My Oscar Fish Is Not Eating Food – What to Do?

Oscars are known to be picky eaters and they can stop consuming food for no apparent reason. If you are reading this post, then your fish has probably done the same.

What to do if your Oscar fish stops eating food? The video below discusses possible issues and solutions.

Why aren’t my fish eating?

Here are some tips:

  • Check if the fish food is expired
  • Check if there is any aggression with the other fish/s
  • Test the pH levels in your fish tank. It should be between 6.0 and 8.0.
  • Is the tank warm enough
  • Try changing the brand of food you are feeding your Oscar.
  • Stop giving it any food for two or three days. They usually regain their appetite after that.
  • If you have tried both the things mentioned above, it would be better to take your fish to a vet.

Feeding Oscars aren’t quite as difficult as many owners assume it to be. All it takes is good-quality food and the right schedule.

Considerations for Oscar fish diet

If you can maintain quality and nutrition in its diet, your Oscar will remain healthy. Just so you do not have any problems feeding your beloved Oscars, keep a few things in mind:

  • Do not compromise on the quality of the food.
  • Oscars love to eat small fish. So, alternate between commercial and live food to balance their diet.
  • Remove any uneaten food from the tank. Wait for a few minutes before you remove the uneaten food. It keeps the water in the fish tank from getting foul.
  • If your fish looks healthy and active, you are providing them with the right quality of food.

You can only provide them with their required nutrition if you know the correct quantity to feed them. This could vary greatly depending on the age of your fish.

Young Oscars usually eat more than adults as they are growing.

You can estimate the age of an Oscar fish by determining its size. A young, one-year-old Oscar is about four inches long; whereas, any size larger than four inches is considered to be a fully-grown adult Oscar.

A juvenile Oscar fish needs to be fed at least three times a day until its stomach starts to look somewhat rounded. On the other hand, the adult Oscars should only be fed once.

Disadvantages of over-feeding

Remember that we talked about live feed?

Well, too much of a good thing can have its disadvantages as well. Here are a few of them:

  • If your Oscars are allowed to eat live fish at will, they can end up completely rejecting other types of food.
  • Live fish provide an unbalanced diet which can affect the health of your Oscars.
  • Too much live food is the biggest cause of obesity in fish.
  • Too many small fish can cause an ammonia surge which could prove to be fatal for all inhabitants of the tank.
  • Live feed is far more expensive than commercial fish food.
  • Live feed consists of other small fish that only add to the fouling of water, meaning more frequent tank cleanings.
  • And lastly, putting in a sick fish only exposes your Oscars to numerous diseases.

We hope all this information allows you to give your Oscars a nutritious diet, resulting in a healthy and long life. If you have any doubts, here are some other confusions that Oscar fish keepers have.

Are Oscars infrequent feeders?

Oscars are predatory species in nature and it is quite common for a predatory creature to stop eating for a day or so.

Should Oscars be fed large meals?

Large meals leave Oscars very much satisfied. Consuming a large meal can also be a reason behind your fish not accepting food.

How can I know if my Oscar is suffering from an internal problem

It is very common for a healthy Oscar to not eat for a day or two. But if it has not eaten for over a week, it could have an infection. Again, if the fish looks physically fine, it will easily be able to fight off the infection without needing any treatment. If its physical condition seems to be deteriorating, it would be better to consult a vet or an expert.

Other reasons why Oscars won’t eat

Inconsistency in the quality of water is often a cause behind an Oscar’s hunger strike. Fluctuating water quality can stress out Oscars, killing their desire to eat.

You can, try to change the water of the tank or at least change a large amount of it. If the fish starts to eat, it will be easy to diagnose that the problem indeed did lie in the water.

While you are at it, also check the temperature of the water as fish also stop eating if the water is too cold.

Reasons for Oscar fish stress

Oscars can get stressed because of many things. For example, the change in lighting hours of the room, playing loud music or change in the tank cleaning routine etc. All these things play a huge role in upsetting the mood of Oscar fish.

Bloated stomach and loss of appetite

A bloated stomach is an indication of a blocked digestive system. If the fish does not eat for a week, it would be able to clear its system. If it does not subside, take your fish to a vet.

To conclude, generally, if an Oscar stops eating, you should not worry too much. It is a very normal part of their life and they tend to come back to their routine eating habits in just a few days.

Besides, a healthy Oscar can survive for weeks without eating anything. However, if you are seriously concerned about it, make a small trip to the vet.

Related Questions

How to be sure that the Oscar is not sick despite clear loss in appetite? You can easily establish whether your fish is sick or not by its physical condition. Observe its body weight and overall cleanliness. If there aren’t any signs of physical distortion present, your Oscar may very well be healthy and kicking.

How does an Oscar react to stress? Distancing itself away from food is one of the Oscar fish’s most aggressive way of showing frustration and stress.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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