Oscar is the common name for Astronotos ocellatus
, a large tropical fish
from the Cichlid
family. Native to South America
, Oscars grow up to a foot in length and four to five inches in height. They are usually dark grey with orange ringed black blotches, although there are also black and red variants.
Oscars are popular fish for large aquaria because they are friendly and intelligent. Some recognize their owners and allow themselves to be stroked. Oscars are difficult fish to keep, though, because they are heavy eaters and create a disproportionate amount of waste. They also have a tendency to uproot aquarium plants. They aren't the best choice for a community tank since they are carnivores who will happily consume any small aquarium-mates who are too slow to get away.