The Albino variation of the Red Oscar is another selectively bred descendant of the original, Wild Oscar of the Amazon Basin. A truly remarkable fish that has the excellent “Oscar” personality along with a beautiful, white body and orange flanks. Albino Red Oscars are very popular and have recently been bred to another, beautiful variation (sometimes called an Albino Super Red) which displays mostly bright, orange-red over their entire body, with little white left in the mix. Albino Red Oscars can learn to distinguish their owner(s) from strangers as well as associate them with food; they are also very intelligent and will develop and display unique and interesting personalities and can be trained to eat from their owner’s hand; which is why they are sometimes referred to as river or water dogs. Albino Red Oscars have a base color of cream to snow white with a bright orange lower jaw, “neck”, operculum, belly and flanks. They usually have white fins, but some specimens have orange that extends from their flanks to their fins (although their pectoral fins are usually translucent white). Albino Red Oscars rarely have an ocellus spot at the beginning of their caudal fin, but if one is present, it’s white, surrounded in orange.
Albino Red Oscars require an aquarium of at least 75 gallons and should be provided with a sand or gravel substrate and multiple places where they can find shelter (driftwood, rock structures, vegetation, etc.). Albino Red Oscars are known to dig in substrate, which will cause uprooting in regard to live plants; live plants should have strong root systems, be placed in pots within the substrate, or species that will attach to and grow on driftwood and other structures should be used. Water changes (at least 25%) should be carried out every 2 weeks (or more or less frequently, depending how efficient the aquarium filtration is). Albino Red Oscars are very hardy fish, but they are also big and messy eaters and eventually they will have health problems if their water chemistry is not maintained; filthy water is usually where “one-eyed” Albino Red Oscars come from as well as Albino Red Oscars that have developed HITH (Hole-in-the-Head) disease. Albino Red Oscars are omnivorous (more accurately, facultative piscivores); they love live foods and enjoy the chase (your live plants won’t), but will also readily accept many other foods. Albino Red Oscars require vitamin C and will develop health problems in its absence. Ideally, Albino Red Oscars should be fed a variety of foods, such as live, frozen or freeze-dried ghost shrimp, minnows, bloodworms, blackworms, mealworms, earthworms, and crickets. To make sure they are getting enough vitamins and nutrition, Albino Red Oscars should also be fed some prepared foods such as Cichlid pellets or sticks.
Albino Red Oscars are egg-layers that practice brood care; a breeding pair of Albino Red Oscars will become very aggressive towards other tank inhabitants. Once a mated pair is established, the female Albino Red Oscar will lay around 800 eggs in a carefully cleaned, flat location (driftwood, flat rocks, slate, etc.) within the aquarium. The eggs will hatch in 3-5 days and the fry will be free-swimming within a week. The newly hatched fry can be fed a diet of baby brine shrimp (and crushed flake food) and moved to other foods as they mature.