Oto fish dead after three weeks

michaelsf90

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I had 4 oto catfish. Now I only have one. All the rest I have found dead today :( all 4 were alive yesterday and stuck to the glass/filter/plants

Are there anyone who has any idea what could have happened. Water parameters are bang on! However doing a water change yesterday I added a 10L bucket of water without conditioning. I quickly realised my mistake and dosed the tank directly with conditioner. Could it be this mistake that killed them? Will the one if it survives need more or will it die because it's on it's own?
 
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michaelsf90

michaelsf90

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Also a bit more information. Probably for the last few days some otos where feeding on the filter. Does this mean their wasnt enough food for them? I would put in algae wafers and cucumber. The tank was teeming with diatoms. They cleaned it up in days
 

Leeman75

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Otos are the most finicky, difficult fish that I have attempted to keep. At one point, I had a similar situation where I started with 4 and went down to 1. The good news is that was 4 months ago and the lone survivor is still doing very well.

The other three did not make it a week after I bought them. One by one they seemed to be fine, but then they would start writhing on the bottom of the tank for a while and then eventually die. I also purchased 4 Khuli Loaches at the same time and all four of them didn't make it. Perhaps it was the long drive home from the fish store (it was about an hour away) paired with temp changes due to it being early February.

I have since heard that Otos are very sensitive to fluctuations. I have kept other fish that are allegedly like that (German Blue Rams for one) and they have done just fine. I may never know why.

All that to say, it may have just been a minor fluctuation in just about anything. They just don't seem to have too great of a margin for error.
 
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michaelsf90

michaelsf90

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So could it have been the chlorine? Also when I added the conditioner I dosed the whole tank rather than just the 10 litres I'd added. I panicked. I have various types of Danios, corys and snails and now the one lone oto. All the dead otos had like a red belly. I'd be devastated if it wss my fault. I was so close to having them for the first month as well!

I thought about getting 2 more but the more I think I dont want to get a fish with such a high casualty rate. Also it can be hard to find them as they like to hide so to make sure all are alive everyday it can take time!

The tank parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, below 5 nitrate as it's a well planted tank and ph is 7. Temp is 24 Celsius. They did an amazing job at eating all the diatoms. Only other thing I can think is them feeding on the filter is a sign their wasnt enough algae although the front glass has green spots and small hairs in places
 

Leeman75

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michaelsf90 said:
So could it have been the chlorine? Also when I added the conditioner I dosed the whole tank rather than just the 10 litres I'd added. I panicked. I have various types of Danios, corys and snails and now the one lone oto. All the dead otos had like a red belly. I'd be devastated if it wss my fault. I was so close to having them for the first month as well!

I thought about getting 2 more but the more I think I dont want to get a fish with such a high casualty rate. Also it can be hard to find them as they like to hide so to make sure all are alive everyday it can take time!

The tank parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, below 5 nitrate as it's a well planted tank and ph is 7. Temp is 24 Celsius. They did an amazing job at eating all the diatoms. Only other thing I can think is them feeding on the filter is a sign their wasnt enough algae although the front glass has green spots and small hairs in places
How long after your WC did you realize and add the dechlorinator? I've forgotten and then gone back a little later and had no problems. Also, I know there are some that say you shouldn't do this, but I actually just add the dechlorinator to the tank. I've got a low-tech water change system (5 gallon buckets) and on a 55 gallon tank with 40-50% WCs, I just wait until it's all done to add. I've never had a problem this way.

I don't think that them feeding on the filter necessarily means that there was a lack of food. My Oto goes all over the place eating. On filters and just about any other surface. Interestingly enough, he doesn't go on the glass much. I have added a Rubber Lip Pleco who is all about the glass, so they work well together.
 
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michaelsf90

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About five minutes. I then added enough to treat the whole tank. The other fish I have are considered hardy but I do regular testing and try to keep each species happy. I feel awful leaving this one on his own but I dont want to risk getting more and them not surviving

If the algae gets bad I will probably get more nerites to help. One oto was stuck on the glass at the side of my small filter which has crushed coral in to buffer the ph and it just fell off! Dead. Its eyes were white as well. I just hope I havent made a drastic mistake. I dont think I have. I really feel for this species of fish if its fate is more likely destined not to survive. But it was mad how I thought I've found one but the one I found was dead. How it was still stuck to the glass I dont know
 

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Yeah, I don't think the dechlorinator did it. I think they are just kind of highly sensitive fish and a host of things can set them off.

The Nerites may be a good idea. How big is your tank? Maybe consider a smaller Pleco that doesn't get too big.
 
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michaelsf90

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Its only a 125L/33 gallon and I already have a rabbit snail and 4 peppered Corey's roaming the bottom. I'm getting 2 or 3 more Corey's once they're in stock. Its annoying I had them 3 weeks tho. Most people have death in the first week. I'm proper gutted. Or the danios zip about the tank, theirs 17 of them altogether. Maybe the tank was too active for them. I'm probably clutching at straws now haha the joys of fish keeping
 

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I hear ya!
I have a proper tank with all levels appropriate and yet from time to time, I have a random fish that seems fine one day and the next dies. I lose around one fish or less a month that way. All other fish seem absolutely great, and the one that dies did too. It's a mystery. However, in a 55 gallon tank with a lot of fish, it just seems to happen. I typically check my levels when it happens just to make sure nothing exploded and everything seems fine. Sometimes, fish just die.
 
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michaelsf90

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I guess it's like anything. Survival of the fittest. We dont know what goes on in the hierarchy and social aspects. Are there any other fish as difficult to keep as otos?
 
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michaelsf90

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Just a quick update. The last oto died today :( it had a huge belly which was red underneath if that means anything?
 
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michaelsf90

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From what I've googled its that the bactria in its stomach has died so it was eating but not digesting. They demolished all the diatoms so maybe once that run out they wouldn't eat anything else. A beautiful friendly fish but obviously not meant for my tank. I'm thinking of some nerites. I already have two. I'm liking red racers but they're hard to get round here
 

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I really like the Nerites. They have such cool designs! I got three of them a couple of months ago, but 2 of them died within a couple of days of me buying them. The third is still alive and well in my tank and has a particular piece of driftwood that it spends 95% of it's time on.

As far as I can tell, it's not really doing much for algae, but it's pretty cool to look at.
 
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michaelsf90

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The two nerites get on ornaments and the glass but never the plants. They do get about. And they mate a lot. The eggs dont hatch tho. One of my pearl danios has died today as well. It went very pale a few weeks ago. It stopped eating a few days ago or well spat food out. I kept trying to feed it when it was feeding time or make sure it got some but it spat it out. I'm really having a bad time of it. The test readings are spot on. My liquid ph test says 7 and my test strip says 6.4 which seems odd tho
 

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