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Ottocinclus feeding


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I have been trying to get my Ottocinclus feed on something apart from algae, but haven't had any success..

I've tried with Hikari Algae wafers, blanched cucumber, etc but the Ottos seem indifferent.

I have Amano shrimp, a hill stream loach and a couple guppies, all of them eat the food I dump in except for the Ottos.


I have even kept the food for over 24 hours but haven't seen a single Ottocinclus on it.


I do have a lot of green velvet algae on one side of glass and black algae( like a smooth mat covering anubias minima which I manually clean).

Would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.


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Hi MBP welcome to the forum. Is there any reason to be concerned about your Otos? Meaning, do they not have rounded bellies? You've fed them everything I feed mine (but I've also started recently feeding Repashy as well). They may have plenty to eat in your tank and are just not interested, but I would continue to leave out food for them as they may eventually come to it. My Otos are active more at night so maybe leave out food where you see them most after the lights go out. It took a while, I find them very, very picky eaters- and what one Oto keeper can get them to eat another can't (I've tried lots and they've rejected lots). Which is why I started feeding mine in bowls- which is how I monitor how much is being eaten and it's easy clean up. 




Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
1 more thing.
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Thanks a lot xXInkedPhoenixX for sharing your insights on feeding Ottos.

I will try to feed mine in the shrimp feeding glass dishes at night.


The reason I was concerned is since I've added the Ottos back in September and I added 6 more again in November, I've lost atleast 2 out of 8.

They kind of turned lighter, like whitish, bellies sunked in and eventually died.


Also I may be shifting to a new place leaving this tank behind hence a new tank without algae worries me might starve the Ottos, hence I am trying to get them onto some food apart from algae.

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Yes that would be a concern as Otos do better in established tanks so it would be good to try and get them to eat the commercial food or veggies if you can.

When you first get them sadly it's not unusual to lose some within the first month you have them as they are already starved at times and there's no coming back from that. I lost 6 of my very first 7.  So when I had to QT my new set of Otos in a small tank I already had for QT it had lots of diatom algae but they quickly ate it. So I started crushing Hikari wafers and left them on the bottom for them. That's when they started eating Hikari for me. 

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
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It's not uncommon to lose Otos unfortunately. As InkedPhoenix said before.

Once an Oto is starved to a certain point, they refuse food from then on. Generally if the Oto's don't have a little pearl shape to their tummies in the shop, I won't buy them. The ones I've gotten that were thin in the shops have all passed within a month of being in my tanks. However the one's I've gotten that had a good shape to their stomachs (no ribs showing, or sunken bellies) have all survived.

Blanched zucchini is a favorite of most of mine; they prefer it after it's been in the tank for a day. Some prefer the Reef Nutrition TDO Chroma Boost pellets and will sift for them with the corydoras. They all love to munch on brine shrimp. They are also happy to accept Repashy coated river stones now and again. I coat the stones and then let them turn to a jerky coating before I put them in. I feed my fish a ton of variety.... By no means am I saying you need all of the food I offer mine. 😛

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