Sudden behaviour change with ottos

HannahMB

Sudden change in Otto behaviour

I currently have a 10 gallon, planted tropical tank with 6 ottos and 3 adult platys (a few platy babies too). I’ve had the ottos for just over a month feeding them with algae wafers, cucumber and repashy gel mix (alternating feed and cutting down when there is lots of algae available for them). They have seemed very happy and active around the tank, eating well however in the last week they’ve become very nervous hiding most of the time. I always do a head count of all my fish every time I look into the tank to make sure everyone’s okay (a little compulsive I know) but with them hiding I’m struggling to find them all except when cleaning out.

Just wondered if anyone had any suggestions or have had the same behaviour changes with you ottos?

thanks for your help!
 

Noroomforshoe

Did you change anything? the light? the temp? Are the platiesBothering them? possibly because they are breeding or pregnant? did you check your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
Have you actualy seen the ottos eat the food?

If all seems well, it is likely that they are settling in and acting more normal now.
 

HannahMB

I haven’t changed anything, the water ammonia and nitrite levels have settled a bit better after a wobbly start. The platys leave them alone and often feed alongside the ottos on the algae gel, they don’t seem to mind and hold there own. They always come to the different food but much prefer the algae gel. They have always had good dark colour but seemed a bit pale today but I had been very hot today so I fear it got too warm for them, going to change the times the lights are on and turn the heater down a bit to try and stabilise the temp during the heat wave, did a large water change to slowly bring the temp down and have kept the lights off. I’ve made a fresh algae gel mix and they seem to be more active and feeding now so it may have been too much light I suppose.
Thanks for your help!
 

Aaronious

I have heard that if you're feeding well then sometimes they actually get used to wafers and pellets and whatever and stop eating as much algae. Which would then reduce their need to be jamming all over the tank.

That said, I have had this happen with Otos on multiple occasions; I don't really know why it's happening. Honestly, I could be over feeding a bit. Maybe enough for Otos to survive. But I don't think so, but I don't over feed.

And like you, I checked when I could to see as many as I could. Usually if I saw a handful, I would think, "that's a good start, I only have to find 3 more." And the search begins.
 

HannahMB

I have heard that if you're feeding well then sometimes they actually get used to wafers and pellets and whatever and stop eating as much algae. Which would then reduce their need to be jamming all over the tank.

That said, I have had this happen with Otos on multiple occasions; I don't really know why it's happening. Honestly, I could be over feeding a bit. Maybe enough for Otos to survive. But I don't think so, but I don't over feed.

And like you, I checked when I could to see as many as I could. Usually if I saw a handful, I would think, "that's a good start, I only have to find 3 more." And the search begins.
Thanks, that reassures me if yours go through these phases too
 

V1K

going to change the times the lights are on and turn the heater down a bit to try and stabilise the temp during the heat wave
You can unplug the heater and even take it out altogether for as long as you room temperature stays above their optimum temperature. So possibly for the whole summer. There's no reason to keep the heater plugged in.
 

HannahMB

You can unplug the heater and even take it out altogether for as long as you room temperature stays above their optimum temperature. So possibly for the whole summer. There's no reason to keep the heater plugged in.
Ah okay I hadn’t thought of that, I shall give it a go thanks
 

VSA

I have heard that if you're feeding well then sometimes they actually get used to wafers and pellets and whatever and stop eating as much algae. Which would then reduce their need to be jamming all over the tank.

That said, I have had this happen with Otos on multiple occasions; I don't really know why it's happening. Honestly, I could be over feeding a bit. Maybe enough for Otos to survive. But I don't think so, but I don't over feed.

And like you, I checked when I could to see as many as I could. Usually if I saw a handful, I would think, "that's a good start, I only have to find 3 more." And the search begins.

I have had the same thing happen to mine. Mine are however in with 10 Pygmeus Corys and they all seem to shoal together copy each other (e.g. every once in a while I will catch an oto sucking on glass and two or three corys trying to do the same). I managed to get my Otos to accept food and now they eat everything from baby brine shrimp, algae wafers, cory pellets, flakes, repashy and generally don’t come out during the day (neither do the corys).

I can only assume that otos get comfortable after a while and realise they don’t have to constantly look for food once they identify food as being given to them. The glass on my tank is clear so I’m guessing they are out and about at night.

I did lots of reading on these guys and spoke with some enthusiasts. The feedback generally was that this is normal as they have acclimated to tank life and also there is some debate on what is actual oto behaviour and diet and this may actually be ‘normal’.
 

Aaronious

I have had the same thing happen to mine. Mine are however in with 10 Pygmeus Corys and they all seem to shoal together copy each other
I actually had the same experience for a little bit. That tank was only set up with those particular inhabitants for a couple months though.
The feedback generally was that this is normal as they have acclimated to tank life and also there is some debate on what is actual oto behaviour and diet and this may actually be ‘normal’.
That is interesting. And good to hear as it always happens eventually with my Otos. They don't become recluses necessarily but they tend to move around a lot less and stay further in the background.
 

DoubleDutch

You can unplug the heater and even take it out altogether for as long as you room temperature stays above their optimum temperature. So possibly for the whole summer. There's no reason to keep the heater plugged in.
But if the water stays warmer than asked it won't turn on either. So what exactly is the use of unplugging and removing ?
Personally I think it maybe has to do with reaching maturity. A lot of fish have a behaviourchange when that happens.
 

V1K

But if the water stays warmer than asked it won't turn on either. So what exactly is the use of unplugging and removing ?
No risk of malfunction during that time. No gathering limescale. Less clutter in the tank.
 

DoubleDutch

No risk of malfunction during that time. No gathering limescale. Less clutter in the tank.
Ahh okay. Think the gathering of limescale only occures when the heater turns on to heat.

One thing makes unplugging worth it I think is that overnight the temp could drop under the heater's minimum (if the roomtemps drops under that) so it takes a bit more time to raise during the day.
 

HannahMB

I have had the same thing happen to mine. Mine are however in with 10 Pygmeus Corys and they all seem to shoal together copy each other (e.g. every once in a while I will catch an oto sucking on glass and two or three corys trying to do the same). I managed to get my Otos to accept food and now they eat everything from baby brine shrimp, algae wafers, cory pellets, flakes, repashy and generally don’t come out during the day (neither do the corys).

I can only assume that otos get comfortable after a while and realise they don’t have to constantly look for food once they identify food as being given to them. The glass on my tank is clear so I’m guessing they are out and about at night.

I did lots of reading on these guys and spoke with some enthusiasts. The feedback generally was that this is normal as they have acclimated to tank life and also there is some debate on what is actual oto behaviour and diet and this may actually be ‘normal’.
Thank you! That reassures me that they are fairly happy :)
 

TClare

And don't be too worried if you can't find all of them, they are very good at hiding...
 

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