First time with otos, fingers crossed

lojack

Just got an order of 6 otos in today. I’ve wanted some for years but wasn’t a fan of their survival rate when you first get them.

Now that my 125g is 1.5 years old, I figure it’s mature enough that they’ll have a good shot once they’re out of quarantine.

When I setup my QT, I wanted to give them as much algae as possible to find something to eat while I got them used to prepared stuff. So I chopped up a bunch of plant clippings, dumped in filter gunk and gave the occasional squirt of liquid ferts into my QT. I left the lights on 24/7 and even put a portable work light to blast the stew lol.

After almost 3 weeks, there’s barely (to me) any green and brown algae… I forgot how hard it is to intentionally grow it, haha.

So far they’ve acclimated well via drop and plop and most got their color back quickly. Their bellies are decent sized (at least bigger than I expected) so that’s a win.

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Here’s a pic of the QT in its algaefied glory. I added fresh pogostemon octopus clippings for shade and to suck up nitrates.


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Fingers crossed these guys do well :D
 

ChrissFishes01

I found that mine really love Nori - might be a good dried option to feed them!
 

lojack

I found that mine really love Nori - might be a good dried option to feed them!
Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to add that to the mental list.
 

CraniumRex

I recently got 12 otos and had them all in QT so the tank didn’t have a lot of algae. I had great success with 2 things - blanched zucchini attached to rock with a rubber band, and adding BacterAE which is marketed for shrimp and makes biofilm grow. Zero losses. They were I QT for 5 weeks. I also feed them Repashy Super Green. Some like algae wafers but mine don’t - if you read the label they have a lot of meat protein. I’m going to try nori too!

I moved them to the main tank 3 weeks ago so I’ve had them 8 weeks this Saturday. So far, so good.
 

lojack

I recently got 12 otos and had them all in QT so the tank didn’t have a lot of algae. I had great success with 2 things - blanched zucchini attached to rock with a rubber band, and adding BacterAE which is marketed for shrimp and makes biofilm grow. Zero losses. They were I QT for 5 weeks. I also feed them Repashy Super Green. Some like algae wafers but mine don’t - if you read the label they have a lot of meat protein. I’m going to try nori too!

I moved them to the main tank 3 weeks ago so I’ve had them 8 weeks this Saturday. So far, so good.
I’m glad you had success with your otos. I’m curious to see what these ones go after.

A few of them finally felt comfortable enough to start munching on the glass. At least now I don’t feel like I wasted my time growing algae haha.

Edit: As I typed this post, I watched one of them clean a golf ball sized circle on the glass. I’m going to have to find something they like sooner than later lol :eek:

Edit edit: Good grief. This is an hour of poop from one single oto. I’d heard they were poopers but I’m still impressed lol.
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lojack

Well one step forward, two steps back.

This guy discovered the zucchini, took a bite, didn’t like my cooking and left lol. At least they know it’s there now. None seemed interested in an algae wafer yet. Next is repashy.

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I’m pretty sure I’m about to lose one of them. It’s too bad because I thought it was one of the more unique ones. Seems like a smaller stomach than the rest.

For all you oto experts, rate this belly. Too big? Too small? Average? They’ve all been eating and pooping but this one seems the largest so far.


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CraniumRex

Some days it took a bit for them to take any interest in the zucchini - mine seem to like it “aged” and mushy.

I only have had my otos for 8 weeks so I’m certainly no expert but that one guy looks odd to me. Mine are wider like yours but taper less sharply to the tail. Also the belly on mine looks more singularly round, like a pot belly - could just be the photo but he looks a bit bloated. It’s easiest to see when they are on the glass - almost like they swallowed a tiny marble. It could just be my eyes playing tricks on me in the first photo you have. Is his tummy just the top round bit or the bottom part, too?

Note on the repashy - I had best success dipping flat rocks in the hot mixture and letting it cool. I’m sure cubes would work but they move and mine seemed to prefer a stable base. Love repashy since it doesn’t foul the water.
Fingers crossed for the little guy - I know otos can be heartbreakers no matter what you do.
 

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lojack

Some days it took a bit for them to take any interest in the zucchini - mine seem to like it “aged” and mushy.

I only have had my otos for 8 weeks so I’m certainly no expert but that one guy looks odd to me. Mine are wider like yours but taper less sharply to the tail. Also the belly on mine looks more singularly round, like a pot belly - could just be the photo but he looks a bit bloated. It’s easiest to see when they are on the glass - almost like they swallowed a tiny marble. It could just be my eyes playing tricks on me in the first photo you have. Is his tummy just the top round bit or the bottom part, too?

