Tiger oscar cichlids are a color form of the oscar that are clad in a blue-black ground color on top of which sit orange, red or pink markings. Known to scientists as Astronotus ocellatus, tiger oscar cichlids are popular aquarium fish that hail from the Amazon River basin in South America. Like most other cichlids, oscars are carnivores that consume virtually any creature they can safely catch and ingest.
Tiger oscars are relatively large aquarium fish, reaching about 12 inches in total length and 8 pounds in weight. Accordingly, these fish require very large aquariums in captivity. To help them capture their prey, they have a protruding lower jaw that allows their mouths to open wide enough to swallow other fish whole. Oscars are known to exhibit some degree of color change, which often proceeds traumatic events, such as attacks from conspecifics or from predators.
Male and female tiger oscar cichlids are difficult to distinguish visually. However, females often have visible structures that emerge from their vent during spawning. Oscars become sexually mature at about 6 inches in length.
Many oscar keepers are capable of teaching their fish to do simple tricks. Some keepers report that their fish recognize them by sight.