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Curious case of the night ottos


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I had about 2 dozen ottos in planted community tank that, over the course of about year, all disappeared.

I started feeling guilty that perhaps I neglected feeding them enough, even though I have been feeding Repashy super green somewhat regularly.

I thought maybe they were stressed by all the other rambunctious fish (lots of barb species). Or maybe they are just as fragile as people say. I thought -- am I really just using these like a disposable cleanup crew? Clean up the algae outbreak, then good luck to ya, you're on your own.

However, in the middle of last night, I had to grab something from the room where my aquarium sits. When I turned on the light, there were all the ottos -- I quickly counted at least a dozen -- lounging around on sword leaves, manzanita wood branches, hanging off the glass. 

What gives? Why do they snub me all day long and then wait till I'm fast asleep to come out and party?

(Hmmm . . .  come to think of it . . .where the heck are my corys? I know there is at least 2 dozen of those ever multiplying little buggers in there!) 

Edited by tolstoy21
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On 6/15/2021 at 7:29 AM, gardenman said:

I have an oto in my twenty high that I see once every three months or so. He's very good at keeping a low profile. About once every three months he just appears on the glass as if to say, "I'm still here. See ya." And then he's out of sight for another three months or so.

Ha! Sounds like my sole kuhli loach and clown pleco.

In fact, I forgot I even had a clown pleco until I just started typing this! That fish has been around my tanks since the beginning of time it seems, and yet I think I see him once a year.

I'm guessing we all have those "Oh yeah, forgot I even had you!" fish.

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I have 2 trios, and when I first got them they were each all over their respective tanks. Now the older larger trio just hangs out in a corner all the time, on some lotus leaves. I was looking at them like "hey guys, what's wrong? you depressed? sick? what?" but they are visibly larger than they were, clearly thriving...Maybe they are just sneaky?

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Agreed they are introverts. I have 60 babies in one tank- I go in there now they are all in random hiding places (and there's not many it's a bare bottom with plants in pots and a statue with a sponge filter, that's pretty much it. They ALL come out at night and I can see them dancing around by the oven hood light (they're on my kitchen counter). I get the pleasure of seeing them when it starts to get dark and right before I turn the lights on in my house (coffee and toast time). I wish they did it during the day- it's so pretty to see. (pic is just after their light goes on, shortly after they just disappear)

Resized_20210512_151122.jpg

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
Typos are lame
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Funny thing is that I never knew otto's can be hard to keep until I started watching the vids from Co op. Never had any problems keeping them alive. Guess I've been lucky all these time.

My first aquarium ended up in a big disaster when I went on to holiday. May home owner gave the fish the same amount of food in a week as I would have done in a year. So everything was death when I came back.

When I came back I emptied the tank, turned of the lights and filter and just left some wet gravel in it to start over again a week or so later.

Guess who started swimming around the tank again when I refilled the tank a week later... 

So that always made me think otto's are a easy fish, impossible to kill...

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On 6/15/2021 at 7:50 PM, xXInkedPhoenixX said:

Agreed they are introverts. I have 60 babies in one tank- I go in there now they are all in random hiding places (and there's not many it's a bare bottom with plants in pots and a statue with a sponge filter, that's pretty much it. They ALL come out at night and I can see them dancing around by the oven hood light (they're on my kitchen counter). I get the pleasure of seeing them when it starts to get dark and right before I turn the lights on in my house (coffee and toast time). I wish they did it during the day- it's so pretty to see. (pic is just after their light goes on, shortly after they just disappear)

Resized_20210512_151122.jpg

When I want some I know who to goto...lol

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I put a little Oto in my tank one month ago. He did a great job cleaning some algae, then disappeared after a few days. I thought he died and the shrimp did away with the remains. It is a heavily planted tank, so it would have been a real hassle to disturb everything in order to try to find it.

Well, I am noticing large areas of the tank walls very, very clean, and not the kind of clean the shrimp and snails in the tank are capable of. I am happily suspecting I have a nocturnal friend and may never see him again, but glad to think he may still be around.

I love mystery fish! 😎

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  • 2 weeks later...

For some reason, we have trouble keeping these guys alive. They'll seem fine, everyone else is fine too, then one morning I find a little oto belly up. 😢

 

Is there something they need that other fish don't. Water parameters are good, plants and fish are thriving, even got the darned nerite snails sorted out, but the otos keep dying. Any thoughts?

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On 7/12/2021 at 1:51 PM, LOKelly said:

For some reason, we have trouble keeping these guys alive. They'll seem fine, everyone else is fine too, then one morning I find a little oto belly up. 😢

 

Is there something they need that other fish don't. Water parameters are good, plants and fish are thriving, even got the darned nerite snails sorted out, but the otos keep dying. Any thoughts?

To add to streetwise's comments are you feeding the otos specifically anything?

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I have a 125 gal heavily planted aquarium with about six ottos in it. The tank contains numerous different schools of tetras along with various corries  and dwarf chain loaches. All the bottom dwellers can sometimes disappear for a day or so, but always turn up again. My lights don’t come on till 2 pm and turn off at 10 pm.  Ambient room light usually allows me more opportunities to view my light sensitive inhabitants. I do see them with the lights on, but not as often. I have my lights on at about 50% intensity (which is still more than adequate for my plants.) I think most of us have far more light than most fish are use to. If possible lowering light intensity may allow you to view your ottos more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Dkshadowwolf
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On 7/12/2021 at 4:08 PM, Tinyfellows said:

What does everyone like to feed their ottos and how often I just got 3 for my shrimp tank and want to make sure they get enough to eat 

I find they compete for food with my shrimp.  Mine sorta like zucchini, but won't touch cucumber, others have good success with cucumber though.  Mine seem to really like canned green beans, hikari sinking algae wafers, and repashy soilent green gel food.

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