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A week or two ago I bought two ottos in the hopes of helping with my algae problem (see this thread http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...howtopic=70995), all the sites say they feed exclusively on algae and they're peaceful.

Wellllllllllll, one didn't make it through QT and the other went in my main tank yesterday. He appears to have no interest in the algae, he spends his time on the glass or swimming around, much like a corie. Then I noticed last night he gets really active when I feed the other fish so I watched him closely and he tried to suck on to one of my cories!!! :krazy:

What gives? I didn't think this was typical otto behaviour. Does anyone know more about them? I had wanted to get 1 or 2 more to form a little algae clean up crew, but now I'm having my doubts.

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i have a little oto catfish, i got him when he was just a tiny little baby lol. He did a great job cleaning up algae in my 5 gallon and never got near the other fish. He has no algae in his new tank yet but he leaves the other fish alone. Maybe u just got a mean one?

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A week or two ago I bought two ottos in the hopes of helping with my algae problem (see this thread http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...howtopic=70995), all the sites say they feed exclusively on algae and they're peaceful.

Wellllllllllll, one didn't make it through QT and the other went in my main tank yesterday. He appears to have no interest in the algae, he spends his time on the glass or swimming around, much like a corie. Then I noticed last night he gets really active when I feed the other fish so I watched him closely and he tried to suck on to one of my cories!!! :krazy:

What gives? I didn't think this was typical otto behaviour. Does anyone know more about them? I had wanted to get 1 or 2 more to form a little algae clean up crew, but now I'm having my doubts.

Heya Crissy,

How big were the ottos when you got them? If they were bigger than 1/2 inch or so, then they could've been returns. (Fish bought, then returned due to problems.)

Older Ott's can become territorial, especially when food is being served. If the cory entered his "space" he will attempt to scare him out/protect his space. I would suggest that if this ott is already showing territorial behavior to call the lfs and see if you can return him, tell them the other died and see if you can't get a couple more. Try to keep them small. Ott's normally do feed more at night than during the day especially when they are small. They will eat the algae off plants before they will touch the glass. Maybe they feel safer. :shrug

As far as the algae goes, I can't remember if they will only eat brown or green algae. Do you have both or mainly one? If the otto came from an algae free tank, it could just be used to eating leftover flake and not algae. If you decide to keep him, stop feeding the tank for a day or two. With all that algae, non of your fish will go hungry. Even the cories will eat algae.

Hope this helps. :D

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Do you have both or mainly one? If the otto came from an algae free tank, it could just be used to eating leftover flake and not algae.

That makes a whole lot of sense. I have a TON of green algae, which from what I've read, is their main food.

I'm going to try and watc him a little at night to see what he's up to. As for his size, he's about 2 cm (just under 1/2 inch).

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Well my otto dissapeared for a few days and I thought he'd died, but today I saw him swimming around as usual! I'm hoping that means he was off eating algae :D

I'm going to get him a few buddies as soon as the lfs gets some in, hopefully I'll have a little cleaning crew soon.

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  • 4 months later...
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Yes the ottos will eat brown algae so they are good there. If it is territorial is there any chance it is a chinese algae eater which are similar but get larger and are much more aggressive?? Also otocinclus are tough to keep having them die is not rare in the early stages of owning them. After a month plus they'll settle in and be easier but they need clean water and lots of food. Maybe throw in some zuchini or a similar vegetable to get the little guy eat. Cook it in the microwave for a minute to soften it up. Also oto's need to be in groups for comfort at what 2 dollars a pop its worth getting a bunch. I bought 5 and they were much less shy.

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fish crazy

They are supposed to be tiny you usually will read that they grow 1 and half to 2 inches they are small little fellas. Three is the min group size recommended they are tough cause of the stress the experience through catching transport and selling. Feed them lots keep water pristine and they will be fine. They should be a little pudgy but if not keep feeding they will get there.

good luck they are cute and fun

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I didn't have much luck with the other ones I bought, but my original guy is doing fantastic. He eats algae wafers and swims around the tank all day, he even schools a little with my cories. I'm going to try and find some more soon and give them another shot, I do want him to have some friends.