Note on the repashy - I had best success dipping flat rocks in the hot mixture and letting it cool. I’m sure cubes would work but they move and mine seemed to prefer a stable base. Love repashy since it doesn’t foul the water.
Fingers crossed for the little guy - I know otos can be heartbreakers no matter what you do.
I think the part of your pic with the arrow is one of the fins. To be fair, it's a blurry pic... ends up it was harder to take pictures with algae all over the glass than I thought it would be lol. But that one definitely has a larger and more bloated belly than the others. It seems like it's gotten smaller since the picture earlier today (but I could also be looking at the wrong one lol).

I lost the oto that wasn't doing so hot. It's sad because I was actually watching the tank when it died. It was clinging on some of the p. octopus and then just let go and fell to the bottom of the tank. First time I've seen something like that happen (and I've had a lot of fish over the years). :(

I took a look at the oto that didn't make it and it's belly was pretty flat. I'm assuming it was gone past the point of recovery by the time it got here. It sucks because I'm pretty sure I saw it munching a little bit yesterday.

The two smallest of the remaining five are constantly eating and pooping and have "marble" shaped stomachs so I'm expecting the best from them. The other three I've seen occasionally graze off and on but not as much as these two.

Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong... I assume if the otos aren't constantly swimming around the tank, that means they're not looking for food (because there's enough)?

I've already got some flat cubes of Repashy made up in the fridge. If it ends up they don't like it that way, at least it'll be appreciated in the main tank lol. I also ordered some Bacter AE per your recommendation. I rubbed the inside of the tank and it didn't feel very "biofilmy" even with the algae so hopefully this gets here tomorrow (so much for 2 day shipping when it's "delayed in transit").

Thanks for the reply!
 

ChrissFishes01

I think the part of your pic with the arrow is one of the fins. To be fair, it's a blurry pic... ends up it was harder to take pictures with algae all over the glass than I thought it would be lol. But that one definitely has a larger and more bloated belly than the others. It seems like it's gotten smaller since the picture earlier today (but I could also be looking at the wrong one lol).

I lost the oto that wasn't doing so hot. It's sad because I was actually watching the tank when it died. It was clinging on some of the p. octopus and then just let go and fell to the bottom of the tank. First time I've seen something like that happen (and I've had a lot of fish over the years). :(

I took a look at the oto that didn't make it and it's belly was pretty flat. I'm assuming it was gone past the point of recovery by the time it got here. It sucks because I'm pretty sure I saw it munching a little bit yesterday.

The two smallest of the remaining five are constantly eating and pooping and have "marble" shaped stomachs so I'm expecting the best from them. The other three I've seen occasionally graze off and on but not as much as these two.

Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong... I assume if the otos aren't constantly swimming around the tank, that means they're not looking for food (because there's enough)?

I've already got some flat cubes of Repashy made up in the fridge. If it ends up they don't like it that way, at least it'll be appreciated in the main tank lol. I also ordered some Bacter AE per your recommendation. I rubbed the inside of the tank and it didn't feel very "biofilmy" even with the algae so hopefully this gets here tomorrow (so much for 2 day shipping when it's "delayed in transit").

Thanks for the reply!
I've found that healthy ottos will have anywhere from a big "marble" of a stomach, all the way down to just slightly rounded. Anything less than that, IMO and IME, is an otto in trouble.

I'd say if they're not actively moving around, they're probably watching for predators and stuff. Mine are always moving around until I walk up to the tank/the puffer swims by. Then they freeze until the "danger" has passed. But, constant scrubbing on the tank walls probably isn't a great thing, either, especially if there's no visible algae.

Mine eat all kinds of Repashy - they'll eat Grub Pie as well as the Green. They do well on canned green beans, too, and Snail-O as well!
 

CraniumRex

I concur about the movement (or lack thereof). I put one of my Wyze cams near the tank and they would have bouts of hanging on the glass or plants and being very still even when I wasn’t near. Other times they were pretty active. When I put them in the big tank they got a case of the zoomies frequently. They also seemed to love playing in the stream of bubbles from an air stone.

Not sure how big your tank is but mind the BacterAE - I positively “slimed” my sponge filter and I had to clean out the tubing on the canister filter lines (I over-filter, don’t mind me!!). Anyhow, I overdosed the small QT tank and it was a slimy mess. I sure knew it was working!!

