Ottos: Bacterial, Parasite, other?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by nexigen, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. nexigenValued MemberMember

    Ok, I've had my 3 Ottos (2 from Petsmart, 1 from local store) for about 3 weeks now. One of them is fine, his name is Zippy for obvious reasons, that's all I'll say about this one.

    Another, I thought was pregnant, but has been so for about 2 of the 3 weeks now. Seems much wider and larger than Zippy, eats like crazy too. It will down half a slice of Zuchini in a day, but seems rather lethargic. Again, signs of pregnant/eggs, but for 2 weeks I'm starting to doubt. This fat one is also easy to catch, I went to remove a partially eaten piece of Zuchini after a couple days, the fat one was on it, it took a minute of nudging with the net before the fish swam to the glass next to it.

    The third has also always been lethargic. It has remained in the same general corner since I got'em. Yesterday, it was a bit unusual seeing it's nose slightly out of the water - like against the water line. Not sure how long it was like that. Today, the fish is laying on it's side in the bottom corner, barely breathing.

    All of the 3 fish keep their dorsal fins down unless swimming or feeding. Usually, all fins are clamped while at rest. Only Zippy has green poop, the other two's are generally darker.

    I haven't tested the parameters in a while, though I would suspect 7.4, 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, likely 10-20 Nitrates. I can check it tonight if necessary. The tanks is a 10 gallon quarantine and was fully cycled before adding the fish 3 weeks ago.

  2. KopethWell Known MemberMember

    I've had issues with bad otto stock from various pet stores in my area. I've found that a slow drip acclimation does wonders for them when adding them to a q-tank. I would do a water change /w conditioner (Prime) to remove excess nitrates.

    I would keep an eye on your tank, if one of your otto's pass. It could cause an ammonia spike that would be harmful to the remaining fish.

  3. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    Well, I'm not sure what to do about the oto lying on its side at the bottom. Definitely check the water and do a change if necesary. The other signs, I wouldn't worry about. I have 11 otos now since mine had babies, and I have two that appear "fat" all the time...they are my females. The fins being down and not moving until you nudge them isn't something to be concerned about in my opinon since mine do that alot and are healthy. Just a thought, does your tank have plenty of hiding places? I read somewhere that otos will get stressed if they don't have plenty of dark places to hide. I can't remember the source right now, but I'll post it if I can locate it.

    Here is the link. The info about habitat is nearer to the bottom of the page.  

    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  4. nexigenValued MemberMember

    Not alot of hiding places in the QT, but they have a couple decorations and a few plants (the plants were horribly covered in algae, they made them really nice again). Though, I didn't realize it when buying the substrate, they blend in extremely well, very hard to find if they're on the bottom resting. They don't seem stressed as far as I can tell. Zippy tends to follow my finger if I point at something. If the fat one is egg-laying, how long do they take? I haven't found any info online about that part of it.
  5. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    Yeah, I bought black sand for my aquarium. I'm a genius. I have to look really hard to find my adult otos during the daytime. They're usually hiding in a cave I bought. I actually have no idea how long the eggs take to hatch since I just woke up one morning with fry on my aquarium glass. I was shocked to say the least. Mine have always appeared fat and still do. I read that the females look that way and that a "fat" oto is a happy oto. My adult male otos appear much more slender. Planet Catfish online has a bunch of info about otos if you want more details. One man on there has a blog about raising them too in case you find babies one morning.
  6. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    I looked it up and read it takes 2 days for the eggs to hatch and that they'll immediately "hit the glass".
  7. nexigenValued MemberMember

    OK, status update, to my surprise he's alive. Unfortunately he's not doing well at all. He was on his side at the bottom, I put some blood worms and extra algae in front of him then nudged until he moved. He spun out of control. He then swam around while spinning - towards his usual location, suctioned on for a short time but again spun away. He stopped spinning and sunk to the bottom upside down - he's still breathing. Turned him over and letting him rest.

    Considering adding Epson salt for the swim bladder. Also, his gills are red, and there's blood from his head or gills, can't quite tell. Could be that he bumped his head or it could be bleeding from the gill. I have no expectation of him lasting the hour, any other suggestions though?

    Water parameters: 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 10-15ppm Nitrate.

    Also, are my other two Ottos, that share the QT with him, at risk?
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  8. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    Oto's don't handle medicines well, so I wouldn't suggest adding anything unless you are certain it won't harm them. If possible, I would remove that oto and put it into separate tank just in case it is something that is contagious. It might not hurt to add an airstone if you think his gills are irritated. Hopefully someone with more knowledge than me can come along and give you some better advice.
  9. nexigenValued MemberMember

    Well, the other two are doing fine. The third one is gone, shortly after my last post. Considering that it might have actually been starvation, always in the same corner and I never once seen him eating anything other than a suction cup. I'll check his tummy size later - was always in a 'hard to see' corner - certainly might be the reason. Also open for any suggestions on the remaining two.
  10. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I didn't read this thread, but I saw the other one. I've never kept otos, so I don't know enough about them to offer anything.

    However, most if not all wild animals have parasites. Fish included. A healthy fish can live with parasites just fine - it's a symbiotic relationship. But when the fish is stressed or otherwise unwell, the parasites start to take over.

    You can try prazipro - it's safe with scaleless and other sensitive fish at a full dose. Always keep an eye out for adverse reactions, though, as there are always exceptions and surprises.
  11. nexigenValued MemberMember

    Thanks Jaysee, I had just read somewhere else that it's recommended to use anti-parasitic medication with the Otto's new arrival to begin with. Planning to keep them in quarantine for a few more weeks anyway. Guess I could add 1-2 more to replace the one, I want them to be able to school properly. I like your definition of the symbiotic relationship though, I think it just helped me understand a lot of what I was reading.
  12. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Ich is a perfect example of this - it can exist as a low level infestation in the gills, out of sight. People sometimes think that the fish gets sick out of no where, when in reality it's been harboring the parasites for months, or even longer. I had to treat for ich in my 75 gallon this winter - I've had those fish for 3 years (got them before I started preemptive parasite treatments in quarantine).
  13. nexigenValued MemberMember

    Interesting, says it does external and internal parasites, do I have to put it in their food somehow or just dose it a couple times throughout the week and consider it all taken care of?
  14. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Like with all meds/treatments, follow the diretions :) It's a one dose treatment, added to the water.
  15. nexigenValued MemberMember

    I think the "fat one" that I referred to earlier was helped by the epsom salt, 15 minutes after adding 1tbsp/5gallon ratio it was twice as fast as I'd ever seen it before. Also swimming around more often. Might have been backed up.

    I added the PraziPro last night after acclimating two more to replace the lost one. Doesn't seem to be any negative side affects yet, I'll post if there is. They were crazy-active last night swimming around. Thanks again for the help.

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