Why does my oscar dig?

graham

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jan 22, 2006
209
1
0
33
portland OR
All m,y oscar likes to do is dig in the gravel. Ever since I got him all he does is move all the gravel out of one spot in the tank. I dont like this because I have an undergravel system going. Everytime I move the gravel back he moves it again. I tried putting a flat stone in the middle of where he digs and he got really pissed off at it and started biting it. :screwy:
Is this territorial behaviour? Is this mating behaviour, he is the only oscar in the tank.
How do I get him to stock digging?

he has also taken the liberty to unroot the same plant 5 times now. I have kept oscars before but they werent like this.
 

cichlaguapote

Fire Eel
MFK Member
Oct 2, 2006
8,995
14
62
Pripyat, Ukraine
He's digging his way back to South America...







Seriously though you've just found out why undergravel filters suck for cichlids. It's normal behaviour and one you're going to have with alot of oscars and other cichlids. You're best off switching out that undergravel filter at least for a HOB unit.
 

CichlidAddict

Gambusia
MFK Member
Apr 19, 2006
739
3
16
MN
Totally normal behavior. Ditch the UGF and get a HOB or canister. They're MUCH better which is why almost everybody uses them now.
 

OscarRobinson

Gambusia
MFK Member
Feb 25, 2007
653
0
16
Philadelphia
My Os not only like to dig through the sand and pull out the fake plants but they also team up and move the drift wood. I don't even bother seting up the tank the way I want anymore, they only going to redecorate themselves.
 

AquataHolic420

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Sep 20, 2006
3,962
3
38
35
Neeeew Hampshaaa
a lot of cichlids are diggers.. they like to dig out spots to spawn.
I had a single Jag that always Spawned and dug out my rocks, the fish left my like 2 plants alone tho.
 

thebestincali2000

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jun 5, 2006
766
0
0
34
chico ,california
my oscar started digging once when i had my other oscar,but i have a UGF and had to cover it up,and then my oscar beat the crap out of its mate and then i got rid of it.it hasnt dug a hole since then
 

graham

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jan 22, 2006
209
1
0
33
portland OR
its fake plants. and it wasent really a tank for the oscar so I didnt set it up like one. It used to house piranhas, then my clown knife, now my oscar and clown knife. I kept a pair of oscars before and they never really disturbed anything in the tank. My current oscar is a lot bigger than the ones I used to have though.
So I guess my only solution is to just keep moving the gravel back. Will this stress him out or cause him to be angry?
 

gomezladdams

Polypterus
MFK Member
Sep 8, 2005
5,769
5
92
gilboa,ny
Some are diggers,mine isnt.Hell let you know if he doesnt like you moving the gravel back by biting you:D
 

graham

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jan 22, 2006
209
1
0
33
portland OR
I actually just moved the gravel back and while I was doing so he was getting all hot and bothered my hand was in the tank. He got the usual flared gills mean look on his face so I spread my and hand and showed him who was boss. he backed down.
 
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