Otto Catfish tips/care

TheSpasticCorydora

Member
Ive been trying to keep Otto cats in my planted aquariums. There's algae all on the wood, the plants, the glass, and I supplement with algae tabs. I keep losing them. My parameters are: 0 nitrite. 0 ammonia. Less than 5.0 ppm of nitrate...(its slightly orange but still closer to a yellow color) I water change once a week. The PH is neutral.

I dont know what I'm doing wrong. I DO NOT want plecos or Chinese algae eaters in my tanks because, in my experience, they chase my loaches in one tank, bother my Fairy Corydoras, try to attach to my angel fish in my other tank (despite providing lots of sinking tabs and foods) and destroy my plants. I just don't want them...

The tank im having issues with is my 40gal. They've been ok in my 55gal. The one that died recently was plump and eating well and active. Can anyone help determine what may be the issue. Am I doing something wrong? I've only been keeping this species for about a year and I feel bad they keep dying in my care
 

PaprikaFish

Member
I've heard that the majority of these fish are wild caught and the stress of being taken otto (out of, sorry couldn't resist ) the wild and transported, then put in a store, and then being taken home is too much for them; I looked into these fish a while ago, and apparently they're picky eaters and starve during shipping, which is what kills/weakens them most of the time, both in store and in your aquarium. It may not be your fault, and their deaths might just be caused by the bad conditions they are kept/shipped in.
 
  • Thread Starter

TheSpasticCorydora

Member
PaprikaFish said:
I've heard that the majority of these fish are wild caught and the stress of being taken otto (out of, sorry couldn't resist ) the wild and transported, then put in a store, and then being taken home is too much for them; I looked into these fish a while ago, and apparently they're picky eaters and starve during shipping, which is what kills/weakens them most of the time, both in store and in your aquarium. It may not be your fault, and their deaths might just be caused by the bad conditions they are kept/shipped in.
I'll have to ask the fish store where they source their fish from. The one that died ive had over a month now. It's a local shop that specializes in just fish, so maybe he can tell me where he gets them from.
Currently I think he only has baby tiny ottos. Theyre so cute, but I dont want to risk getting more if they are WC and gonna die again
 

LochNessy

Member
So sorry to hear of your dilemma! Are snails an option for you? I have the Chinese Algae Eaters and haven't had a problem. (They also seem to be too small to actually control algae). But it sounds like you are doing everything right! I have 4 Corys that are schooling a lot since I moved them to a 40 gal, and 1 I can't find anywhere. (He was there just 2 days ago...so I am hoping he's hiding). Since you know your fish guy and trust him, I assume, I would do what Paprika Fish suggested. The only other thing I can think of is to check the outside area of your tank re: drafts, too much traffic, noise, etc. Good Luck!
 
  • Thread Starter

TheSpasticCorydora

Member
TheSpasticCorydora said:
I'll have to ask the fish store where they source their fish from. The one that died ive had over a month now. It's a local shop that specializes in just fish, so maybe he can tell me where he gets them from.
Currently I think he only has baby tiny ottos. Theyre so cute, but I dont want to risk getting more if they are WC and gonna die again
LochNessy said:
So sorry to hear of your dilemma! Are snails an option for you? I have the Chinese Algae Eaters and haven't had a problem. (They also seem to be too small to actually control algae). But it sounds like you are doing everything right! I have 4 Corys that are schooling a lot since I moved them to a 40 gal, and 1 I can't find anywhere. (He was there just 2 days ago...so I am hoping he's hiding). Since you know your fish guy and trust him, I assume, I would do what Paprika Fish suggested. The only other thing I can think of is to check the outside area of your tank re: drafts, too much traffic, noise, etc. Good Luck!
I'm not sure if I can do snails. Currently have a pest snail issue. I only recently learned a good way to clean new plants and these little buggers were there before I knew a way to clean. I got an assassin snail to help me and she has done well (laid eggs too...havent seen babies yet). I worry she might kill other snails I introduce.
 

