Lifespan of Otos

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0morrokh

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Yeah, me again, this time I'm wondering how long Otos will live--that is, the ones who survive the first month and don't get sick on you. We'll say they are 1-1.5 inches when you buy them.
 

chickadee

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Yes, you again LOL. Well we seem to be doing a lot of Oto chatting lately, don't we? ;D I believe the wisdom that I read seemed to agree that if an Oto lived past the first month in a good tank and didn't have a lot of problems, he could expect to live the average normal lifespan of most fishes of his type (2-3 years). This of course does not mean that there aren't going to be "bugs" and bad heaters and so forth that are going to change the course of his lifespan, but it seems like if we can help them get over the worst of the initial shock of the start of their life, they have a pretty decent chance. The main thing against them is finding them good homes and some tender loving care to get past the horrid treatment they were given just because they were not raised in tanks (but in the wild).

Rose
 
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I thought 2-3 years was a shorter than normal lifespan. Don't most fish live 4-5 years? Sorry about all the dumb questions... I just always thought 'normal' means about 5 yrs. What do you mean by "fishes of his type"? Does that mean other catfish? Cause I thought catfish were supposed to live a long time... ugh, sometimes fish stuff is so confusing. I'm not doubting the 2-3 years, I just want to clear up some of the terminology... sorry, I'm probably making myself confused over nothing. : Typical me.
 

chickadee

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The "fishes of that type" and "2-3 years" aren't mine.  That came from the article I read but I cannot find the copy of the article to post right now.  I thought it was at the www.otocinclus.com site, but when I went back to find it, I couldn't.  So.....   I will look further, but it may take a while.

Rose
 
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OK, gotcha. We'll just say they live 2-3 years and forget the technical stuff!
 

chickadee

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I decided to check with an expert in the field of otos.  He is the gentleman in charge of the www.otocinclus.com website.  He got right back to me and here is his reply:

"Otocinclus have the reputation of not living very long (<2 years) but I believe this is incorrect and is probably due to mishandling during shipment or improper care.  I have otos which are older than 3 years and they are still thriving.  I don't have a record-breaking lifespan for this fish but I'd expect they can live past 5 years (and maybe even longer) if taken care of properly."  (Paul Apgar)

Hope this clears up the issue and sorry for the incorrect information.  I still cannot find where I got it.  I haven't checked my books yet. 

Rose
:-[
 
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0morrokh

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Don't worry about it, it's so easy to get stuff mixed up with fish... I once heard a line that was something like this: Fifty years ago, fish nomenclature was a mess. Now, thanks to advanced technology and communication, it is still a
mess.(!) That about sums it up.
But I'm thinking that maybe you weren't that wrong...maybe an expert could keep them alive for 5 years, ones bought at a bad store would live <2 years, but an average person who got them from a decent store could keep them for 2-3 years. Just speculating. But remember he doen't have any 5 year old Otos, he just thinks they could live that long.
We'll just say they live between 0.5 and 10 years, and then we can't be wrong. ;D
 

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I guess I got lucky...I got an oto about 3 weeks ago and he's (?) an eating machine!!! Very happy little guy (?) always moving about with a nice, little, round belly!

Scours everything from top to bottom.......
 
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If you have room in your tank, get some more Otos. They aren't as happy on their own. They like friends, like Cories do.
 

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Otos have to live longer than that (than 2-3 years) if cared for properly. Here it says they live 5 years: . And here is a helpful list of common tropical fishes' life span: .
 

vin

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0morrokh said:
If you have room in your tank, get some more Otos.  They aren't as happy on their own.  They like friends, like Cories do.
Yeah, I know, but he seems happy as a clam. Very active, always eating and doesn't swim and hide when you approach the tank or when other fish are near. In fact, he sometimes hangs out with the corys!! Maybe he thinks he's one! I'm nearly at the limit, but may take on another.
 
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Thanks Isabella, those links were very helpful. But I couldn't help but notice that they got the length of the Oto wrong. I'm not sure how much to trust a site on lifespan if they don't get the size right... ??? Anyway, it is good to have another site to check lifespans on. I will try to see if it agrees with other sites on various fish I need to know about.
 

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I can't guarantee you that the website I provided is 100% accurate (it's probably not if they got oto's size wrong). However, I found two other websites that give the same lifespan for oto that the above website does. Here they are:

http://www.gtcs.eclipse.co.uk/fish/Dwarf_Otocinclus.htm
 
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Thanks for the help Isabella. The first one got the size wrong too, but the second site was a very good one and seemed to be very accurate about everything. So, I think now we can agree that Otos have a natural lifespan of 5 years, although most don't actually live that long in captivity.
 
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