Ottos--seems like a popular fish!

Manicivy

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ok, I've been reading all of the posts about these cute little otto fish and with my blooming algae problem have been looking to put a couple in my 15 gallon (with betta and 3 cories). However I can't find them! I've been to 3 or 4 stores now and noone seems to have them. Are they that hard to come by? I have been looking for a fish only store since so far I have only been to general pet stores.
Also with ottos (or any fish really) is it safe to have them shipped to you? I've never tried it and was wondering.
Thanks for your help!
I really like this forum! My fish are a lot happier and healthier since I have been using this site.
 

chickadee

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I don't have any trouble finding them here. I have only bought 2 of my Otos here, the rest were all sent to me via the USPS through internet ordering direct from the dealers. I won't say breeders as I don't think they are being bred for sale as most of them I am sure are caught in the wild. They are pretty plentiful here and I know they are carried in some of the larger catalogs. I saw them listed in the catalog and I know that I ordered from them one time for live products, but they have a minimum order and the shipping charges are high. For a fish as inexpensive as the Otocinclus Catfish, it would mean ordering 10 or so just to meet the minimum unless you have other fish you want as well. You could see if perhaps the local fish store folks would maybe order them for you. That way you would save the postage and they would at least be covered under the same guarantee as the other fish probably.???

Let me know how you come out. They are such sweet little fish and so much fun to watch, but they do most of their scurrying about early in the morning or later at night. You should also try to get at least 3 they love being in a group of their own kind. Thanks for considering them, they are another fish that is very downtrodden and needs our help.

Rose
 
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Manicivy

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WEll I've been calling around and I finally found a store that said they have ottos! So I'm going to check them out later and if all looks good I will come home with some later on! My tank needs them badly, brown algae has taken over! Any last minute advice for my ottos? I am looking to buy another live plant as well. I will probably just get two, unless you really suggest 3? I have a 15 gallon with 3 cories and a betta. I am so excited!
 

Butterfly

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Three would be good but two would be better than over loading your tank. They have such a high death rate due to the way they are caught and shipped a lot of stores don't keep them. When you buy yourotos, ask how long they've had them in the store(to make sure their eating well) if less than a week -wait to get them. See if their nice and fat, see if they move around when disturbed.
Check out otocinclus for more info on these sweet little fish.
Carol
 

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Look for round fat bellies. If their bellies are sunken in, they are probably starved. When they are starved like that, their chances of survival decreases dramatically. They have a bacteria in their belly that they lose when they don't have anything to eat for very long, and once they lose that bacteria, they can't digest their food anymore and will die. That's probably another one of the reasons they don't have a good survival rate in tanks, along with them probably being wild caught and not able to adjust to drastically different water conditions. Acclimate them very slowly.
 

chickadee

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They definitely need to go into a quarantine tank if at all possible to get a chance to adjust to a new environment first as well as to protect your other fish from disease. (this should be for all fish) also look for any red on their bellies as that is a sign of infection If their little bellies are all white from tip to tail they are healthy when they have little pudgy bellies. If they live for at least 30 days, your chance of keeping them for a normal lifespan is very good.

Definitely read the link that Butterfly suggested if you have not. If will give you a lot of insight into the hard life these little fish have to deal with before they reach you. Since they are not very expensive fish, there is not much if any interest in breeding them in tanks, they are almost always caught in they wild by subdueing them by useing cyanide to slow them down to make them easy to catch.

Rose
 
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Manicivy

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hmmmm yea that got me thinking. Well I just came home with them (2)from the store...They looked healthy, round bellies but not too round and the man said they had been there awhile, I believed him because there were about 6 left so that way I had some to choose from but there werent so many like they had just arrived. One of them fell on the floor when he was being bagged! I wasn't going to take him but then I just felt bad for him so I took him anyway.

