Bad Otto Info from my LFS?

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Twiz

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Hi all,

Was at my LFS this past Wednesday looking for some Dwarf Plecos (again--no one here seems to get them). Since they didn't have them, they suggested Oto's. I explained that I have a 28g tank with 6 tiger barbs (about 1.5" ea), a golden gourami (about 2"), two redfire dwarf Gouramis (about 2" each), and two South American bumblebee catfish (about 1.5" ea). They assured me the oto's would do just fine, although I was concerned about their small size) so I picked up 3 and brought them home (they were about 1"). Did the acclimation thing, inserted the oto's, and other then getting chased around for about 5 min, then seemed to settle on the glass. Next day, saw one swimming around center of tank (from glass to glass), one stuck on glass, and one unaccounted for. Thought they were doing fine and third was just hiding somewhere. Then yesterday I get home from work and one is lying deceased in the center of the tank. No damage, just deceased, so I removed it. I haven't seen the other two since (today is water change vacuum day) so I am still hoping. Well, today will be clean algae off the glass day too, since my Oto's don't seem to have made it.

My question to you all is this...will Oto's be able to survive and be comfortable in my community? Or is it a no win prospect and I need to find some other type of algae eater?

Aquarium is well established (over 2 months, slow introduction of fish, no spikes) and water is changed approx 25% every Saturday and well filtered...so I don't think it was a water issue that killed my Oto. I have had zero issues with any other adds. Also, glass is pretty covered in algae (enough that I will clean it myself today, at least on the front glass. So I am sure they had enough to eat (and I drop in wafers every night for the bumblebees, so there was other food sources available as well).
 

Gunnie

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Most otos are wild caught and malnourished when you see them for sale. A lot of times they just can't adjust to any changes in their environment and die. I've had bad luck with them also. It is not uncommon to lose them like that. I'm sorry for your loss.
 

chickadee

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Otos are hiders in the best sort of the word and I have gone for literally months without seeing some of mine.  I give up on them and then there they are.  They get lazy about eating algae if there is anything else for them to eat.  Are you feeding them or any other fish any type of algae wafer or sinking type of food?  If so they are getting enough food so they figure they do not have to work for their supper.  Also they come out at night after lights out and you will not see them if they are smart.  You have a tank full of very aggressive fish and they are peaceful little fish and it would not surprise me that the first little one was literally scared to death or chased to death.  Also in a tank that size 3 is not enough to keep the algae problem down.  I have 3 in my 5 gallon tank and they are busy almost all the time and still need an algae wafer once in a while.  You could easily support 5 or 6 if they are the only algae eaters you are going to have.  It is true that they have a very hard life and perhaps you should read up on them at their website.  (yes they do have their own website).  They are caught by the water being flooded with cyanide to slow them down and if you go into a fish store and find that they are being fed fish flakes it is a bad sign as they are being starved.  They do not assimilate that type of food.  If they have redness on their tummies or their tummies look sunken they will not survive as they have a bacteria in their stomachs that is used to digest their food and when they have been starved to the point of sunken tummies or reddened tummies (infection) the bacteria has died and they will never be able to digest their food and you could feed them until the cows come home and they will starve to death anyway.  Their little tummies need to be white and slightly rounded like they have just eaten, not totally bloated like they are going to pop open.  If you look for these things and fins that are not broken and eaten off you have a healthy fish.  If you bring them home and keep them in a warm and very clean tank and they survive the first 30 days they have the same lifespan of the average catfish (could be 3 years and there have been instances of 5 years).  I would think though that with the aggressive fish that you have in your tank that both Otos and Cories are out for you as they are both timid little fish and will be terrorized by the fish you own.

Their website is:

https://www.otocinclus.com

Rose
 

0morrokh

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I'm sorry about your Oto you lost. :'( Don't give up on the others though--they are masters of disguise. They can be right in front of your nose and you won't see them. It takes a long time for Otos to get used to their new owner and not freak out when a person walks into the room.

Do you have a quarintine tank? It is very important to quarintine fish for at least 2 weeks to reduce the risk of spreading disease. With Otos, I personally would consider quarintining for a month. Many Otos die soon after buying them, through no fault of the owner but because they are already too sick or starved, but it is said that if you keep them alive for a month then you have them for good. I have found them to be quite hardy after the initial few weeks. Just make sure to get them from a good store, preferably a small lfs where they seem to take good care of their fish, rather than a big chain store that doesn't know much about fish.
 
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