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Otocinclus stocking 20 gallon community tank


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Hi everyone! first post but i have a 20 gallon community tank with guppies and corydoras and shrimp. It has some hair algae on one of the rocks and i've always loved oto's but never made the dive to get them. Could i have any in the setup or would it be too crowded? Also i really am trying to avoid a large bioload and an overstocked tank which is always hard with guppies but what would the minimum, ideal and maximum amount be?

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On 8/13/2023 at 9:45 PM, smellypenny said:

Hi everyone! first post but i have a 20 gallon community tank with guppies and corydoras and shrimp. It has some hair algae on one of the rocks and i've always loved oto's but never made the dive to get them. Could i have any in the setup or would it be too crowded? Also i really am trying to avoid a large bioload and an overstocked tank which is always hard with guppies but what would the minimum, ideal and maximum amount be?

Otos won’t eat hair algae. Especially if it’s long. You’d be better off getting 5 Amano shrimp. If you want otos you should get 6. But it depends on how many other fish you have, but 6 would be the minimum

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@smellypenny I would agree with @nabokovfan87 and @Zac ... and I would consider both, but keeping in mind it is 20g, I would only do around 2 otos and only half dozen amano if they are on the small side (most retailers only sell them when they are juvenile, anyway). If you have hair algae, then there should be plenty of other algae for the otos to work on for you that you don't see as readily. Thanks.

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As stated above, they won’t eat hair algae.  You could get 2 or 3 if you like them and want to limit bio load.  I would probably do 8 in a WP but I like them and don’t mind the load.

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To me, it is either a group or none when it comes to otos.

When it comes to any schooling fish, it is commonly said at least 6-10. When it comes to otos, this is usually being ignored for different reasons, the main one being it is hard to supplement their diet naturally. It comes to my mind, do we keep our schooling fish because we can feed them, or because this is how they want to be kept in accordance with their nature. When it comes to our benefit of having their algae eating capability, we seem to ignore their need of schooling.

Keeping otos in low numbers is not really different then keeping any schooling fish in low numbers. It is like suggesting to keep 2 barbs or 1 corydora. Otos are really social fish being in schools of thousands in nature. Rachel O leary says they are supposed to be visible, grazing all over, and she recommends 10-15 or more.  So I think an ideal school of ottos would crowd your tank, to answer your question.

They wont help your hair algae problem anyway. I would pass otos. You may want to get amano shrimp instead for that tank size to get any potential benefit in terms of hair algae.

 

 

Edited by Lennie
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