Otocinclus Fry! Any Tips To Help Them Survive? I Can't Find Much Info.

JenC

Well Known
They're in a planted 10 gallon right now. I got the otos last month and am keeping them in the 10 gallon until a 29 gallon is ready. I've seen maybe 15 fry at a time, hanging on the glass and under leaves, but I have no idea how many there really are. I also think they might have hatched on different days as some are notably bigger than others. I first noticed them three days ago.

Predation probably isn't an issue as their only tank mates are ember tetras, RCS, and two adult otos. There's a sponge on the filter intake.

My primary concern is food. They're so tiny - smaller than a grain of rice - so they can't eat much, right? But they've ignored zucchini, romaine lettuce, seaweed, and algae wafers. The RCS won't let them near the algae wafers even if they tried. The tank and its plants have been running almost two years so it has some aufwuchs but it also has two adult otos and 50+ RCS competing for it.

Water changes are also a bit scary. I changed 1 gallon yesterday but had to stop when I saw them getting stuck above the falling water line. I'm not sure how to handle that while they're so small. Maybe lots of little changes? Parameters are fine but I'd like to keep the water pristine and fresh for them.

I've never had fry before, just shrimplets, so oto fry really caught me by surprise. They're incredibly cute. Today is the first day they've developed colors and shown any pattern like the stripes on the body/tail; they were mostly see-through and colorless before.

I keep telling myself they probably won't survive but I can't help hoping that some will.

Any suggestions?


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Coradee

Resident Scouser
Hi, congrats on the fry.
As long as the tank is established & you have plants then there would be enough food for them to start off with.
Mine soon learned from the adults that zucchinI was good to eat so I’d suggest still offering it to them, even if you don’t actually see them on it they may graze on it at night.
I’d also suggest finely grinding some algae wafers into a fine powder, the shrimp would get a lot of it but wouldn’t be able to hog a whole wafer & there’d still be enough powder for the babies to find.
Maybe not all will survive, nature can be harsh that way but hopefully enough will, from my first Oto spawn 6/7 survived to adulthood & have had their own babies since.
Good luck with them hope they continue to do well, update us with their progress....& pics
 

CandyCane701

Well Known
You must be doing something right, so my only advice is to keep doing exactly what you've been doing. Congrats!
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
They're growing and changing every day. It's so cool to watch and is the most exciting thing that's happened in my tanks.

I haven't seen both adults since the babies hatched, just one at a time. I hope they're both okay...

Thanks, Coradee! I appreciate the tips. Grinding up algae waters is a great idea. I'll keep trying with the veggies too. I'm also glad to know that you had so many survive. I'm really hopeful.
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
A little oto swimming on the glass. It's so small compared to my fingernail!

This was Day 3 after I noticed them in the tank. I'm not sure how old they are, maybe a week or so? It was the first day I noticed them showing color/pattern on the body/tail.

I saw about fifteen of them today so they've survived longer than I'd hoped. They're harder to locate now because they're venturing more into the tank instead of staying on the walls.

 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
Coradee, did your otos ever die after spawning?

I haven't seen the two together since before I noticed the fry almost a week ago. Perhaps I am seeing them both, just separately, but I fear that's not the case.

I've looked but the tank is full of plants, wood, and shrimp so I usually don't see any remains when fish pass away.
 

Coradee

Resident Scouser
Hi, no I’ve never had any deaths after spawning, hopefully yours are just playing hard to see. They’re so good at hiding I’ve never managed to see exactly how many I have now
 

angelcraze

Fishlore VIP
Wow, congrats! I didn't know anyone ever got their ottos to breed in the aquarium It would be great if we could stop bringing in wild caught fish!
 

DoubleDutch

Fishlore Legend
Wow, congrats! I didn't know anyone ever got their ottos to breed in the aquarium It would be great if we could stop bringing in wild caught fish!
Someone called Coradee did hahaha.
I think it is really great.
 

Coradee

Resident Scouser
It seems more people are starting to have success with them which is great, Oto fry come a very close second to cory fry on the cuteness scale.
 

DoubleDutch

Fishlore Legend
It seems more people are starting to have success with them which is great, Oto fry come a very close second to cory fry on the cuteness scale.
I want some tooooooooo.
 

angelcraze

Fishlore VIP
I want some tooooooooo.
I hope you get some otto babies too! How many adults do you have?

Coradee and JenC How many do you have?
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
I can't stop watching them, they're so cute!

