11-22-2009, 11:02 AM
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First a comment or two on the Otocinclus. Always wait for the tank to become well established, and have green or brown algae present, before adding otos. Angel, otos will not touch hair algae; they only eat normal green and brown. While they will later feed on tablets (mine do constantly, down there with the corydoras) they do better at first if there is algae. They spend their entire day grazing for algae and if none is present when introduced to a new tank they frequently don't eat and die off quickly.
Otos go through considerable stress during capture and transport, and it is common to have entire shipments die within days as a result. When acquiring otos from a store, always ensure they have been in the store tank for at least a week, preferably longer, before buying, and then observe them carefully. Make sure they are active, eating and round in appearance. Be careful with water parameters that they are not subjected to drastic differences. Once they settle in, they are quite good; mine spawn regularly, I had three in my 90g and one day noticed there were five, two slightly smaller; obviously they had spawned. And they need to be in groups, minimum 3 or more with space (and algae).
On the fish in the new tank, if the tank is well-planted, add the fish. I have moved 95 fish into a newly set-up 115g the day after I planted it and there was no ammonia or nitrite detectable from the first. I did have plants and some wood from an existing tank, and there would have been bacteria on it to be sure; but years ago I had to disinfect and reset my 115g in one day and with it full of plants I did not lose one fish. I have never "cycled" new tanks because I always plant them heavy at first and the plants grab most of the ammonia. With inexperienced aquarists I would recommend going easy at first, but from what I've read of your posts I do not put you in that category, and you know what "well-planted" and healthy plants mean, so go for it. The only exception would be very sensitive species that need well-established tanks.