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Otocinclus question in my 20 gal tropical


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This is my current set up in the 20 gal tropical.

i have 5 permanent glofish. 1 is a year old the other 4 since jan. they seam hardy enough.

When I bought the 4 other glofish I also got an oto. after 4 sittings in 1 1/2 weeks we never saw him (or his body) again. Then I got 4 more Otos in about a month ago. Put them in QT for 2 weeks. They were doing great. Moved them to my 20 gal ... now 2 weeks later ... I pulled out the smallest one dead with in a few days (under a week). And today after another water change there is definitely only 2 otos left.

I am wondering if possibly the stress of being moved from the store to QT and then 2 weeks later the the community tank might have shocked them.

I have been putting in alge pellets so I am sure they didn't starve.

What do you think?

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Ok- a couple of things.

#1- otos love to hide, and find some really clever hiding places. It can be really hard to tell how many you have in a tank, unless they are out & swimming about all at once.

#2- most of the otos you get in the LFS are actually wild caught, not bred in captivity. As such, they eat foods from natural rivers and etc. A lot of them can transition over well to eating manufactured foods, but some do not. It is not uncommon to lose otos due to starvation in an aquarium. Some just never take to eating the manufactured foods over natural algae, awfuchs, and etc. Additionally, otos can become stressed VERY easily, as they are a super shy fish- some of them don't do too well with the stress, and pass on because of that. Short answer- it isn't likely something you are doing wrong, otos are notorious for passing on in aquariums for seemingly no reason. It is really just because making the transition from a wild stream/river is difficult , and some fish just can't do it. I had 3 or the original 8 pass on right away, from not taking to eating manufactured foods. 3 more passed on about a year and a half later, and I currently have 2 who are still going strong. Otos are just kind of like that. They are so cute, though, they are totally worth the trouble of getting a little school established. Adorable little buggers.

Make sure you leave 1 or 2 tank walls that you don't scrape down, so they have awfuchs (biofilm) growing on it for them to munch on, as a natural food source. Driftwood also tends to grow a lot of awfuchs, and they also like to hang out on, and munch the film off of that. Otos LOVE driftwood, if you'd like to add a small piece to your tank. They will also love the nice amount of thick plant cover you have in there for them. :)

Very pretty tank. :D

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When I first got my ottos I was feeding them three to four times a day. They were doing great. Then I went to see my grandmother and they disappeared. Some time later I decided to more all to the 55 gallon tank. And much to my surprise they were in the tank all that time.

Now I have them in the 55 and only time I see them at all is during water changes. Even then I rarely see all of them but they are in the tank.

Ottos are also very sensitive to bad water. So make sure you stay on top of the water changes. Live plants would also help these guys. I have seen mine eat on decaying plant matter.

They do best in an aged tank. So I would hold off get anymore till you have some stuff in the tank they can eat off of.

Good luck

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OK thank you.

I just did a water change yesterday. They are not hiding there were really only 2 left. (sad face) I only clean the front tank panel, and only when I can see stuff building up. the sides and back I leave with algae. I can see algae on the glass so I am sure that is OK. I have one live plant in the back, I have never seen them around it, but they do hide a lot.

I will look into a piece of driftwood. eventually I would like a planted tank, but I will wait until I get the hang of fishies better doing all that.

So do you think it was OK with QT being 2 weeks or should I have left them stay longer to reduce stress? (too many moves)

I am excited to see them school! LOL

Jamie ... I just found a tank at Petsmart that hubby agreed we can save up for. 56 gals ... tall and deep like the 120 gal tank ... so it will fit in the spot I currently have the 20 gal in ....heeheehee so one of these days I will get that bitter tank for my tropical's!

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Otos are also rather sensitive and will usually do much better when you add them to a planted tank that has been established and stable for many months. The first time I bought some I put them in a new setup. The setup was instant-cycled with media from one of my old tanks, but the tank itself was not established. The otos lasted a couple days.

The second time around they went into a tank that was established for over a year, and I have not yet lost a single one of them. :)

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Yea I was thinking of waiting on more, poor sensitive little guys .... I want to make everything perfect. The tank has been set up and running fine since Jan, but only that one scrawny plant in the back. But I really want a bigger tropical tank, so I will start planning that tank and fish move before adding more otos.

so how come they are wild caught and dont breed in captivity?

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