Oto disappeared... would the other fish have eaten him? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-25-2011, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Oto disappeared... would the other fish have eaten him?

One of my otos has mysteriously disappeared from my tank at work. I have removed every decoration and sifted through the gravel. I have also checked inside the filter. I have looked all over the floor around the tank (do otos even jump?). Would the other fish have eaten the corpse if it died over the weekend? I noticed he was missing on Monday, but assumed he was hiding... this morning is when I destroyed the tank looking for him, still to no avail.

Tank mates are guppies, platies, neons, and one more oto (I had three, but one died last week - body was found - and then this one disappeared).
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-25-2011, 06:57 PM
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Could he have been a jumper? It is amazing how little of a space the biggest fish can squeeze through! Can you look underneath or behind the tank? I am sorry for your loss ~

I had a friend once on my discus site, that would put suran wrap over the little openings. Worked great!

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-25-2011, 07:50 PM
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A dead fish will disappear very fast in a tank with fish and bacteria, within a couple days. The only dead fish I ever find are those that end up floating when they first die; if they die down among the plants, I never see them.

If this is the second of three that has recently died, it may be the environment. Is there algae (common green or diatoms only) for them? And was the tank new or established? Otos are wild caught, and usually arrive nearly starved at the stores. If introduced to a tank with common green algae or diatoms (brown), they usually will settle in and survive; once settled, they will learn to eat prepared foods, sinking foods like catfish and loaches need works. But initially I and many others find they must have algae. It is their natural food, and being almost starved they do not seem to have the time learning about prepared foods.

Byron.

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 #4 of 11 Old 01-25-2011, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetPoison View Post
Could he have been a jumper? It is amazing how little of a space the biggest fish can squeeze through! Can you look underneath or behind the tank? I am sorry for your loss ~

I had a friend once on my discus site, that would put suran wrap over the little openings. Worked great!

The tank sits on a filing cabinet, so there's no way he could be underneath... I have looked all around the filing cabinet and found nothing. :(
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-25-2011, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
A dead fish will disappear very fast in a tank with fish and bacteria, within a couple days. The only dead fish I ever find are those that end up floating when they first die; if they die down among the plants, I never see them.

If this is the second of three that has recently died, it may be the environment. Is there algae (common green or diatoms only) for them? And was the tank new or established? Otos are wild caught, and usually arrive nearly starved at the stores. If introduced to a tank with common green algae or diatoms (brown), they usually will settle in and survive; once settled, they will learn to eat prepared foods, sinking foods like catfish and loaches need works. But initially I and many others find they must have algae. It is their natural food, and being almost starved they do not seem to have the time learning about prepared foods.

Byron.
Ah, maybe the corpse has simply decomposed then if it only takes a matter of days. I know both otos were alive on Friday, and then yesterday when I got back to work I could only see one in the tank, but thought perhaps the other one was just hiding extremely well... I really only tore the tank apart today. So, the body would have had 3 days to disappear.

The tank is well established. It has been up and running since June 2010. There is a good amount of algae but I'm not sure how to tell the difference between different types... one is light green/brownish and looks like tiny fuzzy specks all over the back wall of the tank. I have observed the otos picking at it and skimming up and down over the surface of it. The other type of algae that I've seen in that tank is a dark green fuzzier type... it is on a few of my decorations and looks like an adolescent boy's pathetic first attempt at a mustache.

Also I should mention that about 2 months after i set up the tank, I housed a friend's oto in it while he was on vacation for just over a month, and it never died. My three otos were purchased fairly recently... I have a terrible concept of time when I don't have some sort of reference point... but I think it's only been a few weeks maybe.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-25-2011, 11:06 PM
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I started out with 2 and found one of mine in the filter under the foam pad :( a week after I got him.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-25-2011, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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I started out with 2 and found one of mine in the filter under the foam pad :( a week after I got him.

Awww, that's too bad. I had a terrible mishap this weekend with my honey gourami getting inside the filter... so that was one of the first places I looked this time. But no sign of him there.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-26-2011, 01:12 PM
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Ah, maybe the corpse has simply decomposed then if it only takes a matter of days. I know both otos were alive on Friday, and then yesterday when I got back to work I could only see one in the tank, but thought perhaps the other one was just hiding extremely well... I really only tore the tank apart today. So, the body would have had 3 days to disappear.

The tank is well established. It has been up and running since June 2010. There is a good amount of algae but I'm not sure how to tell the difference between different types... one is light green/brownish and looks like tiny fuzzy specks all over the back wall of the tank. I have observed the otos picking at it and skimming up and down over the surface of it. The other type of algae that I've seen in that tank is a dark green fuzzier type... it is on a few of my decorations and looks like an adolescent boy's pathetic first attempt at a mustache.

Also I should mention that about 2 months after i set up the tank, I housed a friend's oto in it while he was on vacation for just over a month, and it never died. My three otos were purchased fairly recently... I have a terrible concept of time when I don't have some sort of reference point... but I think it's only been a few weeks maybe.
With only one oto left, a couple more would be good; they are shoaling fish and like company, 3 is fine. As for algae, they will only eat common green algae [not the busy stuff or the dots] and diatoms (brown algae). If either is present, adding new otos should be safe, for reasons explained previously. Many experience high oto losses initially, it depends upon the condition of the fish and we normally don't know their history but can assume the worst.

My otos, like my Farlowella, have learned to eat sinking foods and now readily do; in fact, they are down with the corys every morning in anticipation. But this took a few weeks during which algae was their only food source.

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 11 Old 01-26-2011, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
With only one oto left, a couple more would be good; they are shoaling fish and like company, 3 is fine. As for algae, they will only eat common green algae [not the busy stuff or the dots] and diatoms (brown algae). If either is present, adding new otos should be safe, for reasons explained previously. Many experience high oto losses initially, it depends upon the condition of the fish and we normally don't know their history but can assume the worst.

My otos, like my Farlowella, have learned to eat sinking foods and now readily do; in fact, they are down with the corys every morning in anticipation. But this took a few weeks during which algae was their only food source.

I have a new tank so I was trying to limit how many I have until I see more algae growing. I have the algae tab's that I have tried. My Guppies and Cherry Barbs tear it apart and he never gets to it. Never seems interested in it either.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-28-2011, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Ok. So. I felt sorry for my lone oto, so yesterday I went and bought 2 more. This morning I was looking... and one has disappeared. What the heck?!?!?!
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