How Do I Grow Algae (for Otos)?

  1. C

    CPARKTX Valued Member Member

    I am trying to farm some algae for my otos,but I must be doing something wrong. I put tank water in a mason jar with several large rocks and a bit of fish food, and put in the window in direct sunlight (this is Texas, it is hot and plenty of sun). A week later, I have cloudy, horrible smelling water, and no algae.
     
  2. maggie thecat

    maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    I never could do it effectively either. Although they did like the biofilm from the shot glasses I put in the tank.

    Feed a frozen green food or Repashy Soylent Green and save the window sill space, I say.
     
  3. musserump09

    musserump09 Well Known Member Member

    Set up a 5 gallon tank. Run lights longer than normal. Dose it with bacteria booster and or flourish. You will see algae in about a month or two.
     
  4. p

    purslanegarden Well Known Member Member

    I have a container pond outside and it has algae like crazy. You could try an outdoor one too.

    However, for indoors where you still have easy access to electricity, I would also suggest you can add an air pump to create some water agitation (as well as making a simple diy filter using the air pump). That will help with the water not going stagnant and become dirty-smelling so that you can just add water to top off. Otherwise, just having water sit around, you will still want to change the water out frequently. It still needs to be maintained in that way if the water is just standing water.
     
  5. L

    Landos Well Known Member Member

    Honestly, it would take a lot of work to farm algae consistently. The best thing is to put them in a very established tank, and supplement their diet with veggies and algae wafers which contain protein.
    Otos aren't really algae eaters (I believe it's a different name), they eat all the microorganisms in the algae as well. So, they do need protein.
    I've seen my Otos eat white worms and carnivore pellets
     
  6. maggie thecat

    maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    Aufwuch is the term you're looking for. They eat the microrganisms that live on and around algae.
     
  7. L

    Landos Well Known Member Member

    Thank you!
     
  8. maggie thecat

    maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    You're welcome! I like that word. It's fun to say, and the fish it describes are fun too.
     
  9. BeanFish

    BeanFish Well Known Member Member

    Im sorry but your idea is not practical. There are many types of algae all caused by different parameters. Otocinclus will only eat some types of algae on top of that and they will eat it fast. Being grazers they eat a lot troughout the day. Keeping a small school (6) otos well fed with algae is impossible.
    As another member mentioned they are omnivores. Algae in the wild is filled with critters. The algae you farm wont.

    I got an Otocinclus from Petco and he readily eats veggies and fish fillets, if anything he prefers the frozen tilapia I feed the corydoras he is sharing the tank with. Your best bet is to transition them into a nutritious diet that is easy to provide. It will save you a lot of hassles and keep them happy.

    Anyways, to answer your question. Otocinclus completely devore diatoms, better known as the brown algae that usually attacks new tanks. IME to get diatoms you need a long photoperiod (10 hours or so) and silicates in the water which are usually added with silica sand. The light doesnt have to be extremely strong neither because then you will get thick strings of the stuff which otos wont touch (at least mine didnt). Last time I setted up a tank that got overrun with diatoms I had low light (just a pair of LEDs) but was leaving the lights on anywhere from 10 to even 12 hours. It had been just setup with silica sand which has the silicates they need. In order to get the diatoms I would try to produce something like that.

    Otocinclus are often thought as picky eaters, if you get healthy ones you shouldnt have problems feeding them.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    C

    CPARKTX Valued Member Member

    Good feedback, thanks. Can you recommend any products / brands you e found to be hood for otos?
     
  11. maggie thecat

    maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    Mine like broccoli and brussel sprouts. Lots of people feed squash and cucumbers. For prepared foods Repashy Soylent Green is great.
     
  12. L

    Landos Well Known Member Member

    I feed mine live white worms, cucumber, zucchini and northfin kelp wafers