10 gal. oto filter reccomendations

MangoPineapple

Hi everyone, I am going to be starting a 10 gal. oto tank in the next few months. I am buying a TopFin 10 gal. kit that comes with a filter, will that filter be ok? I would rather upgrade the filter to something that has a good reputation and will ensure my oto's stay healthy, I would prefer one that wouldn't take up too much space in the tank as I would like to save it for plants, decorations and fish. I am planning on having a shoal of 6 of them so I need something that will keep this tank water pristine for them. Also do oto's prefer high, medium or low flow? It will be a heavily planted tank with at least one piece of driftwood, one cave and perhaps a bubbler I have in a different tank. If at all possible I would prefer a filter that's not too terribly expensive but will keep the water clean, I can afford a more expensive one if necessary though.

And this probably is the wrong part of the forum but would the TopFin heater work? It says it's a 50 watt heater but I want something reliable that won't short out and overheat my tank. Any recommendations?
 

MacZ

You are aware that a 10 gallon will not be able to sustain more than 1 or 2 Otos without supplementory feeding? Which is going to be hard on water quality.

Read here: Are ottos beginner fish? | Otocinclus Forum | 506246
(Read the whole thread, lot of good tipps. Not saying you're a beginner, this was just the quickest way to find some collected info via the search.)

The filtration and temperature are relatively easy. Keep Nitrates low (below 10mg/l) and temp around 24°C.
Heater recommendation: Eheim. Period. :)
 

Kaizeroll

Oto like when the water flow is low to medium. Also, for oto, you want a filter that can cycle water 4 times in an hour. I'm sorry but I'm not sure what type of filter that would be. I've never had a top fin heater or filter, but I have heard and seen really good reviews for them. I think what you are using will be good. If your filter is too strong, you can always get slower ones pretty easily. I hope you enjoy your fish.
 

MangoPineapple

You are aware that a 10 gallon will not be able to sustain more than 1 or 2 Otos without supplementory feeding? Which is going to be hard on water quality.

Read here: Are ottos beginner fish? | Otocinclus Forum | 506246
(Read the whole thread, lot of good tipps. Not saying you're a beginner, this was just the quickest way to find some collected info via the search.)

The filtration and temperature are relatively easy. Keep Nitrates low (below 10mg/l) and temp around 24°C.
Heater recommendation: Eheim. Period. :)
I am aware of that, yes. Thank you for the read and the recommendations. I have sinking algae wafers, but if those don't take hold then I am willing to grow my own green algae for them. I just need to figure out how to do that...but once I do I will have a supply of food for them just in case the wafers don't work out. I am also planning on setting up and cycling the aquarium before December, hopefully by mid-October. I will then transfer some guppies I already own into it to mature it before buying and drip acclimating the oto's to their new tank. And I will only be purchasing 3 at a time to ensure there are no ammonia spikes or anything of the sort, does that sound ok?
 

MacZ

And I will only be purchasing 3 at a time to ensure there are no ammonia spikes or anything of the sort, does that sound ok?
There will likely not be any ammonia spikes. Not with that miniscule bioload. The supplements are the bigger problem. Veggies for example have to stay in the tank about 24h to get a bit squishy, which is how they like it. But much longer and the water quality is going to deteriorate. So 2x 50% waterchange a week might be necessary.

For food, better also get: Repashy Soylent Green, Bacter AE to get biofilms growing, zucchini, cucumber and frozen cyclops. Otos are pretty dense and can take weeks to identify something as food. Weeks that most of them don't have before starving.
They are also not purely vegetarian. Aufwuchs means not just algae but also bacteria/biofilms, small crustaceans, infusoria... a whole microbiome. Be prepared and under no circumstances just rely on algae wafers, provided they actually eat those.

3 months is maybe a bit short for the tank to establish. 6 months would be definitely better.

I'm still a bit doubtful it will work in a 10 gallon, to be honest. It will probably take a lot of maintenance to keep everything running smoothely, no matter what filter you get.
 

MangoPineapple

There will likely not be any ammonia spikes. Not with that miniscule bioload. The supplements are the bigger problem. Veggies for example have to stay in the tank about 24h to get a bit squishy, which is how they like it. But much longer and the water quality is going to deteriorate. So 2x 50% waterchange a week might be necessary.

