Astronotus Red, Albino Red and Red Chili

20. March 2024

Oscars (Astronotus) are naturally very variable in color. In addition to wild-colored animals, cultivated forms have also enjoyed great popularity for decades. Why is the Oscar called Oscar? To be honest, we don’t really know. But it is certain that the name originated in the USA. In 1936, an article by E. W. Clarke on Astronotus appeared in the specialist journal “The Aquarium”. Clarke owned a pair called Lena and Oscar. In 1949, Gene Wolfsheimer reported in “The Aquarium Journal” that aquarists in California referred to Astronotus cichlids as Oscars (Wayne Leibel, Aquarium USA Annual 2001). But it is also conceivable that the word “Oscar” is a corruption of the scientific name (i.e. Astronotus) or of the Tupi word for all kinds of larger cichlids “Acara”. Tupi is the language of the people who originally lived in Brazil before the arrival of Europeans in America.

The Red Oscar, a breeding form, has a dark head, dark fins and most of the scales on its body are copper-red in color. There are individual variations, sometimes individual specimens of the Red Oscar are almost completely black. An albino breeding form of the Red Oscar with red albino eyes and a red body has existed for some time, but the fins still show a black pattern of varying intensity. The latest breeding is certainly descended from the “Albino Red” and is identically colored, only much more intense: the breeders call the variant Red Chili.

Despite its impressive size – it can grow to over 45 cm long and weigh 1.5 kg, although such giants are very rare; Oscars are usually 25-30 cm long – the Oscar is a popular aquarium fish. Few fish species combine such splendid colors and so much charisma. Oscars are also quite intelligent, at least by fish standards, and at some point become much more of a pet than an aquarium fish.

For our customers: the animals have code 632702 (Red), 633112 (Albino Red) and 632753 (Red Chili) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer