Otocinclus injury or disease

  • #1
I noticed my oto behaving strangely. Moving around very little, not eating, often lying on its side.

Upon closer inspection it has a red patch on its side (the side it's keeping off). I can't tell if it's an injury or infection.

Can anyone identify this and recommend threatments?

  • #2
I would isolate the oto and use Methylene Blue (1 drop per 5 gallons). You could also use other mild antibacterial medications. The antibacterial will help ward off secondary infections.

What is in the tank with the oto and how many of each thing?
What size tank is it?
Are there lots of hiding places?
  • #3
HI Ross. Out of curiosity, why methylene blue? I have a fish with a similar complaint and he's not responded to the antI fungal and bacterial meds I tried, so am wondering what methylene blue does. Is it a disinfectant/anti-fungus? So far, I had only contemplated using it on eggs to avoid fungus.
  • #4
It is an anti-bacterial. Use of an antibacterial in this situation would go towards preventing the onset of a secondary infection. Anytime the slime coat is compromised and the flesh is punctured there is an opening for bacteria to get in, but the use of a LIGHT strength anti-bacterial medication in the water kills enough bacteria that the infections are less likely to happen.

As for mending the wound I would just suggest isolation with something to hide under, so that the fish does not get stressed as easily, and very frequent waterchanges to keep clean water in there. I would do a 50% waterchange every other day for a week or two, or until the wound was completely healed.

If it shows no sign of healing after a week I would repost about it.

We had something similar show up on our Chaca Chaca, but it went away without medication after about 3-4 weeks of increased waterchanges.
  • #5
Thanks, Ross. Sorry to continue off-topic but: then why do we use it on eggs against fungus? Is the white stuff on eggs bacterial, or does methylene blue also have anti-fungal effect?

Last question (hopefully): is it broad spectrum, or targeted at certain kinds of bacteria (neg or pos, for example).
  • #6
I would have to get Dino to answer those questions, Laure-Anne. I am not sure if it carries anti-fungal benefits or if the egg rotting is bacterial. Also don't know precisely what it targets, but I do know it cleared up the first case of fin rot we had in the fishhouse last week. (The poor keyhole cichlid was beat up and developed bacterial finrot, within a week his fins are well on their way back to normal from having almost nothing left.)

I know it has been used to treat any of our fish that exhibit signs of swim-bladder problems, finrot, cuts and scrapes, the one fish that had his eye eatten, etc.

But I will definitely point Dino here this afternoon.
  • #7
Thanks! I get so confused by meds.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Can't really isolate the oto now. There's a neon tetra with a blister in the isolation tank.

Main tank is 90L (~23G):
6 tetras
2 otos
1 small clown loach
2 bristlenose catfish
1 small silver shark
3 platys
2 swordtails
some glass shrimp

Tank is heavily planted, lots of hiding places. The injured oto doesn't seem to want to hide though, it's mostly resting out in the open.

I'm thinking it might have gotten burnt resting on or against the heater.

I dosed the tank with Myxazin (anti-bacterial).
  • #9
What's the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? How long have you had the oto?
  • #10
And also... uh.. someone correct me if I'm wrong, but your tank is way, way overstocked. Your shark alone will need.. 75G? Otos are really, really sensitive to water quality, so if your water quality is compromised (which they most likely will be, at your current stock levels), your fish will suffer.. and will succumb to disease on a rather regular basis, I'm afraid.
  • #11
I'm with Omorrokh, what are the water parameters? It looks like your tank is overstocked, and that stress in itself can contribute to problems. As Chief_Waterchanger suggested you need to start with water changes. The number and amount to be determined by what your readings are.

Even 2-3 25% changes a day if the ammonia and nitrite are up will do wonders. Space these out, and be sure you are using treated water of the same temperature that comes out.

Sometimes fish get tumors or parasites, and they in turn can get infected (the red). This is why you need to separate this fish. What is the "blister" the neon has, from? How are you treating it, and does it look similar?

Good Luck :;sman
  • #12
I agree with the ladies, your tank is well on its way to being overstocked if all the fish were fry/juvenile, but certainly if they are left in that size tank for very long it would be bad. The clown loach is a schooling fish and really needs atleast 2, if not more, and would need a 75 gallon for just a few of them at adult size. The shark needs a 75 gallon at adult size.

What size are these fish you listed?
  • #13
Meth blue is a broad spectrum antI bacterial solution.
Most eggs are attacked by bacteria not fungus.
Actual fungal infections in fish are not very common.
Most of what people call fungal is actually bacterial.

I will get the exact properties up for meth blue in a day or so.
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 20mg/L
These figures are stable, I've been doing water tests weekly for the past 2 months.

I've had the oto for about a month.

All the fish are juvies, nothing above 2 inches. I realise I'm overstocked and am setting up a 4 foot tank.

The neon tetra has a large blister on the side of its mouth. Doesn't look similar to the oto's condition. I'm treating it with Tri-Sulfa tablets recommended by the LFS.
  • #15
Try to get your nitrates down to at most 10. 20 is acceptable for most fish but Otos are extremely sensitive about water quality.

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