I'll try to get more pictures today. They're still tiny but growing every day.
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
I hope you get some otto babies too! How many adults do you have?

Coradee and JenC How many do you have?
There are only two in the tank with the fry. I just got lucky with one of each gender. They were supposed to be in there temporarily until I retire the 10 gallon and move everyone to a 29 gallon but now I'm not sure what my game plan is.
 

angelcraze

Fishlore VIP
I can't even QT ottos and keep them alive myself, but I'm excited about your project! I hope it works out for you!!!

I didn't have enough brown algae in my QT tank for them. I think they starved because the tank was full of RCS and MTS, they would cover the wafers and the ottos were too timid. Diatoms are something the babies would eat I think. I also used (used) filter floss to help feed small fry. They feed off the mulm.

Green water (infusoria) would probably work as well.
 

Coradee

Resident Scouser
I started with 6, I think I have 14/15 now

JenC definitely post more pics, if you can believe it they get even cuter when they’re a little bigger
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
I started with 6, I think I have 14/15 now

JenC definitely post more pics, if you can believe it they get even cuter when they’re a little bigger
Today's the first day they really look like otos.
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
I'm sad to report that I just found the missing adult oto dead in the tank. I have no idea what happened.
 

DoubleDutch

Fishlore Legend
I'm sad to report that I just found the missing adult oto dead in the tank. I have no idea what happened.
Nooooo so sorry to hear.
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
It's so unfortunate. They do this wonderful thing, making the fry, and then one dies. I hadn't seen her in a week but I was still hoping she was just hiding.

I wish I knew why. I feel bad for the remaining adult. I was already feeling a bit guilty that there were only two of them (though it was to be temporary) and now he's all alone.

I hope some fry survive and grow up soon so the remaining adult has friends.
 

ETNsilverstar

Well Known
Aww...poor oto! Usually fry do better than the adults that are introduced to the tank, so hopefully they will continue to grow. I'm down to 3 adults and hoping they have babies someday!
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
The fry are doing well! Some didn't make it (I removed two but I'm sure I lost more) but there are still a bunch left.

I haven't found any food they seem to like but they sometimes eat a little zucchinI or hover on lettuce. They still don't seem interested in algae tabs or seaweed but I keep trying.

I'll take more pictures soon.
 

angelcraze

Fishlore VIP
I'm really really rooting for these babies! Keep us posted for sure!
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
I ordered some Bacter Ae in hopes it might help increase the biofilm/aufwuchs in the tank. The remaining adult and fry seem well but if many survive I am worried they'll be struggling to find enough food. (I really need to get moving on the 29 gallon set up!)

Some updated pics.


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OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
They're so cute!!!
I know! I spend more time watching them than I should.

Actually, ETNsilverstar, I think it might have been one of your posts that have me the idea to order the Bacter Ae? Something about your otos perking up after you used it. I figured it couldn't hurt so I'd give it a try.
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
Two more pics. They're much easier to photograph when they're not on the glass.




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Coradee

Resident Scouser
Great pics glad to see they’re doing well, told you they get cuter as they get a little bigger
 

BuddyD

Well Known
This is my 3rd time with oto fry. I've only seen one each time.
They didn't survive until the 3rd one.
I have a plastic breeder floating in the tank.
I got him/her in there for protection and it's survive.
It's grown alot, I broke up algae wafer into tiny pieces.
Drop one in. when it is gone or turning fuzzy, I pull it out.
Drop in a new piece. I don't know why the others didn't survive.
But I think I found out how to keep them alive until they're big enough
to go into the whole tank.

I have 100+ Shrimp and 4 Adult otos in the tank.
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
The otos are doing well! There are at least a dozen left; I'm not sure exactly how many. I suspect they're from more than one spawning as there are noticeable size differences between some of them. The largest fry are double the size of the smallest fry.

I've been dosing Bacter Ae daily and giving an algae wafer and/or zucchinI most days. The good news this week is that some of them have learned that the wafers = food.


I think the Bacter Ae is helping because the shrimp used to swarm and fight over algae wafers, preventing the otos from eating them, but the shrimp are barely interested in them now. I suppose this means there's more food throughout the tank so the wafers are less appealing.


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BuddyD

Well Known
This is my 3rd time with oto fry. I've only seen one each time.
They didn't survive until the 3rd one.
I have a plastic breeder floating in the tank.
I got him/her in there for protection and it's survive.
It's grown alot, I broke up algae wafer into tiny pieces.
Drop one in. when it is gone or turning fuzzy, I pull it out.
Drop in a new piece. I don't know why the others didn't survive.
But I think I found out how to keep them alive until they're big enough
to go into the whole tank.