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interesting it schooled with cory's. They aren't even known to be inclined to school with other otos. It is hit and miss if the school or not so that is totally cool that he has made friends.

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It is interesting. It's probably not so much schooling as just eating with them, but they get along so it's fine. I think he feels a bit more secure eating in a group like that, even though they aren't the same species!

An interesting thing to note, of the 4 ottos I've had in the past few months, he was the only one that went after the bottom feeder foods I put in (algae wafers, shrimp pellets). The ones that didn't died. I don't know if that's because they were sick or just didn't catch on, but it seems like my guy is a little survivor.

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I have four in my 150, they tend to school pretty tightly for the most part (at least in such a large tank with large and active species around). They will eat green, brown, and blue-green (cyanobacteria) algaes. I think any sucker type fish is a little more prone to sucking on fish, it is just so easy for them. For example, my rubberlip was a horror to a couple goldfish I tried in with it yet apparently in general they are safe enough to be considered safe tankmates for goldfish. I have never noticed any territorial behavior in any of mine.

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Chrissy I think you are right I did read somewhere that they will school up if food is scarcer. They do it so that when one finds they all find sort of deal. Hard to keep food plentiful in an aquarium.

Fishguy as mentioned above food is usually a little short in tanks so they get where they can. Put in vegetables they will leave your goldies alone. They micro-organisms in the slime coat of fish is what has them attach they are tasty to these guys and plecos. If there is always ample food they'll leave goldie alone.

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Mine don't bother them now. That happened a long time ago with the one rubberlip (who was very well fed).

The slime coat is easy nutrition, I don't think there are any microbes in the slime coat, and if there are it is far from anything of nutritional value.

Actually you will find that many animals school less tightly when food is scarce, it increases the likelihood of actually finding something. There are many things that can affect schooling (tank size, tankmates, type and size of tankmates, type of fish in question, etc.).

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No no the slime coat does contain micro organisms that plecos in particular enjoy it is true. Is it nutritional probably a little but maybe only a very little but hey they like the taste. Feed your fish garbage low grade fish food they'll eat it. The comment was that otos are not known for their schooling it is very hit and miss some do but lots don't but yeah you'd pair up too if food was scarce and a fat guy went by you looking for food.

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My otto isn't actually in with my goldfish, he's in my trop tank. When I had other ottos with him he didn't school with them like he does with the cories, but at times they did tend to stay within a certain area together.

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I haven't read many issues with oto's attaching to fish more common with pleco's who become less of algae eaters as the mature.

I still think its cool they are schooling with cories kind of an interesting school. Wonder if he thinks of himself as one of the cories. Like the skater who hang out with the jocks in high school what is this oto's true grouping. Sounds like a fun guy hope he convinces you to get more they are a fun fish to watch when they get going.

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I'm suprised they are hard out there. I'm in Calgary and I see them all over here for $1.50 - $3.00. I read they were common and was worried cause I read the same thing about convicts but they are hard to find here for whatever reason. I thought maybe otos would be the same but I see them everywhere and they are so fun.

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It may just be that the stores don't have them recently, but I know I've looked a few times and can't find them. I guess it's like goldfish, I know some people who can never find certain varieties where they live, but I see them everywhere...just depends on the dealer :)

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Hey toadie,

I was hoping you could give me some more info about the microbes in the slime coat. I have nor heard this before and I want to know more. Where did you hear/read about this? Do you have any links you could give me so I can read up on it? Thanks in advance.

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fish guy I stumbled upon this info while doing research on Pleco's as much as I would like to give you the sites I can't as this wasn't yesterday but a while ago. It was after I was at a store that I had seen common plecos in with goldfish. But it seems to make sense it would be a place you would have micro organisms come to maybe from their prospective it is a symbiotic relationship with some nutrition in the coating. Anyways the info I read said that the plecos found those organisms the reason to come to the slime coat.

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