LochNessy

Member
TheSpasticCorydora said:
I'm not sure if I can do snails. Currently have a pest snail issue. I only recently learned a good way to clean new plants and these little buggers were there before I knew a way to clean. I got an assassin snail to help me and she has done well (laid eggs too...havent seen babies yet). I worry she might kill other snails I introduce.
 

LochNessy

Member
Yeah, I don't know either. I spend hours on my PC looking up questions. I think loaches will help a pest snail problem because they will eat the snail. Some say the Assasin won't eat a Nerite snail. And the Nerites eat plants, I believe. One way to cure the algae problem! Maybe more Assasins? Good luck!
 

Volpap

Member
Ottos are a very hard fish to acclimate to your tank. They do die easily. There’s a saying that if you want 5 then you buy 10. When you buy them look for a nice plump belly. If the belly is sunk in the fish is already starving and almost sure to die. If you can make through the first couple of months they’ll most likely make it. If you don’t want to try again my suggestion is Nerite snails. They are algae vacuums. Contrary to the other post, they DO NOT eat your plants. That is actually one of the great things about them, they will clean the plant without harming it. Now about your snail infestation. You’ve gone the right route with the assassin snail. I would wait until you’d pest snails are gone and then take the assassin back to your fish store and donate it. There are mixed opinions on whether an assassin will kill a Nerite. I wouldn’t chance it. Nerites won’t reproduce in freshwater,(they need brackish water), but they will lay eggs. Some people don’t like the looks of the eggs on driftwood and such. They’ve never bothered me in I look at it as part of the eco of the tank. If they lay eggs on the glass they can be scraped off. They are beautiful, fascinating things. These are some of mine. Red Racer, Horned, Tiger, and Zebra. Good luck.
TheSpasticCorydora said:
Ive been trying to keep Otto cats in my planted aquariums. There's algae all on the wood, the plants, the glass, and I supplement with algae tabs. I keep losing them. My parameters are: 0 nitrite. 0 ammonia. Less than 5.0 ppm of nitrate...(its slightly orange but still closer to a yellow color) I water change once a week. The PH is neutral.

I dont know what I'm doing wrong. I DO NOT want plecos or Chinese algae eaters in my tanks because, in my experience, they chase my loaches in one tank, bother my Fairy Corydoras, try to attach to my angel fish in my other tank (despite providing lots of sinking tabs and foods) and destroy my plants. I just don't want them...

The tank im having issues with is my 40gal. They've been ok in my 55gal. The one that died recently was plump and eating well and active. Can anyone help determine what may be the issue. Am I doing something wrong? I've only been keeping this species for about a year and I feel bad they keep dying in my care

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62E7A2E2-B9AA-400D-BC68-D788477A0E55.jpeg

872E03BC-38C3-4A65-9EA2-D29EAACA672E.jpeg

793F7A09-815B-439C-AD6A-B08AC5477642.jpeg
 
  • Thread Starter

TheSpasticCorydora

Member
Volpap said:
Ottos are a very hard fish to acclimate to your tank. They do die easily. There’s a saying that if you want 5 then you buy 10. When you buy them look for a nice plump belly. If the belly is sunk in the fish is already starving and almost sure to die. If you can make through the first couple of months they’ll most likely make it. If you don’t want to try again my suggestion is Nerite snails. They are algae vacuums. Contrary to the other post, they DO NOT eat your plants. That is actually one of the great things about them, they will clean the plant without harming it. Now about your snail infestation. You’ve gone the right route with the assassin snail. I would wait until you’d pest snails are gone and then take the assassin back to your fish store and donate it. There are mixed opinions on whether an assassin will kill a Nerite. I wouldn’t chance it. Nerites won’t reproduce in freshwater,(they need brackish water), but they will lay eggs. Some people don’t like the looks of the eggs on driftwood and such. They’ve never bothered me in I look at it as part of the eco of the tank. If they lay eggs on the glass they can be scraped off. They are beautiful, fascinating things. These are some of mine. Red Racer, Horned, Tiger, and Zebra. Good luck.


DEA40548-DD26-4B8E-87A5-FEB80F7935C7.jpeg

62E7A2E2-B9AA-400D-BC68-D788477A0E55.jpeg

872E03BC-38C3-4A65-9EA2-D29EAACA672E.jpeg

793F7A09-815B-439C-AD6A-B08AC5477642.jpeg

DEA40548-DD26-4B8E-87A5-FEB80F7935C7.jpeg

62E7A2E2-B9AA-400D-BC68-D788477A0E55.jpeg

872E03BC-38C3-4A65-9EA2-D29EAACA672E.jpeg

793F7A09-815B-439C-AD6A-B08AC5477642.jpeg
i probably wont get rid of her. I may move her to a different tank. The only issue is she laid eggs lol and they did hatch. Assassin babies will soon be everywhere. I was kind of disappointed when my recent Otto died because he was chubby and a vacuum on my logs in the tank. I may try again and speak with the guy at the fish shop I buy from to see where he gets his ottos, or I may try those snails you suggested. I'll have to research them since I'm not super familiar with that species since I only recently kept snails. The assassin is my first snail
 

LochNessy

Member
Volpap said:
Ottos are a very hard fish to acclimate to your tank. They do die easily. There’s a saying that if you want 5 then you buy 10. When you buy them look for a nice plump belly. If the belly is sunk in the fish is already starving and almost sure to die. If you can make through the first couple of months they’ll most likely make it. If you don’t want to try again my suggestion is Nerite snails. They are algae vacuums. Contrary to the other post, they DO NOT eat your plants. That is actually one of the great things about them, they will clean the plant without harming it. Now about your snail infestation. You’ve gone the right route with the assassin snail. I would wait until you’d pest snails are gone and then take the assassin back to your fish store and donate it. There are mixed opinions on whether an assassin will kill a Nerite. I wouldn’t chance it. Nerites won’t reproduce in freshwater,(they need brackish water), but they will lay eggs. Some people don’t like the looks of the eggs on driftwood and such. They’ve never bothered me in I look at it as part of the eco of the tank. If they lay eggs on the glass they can be scraped off. They are beautiful, fascinating things. These are some of mine. Red Racer, Horned, Tiger, and Zebra. Good luck.


DEA40548-DD26-4B8E-87A5-FEB80F7935C7.jpeg

62E7A2E2-B9AA-400D-BC68-D788477A0E55.jpeg

872E03BC-38C3-4A65-9EA2-D29EAACA672E.jpeg

793F7A09-815B-439C-AD6A-B08AC5477642.jpeg

DEA40548-DD26-4B8E-87A5-FEB80F7935C7.jpeg

62E7A2E2-B9AA-400D-BC68-D788477A0E55.jpeg

872E03BC-38C3-4A65-9EA2-D29EAACA672E.jpeg

793F7A09-815B-439C-AD6A-B08AC5477642.jpeg
Just wanted to thank you for your experienced information. I apologize for the info re: Nerite snails eating plants! I saw a video where one sucked a plant in its mouth and assumed he was eating it! I should preface everything by saying how new I am to this hobby/craft! I also didn't know that the Ottos could be so 'fragile'. Back to do more research!
 

Volpap

Member
LochNessy said:
Just wanted to thank you for your experienced information. I apologize for the info re: Nerite snails eating plants! I saw a video where one sucked a plant in its mouth and assumed he was eating it! I should preface everything by saying how new I am to this hobby/craft! I also didn't know that the Ottos could be so 'fragile'. Back to do more research!
Hey no problem. That's what we're all here for, to pass along our experience. I learn sometime just about every time I go searching the posts. Have a question? It's probably in here somewhere.
 

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