My Oldest Fish ~ An OTO!!!

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chickadee

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Tuck is usually so camera shy but he loves living with Blaze and he has been more in evidence today. I put my camera on the highest resolution and the finest jpeg setting and got a good picture of the little guy finally.

He celebrated a year with me in November and is my oldest fish. He is very healthy and a beautiful Oto. He has never been sick and never given me one whit of trouble. For such a "sensitive" fish, my otos have been the least trouble of all.

Well, here he is.....

Rose
 

atmmachine816

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awesome, they can be great healthy fish once they are established and given prope care, looks like you did just that, CONGRATULATIONS if he has a plump belly it's even better

Austin
 
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chickadee

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He's a piglet, round belly and all .

Rose
 

atmmachine816

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Good for you, you sure are a good oto mom

Austin

and a betta and cory too
 

cherryrose

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He looks so healthy! I will be so happy when I have had my fish survive for over a year. Congratulations!!!

CherryRose
 

skippi

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congrats, I hope mine will stay with me that long. They are so cute.

Heidi
 

AesSedai

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Rose your Oto's sure are reassuring me.

I've been really wanting an Oto or two for Zen.  I gave up on the loach idea as you know.  Well, after reading alot about Oto's, I was worried that maybe I couldn't give them a proper environment.  I've read about how sensitive they are and need even drip acclimation over a 2 hour period when they come home.  If they make it through that, apparently they could still not make it.  I may not have enough algae on my glass for them and I'm not sure if algae wafers will be healthy enough for them.  Then I read that they really need to be in shoals (I think that's what they're called) to be happy but your two lil guys seem happy enough to me! 

I want to keep the 10 gal. tank population really, really low.  I guesstimated 8 gallons of inches of fish (gave 2 gal's to gravel, plants and caves).  1 inch per 8 gals is 8 total inches of fish.  Zen gets 3".  One Oto gets 2" and I'd get 2 Oto's so I'd be at 7 total inches with an inch to spare.  That seems like it could be a really nice set up for them.

The water changes....2 Oto's in a 10 gal tank w/a Betta....would need their water changed 15 to 20% twice a week??  I read that somewhere.  I was kinda hoping to cut down on water changes once Zen got back to the 10 gal. 

What kind of water changes would you recommended...how much and how frequently....for a 10 gal w/2 Oto's and a Betta?

All those plants I added awhile back that I cleaned of snail eggs really well??  Heh...well, one snail has shown itself so far.  I panicked visualizing 50, lol, so boyfriend rescued the snail from my other plan for it and put it in a container of its own with air, plant and food. 

Once the snail is big enough to identify, I might, MIGHT, add him to the 10 gal if it's not the asexual kind that have babies w/out the opposite sex that is.

So, I want a couple Oto's (really want something that won't compete w/Zen's food and Oto's eat algae and veg's so...) but I want to make sure that I can keep them healthy and happy first.

I'm running out of options.  I don't want any tetras, any other kind of catfish (get too big), no guppies or molly's, no shrimp of any kind and most likely no snails.  Not much left I can keep with Zen than Oto's right?

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.  Your two seem so happy and they love their Betta.  Wondering if that would happen for Zen too and if I can keep them all happy.
 
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chickadee

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To keep the peace, the Otos need to go into the tank first.   If you put the Betta in first, he will stake out the whole tank as HIS and the Otos will have no space to call home.  If the the Otos are there already he may do a little chasing but he will realize that he is in THEIR home and eventually settle down and behave. The only way to add the Betta first and this has had mixed success (does not always work) is to remove the betta to a temporary container while you add the new fish and completely rearrange the tank, replant the plants in new spots and move all the decorations. Then when the Betta goes back he is supposed to think he is in a different tank, but I have known of Bettas that are NOT fooled at all, then the chase is on AND they are mad at YOU.   

Let me explain, I have 2 Otos and a Betta in 5 gallons so 2 Otos and a Betta in a 10 gallon is giving them a lot of room.  The best way I figure is in centimeters.  (2.5 cm = 1 inch) (8 inches is 20 centimeters) (most fish books give fish length in cm)

Bettas are 6 centimeters  (20 cm - 6 cm = 14 cm left)
Otocinclus are 5 centimeters x 2 (14 cm - 10 cm = 4 cm left)

So you have plenty of room in 8 gallons of space for the Otocinclus, but keep in mind that Otos come in several species and range in size the same as other fish.  There are some that only get to 3.5 cm. and some as long as 6.0 cm.  You will have room, however for whichever type you end up with.

