Lemon Oscar
Astronotus ocellatus

Care Level




Reef Compatible


Plant Safe


Max Size

8 - 12

Minimum Tank Size



Yellow, White



Water Conditions

72-77° F, KH 5-19, pH 6.0-8.0


General: The lemon oscar is a colorful South American cichlid that naturally occupies slow-moving waterways of the Amazonian Basin. Since becoming introduced to the hobby, there have been many variations of color produced through captive breeding (Albino, Red, Yellow). This species can live past ten years in aquaria and are known to be territorial. An air stone should be implemented in an aquarium with oscars, as they require an oxygen rich environment but prefer slow current. This species is relatively hardy, but cannot handle many stressors such as pH, temperature, and high levels of NO3 (nitrate) / NO2 (nitrite).

Dimorphism: The only way to determine the gender of an oscar cichlid is to wait until they've matured at an approximate length of 4'', and make observations during displays of breeding behavior. The female Oscar's tube will be longer than the male oscar's tube.

Fecundity: This egg laying species may require an aquarium of 100+ gallons to encourage mating behavior. The female may lay up to 2,000 eggs per clutch.

Aquarium Diet: Carnivorous cichlid pellets, insects, brine shrimp, blackworms, ghost shrimp, feeder fish.

Compatibility: Other oscars, pacu (Piaractus sp.), arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum), severum (Heros sp.), jack dempsey (Rocio octofasciata), and larger synodontis (Synodontis sp.) species may be compatible.

Author: Aquatics Unlimited