Thanks for clarifying the photo - my old eyeballs ain’t what they used to be. The outline on the top looked like deliciously plump stomach!!

That must have been hard seeing the little guy die. I’m sorry that happened. From all my research I’m confident that’s sadly pretty common. Even if they are eating, during transit if they don’t have food they can lose critical gut flora (or might have been enzymes- call it tummy troubles). Thinking positive thoughts for the rest of them!!
 

lojack

I've found that healthy ottos will have anywhere from a big "marble" of a stomach, all the way down to just slightly rounded. Anything less than that, IMO and IME, is an otto in trouble.

I'd say if they're not actively moving around, they're probably watching for predators and stuff. Mine are always moving around until I walk up to the tank/the puffer swims by. Then they freeze until the "danger" has passed. But, constant scrubbing on the tank walls probably isn't a great thing, either, especially if there's no visible algae.

Mine eat all kinds of Repashy - they'll eat Grub Pie as well as the Green. They do well on canned green beans, too, and Snail-O as well!
How do you prepare your canned green beans? Just straight from the can with a rinse?
I concur about the movement (or lack thereof). I put one of my Wyze cams near the tank and they would have bouts of hanging on the glass or plants and being very still even when I wasn’t near. Other times they were pretty active. When I put them in the big tank they got a case of the zoomies frequently. They also seemed to love playing in the stream of bubbles from an air stone.

Not sure how big your tank is but mind the BacterAE - I positively “slimed” my sponge filter and I had to clean out the tubing on the canister filter lines (I over-filter, don’t mind me!!). Anyhow, I overdosed the small QT tank and it was a slimy mess. I sure knew it was working!!

Thanks for clarifying the photo - my old eyeballs ain’t what they used to be. The outline on the top looked like deliciously plump stomach!!

That must have been hard seeing the little guy die. I’m sorry that happened. From all my research I’m confident that’s sadly pretty common. Even if they are eating, during transit if they don’t have food they can lose critical gut flora (or might have been enzymes- call it tummy troubles). Thinking positive thoughts for the rest of them!!
Oh man, that sounds like fun cleaning canister hoses lol. I wasn’t planning on using Bacter AE in my main tank just the 10 gallon QT. I’ve read up on it that a little goes a long way… how frequent did you add it? Daily or once it looked thinned out?
 

CraniumRex

You’re absolutely right - a little goes a very long way. I found putting a quarter to half a scoop in the 10 g QT every other day worked fine. I just put it in the path of the filter output and it would disperse. I’m still putting a full scoop in the main tank every other day and supplementing with zucchini and repashy, but I have a much smaller tank than your 125 with twice the otos. It’s trial and error with the amount because I can’t see the biofilm but I can feel it on the plants and glass. The jar will last a very long time - I don’t think it would hurt to keep putting it in your main tank - it never messes with your water quality and I’m guessing it wasn’t cheap!

Definitely have to try the canned green beans as well. It’s oto buffet!

Your pic of the zucchini had a skewer - love that idea. Was it just like a bamboo skewer? I’ve been attaching to rocks with a rubber band but it doesn’t look very nice.
 

lojack

You’re absolutely right - a little goes a very long way. I found putting a quarter to half a scoop in the 10 g QT every other day worked fine. I just put it in the path of the filter output and it would disperse. I’m still putting a full scoop in the main tank every other day and supplementing with zucchini and repashy, but I have a much smaller tank than your 125 with twice the otos. It’s trial and error with the amount because I can’t see the biofilm but I can feel it on the plants and glass. The jar will last a very long time - I don’t think it would hurt to keep putting it in your main tank - it never messes with your water quality and I’m guessing it wasn’t cheap!

Definitely have to try the canned green beans as well. It’s oto buffet!

Your pic of the zucchini had a skewer - love that idea. Was it just like a bamboo skewer? I’ve been attaching to rocks with a rubber band but it doesn’t look very nice.
Yeah, that Bacter AE was more expensive per oz than Repashy! Lol.

Yeah just a regular bamboo skewer that I broke in half. It’ll probably look more “elegant” in the main tank since I can bury most of it under the substrate instead of propping it under a decoration lol.

