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OTOCINCLUS CATFISH


MerkySky
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So I rescued 9 otocinclus catfish.   I really did not want them only ,as I know they need soft water. But this guy was literally flushing his fish down the toilet, when I went to take a few of his other fish.  Believe it or not all 9 look really good fat bellies.   He has hard water also so I am not sure how he managed to keep them alive.  He says he has done nothing to his water.  I honestly have no idea how to even believe what he says.  So please advise me. I would appreciate it if the advice is kept polite as I have read up on them and understand they need soft water.  I took them in, as I thought that would at least be better then going down the drain.  I have longfin cory's and a frontsoa in the 120 gal tank they will go in after quarantine my corys have done wonderful and even have had babies so much so I have had to rehome some.   My quarantine tank has plenty of algae and live plants in it .  We are in the process of setting up a rain barrel to use for water changes.  Is there anything else I can do to help these guys fit in and thrive in my tank.  I do weekly water changes of 35% and all my tanks have good strong water flow. I keep tanks at 72-74 degrees .

Thank you

CJ

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Thank you for the quick reply.  So we have well water so its hard I do not have the numbers specifically. I have a 40 gal shrimp tank with a mix of cherry and other hard water shrimp.  That tank has panda corys in it, enders and tetras. I also have BLUE EYE LEMON BRISTLENOSE PLECO in all my tanks.  I will keep eye on them and still use rain water when I can.  Yes I have plenty of algae and added cucumber in also. Thank you again I really appreciate it.  I can get a number a little later. I have had 8 tanks for 3 years now and do my best to make sure I only add fish that go with my water parameters.  I have however taken in several kinds of fish as rescues and even the soft water ones have done well in my tank. Even tho it is not my intentions to do that to them. I only take them if there is no other choice . 

Ok so I checked we are on the 10 of hardness and I checked a site that sells them that I get my fish from and never had a problem with any of my orders and they have the 

RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS: 
  • Temperature:  74° - 79° F (23° - 26° C)
  • pH:  6.8 - 7.5
  • KH:  2 - 10 dKH
  • Minimum tank size:  10 gallons

So I feel a bit better now.  If these guys make it a month or so I will add 6 more from this particular place I get my fish from then the numbers will be larger and they will be happier.

Aquatics Arts is where I order from.

Thanks again 

Edited by MerkySky
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On 11/4/2020 at 10:00 AM, ChefConfit said:

They should do fine if corys and tetras are doing good. They all come from the amazon so are used to similar water conditions. I've even read about otos schooling with corys in the wild for protection. 

I've read about that too. I often see my otos and panda corys sitting or eating next to each other. 

@MerkySky

In regards to hardness i havent checked mine in a while but when i did the KH and GH was about 6*. I keep otos, corys, java loaches, and a betta in 2 tanks with similar conditions and pH. Also recently added a scarlet badis to one of them. I haven't seen any adverse affects from the fish being in water that's not natural to their home environment. As Cory often says, it's better the parameters are stable and consistent than to try chasing a specific figure, because the fish will adapt relatively quickly. Unless of course those parameters are toxic or unsafe (but even then sometimes lol life finds a way). Plus the kH will help reduce the extremity of your daily pH fluctuations. 

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Thank you Phill and Chef.  My ottos are doing really well.  I am going to order 9 more as I have read they like to be in larger group.  I have plenty of Algae.

I really appreciate the responses. I have watched them closely I really enjoy them.

 

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I'm curious why you perform so many water changes. Once every other week is 'often' for some folks. They are needed more for smaller tanks. For a 120, I would think you would not need may water changes. This all depends on many factors like filtration type, fish load, and many others.

That said, it seems as if you are doing okay. So, keep doing what you are doing.

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9 otos is a fine number to keep together. They will probably like larger numbers because schools in the wild are in the thousands but anything over 5 or 6 should be enough to avoid stress from having to few. If you have the tank space though get the extra fish. They're on of my favorites to watch in my tank

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We added 6 oto to our 29 so we could keep a close eye on them for several weeks and make sure they live and accept supplemental food before moving into our larger 75 gallon. Turns out my ultra shy pygmy corydoras really like them and come out to play more often now. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by MichelleN
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello - I had 6 otos in a planted 10 gal community tank. They ate all the diatom algae but most of them wouldn't eat any prepared food (Repashy soilent green, green beans, hikari algae wafers, zucchini). Four of them eventually lost their full bellies and died. Some diatom algae is starting to reappear but the remaining otos aren't eating it. I'm not sure if they are struggling because there's only 2 of them left.  I have cherry barbs and kuhli loaches in the tank but they don't seem to bother the otos. Should I move the otos to a quarantine tank? Any other ideas?

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My new otos ate spirulina powder but would not eat wafers not any veggie. The repashy gel made a huge mess no matter how I prepared it and they wouldn't eat it while it was in "block" status, only after it fell apart (and not much of it then either). The spirulina turns the whole tank green but eventually settles on the glass and plants. Maybe you could try spirulina flakes instead of powder. 

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Otocinclus are pretty hardy fish for the most part as long as you can provide them with enough food. The problems I have seem with them have not been from water, but more from not being fed enough and the right foods. I have gotten wild caught otos imported in, and put them into my water, which I have well water with a pH of 7.2-7.6 at different times and hardness of 8-10 depending upon time of year, amount of rain etc. They have done fine adjusting. I just make sure that the tanks they go into has lots of algae for them to graze on. I'll put stones in a tub outside in full sun to grow algae on, or in  winter set them in a jar on windowsill. I have even had otos spawn in my tanks here before with straight tap water, I havent been able to get the fry to live past a couple days but they have spawned and eggs have hatched in my hard water.

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On 12/1/2020 at 11:46 AM, Andy's Fish Den said:

Otocinclus are pretty hardy fish for the most part as long as you can provide them with enough food. The problems I have seem with them have not been from water, but more from not being fed enough and the right foods. I have gotten wild caught otos imported in, and put them into my water, which I have well water with a pH of 7.2-7.6 at different times and hardness of 8-10 depending upon time of year, amount of rain etc. They have done fine adjusting. I just make sure that the tanks they go into has lots of algae for them to graze on. I'll put stones in a tub outside in full sun to grow algae on, or in  winter set them in a jar on windowsill. I have even had otos spawn in my tanks here before with straight tap water, I havent been able to get the fry to live past a couple days but they have spawned and eggs have hatched in my hard water.

Keeping stones outside to accumulate algae is genius. Couple questions before I try that. Will keeping the stones outside and then placing them in the tank create any sort of risk of contaminating my tank? Also, will introducing stones will algae allow that algae to spread within the tank? If it stays on the stones themselves, I think I’d try it out. 

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1 hour ago, Nexusreptiles said:

Keeping stones outside to accumulate algae is genius. Couple questions before I try that. Will keeping the stones outside and then placing them in the tank create any sort of risk of contaminating my tank? Also, will introducing stones will algae allow that algae to spread within the tank? If it stays on the stones themselves, I think I’d try it out. 

I have never had any issues with introducing anything to my tanks or with algae spreading into the tank. When I have known that I'm getting otos in, I will intentionally leave lights on in a tank or two so that algae grows on the sides of the tanks. You would be amazed how much algae that a group of 25 otos will eat overnight.

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