads his tail to its full extent, this is one of the most eye-catching fish in the hobby. 

3. Red Oscar

Red Oscar Fish
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

Red Oscars are another common variant of the species and can be easily identified by their bi-colored appearance.

These fish are a mixture of bright scarlet red and black, with both colors merging seamlessly over the fish’s back. Red Oscars also have black fins and slightly protruding eyes with an orange rim.

Just like all other Oscars, the Red variety is a predatory carnivore.

4. Lemon Oscar

Lemon Oscar fish
Image Source: instagram.com
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

Lemon Oscars are often confused with the White or Albino variety of the species. However, if you look closely, you’ll notice that these fish have a yellow gradient on a primarily white body.

The vibrancy of the yellow color of a Yellow Oscar is dependent on the quality of the tank conditions in which the fish are kept and the variety and quality of their diet. Some specimens can have bright yellow patterning on their bodies.

5. Albino Oscar

Albino Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus) aquarium fish
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

Albino Oscars are one of the three parental forms of the species. Albinos are pretty much completely white except for a delicately entwined orange-red latticework pattern that you usually see covering the rear of the fish’s body. The pattern varies between individuals and no two are the same, making each specimen unique.

As is common to all Oscars, the Albino variety is generally quite shy as a small juvenile, seeking the camaraderie of a group. 

6. Blue Oscar

Astronotus ocellatus. Oscar fish (Astronotus ocellatus) swimming underwater
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

The beautiful blue Oscar is a crossbreed variation of the species. 

These gorgeous fish are almost completely covered in contrasting shades of blue. Like other Oscars, the Blue Oscar’s body is patterned. The pattern is brilliant blue, forming a mesh of interconnected channels. The fish’s scales are lined with dark blue, making them really stand out.

You’ll find a few variations within the Blue Oscar fish in the form of different shades of blue and the makeup of the pattern.

7. Black Oscar

Aquarium fish. Cichlid astronotus, or Oscar.
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

The Black Oscar fish is the prime example of “less is more!” 

These fish are black with light banding across their bodies. Some examples also have a light-colored belly, too. Sometimes, the fish also have the usual tiger-like pattern on their scales. The fins are completely black and their eyes are rimmed with orange.

8. Florida Oscar

Exotic Fish- Oscar
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

Oscars have been introduced in many parts of the world, and there’s now a variety in Florida.  

These Florida Oscars essentially look very similar to the Tiger Oscar and have the same classic pattern and coloration. However, since the fish are wild, their appearance is heavily influenced by their diet. So, depending on what food the fish can find in their immediate location and the quality of the water they live in, their color can change and deteriorate over time.

9. White Oscar

White Oscar fish
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

The White Oscar is sometimes mistaken for the Albino variant. These fish are a pale pink color where their Tiger cousins are orange, while the rest of the fish’s body is white.

These interesting and different Oscars look especially beautiful when kept in a tank with a dark substrate.

10. Green Oscar

Great specimen of Astronotus ocellatus (Oscar fish)
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

The Green Oscar is a much sought-after color morph that’s just about the most eye-catching of all the Oscars.

These fish have a primarily green body with yellow and black patternation across the fish. Typical markings include two or three dark green bands across the fish’s body and yellow scales. Occasionally, you’ll see examples with yellow, black-centered circles, giving the fish a spectacular, extremely unusual appearance.

11. Wild Oscar

Wild Oscar in aquarium
Image Source: instagram.com
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

Wild Oscars are the original species of Astronotus ocellatus from which all the other varieties were derived. 

These fish are capable of forming a real bond with their owners, earning them the nickname of river dogs. These fish have a base color of gray or tan with yellow, orange, and white markings on the body.

12. Black And White Oscar Fish

Stronotus cichlid or an Oscar. Fish from the Amazon basin
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 20 years

Black and White Oscar fish are very long-lived compared with other varieties of Oscars, surviving for up to 20 years if properly cared for.

These fish are black and white with irregular stripes across the body and grey coloration on the fins.

13. Copper Oscar

Bright Oscar Fish - South American freshwater fish from the cichlid family
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

Copper Oscars are beautiful fishes that have a dark gray to black colored base colored body with a coppery orange color toward the back of the body. The fins are generally dark gray to black.

These color variants are artificially created and are one of the most unusual color morphs that you can find.

14. Golden Oscar

  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

Golden Oscars are basically very similar to the Copper Oscar but with a slightly more golden hue to their coloration.

Most of the fish’s body is golden in color with a dark gray head and fins. These fish look spectacular when displayed against a dark substrate with clever aquascaping and well-chosen lighting.

15. Black Tiger Oscar

Black Tiger Oscar
Image Source: instagram.com
  • Size: 12 to 15 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

The Black Tiger Oscar is basically another name for the regular Tiger Oscar that is so iconic of the species.

These fish have dark blue-black body coloration with a bright orange pattern, giving the creature the look of tiger stripes.

In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed our guide to 15 popular types of Oscar fish. If you did, please share it!

Oscars are large, predatory, carnivorous cichlids that don’t make good fish for a community tank, being happiest when kept in mated pairs in a very large tank. You can find many beautiful color morphs of these large fish, and their engaging, almost dog-like personalities make them firm favorites with hobbyists.

Do you have Oscar fish? Tell us about your pets in the comments box below.

Alison Page has been an avid fish keeper for over 35 years and has owned many different species of freshwater tropical fish including bettas. Currently Alison has two large freshwater tanks. The first tank has two huge fancy goldfish who are almost ten years old and still looking as good as ever. In the other, she has a happy community of tiger barbs, green tiger barbs, corydoras catfish, platys, and mollies.

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