A pic of the otos preferring to suck biofilm off the skewer instead of the zucchini or Repashy I offered… punks, haha.
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Coradee

Hi just a note about using a bamboo skewer, they’re ok for 24hrs or so but longer than that & they start going mouldy. I’ve found it best to use a fresh one for each replacement of zucchini.
A tip I was given by member Aquarist here, when feeding zucchini make a tiny slit with a knife & stuff in some pieces of algae wafer, not too deep, it keeps my otos happy for ages & the other fish give up on trying to get to it so the otos get a good feed.
 

lojack

Hi just a note about using a bamboo skewer, they’re ok for 24hrs or so but longer than that & they start going mouldy. I’ve found it best to use a fresh one for each replacement of zucchini.
A tip I was given by member Aquarist here, when feeding zucchini make a tiny slit with a knife & stuff in some pieces of algae wafer, not too deep, it keeps my otos happy for ages & the other fish give up on trying to get to it so the otos get a good feed.
Thanks for the info, this slice is coming out today and I’ll throw in a new one in with another skewer.

Good tip on stuffing it with an algae wafter. I’ll give it a try today.

The two best eaters are more “exploratory” today and going around eating together. Hopefully they stumble upon one of the prepared things and give them a try lol

Edit: as soon as I go remove the old slice and Repashy, one guy goes and starts eating the remnants of the disintegrated food before I can vacuum it up. I wish they had discovered the whole cube when it was freshly put in there lol. At least one knows it’s edible and seems to like it.
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lojack

So far 4 of them seem more comfortable. They have been moving around as a squad more often. One still concerns me because it’s always on the sponge filter 24/7. I assume it’s probably eating something while lights are off since it still has a decent sized stomach though

I’ve been dosing Bacter AE daily at about 1/3 scoop. The glass and decoration seem decently “biofilmy” so I guess that’s the right amount for the amount of fish currently

I also splurged and bought a fancy magnetic veggie clip (I’ve been considering one for awhile for my main tank). I thought maybe if I put a zucchini slice on the side glass (where I see them grazing the most) they might try a bite. So far the actual clip is more of a hit than the zucchini… :confused: I’ve also been trying Coradee’s suggestion about hiding a bit of algae wafer in the zucchini but no dice so far lol
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The oto that I haven’t seen eating also happens to be the one with the larger stomach from a few posts up. I haven’t noticed it pooping either so I was considering a dose of parasite meds just in case. But I also hate medicating when there’s no need… I’ll flip a coin in a few days lol.

I’m still quite impressed at the amount of poop these guys make. And I used to be a goldfish guy :eek:
 

CraniumRex

Just love your posts and how much care your fish get.

When I die, I want to be reincarnated as a fish and be in one of your tanks.
 

lojack

Just love your posts and how much care your fish get.

When I die, I want to be reincarnated as a fish and be in one of your tanks.
Hopefully not as one of the corydoras fry in my community tank. The honey gourami in there are pretty proficient hunters lol.
 

lojack

Well it’s been 1.5 weeks so far and I still have 5 of the 6 otos. 4 of them are pretty active and seem comfortable in quarantine. And that’s even in our kitchen with a ton of activity every day (kids, lots of shadows).

I finally caught the “one that I never see eating” actually eating early this morning! Maybe it’s a one meal a day type of fish lol.

Besides the filter, I’ve noticed it likes to hang off plants in odd directions. At first glance, I thought it was belly up and ready to visit the great fishbowl. Nope, just likes chilling like this.
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I’m surprised at how unafraid these otos are. I can almost grab them with my hand when I’m in the tank cleaning.

They still won’t eat prepared foods or veggies. I’ve tried blanched and raw, unappealing. I tested to see if they wanted it stewing for 2 days with a nice coat of film. They chose to much on whatever was growing on the veggie clip instead.

I guess as long as there’s enough stuff growing in my main tank it’s a win if I don’t have to worry about feeding them lol. I’ll still keep stuff offered every day while they’re in quarantine though.
 

lojack

Last Wednesday I woke up and found the oto that rarely eats or moves had died. Unfortunately I had expected it to happen sooner or later.

There was also a horrible rotten smell coming from the tank. I did both liquid and strip tests and the water was 0/0/~10. Not sure what it was coming from but the only thing that went in there “different” was the Bacter AE. After the first week, I cut back to about 1/8 scoop every other day. I know a lot of people have success with it, but I don’t know if I’ll use again it in the future.

I had planned to keep the otos in QT for another week, but because of the smell and death, I decided to put them into my main tank. They’ve been there a week and all was looking good overall.

There was three otos that have been super active and eating most of this time. There was a 4th that half the time would be active and eating. I’m not sure how well this guy is doing. Noticed last night he was pale and had a flatter belly. Couldn’t find it this morning.

