As I mentioned in my first spiel about
tropical fish one of the species that I had were Oscars.
They're really neat fish. They have a personality all their own. They do actually know you from other human
I got five of the little devils and before I knew it they had eaten
everything in sight and were twice as big as when I bought them. Anything you could eat so could they. I fed them eggs and bacon, shrimp, oysters, clams, fish of course, lettuce, beans,
spinach, flies, ant grubs, wood grubs, dew worms and the list goes on and on. They weren't too fussy about fish food but would take it if nothing else was available.
They grew to be about ten inches long and were extremely
tame. Hand feedable they were. They became so excited at feeding time that a rain coat to keep you dry was standard equipment.
Cichlids, which Oscars are, are not known to be jumpers so I
kept them in a fifty gallon tank with a partial lid on it. Low and behold one morning when I got up all five of them were on the floor. Three were in a semi stiff condition from drying out. I was
in a panic. I picked them up and plopped them back into the tank. The other two were still doing the fish out of water routine bouncing around every once in a while.
In order to try and save them I held them in my hand and
pushed them through the water to get oxygen flowing over their gills. One of them, the first one to hit the floor I guess, didn't make it but the other two did. They didn't look too good for a day
or two but after that you would never know the difference.
Oscars are such large fish that it costs an arm and a leg to feed
them and they are real messy eaters. They chew then spit then chew and spit again which creates very cloudy water and lots of work to keep the water clean. I eventually gave them away and
said I would never keep them again. Wrongo.
About ten years later I got a call from a fish fancier wanting to
know if I would like a mated pair of Oscars for ten bucks each. I flatly refused due to previous experience. A short while later the people called back and told me that if I was to take them they
would throw in a twenty five gallon tank. I said O.K.
These two fish were named Fred and Rose. Fred was a
reasonable dude. Rose on the other hand was a miserable cuss and didn't like me. Every time I would approach the tank she would nearly knock her self out on the glass trying to get at me.
If I put my hand in the tank she would spread her gill plate and attack inflicting great amounts of pain if I wasn't quick enough. After several nasty attacks I would flick her on the nose with my
finger. This just proceeded to p--- her off even more. She drew blood once and shortly after that I took her and him to Big Als in Ottawa and traded them for other more docile captives. One of
these was a notorious Channel Cat fish. Stay tuned that's the next story.