First time... oto - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-04-2008, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
First time... oto

I recently purchased 2 otos on Monday. Its now Friday and their still alive and look like their doing well. I heard they will often die randomly during the first month for unknown reasons. I also read that they need constant feeding of algae or zuchini. They nearly ate all the brown algae in the tank. I placed two pieces if zuchini in and (once they finally found it) they lached onto it and i guess they were eating it. But, It looks like the zuchini leaves a mess in the tank. My betta also eats it. Any suggestion of what i should be careful of with otos? Im getting another next week. THANK YOU

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post #2 of 14 Old 07-04-2008, 01:56 PM
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Hmmm... I would suggest waiting at least two or three weeks before getting another one, just so that your current Otos can get used to their new home better and for your aquarium to settle. Getting too many fish at one time (or, in your case, frequent intervals) can spike the ammonia in your tank and kill off all of them.

Would you really want to risk it?
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-05-2008, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
your right, i just thought it would be okay because previous to that, I had a platy in there. Anything else i could feed them besides zuchini? because the zuchini severely clouds the water and created alot of debri

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post #4 of 14 Old 07-05-2008, 01:20 PM
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You can always drop in algae wafers. They sell those at the pet store for algae eaters and bottom feeders.

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post #5 of 14 Old 07-05-2008, 03:13 PM
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You can certainly try the wafers, but the Otos I've had never touched them. They seemed much more interested in algae and the greens I gave them (spinach and romaine lettuce mostly). I've had four Otos. Three died within the first month as you described, but one lasted about three months before calling it quits. I never noticed any disease with them and they were all drip acclimated and added to a mature tank with perfect water parameters and decent algae growth.

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post #6 of 14 Old 07-05-2008, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Blaxicanlatino
your right, i just thought it would be okay because previous to that, I had a platy in there.
I'm not saying that you hadn't cycled your tank before hand, but you mentioned before that otos have a habit of dying mysteriously during the first month, so I would advise you to wait a while before getting another one. Introduce your fish to your aquarium slowly and the both of you will be much, much happier.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-05-2008, 04:32 PM
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I purchased six otos last year. sadly, only four remain. Much of the problem with otos in my view, is the fact that many are starved or in poor health when they arrive at pet stores. A healthy oto's belly should resemble the end of a Qtip. I Also believe they adapt better to a mature tank as opposed to a new or recently cycled tank. That is not to say that they won't do well in newer tank many do. Their primary diet is algae therefore I believe one should leave the back glass in the tank undisturbed so as to provide them with as much algae as is possible. Many people clean their tanks in excess for they are more interested in what is pleasing to their eye than the welfare of their fish. Otos will take vegetables and I have had some success with dried Marine algae as well. They will also appreciate a planted aquarium. They will feed on dying leaves but do little damage to the plants. If I were to purchase otos I would look for specimens that were fat and have been in dealers tank for at least two weeks. This would no doubt take an agreement between the customer and the dealer as most dealers would not hold them if someone wishes to puchase them. Or you could order them online which is more expensive but less acclimation stress on fish which may increase their chances of longterm survival. In closing I would add that otos don't tolerate sudden changes in water temp. or chemistry and weekly water changes with new water of same temp or close to it as you can get are mandatory. Hope some of this proves helpful. :D

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-06-2008, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
im never going to use zuchini again. Theres so much debri in the tank now, im thinkin about doing another water change. I think otos are best suited for a mature tank because I read that they are sensitive to ammonia. The ones I got have gotten much bigger than when I got them. They dont bite do they because I noticed my bettas fins becoming torn... I havent found any strips of fins yet in the tank...

I like the otos so far. They have done a great job in keeping the brown algae down and they like to follow each other around and they have hair on their bodies which looks like real oto cats 8)

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post #9 of 14 Old 07-06-2008, 09:35 AM
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You're only supposed to leave the zucchini in the tank for 12 hours or so. Remove it before it gets all gunky and you won't have that problem. Also, the zucchini shouldn't be cooked. You can blanch it if you want, but I always just feed mine raw.
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-06-2008, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
oh... 0_0 I thought blanched meant to cook... so thats why.... ewwww. So what does blach mean?

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