I have 100+ Shrimp and 4 Adult otos in the tank.

Jackpot! From 7am this morning until noon. I found 11 Oto Fry.
This is a first for me with that many at one time.
They are all in the breeder tank with crushed algae wafer for now.
My wife will be going to the store tomorrow, so I'll have her get zucchinI for them.

Too small and transparent right now for pics.
I'll get some as soon as possible.
 

DoubleDutch

Fishlore Legend
Jackpot! From 7am this morning until noon. I found 11 Oto Fry.
This is a first for me with that many at one time.
They are all in the breeder tank with crushed algae wafer for now.
My wife will be going to the store tomorrow, so I'll have her get zucchinI for them.

Too small and transparent right now for pics.
I'll get some as soon as possible.
So jealous Buddy +
 

BuddyD

Well Known
Update: The final count of oto fry is now....21!
 

SFGiantsGuy

Well Known
Ooooo! Keep 'em going strong !That IS a LOT...wow...I'm jealous too! My Otos always died... : ( ...even after a big algae "wall" that was tailor grown for them...and NO lf's carry 'em...and only ONE place/store I can special order 'em, but they tend to be a bit spendy as well... : (
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
The fry are well! At least some are consistently eating wafers and zucchini. I'm keeping up with the Bacter Ae daily just in case it helps.

There are seven of the smaller fry in this pic: four on zucchini, two on glass, one on plant.


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The young batch is about the size of an adult cherry shrimp now.


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Update: The final count of oto fry is now....21!

That's awesome!!! I hope they do well; please keep us updated. Perhaps this thread will be useful when others have oto fry as there isn't much info available.
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
I was thinking about oto foods last night and wonder - are they actually eating the veggies or just snacking on what's growing on them? ZucchinI is 95% water so it seems like an insubstantial source of nutrition to me. Perhaps its high water content promotes quicker biofilm production on its surfaces?

I'd like to better understand what they're actually eating in case I can provide more substantial food. All the algae/spirulina wafers I reviewed have starch as their primary ingredients, food color, etc. They eat them but I wonder if there are better options that maybe haven't been tried.
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
Just an update on the oto fry from May:

I lost some juveniles but thought there were at least 10 left. They hid a lot so I wasn't sure.

I moved them into their new tank this week and there were 29 of them! They're actively exploring their new home and I'm just hoping I can keep them fed.

Bigger than cherry shrimp and ember tetras now:

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Enjoying yummy diatoms/algae in the new tank:

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Fishcat

Well Known
Wow, look at that! What are your future plans for your algae-eating brigade?
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
Wow, look at that! What are your future plans for your algae-eating brigade?
I'm not sure! I'm concerned they will struggle for food with so many in a 29 gallon and I don't have other tanks to put them in.

They were okay in the 10 gallon but I think they're still growing and this tank isn't as heavily planted or mature (pic below, still a work in progress). I'll move more plants over from other tanks soon but I'm worried. They ate the zucchinI and algae wafers I supplemented in their old tank but they haven't shown interest in them in the 29 gallon yet. I'm dosing Bacter AE too.

I asked here in the forum and folks thought they might be okay so I'm watching them closely for now. I grew a lot of algae for them but they're making quick work of it.

I'll sell some to my LFS if I have to.


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Fishcat

Well Known
Have you considered selling some to local fishlore members? I understand not wanting to ship these guys, but I can’t help noticing that you’re in the same state I am, and there’s at least a couple more of us here - I’ve gotten snails from one Massachusetts member and plants from another.
By the way, what’s your local fish store? If you’re anywhere near Uncle Ned’s Fish Factory, they are at least open to buying from hobbyists (and they’re well worth visiting in any case).
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
If you’re anywhere near Uncle Ned’s Fish Factory, they are at least open to buying from hobbyists (and they’re well worth visiting in any case).
I love Uncle Ned's!!! That's where I bought the two otos that spawned these adorable problems and it's where I plan to sell them if I have to reduce their #s.
 
OP
JenC

JenC

Well Known
Cool! It’s a great store, isn’t it? Have you seen their zebra plecos?
I haven't but I hope to visit again soon. I want to up the #s of my female cherry barbs and have been waiting for them to be stocked. I emailed Ned and he said maybe in a few weeks so I've been stalking their New Arrivals posts.
 

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