Chinese Algae Eaters Or Oto?

Cheesewoman

I went to my local Pets at Home (UK) yesterday to buy a few otocinclus for my tanks (I already have 4, awesome little guys)

When I got to the store I found the tank that apparently had otos in it, but what I saw wasn't otos...they have pinky/peachy heads and a distinctive pattern down their sides instead of a plain line like my other otos. I didn't know what they were, but when I asked the store assistant she told me they were just a different type of oto so I got them.

When I got them home I still wasn't convinced though so looked them up. I believe they are actually Chinese Algae Eaters, but here's my questions:

1. Are Chinese Algae Eaters the same thing as Otos?
2. Are Pets at Home mis-selling these fish? Surely this is illegal if so?
3. Are the care requirements/tank sizes etc. the same for both species?

I always got otos before because they didn't need a huge tank, but these CAE's are notably bigger than any otos I've had in the past (tank is a 48ltr), so I'm a little concerned that they will outgrow the tank. I do feed them (I don't just let them eat algae and nothing else!)

I've taken as many photos as I could this morning, sorry they're a little blurry - they're quick little guys lol
 

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coralbandit

Those are CAE.
I would take them back.
 

Cheesewoman

coralbandit

Yea they are know to go after fish eventually and remove/damage their slime coat.
You want SAE that look the same but their lateral line is solid and often goes through tail.They are also called flying fox. Otos are also a great choice .
They are much smaller.
 

Cheesewoman

I'm so annoyed with Pets at Home, this is terrible that they can sell them as otos, they're meant to be experts! Fuming now.

Yea they are know to go after fish eventually and remove/damage their slime coat.
You want SAE that look the same but their lateral line is solid and often goes through tail.They are also called flying fox. Otos are also a great choice .
They are much smaller.
 

DoubleDutch

How otos look like.
e33c6a858ee2f47149043f4fc39334d7.jpg
d2b71a7217d5c5e1253310c11b23f133.jpg
 

Thunder_o_b

Get the ottos. They need to be in groups. And need fresh veg and algae wafers. Great little fish. We have them in all our aquariums.
 

Gena Krein

Otos also like a lot of water movement...like a hillstream tank.
Rachael O'Leary on YouTube has an amazing species spotlight segment on otos that is very informative. I think she may be an oto whisperer.
Gena Krein
 

Coptapia

I'm so annoyed with Pets at Home, this is terrible that they can sell them as otos, they're meant to be experts! Fuming now.

Now you know, staff in most P@H branches are anything but experts. Most have no experience at all with fish, and they have to follow policy on how to sell and what to tell customers. There are a few good ones but generally don’t trust anything they say.
 

Mazeus

I'm so annoyed with Pets at Home, this is terrible that they can sell them as otos, they're meant to be experts! Fuming now.

IMO Pets at home are a terrible place to buy fish. They often do not know much about what they are selling. Maidenhead Aquatics are a better bet for fish, they have locations nationwide. Even better if you can find a local independent LFS.

Edit: Coptapia beat me to it.
 

Cheesewoman

I get that P@H aren't the best for fish or advice, but they're literally over the road from me so it seemed convenient as I could just walk over there. I've never had issues with them before and some of them are quite good...

Anyway, I took the sucking loaches back yesterday and they swapped out them for otos for me. Turns out some new girl had put them in the wrong tank by accident, they immediately moved them to where they should be.

Thanks for all the help and info guys, had I not caught this my other fish could've been in real trouble, already caught one sucking on a Cory!
 

DoubleDutch

Glad it is settled. To be honest that means that the employee that scooped them out sells them based on the label on the tank?
Mmmmmm weird kind of knowledge of fish.
I get that P@H aren't the best for fish or advice, but they're literally over the road from me so it seemed convenient as I could just walk over there. I've never had issues with them before and some of them are quite good...

Anyway, I took the sucking loaches back yesterday and they swapped out them for otos for me. Turns out some new girl had put them in the wrong tank by accident, they immediately moved them to where they should be.

Thanks for all the help and info guys, had I not caught this my other fish could've been in real trouble, already caught one sucking on a Cory!
 

Cheesewoman

Glad it is settled. To be honest that means that the employee that scooped them out sells them based on the label on the tank?
Mmmmmm weird kind of knowledge of fish.
I think she's new there, not seen her before now. Some of the more senior staff members seem to know a bit more, but I always double check anything they say - better to be safe
 

DoubleDutch

I think she's new there, not seen her before now. Some of the more senior staff members seem to know a bit more, but I always double check anything they say - better to be safe
Very true
 

Cheesewoman

IMO Pets at home are a terrible place to buy fish. They often do not know much about what they are selling. Maidenhead Aquatics are a better bet for fish, they have locations nationwide. Even better if you can find a local independent LFS.

Edit: Coptapia beat me to it.
I actually bought some shrimp from a Maidenhead store a while back, sadly they told me conditions for care were the same for all and sold me a crystal red... I only found out they needed it cooler than the others when it was too late. Seems even they have their less knowledgeable staff
 

DoubleDutch

I actually bought some shrimp from a Maidenhead store a while back, sadly they told me conditions for care were the same for all and sold me a crystal red... I only found out they needed it cooler than the others when it was too late. Seems even they have their less knowledgeable staff
But you didn't get lobsters instead hahahaha. But that's correct.

I only think it is a bad story "a new employee put them in the wrong tank".
An experienced employee should notice within seconds in my opinion.
 

Cheesewoman

But you didn't get lobsters instead hahahaha. But that's correct.

I only think it is a bad story "a new employee put them in the wrong tank".
An experienced employee should notice within seconds in my opinion.
Haha yeah lobsters would've been like UUH WHAAA!?

Yeah it is pretty bad, I even said to her before I bought them "those are NOT otos" but she insisted that they're just a different type and that the breeder had told them they are otos (obviously a lie).

Deary me... I thought about working there lol I'd certainly be more knowledgeable than that lot haha!
 

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