Is my oto's huge belly going to kill him/her?

emily28618
  • #1
I have a 10 gallon soil planted tank, one oto and two other algae eaters, with some minnows and goldfish. The oto's belly is getting larger and wider and rounder every time I check on him. Is this normal??
The tank is fully cycled and I had this oto for three months now. The only thing I put in the tank is micro pellets for the minnows and goldfish. There's no visible algae growing in the tank, but lots of leafy plants. I'm worried that my oto is getting unhealthy and too fat/bloated. Is there anything I should do with it?
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itsEmma
  • #2
Hi Emily,
Welcome to Fishlore!
I wish that I could give you a definite answer here, it's very strange what is happening with your oto. I thought I'd ask a few questions and see if we might be able to help.
You say that you've had him for three months, was this weight gain sudden, over a few days/hours or longer, like over a few weeks?
Has his behaviour changed? This will probably be the best indication as to whether he is sick.
If it's relatively sudden, and he's starting to hide, I'd suspect, unfortunately, dropsy which I think would be pretty hard to cure in an oto as they're so sensitive to medication.
The other thing that I'm wondering about is that you say that you have him with minnows and goldfish, is he in a cold water tank?
Finally, mine get pretty bloated (although nothing like yours) when they've been gourging on courgette or red pepper, but that tends to be just the belly swelling rather than that sideways bulge that yours has. This again, makes me suspect the dreaded dropsy.
One last point, if yours manages to pull through, and to think about for the future is that they are much happier in groups rather than having a single one.
But, for now, please let us know if you think that any of my questions are relevant and we'll try to help him if we can.
Best wishes,
Emma
 

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emily28618
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thank you for your reply, Emma!
I bought this oto with 2 other otos. They were starved when I got them from the store, hardly could see any belly, and the other two otos didn't make it thru the first month. This one was much more diligent in cleaning every leave and glass, and it has been growing larger and larger gradually thru the three month, only until recently it seems a little too big to me.
The water temperature has been between 70-74, ususally around 73F during the day, which is what my room temperature set to as well. I don't have a heater in the tank..only a desk light on top.
I don't think he has been hiding more. He has his favorite spot on a long leafy plant (the one in the photo), and hasn't change much. I don't see him eating or moving much at all during the day. He doesn't get bothered by the other fishes and the others don't mess with him. Sometimes he wouldn't even move when the goldfish brush against him when they swim by. I'm not sure if that means he's really comfortable with them or because he's sick...
I have zero experience at medicating fish... any guidance, tip, and advice would be appreciated greatly if you do think he's dropsy.
I also was able to get a picture of him from the bottom when he was hanging on the wall this morning, hope it helps.
Thank you!!!
Screenshot_20200714-102323_2.png
 
JuiceBox52
  • #4
If it swelled up slowly then it's something internal like a tumor. Not dropsy
 
AlexW9102
  • #5
I'm not super experienced with fish, so anyone correct me if I'm wrong haha but is it possible that it is pregnant? I wouldn't have thought as much until you said you have other ones as well. When I first got my fish, I mixed up their genders on accident and one was already pregnant when I got her. Some fish can be pregnant for 2 or so months, so there is a chance it was pregnant the whole time. I don't think it matters if an oto is a livebearer or an egg layer to have a large belly. Either way, he could be a she. But that's just an idea.
 
itsEmma
  • #6
Hi again,
To me, he looks slightly more bloated now (unless it's just the different angle)
I agree with Juicebox that it could be a tumour, getting bigger over three months would rule out dropsy which comes on pretty suddenly.
As to being 'pregnant', or rather carrying eggs, which is how otos reproduce, the eggs tend to be visible in the lower half of the abdomen while the swelling here seems worse in the upper part.
I'm sorry that I don't seem to be offering you any real answers here and the timeframe might even suggest that it is nothing sinister and he's just (very!) well fed.
I personally find that change in behaviour is a much better, or at least equal, indication of sickness compared to physical symptoms.
If he's acting normally, that's a good sign, at least he doesn't appear to be suffering.
I hope that others may have additional ideas or advice, but I hope that in the meantime, my thoughts help a bit,
All the best,
Emma
 
emily28618
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Thank you all for replying. Sadly, this morning I found my last oto belly up laying in the corner of the tank. Hope it's gone to a beautiful place.
When trying to find out what was wrong with its belly, I learned more about otos and how they were usually captured. I think he's going to be my last oto.
Does anyone have any advice for a good algae eater for goldfish's tank mate?
 
jkkgron2
  • #8
Thank you all for replying. Sadly, this morning I found my last oto belly up laying in the corner of the tank. Hope it's gone to a beautiful place.
When trying to find out what was wrong with its belly, I learned more about otos and how they were usually captured. I think he's going to be my last oto.
Does anyone have any advice for a good algae eater for goldfish's tank mate?
I wouldn’t add anything in a 10 gallon if you already have a goldfish. The best thing to do would get a 29g tank and buy a few nerite snails to go with the goldfish.
 

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