Why did my oto die? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-17-2013, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
Why did my oto die?

Hey. I bought an oto about 5 months ago. since the day I bought him he was pretty skinny, but I figure he did not just starve because he lived for so long. Anyway, I have 4 other otos that all gained weight rapidly and are now plump and active. So this one little sickly guy started to develop an overal sunken look. His tummy was flat but iit looked like the actual stomach was caved below the skin. His face/nose kind of dented in, and his eyes were tiny! There are always vegetables in my tank liike cucumber, carrotts, celery, algae wafers, spinach, you name it! It was so hard to get him to eat though.
i started to wonder if he was blind. His eyes were so small, and he didn't respond to light changes like the others. He would never run away from things coming towards him until it touched him. So, I started placing the food right next to him in the tank so he could find it easier. A few weeks ago he started brreathing super fast too. Eventually he got to the point that he wouldn't eat at all. The only way he would eat was if I nudged the food under him and very gently pressed his nose into it. Then he'd get all excited and suck on it for awhile. He didn't swim good either, he'd just drift around, and if he passed through the bubbles theye'd just push him up until he ran into a leaf. The day before he died he just lay on his side breathing hard.
RIP lil guy!
Any ideas what was wrong with him? He looked so helpless, yet lasted so long. I just want to know so no one else will suffer the same fate.
Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-18-2013, 08:15 AM
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Sounds like the fish was either blind (they do have sensory organs on the nose area) and/or had an intestinal issue. Otos are wild caught so it is likely the fish never adjusted to the stress of being caught, transported and living in captivity. Ideally, you would not want to purchase a fish with a sunken belly; tell the person netting the fish to avoid the fish with the sunken belly. I have had a fish store let me catch my own fish before.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-18-2013, 08:29 AM
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Agree with Thoth on all counts. I have also read that the survival rate for otos is somewhat below normal due to being wild caught and the need for proper established conditions from the very start.

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post #4 of 12 Old 01-19-2013, 02:49 PM
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I too agree with the previous posters. Otos that arrive nearly-starved often never recover, the damage is too far gone. And even the healthy ones should have natural algae (common green or the brown diatoms) in the tank they are first placed in or they may not survive.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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 12 Old 01-19-2013, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
Oh. It amazes me that he could survive for like 5months if he was in bad condition when I bought him. I couldn't really tell at the store if his stomach was sunken- the surface skin was flat and it's hard to do a close in-store inspection. The reason I liked that peticular one is because he had quite striking black color. However, now I think it's the darker ones that are unhealthy, cause my happiest otos are brownish- sometimes with an olive green tint. Am I correct about colors in corrolation to health?
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-20-2013, 07:38 AM
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Your Otos could be different species, dark more vibrant colors are usually associated with a fish being healthy. I have seen multiple times where a fish store has mutiple species of Oto's in the same tank an only listed as Otocinclus sp..
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-02-2013, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
Ahhhh! please help! my other oto just died too! This one I bought at the same time as the other who died. Both were dark colored and skinny. He died the same way- sunken eyes, caved belly, wont eat. This one however, I found dead before his body whited-out. I noticed that his belly was an odd greenish colour. What does that mean? Please help me!

"Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life
believing it is
stupid"
-Albert Einstein.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-03-2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squishylittlefishies View Post
Ahhhh! please help! my other oto just died too! This one I bought at the same time as the other who died. Both were dark colored and skinny. He died the same way- sunken eyes, caved belly, wont eat. This one however, I found dead before his body whited-out. I noticed that his belly was an odd greenish colour. What does that mean? Please help me!
It is often very difficult if not impossible to pin down the cause of a fish death. Particularly when it is just one fish, as opposed to multiple deaths at one time.

Otos are highly sensitive fish, as has been previously mentioned here. And as I have often said elsewhere, the negative effects of issues like capture, water parameters, environmental issues, etc may not be evident at the time, but not until weeks and months later when a fish "suddenly dies."

I have had five Otocinclus macrospilus in my 115g tank for 3+ years. About a month ago, three of the five died, within the space of perhaps 2 weeks. I've no idea why.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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 12 Old 02-03-2013, 01:06 PM
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Have you tested your water parameters? I suggest you run some and let us know the results.

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post #10 of 12 Old 02-04-2013, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
I don't know about water parameters right now, but I'm sure that's not the issue. It was only those two who showed any sighn of unhealth. My tank is established and all fish striving in health.
What I really want to know about is the green belly. That was what really scared me. It was freaky to roll him over and see that yucky green tummy contrasting against those naturally rosy gills. Any ideas what that may mean? It did not show up until he was dead- normal coloration while alive thanks so much!I'm going to the lfs soon to get three more otos. Any tips on picking out healthy ones? I usually try to get the active ones that are chasing eachother around at the front of tank.
Thanks!

"Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life
believing it is
stupid"
-Albert Einstein.
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