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Otocinclus in Quarantine - How Much to Feed?

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Hi All!  First-time poster to the forum. 

I just obtained a small group (5) otocinclus.  I started them in a quarantine tank that have been running at 24 hours lighting for a couple of weeks (per Cory's article).  We are just starting Week #3 in quarantine.  I have been feeding them Soilent Green and blanched zucchini.  They are eating both, but they really seem to LOVE the zucchini.  When I first gave them a half moon slice of zucchini, they took about 2 days to eat it all.  Then they were only taking 1-1/2 days.  Now they are consuming the zucchini in about 24 hours.  I am sure small snails in the tank are helping them with the task, but I do observe the otos eating on the slice.

My question for the forum is should I replenish the zucchini as soon as they finish off the last piece or is there any reason to fast them for a a day (or more) in between?  I do feed with Soilent Green after every few zucchini slices.

Thanks for any insight you might be able to provide!



Edited by kristina_klee
misspelled 'otocinclus'!
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Welcome to the forum @kristina_klee. Sounds to me like you're off to a very good start. Otos are typically wild caught and it is not unusual to lose some- being as how you're not reporting that you are ahead of the typical game. One of the more important things too is to get them to eat commercial foods (this includes the zucchini too) as this is very difficult sometimes. Continue doing what you're doing. If you're worried about variety try other foods/veggies as well. I tend to switch between Soilent and Super Green (my Otos seem to like Super better) and Hikari Algae Wafers- my Otos have mostly rejected any veggies. Keep doing what you're doing!

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Thanks for the feedback! Yes - all of the purchased otos are alive and well (knock on driftwood). All of them have taken to the zucchini so I have an opportunity to check them out when they are grazing. I picked up some Super Green recently but haven't had a chance to make it up yet. Will try that soon. I will also prep some additional types of veg to see what else they will enjoy, but am excited that I got over the hump of finding a food that they will eat. I tried Hikari Algae Wafers but they were not interested in it at all.

I suppose my next challenge will be planning and executing their eventual move into my 75 gallon long-established tank. I've started using some water from the main tank in the q-tank water changes but haven't yet set a date or timeline for the move.

Thanks again for the encouragement!

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Such a beautiful anubias!

Quarantine tank? more like ideal tank! Looks beautiful.

It is great that they accept veggies. From my very limited experience on them, I've found that corys and other fish lead them to commercial foods mostly. Maybe when they are in your tanks, they may manage to accept it better!

On 3/7/2023 at 4:55 PM, kristina_klee said:

misspelled 'otocinclus'!

was it ottocinclus?

I always use double t by a mistake ! 😄 


I've seen some cases where they apply repashy on small rocks and put the rocks in the tank. As they love grazing, they graze on them. Something you may give a chance to!

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@Lennie Thanks!  I have good luck with anubias.  For a long time, the plants in my tanks were primarily anubias and java fern.  It had been maybe 15 years since I bothered to try anything else.  This past fall, I decided to overhaul my aquascaping and ended up with spare anubias - hence they are now in my quarantine tank!  The Q tank also sports a gangbusters colony of phyllanthus and salvinia that I purchased as part of my overhaul.  I keep the Q on a seed-starting shelf (I am also a gardener) under seed-starting lights, so the plants are doing pretty well.  The plants provide shade so the light isn't so bad for the otos! 

Regarding my misspelling, I made a hot mess of the word - I posted with something like "ototincinclus"!

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