For food, better also get: Repashy Soylent Green, Bacter AE to get biofilms growing, zucchini, cucumber and frozen cyclops. Otos are pretty dense and can take weeks to identify something as food. Weeks that most of them don't have before starving.
They are also not purely vegetarian. Aufwuchs means not just algae but also bacteria/biofilms, small crustaceans, infusoria... a whole microbiome. Be prepared and under no circumstances just rely on algae wafers, provided they actually eat those.

3 months is maybe a bit short for the tank to establish. 6 months would be definitely better.

I'm still a bit doubtful it will work in a 10 gallon, to be honest. It will probably take a lot of maintenance to keep everything running smoothely, no matter what filter you get.
I don't plan to put them in there by December, I hope to at least get the tank scaped and cycled by then, at which point I will add my guppies for 3-4 months while the tank actually matures. Could I dose with API fertilizer for the plants, algae and biofilm? And I hope to feed them mostly algae, which I will hopefully be able to grow in a 1.5-2 gal. jar. I will then harvest enough algae for 6 oto's once every few days, and supplement them with algae wafers, zucchini, cucumbers and most likely frozen cyclops (What are those by the way?) And would it be ok to give them some of my homemade omnivorous food too? It includes unflavored, unsweetened gelatin, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, I believe carrots, red bell pepper, paprika and canned, unsalted salmon.
 

MacZ

Ok, then I got the time schedule wrong. Allright. :)

Cyclops are small copepods. They are an alternative to baby brine shrimp. Once defrosted they will sink to the bottom of the tank and settle on decorations and plants, forming a layer for the Otos to munch on. Just like Artemia they are saltwater critters, so defrost and rinse in a fine mesh Artemia sieve.

The homemade food is guaranteed to be detrimental to the water quality. I fed a similar mix to my Rift Lake cichlids back in the day and would have 10-20mg/l more Nitrates than usual for a week after feeding it. In a 750liter tank. Now imagine the impact in a 60 liter. Gelatin starts to dissolve quite quickly and gets everywhere. Also it's a mess to get uneaten stuff out again.
 

MangoPineapple

Ok, then I got the time schedule wrong. Allright. :)

Cyclops are small copepods. They are an alternative to baby brine shrimp. Once defrosted they will sink to the bottom of the tank and settle on decorations and plants, forming a layer for the Otos to munch on. Just like Artemia they are saltwater critters, so defrost and rinse in a fine mesh Artemia sieve.

The homemade food is guaranteed to be detrimental to the water quality. I fed a similar mix to my Rift Lake cichlids back in the day and would have 10-20mg/l more Nitrates than usual for a week after feeding it. In a 750liter tank. Now imagine the impact in a 60 liter. Gelatin starts to dissolve quite quickly and gets everywhere. Also it's a mess to get uneaten stuff out again.
Got it, no homemade food. How much algae would I have to grow to feed 6 oto's? How often should I feed them the algae? Assuming they refuse to eat anything other than algae
 

MacZ

You have to make sure they have 24/7 accesss to food. Aufwuchs eaters feed around the clock.
I know from experience 6 Otos clean out a 20 gallon tank within 5 hours. So 3 in a 10 will need daily addition of rocks with algae.
 

MangoPineapple

You have to make sure they have 24/7 accesss to food. Aufwuchs eaters feed around the clock.
I know from experience 6 Otos clean out a 20 gallon tank within 5 hours. So 3 in a 10 will need daily addition of rocks with algae.
Ok so I should grow algae on rocks in several jars and rotate the rocks when I notice they're empty? Assuming I manage to get them to eat something else, how much algae would be needed?
 

MacZ

Hard to estimate amounts because of their mode of feeding. All I can say is: Try to be able to offer food of some kind at all times. Actual aufwuchs is always preferred. So... you basically can never have too much.
 

MangoPineapple

Hard to estimate amounts because of their mode of feeding. All I can say is: Try to be able to offer food of some kind at all times.
I will be sure to do that, I have some Hikari algae wafers laying around, would that be ok for them to eat? I would also be able to provide lots of natural veggies as well as algae, is that a good diet or do I need the cyclops?
 

MacZ

You keep asking the same question that has no definitive answer.

You will have to try and see what works. There are several closely related and hard to distinguish species sold and all have slightly different requirements. Some need more algae, some more meaty stuff. And for none of the possible foods there is a guarantee they will take it.

What I want to say is: Do not expect anything to work and be prepared for everything.
 

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