Missing Otos... - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 17 Old 03-27-2011, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
20 is on the high end of safe

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-28-2011, 11:45 AM
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I think ottos are particularly sensitive, and maybe these ottos' immune systems were somehow compromised and affected by the nitrates more than the other fish.
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-30-2011, 04:49 PM
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1077 summarized the problems. Otos are wild caught, and like many catfish do not appreciate handling. They are very close to Corydoras in this respect, also their need for breathing air.

Otos get handled very roughly during capture. They have no food from that moment until they end up in the store tank, which can be weeks. So they arrive practically starved. They do not accept prepared foods at first, or at least the majority will not; if algae is not present in the store tank, they will be even weaker. Then you bring them home. If algae is not present in the tank--and this means common green or brown (diatoms) algae, as they will not eat any other--they usually starve to death. Once they eat algae and regain their strength, they do learn to feed from sinking foods. My five in my 115g tank come down with all the corys every day at feeding time.

Unless your water parameters are comparable to the stream they came from, this is another very major problem. A highly weakened, nearly-starved, fish now has to adjust its blood pH to something foreign to it. Plus the equally-critical issue of hardness for a very soft water fish. Many can't and die from this.

The fact that any live at all is a testament to their will to survive.

Otos are shoaling fish, and a single fish will have stress. Depending upon many other things and the individual fish, this may or may not cause health problems. They should always be acquired as a group of 3, although two is better than one. In a group they are again much more likely to make it.

As for the disappearance: once a fish dies, it will usually be quickly eaten by other fish in the tank. Catfish usually manage to get it first, being nocturnal and poking around into every nook and cranny. But any fish in the tank will, if it comes upon a dead fish, often make use of the food.

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 #14 of 17 Old 03-30-2011, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
Thanks 1077 & Byron, until this thread I wasnt directly aware that otos were almost all wild caught. Nice to know, and makes more sence regarding the high mortality rate when adding them.

So I was probably right then, the cories ate the bodies.

I knew not to add them without algae present in the tank, which is why I waited as long as I did before obtaining them. And I knew they were rather delicate, just didnt appreciate the state of fragileness they are in when bought, but I do now.

I have the two left in my smaller tank, it produces more algae than any tank ever!!! lol So between the 2 otos and the mystery snail, they are getting it under control somewhat now.

Anyways, my question is this...I want to start getting the otos to eat on algae discs because down the road when I upgrade the tank they are in they will either go into the 29 gallon (which has had its slight algae issue resolved) or they will go into the new tank I upgrade to from the 5 gallon (probably a 10 gal)... so yesterday I put in an algae disc and nothing. No one went near it. Is this because there is still so much algae in the tank for them? How can I go about training them to eat on the algae discs so that i can make sure they will eat later on if there isnt algae present in a future tank? Just keep giving them discs and hope they eat on them eventually? Even the snail didnt touch the disc...but attacked a sinking shrimp pellet the other day, but I know that is because the snail eats a larger variety of food and not just algae!

While I am thinking about it... Is it possible for a snail's teeth to scratch an acrylic tank wall while eating algae off of it? I am seeing tiny white marks in a trail that lead to the snail the other day, and the marks are still there, as if they are scratches. Just wondering if their tiny teeth were capable of doing that. I dont want to have one of the scratches end up in a leak...when I upgrade it will be to glass verses acrylic...I hate acrylic tanks!!! Only got it bc it was on sale when I was in the market for a 2nd tank.

Thanks all!!!

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-30-2011, 06:50 PM
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my otos like to eat zuchini and cucumber slices. and so do my cories and platies.
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-30-2011, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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my otos like to eat zuchini and cucumber slices. and so do my cories and platies.
Yeah, I have been meaning to try that. What about garden fresh spinach?

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-30-2011, 07:50 PM
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If the otos are getting all they want in the way of algae, they are unlikely to consider prepared foods. I found my Farlowella and Whiptail cats were the same. When first introduced, algae was present and they ate it. Then when they couldn't find any, they started browsing over the substrate, and came across the sinking foods for the corys. Bingo. Now all of them come down at feeding, expecting it.

I've managed to even get my Farlowella fry onto prepared sinking foods now. Having bottom feeders in the tank is obviously a help, as the food goes in for them regularly and the others just find it.

Spinach, blanched, is good for veggie eaters.

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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