Oto catfish may be breading? Please help only had them 3 days! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-05-2012, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Oto catfish may be breading? Please help only had them 3 days!

We have a brand new 200l tank (Cycled) and stocked it for the first time on Wednesday, this consisted of 12 neon tetra, 2 dwarf gourami and 3 Otos.
Today I tried to move one of the Otos into my Betta's little tank to try and keep the plant clean (my Betta is rather anti-social and ate the 3 neons I tried to put in with him before so I kept a close watch and had to removed the Oto after about 2 minutes )
Two of the larger Otos began chasing each other all over the place soon after (I dont know if one of them is the one I tried to move or not) they didnt make any effort to hide from one another even though there is plenty of space and hiding places.

I googled it because its stressing the Gourami out and it appears that its a breeding behavior and that its rare for them to breed?
I didnt even think they were fully grown as the fish you buy from stores are usually young and they are not 3.5cm long yet.
What do I do now? there is plenty of brown algae (diatoms) in there at the moment, should I supplement their diet? We plan on getting Cory Catfish in a few weeks so we will probably need to supplement then anyway.
What about any eggs or baby fish that come along? should we not put anymore fish in there for a while? Was really not expecting to face this problem so soon!

Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-06-2012, 08:15 AM
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Here is a video of Otos breeding.

You should be able to see that one of the otos will look pregnant. If you still think yours are breeding, you will not want to add any fish to the tank for a while. Wait until the babies hatch and are large enough so that they will not be eaten. Possibly two months? I have not breed otos but I have done several egg depositors. If possible you should move other fish out of the tank; I would move the gourami first. Neons in my experience are not very bright when it comes to eating eggs. I keep Neons in my Cory breeding tanks with no worries.

You should defiantly feed them sinking algae pellets, they will starve without them. Greens and cucumbers are also commonly used.l
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KellyL (10-07-2012)
post #3 of 5 Old 10-07-2012, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the video. I haven't noticed them actually breeding but then again I dont spend every minute watching them!! I have a small spare tank that I was planning on using as a short-stay hospital tank, its not really suitable for a 2month stay though.
If I move the pregnant Oto into the spare tank will she be ok on her own? and will the other two be alright? It says in the profile that they are shoaling fish and you should have atleast 3 (mine do not shoal and dont tend to interact with each other unless they are chasing each other around like crazy things!)
Or should I move all 3?

I will begin supplementing their diet, I was just letting them eat all the brown algae before I started!

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-07-2012, 07:06 PM
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This is probably perfectly normal behaviour, so I would not move anyone anywhere (thinking of the three otos I mean). Shoaling fish means they must be in a group. I have found 3-5 to be an ideal group size for otos, but I have had two together for some time (others died off over time). Fish need a shoal for various reasons, but with many species they have interactions within the group. Otos are actually very similar to corys in this regard, they will playfully chase one another, and no damage is ever done. I see this periodically, probably less because my group are in the 5-foot tank and they are farther apart most of the time, grazing leaves.

If they should spawn, something is likely to find and eat the eggs, or the fry if the eggs should hatch, if there are any other fish in the tank. I did have a spawning several years ago, though i was unaware of it until one day I noticed 5 "adult" otos in the tank which originally had been stocked with just 3, plus all the other fish; obviusly a couple eggs/fry survived down in the thick plants.


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 #5 of 5 Old 10-08-2012, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Byron! :)
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