My tank has cycled and I wanted to put a school of neons and some otos in. I know you need at least 6 tetras in a group. How many otos should I get/ fit into my tank if I plan on having 6 neons? I have a 20 gal. tank. I was thinking 6 neons and 4 or 5 otos. I don't want to overstock. Thanks! =)
I believe both the neons and otos will get to about 1.5" adult size. Otos are best kept in groups so 3-6 is good. I'd say 4 otos and 9 neons should be good - neons really are at their best in larger schools in my opinion.
Otos need to be purchased with caution heres some advice from a very knowledgable lady she gave me when I asked about otos....just a few things to look out for. And I hope she doesn't mind me passing this on.
"Now about the Otos. Otos are sweet and kind little fish and they do well with brown algae and are my favorite little sweeties for this purpose but they are fragile and will not make good first fish. They have a high loss rate due to the horrible handling they receive when they are captured. They are not bred in captivity and so must be caught in the rivers and streams of the countries they are native to. Those capturing them find that they are swift and hard to catch normally so they flood the water with cyanide. This dopes the fish and makes them easier to catch in large numbers. It also kills almost half of them. Then they go to petstores where perhaps (I will give them the benefit of the doubt) untrained employees keep the tanks clean of algae and feed the fish in them flake food which the Otos do not eat. This causes another half of the survivors or better to starve to death or at least to suffer a condition that results in their starvation. They have a bacteria in their stomachs that allows them to digest their food and when they go without food for a length of time (or food that they can or will eat) the bacteria dies making them unable to digest any food they do eat so they are unable to benefit from it. If you go to buy Otos and they do not have nice rounded little tummies and their tummies have red streaks or are hot red or dark pink in color, they are dying and do not purchase them. They are either infected or starving. The first 30 days is critical when you get them home. If they survive for the first 30 days, you may have them for years. I have owned probably 50 otos in my hobby experience and have 2 left. It is true that some died due to accidents where they got themselves caught in a piece of decoration or got bit by another fish or just got sick but the majority of them were just not strong enough to make it through quarantine."
She did suggest clown pleco as substitute if your looking for a housekeeper.
she did mention clown plecos but I can't remember their max size, neons yes I believe so. Take a look at the article on Neons they aint exactly plain sailing either I don't want to put you off, i'm new to the hobby and believe me i'm going through all the same dilemas as you i've been spending hours researching so it works in the long run, hey there is plenty of time to weigh it all up whilst the tank cycles.
A clown pleco or a bristlenose pleco would be a good addition. I just got a long finned bn pleco for my tank and he is gorgeous. They both get about 4 inches long. I know that liveaquaria has pictures and this site may have pictures as well but I haven't looked.
I've heard different sources give different lengths for BN plecos. An aquarist told me they have seen them up to 8" before, but maybe that was a unique individual pleco? I don't want to get a fish that will outgrow my tank because you never know what can happen in life and 6 months down the road I might not be able to upgrade like I thought I would. I feel that I have a moral obligation toward the fish I will be keeping. I want to make sure whatever I get is as happy as a fish can be =) Thanks for the tips. I guess I'm going to b researching clown, and BN plecos, corys, and neons for the next few days =)
We just picked up a BN pleco for my daughters tank, and planning to get a clown pleco for my 29 gallon in a day or so. Both breeds will not exceed 5" so they are safe to get.
You could try something like 6 neons, 3 smaller corys(no more than 2" at adulthood) and a BN or clown pleco. From watching the corys at my new favorite LFS, they are pretty active, and run up and down the tank, similar to yoyo loaches and are amusing to watch. Those are juliI corys and grow to about 1.5" at adulthood. They are a rare find though, so if you do go the route of corys:
a) print out a list of corys with their lengths and eyeball them at the store
b) check teh store out and see what selection they have then come home and look up their sizes/diets/behavior patterns/water needs
c)whatever you do have fun!