Are my Mollies going to starve my Oto Cats? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-01-2010, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
Question Are my Mollies going to starve my Oto Cats?

I just realized how "clean" my tank is since I got 4 mollies - all the fuzz is gone from the driftwood, etc.

Then I read up that Mollies are algae eaters, not I'm worried that my 4 otocinclus are going to starve!!!

Should I supplement with algae wafers?

I did try algae sheets but the fish just look at it then look at me with a wth expression, and leave it alone.

By the way - I have fallen in love with the Otocinclus they are currently my favorite fish in my 55g tank.
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-01-2010, 02:24 AM
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I might get the algae waffers just to be safe. In my experience mollies don't eat too much algae. Maybe the ottos just consumed it all? 4 fish living soley off of algae are going to consume most of it pretty quick. Dunno if the ottos eat other things?

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post #3 of 12 Old 03-01-2010, 02:32 AM
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I would definitely try supplementing with algae wafers.

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post #4 of 12 Old 03-01-2010, 09:17 AM
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In my experience, the mollies will find and eat the wafers before the ottos do. So you need to get something that will last long enough for the ottos to find it like zucchini perhaps.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-25-2010, 12:18 PM
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I've tried Algae wafers, but still had Oto's starve. I've also tried Zucchini and Cucumber and that did not seem to help either. I think this is due to the tank being a 29 high and having 4 oto's in the tank may be too many. I currently have one little guy left in a planted aquarium and hope that algae will build up again so that it doesn't starve. I keep putting wafers in hoping that it'll eat them. I've also tried cultivating algae in a glass and that may be something you can try. Use your current aquarium water to get the glass started.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-25-2010, 02:08 PM
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Different fish can behave differently, but in my experience otos will switch to prepared foods provided they are settled in the tank and not new introductions. I have five in my 115g presently, and every morning when I feed the fish flake and sinking tablet/pellet for the corys, whiptails, and headstander, the otos are all down near the substrate with the corys, ready and waiting, and readily eat from the tablets/pellets. There is simply not sufficient algae for them. I have found this always happens provided there was plenty of brown (diatoms) and/or green algae when they were first introduced so they can eat that while they are adjusting to the aquarium and feeding schedule.

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Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-26-2010, 08:58 AM
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That's good to keep in mind, when I got this batch of four they cleaned up the tank fast as well as the plants, but then died off. I am hoping the last guy will adjust and he appears to have a bit of a belly on him. How long did it take for your Oto's to settle in? I am hoping I can get some more, but I don't want any more to die since I like the fish so much. Thanks for the insight!
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-26-2010, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ITFishGuy View Post
That's good to keep in mind, when I got this batch of four they cleaned up the tank fast as well as the plants, but then died off. I am hoping the last guy will adjust and he appears to have a bit of a belly on him. How long did it take for your Oto's to settle in? I am hoping I can get some more, but I don't want any more to die since I like the fish so much. Thanks for the insight!
First, I never introduce otos to a new tank until there is significant algae, either green and/or brown. That enables them to settle in naturally with the food they want/need. Usually this would be 3 months after setup, and I would normally only get 3 at first. The reason I have five is that I had initially acquired 3 for one tank and then 2 for another slightly smaller tank, and after several months the tanks were moved to another room and re-aquascaped and all five went into the larger 115g as I have Farlowella in the 90g and they are equal to otos in dealing with common green and brown algae. They also, interestingly, acted the same; initially feeding on algae, as that diminished they went down with the corys and now also are on the substrate every morning waiting for the tablets; during the day they like the otos in the 115g spend their time browsing every available plant leaf and wood in the tank, though I doubt they get much in the way of algae.

If the tank is established, make sure there is a fair bit of common green algae (shouldn't see brown diatoms in established tanks, so it will presumably only be green). Introduce maybe 2 at a time and slowly build up the group over time.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-26-2010, 01:58 PM
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Ah, that's the kinda info I was looking for when I Googled about the little guys initially. That being said, I bought that group of 4 when I had so much brown algae it covered the plants and reduced their growth so I wanted something that would clean up the tank and the plants so our local fish store recommended them. I haven't noticed any brown diatoms, but have had to scrape plenty of green off. I don't think I'll be getting any more until I know this last little guy is doing well. Then I might add 1 more and at max 2. I also keep a bristlenose as well.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-26-2010, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ITFishGuy View Post
Ah, that's the kinda info I was looking for when I Googled about the little guys initially. That being said, I bought that group of 4 when I had so much brown algae it covered the plants and reduced their growth so I wanted something that would clean up the tank and the plants so our local fish store recommended them. I haven't noticed any brown diatoms, but have had to scrape plenty of green off. I don't think I'll be getting any more until I know this last little guy is doing well. Then I might add 1 more and at max 2. I also keep a bristlenose as well.
Otos are shoaling fish, just like corys, tetras, etc. One alone will manage for the present but another 2 would be fine for a total of 3 when the time is right. I had 3 a few years ago in my then 90g, and one day I noticed five, two were just a tad smaller. Obviously two of the three had spawned and two fry survived and grew without my knowing it. Even now, except in the morning during feeding, I may see one of the five in the 115g, but never all of them. Experts on finding obscure plant leaves to nibble algae from and rest on; and they do not light bright light, another reason they stay "hidden."

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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