I also finally found that the otos I have will eat bell pepper. So far it was the only prepared food they ate from me in QT. I haven’t offered any veggies in the main tank.

Hopefully they do well in my tank. Their colors are more vibrant now (minus the sluggish one) and they’re super active.
 

GenF211

I have had my ottos for 2 months. I put Bacter AE in a week ago. They seemed to be loving it…then I got a huge biofilm bloom. It was thick on everything. I dosed 1/2 scoop every second day three times. spred it to different areas of my 45 gal. I realize that was way too much. 2 Ottos have disappeared and two are hiding. I’m not sure I will use it again either. I’m bummed. They were doing great before I put Bacter AE in my tank.
 

CraniumRex

Seems odd to me. I dose this in both my shrimp tank and my Otto tank with no issues. Been using it for nearly 3 months with Ottos and 7 months on shrimp, which are pretty sensitive to parameters. No losses. Biofilm should not have any smell nor should bacter AE affect parameters.
 

GenF211

I’m not getting any weird smell. I have been doing 30% WC’s almost daily treating an Ich problem with Seachem Paraguard for about that long. My readings have been steady ph 7, 0, 0, 5. I cleaned the front glass yesterday before hand and the white film is back. Perhaps it is something else, but not going to put anymore in for the time being. And my lights have been turned down to 20% for that long as well.
 

CraniumRex

GenF211 I’m sorry you are going through that. I never have any white film - biofilm should be invisible and you can only feel it. I did overdose the Bacter as well and ended up my bio media was pretty slimed so I rinsed it all of in tank water, physically removing the slime by rubbing it all with my hands. If your filter output isn’t affected you probably won’t have to do it but mine slowed to a trickle. Your parameters look great. Could just be a confluence of events but I feel confident that the Bacter AE does nothing but promote biofilm growth which should be harmless to any inhabitants.

I have been lucky not to have had ich for 4 or 5 years. I fought it with higher temps and water changes - does your livestock support higher temps? I hope the Paraguard works but I don’t know much about its use for ich. Good luck!
Last Wednesday I woke up and found the oto that rarely eats or moves had died. Unfortunately I had expected it to happen sooner or later.

There was also a horrible rotten smell coming from the tank. I did both liquid and strip tests and the water was 0/0/~10. Not sure what it was coming from but the only thing that went in there “different” was the Bacter AE. After the first week, I cut back to about 1/8 scoop every other day. I know a lot of people have success with it, but I don’t know if I’ll use again it in the future.

I had planned to keep the otos in QT for another week, but because of the smell and death, I decided to put them into my main tank. They’ve been there a week and all was looking good overall.

There was three otos that have been super active and eating most of this time. There was a 4th that half the time would be active and eating. I’m not sure how well this guy is doing. Noticed last night he was pale and had a flatter belly. Couldn’t find it this morning.

I also finally found that the otos I have will eat bell pepper. So far it was the only prepared food they ate from me in QT. I haven’t offered any veggies in the main tank.

Hopefully they do well in my tank. Their colors are more vibrant now (minus the sluggish one) and they’re super active.
Is it like Cyanobacteria smell? That is pretty distinctive. Sorry your other guy didn’t fare well. Great to hear about the bell pepper!
 

lojack

Is it like Cyanobacteria smell? That is pretty distinctive. Sorry your other guy didn’t fare well. Great to hear about the bell pepper!
More like dead fish. The kind of smell that lingers around a pier where people are cutting up bait if you know what I mean lol.

I found the missing oto deceased. Hopefully the remaining three do well. They still have round bellies. One of them finally discovered/got brave enough and realized they can munch on stuff on the plants too. They seem to mostly scrub the glass clean (not that I mind lol).
 

GenF211

Hello! I lost 2 Ottos last week. The other two just sort of hid and were barely feeding. I went and added 5 more juveniles today…I figured since I’m still treating Paraguard that I can skip quarantine. I weighed the odds in favour of my two survivors Possibly dying of lonelines. Well after drip acclimating them for an hour and a half, within a half hour one female original Otto took to them like a momma! She herded them and led them to food. Wouldn’t let them out of her sight. Just like dogs, they sniffed each other out and followed her around the tank. The other original male came out of hiding and began munching on a piece of broccoli stem i put in yesterday. He wasn’t eating anything I could see since Friday. He isn’t as interested but hanging around out front now. I really think a larger school is beneficial big time! Glad I brought them home!
 

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