I have a 2.5 gallon I could fill with water from the tank I want to put them in, and maybe take out some of the decorations that are covered with algae.  I have a spare filter I could set up temporarily (I'm cutting a piece of filter material from my seasoned filter and putting it in the new filter to help with the bacteria). And, finally I bought algae wafers as well! *phew* :-\

I think I am set, their bag is floating right now to adjust the temps. If you guys can think of anything else...? oh, how long should I quarantine for? Of course I'd like to put them in ASAP, but that's my own selfishness of wanting to see them clean up my tank of algae 
 
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Manicivy

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my 2 otos are moving around a bit now! and they're pooping which that otocinclus page says is good, so I'm hopeful!
;D
 

Butterfly

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That's a very good sign 14 days quarantine is the usual length of time.
You will get very attached to you little buddies.
carol
 

chickadee

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Oh good for you. I have 5 between my two tanks that I have the boys in (male Bettas) and they are such sweet little fish, I do not know what I would do without them. I don't even make them do the cleaning anymore. I got a snail to do the heavy cleaning and whatever the Otos don't get to. I just love watching them in the evening. (they are kind of nocturnal) In the morning when the lights come on they scurry around the tank getting their sleeping spots ready for the morning. They like to have some cover so the other fish do not chase or terrorize them during the day. (a plant or a small cave - plants work a little better at my house because the Bettas don't go inside of them and they want to have the caves for themselves) Both my male Bettas are barely out of puberty ;D and tend to be naughty and chase them occasionally but after a while the Otos have just gotten to mostly ignoring them. They never do any damage, just ruffle them up. As soon as they have disturbed their sleep, the fun is over and they leave. I usually tap on the "glass" and redirect their attention and all is smoothed over. Now I have occasionally caught the Otos teasing the Bettas by swimming right past them and just begging to be chased. It is too funny some days.

Rose
 
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Manicivy

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that's cute! fish definetely have their own little personalities! I just lost one little otto (wondering if he was the one that fell on the floor at the store) The other guy seems to be doing well though. I'll just have to give it another try! Thanks for all of your help everyone! I'm determined to have a few of these guys make it now.
 

Butterfly

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Sorry to hear you lost one Do get another, you'll be gla you did.
Carol
 

chickadee

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Yes, I lost 3 before I finially got the 5 I now have and I made up my mind I was going to keep trying. I never would have missed a minute of it. I love them all.

Rose
 
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Manicivy

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If anyone reads this...my otto has made it a month! and he is in my main tank about two weeks now. He is chubby with food! Now I can work on getting him some friends.
 

chickadee

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Oh good! Now the chances of him having a normal lifespan are pretty great. The first 30 days are the deciding factor according to most of the artciles I have read. Of course, barring something like injury. I lost one of mine to getting caught in a tight space. They do like to get into the tiniest of spots and then cannot get out sometimes. LOL. But my 5 are still doing great and eating the algae, the spinace from the garden, and the Veggie Rounds (Omega One) that I feed them. The great thing is you rescued a little fish who was seriously mishandled and gave him a new lease on life. Good For You!

Rose


p.s. have you named him?
 
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Manicivy

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Otis the Otto
My tank was covered in brown algae...gravel, plants, tank sides and in 2 weeks it is almost gone! what great little fish!
 

0morrokh

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Otos love being fed fresh veggies like zucchinI and romaine lettuce. You can buy a veggie clip to feed lettuce...just make sure to cook it a little first to soften it. You can just boil a piece of zucchinI until it sinks.
 

chickadee

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I wouldn't feed them on anything much else than what they get in the tank as long as they have the algae to eat as I will let you in on a secret. If you feed them too good, they quit eating the algae. When the algae is gone, then you start to suplement their diets with Veggie Rounds or Algae Wafers or Fresh Veggies, but let little Otis fill up on the fresh algae first or plan on getting a snail to do his work for him. LOL When there is not much left of the algae though be sure you do start feeding extra because they should NEVER run out of food.

Rose
 

ecnaj143

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I don't know if ALL petsmarts do this, but mine can special order fish for you. Its kinda high, but cheaper than Liveaquaria. I heard this from my bro-in-law and he said he special ordered a certain cichlid. So again, I don't know if ALL do.
 

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