Because your tank is not going to be overcrowded in any way or even nearly, you can probably get by with a 30% water change one time a week with a 50% every 4 or 5 weeks with a gravel vacuuming.  I would advise against a snail with this tank since they do add a lot to the biological load unless you want to do more water changes.  The owners who have snails are doing more water changes and have to do more gravel maintenance.  If you are looking for an easier to handle tank then I would stay with the fish.

You will not have enough algae for the fish no matter what unless you want to keep your tank in a perpetual state of chaos.  The algae wafers are fine but you have to be careful not of overfeed them or they will not take care of your algae.  For 2 otos, I give about an eigth of a wafer a night and then they also eat whatever algae is on the walls of the tank.  When the tank is really clean I feed a quarter wafer and then wait until it is gone before I add more.  (usually a day or two)

My little ones get a 50% change and a Liquid Gravel Vac every week and the real gravel vacuum or siphoning every month.  Right now, Marty is getting much more maintenance than that because he is unwell and not doing well at all.  He has been getting changes 3 times weekly and no Liquid Gravel Vac as I do not want to add any chemicals but StressCoat to his water.  He also has 2 filters running on his tank to keep the water super clear and clean.  (a HOB EHEIM Liberty filter and a sponge filter- which is his usual filter)  When my fish are not well I have an EHEIM Liberty that goes on the back of their tank to keep the water crystal clear and pristine so they are not dealing with any debris in the water.  (no charcoal filter)

Well enough of this...

Rose
 

AesSedai

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Hmm, I replied to this already. I must have hit another tab before Posting it.

I will add the Otos first. I think I'll get them Saturday. Ran out of test strips so waiting for the AP test kit that you guys use to come in. Ordered it a couple days ago. Need to test the tank a couple times before I can get Otos (been cleaning Zen's and Ghost Shrimps, umm, and snails tanks every day because I can't test them....)

Which species of Otos do you have?

30% water changes once a week and 50% w/gravel vac once a month sounds wonderful! I can handle that.

Is Marty still not well from the Melafix?? He's been having a tough time hasn't he? Poor lil guy.

((Rose))
 

Butterfly

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This is my oto he's 3 yrs old. He's been in the same 10 gallon tank all this time . ruight now he has a mommy guppy and bunches of fry for company.
Carol
 
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chickadee

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That is so neat!! That is making me feel very warm and tingly. I want the little guys I have to have nice long lives and I hope they stay the healthy little fish they are now. They do seem to be so strong and happy, it makes me happy. Now if I could just get the little ones interested in breeding again....

Rose
 

0morrokh

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Such cute Otos Rose and Carol. For such 'delicate' little fish Otos are sure fighters. It must take a pretty strong fish to survive being stunned with cyanide and then nearly starved to death. And then look at my Otos...they survived TB which killed all my 'hardy' livebearers...
 
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chickadee

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;D Mist and Marble ~ wowowowowowowowowowowowowow! ;D

Rose
 

AesSedai

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Butterfly,

Great looking Oto you have and 3 yrs. old! You are certainly doing something right. I was wondering...

You have just the one. Do you think he (hm, she?) is happy being alone? I'm going to get a couple Oto's as company for my Betta but if I thought that one wouldn't be too lonely, I'd much prefer to get the one.

Have you always had just the one?

Thanks,
Karyn
 

Butterfly

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No he hasn't always been alone. We started out with three in that tank and two died. so we got two more and they died also so we just left him alone. He seems to do fine alone although I really don't reccomend it.
Carol
 

atmmachine816

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I had an oto for awhile by himself and then he died for no reason. Have eight now.

atm
 
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chickadee

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I have 2 in each of my bigger boys tanks and 1 in Blaze's tank. The reason that the one is Blaze's tank is alone is that when my first Betta, Azul died I also lost two of the Otos that were in the tank out of the three that were there. The one remaining Oto was in that tank all by himself for a month while I found a new Betta to replace Azul and quarantined him and then got more Otos who had to be quarantined after the Betta had been quarantined. By the time he had more Otos to play with, he did not want anything to do with them so he has played alone ever since. He tolerated them in the same tank but neve wanted to have a thing to do with them so when I had this extra Betta tank, he went in with Blaze. He is happy as a clam, but I am like Carol, I would not recommend it. The others are really much happier playing with each other.

The single oto is the oldest one TUCK who celebrated the birthday we are talking about in this post. He is the stubbornest little sweet fish I own. ;D

Rose
 
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