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 Oscars Eating? Find Out!

Here are some tips:

  • Check if the fish food is expired
  • Check if there is any aggression with the other fish
  • 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 everything mentioned above, it would be better to take your fish to a vet. Feeding Oscars isn’t quite as difficult as many owners assume it to be. All it takes is good-quality food and the right schedule to readjust their eating routine.

Considerations for Oscar Fish Diet

If you can maintain quality and nutrition in your diet, your Oscar will remain healthy. To avoid experiencing any problems while 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.
  • After feeding your fish, be sure to promptly remove any uneaten food from the tank. This helps maintain the water quality in your fish tank, preventing it from becoming foul.

To ensure your fish receive the right nutrition, it’s essential to understand the appropriate feeding quantities, which can vary significantly based on their age and size. Young Oscars usually eat more than adults.

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.

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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 Oscars

Remember we talked about live feed?

Well, too much of anything can have its disadvantages. 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, keeping them full for longer. Consuming a large meal can also be a reason why your fish is not accepting food.

How Can I Know if My Oscar is Suffering from an Internal Problem?

It’s not unusual for a healthy Oscar fish to go without eating for a day or two. However, if it refrains from eating for more than a week, there may be an underlying infection. If the fish appears physically healthy, its immune system should be able to combat the infection naturally. However, if its condition worsens, seeking guidance from a veterinarian or expert is advisable.

See also  How to Stop Oscar Fish Aggression?

Other Reasons Why Your Oscars Won’t Eat

Fluctuating water quality can stress Oscars and make them not want to eat. To fix this, change some of the tank water or even all of it. If the fish starts eating after that, it means the water is probably the issue. Also, ensure the water temperature is right because Oscars won’t eat if it’s too cold. Keeping the water at the right temperature is crucial for their health and appetite.

Is Your Oscar Stressed? Figure Out the Reasons

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

If your Oscar fish stops eating, don’t panic. It’s a common phase, and they often return to their normal eating habits within a few days. Oscars can even go for weeks without eating, thanks to their hardy nature. However, if the problem persists, especially if you notice bloating, it could indicate a digestive issue. In such cases, consult a vet for proper guidance and care.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I reduce stress for my Oscar fish?

Ensure the tank has proper filtration, maintain stable water conditions, provide hiding spots, and avoid sudden changes in lighting or tank mates to minimize stress.

What should I do if my Oscar fish hasn’t eaten for a week or more?

If the fish’s health deteriorates or if it’s bloated, consult a vet for a professional diagnosis and treatment. Otherwise, monitor the situation closely, as Oscars can survive without eating for an extended period.

Can poor water quality affect my Oscar’s appetite?

Yes, fluctuating or poor water quality can stress Oscars and lead to appetite loss. Regularly test and maintain water parameters to keep them stable.


Remember that understanding your Oscar’s behavior and addressing any underlying issues promptly can help ensure their well-being and encourage them to return to their regular eating habits.

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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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