Originally Posted by Guber
Yeah and I know if algae supply becomes short they will eat fresh zuchini and possibly flake food right? Also I think i may be getting false ammonia readings because right after i did a water change it said i had .50...I read that using Prime may cause this? I do use prime to treat my water.
I'm not familiar with "Prime" but assuming it is a water conditioner I wouldn't expect it to increase the ammonia. Perhaps others have experience with this.
Otos will eat alternates to algae when hungry, but as they spend all their time grazing algae from the plants, wood, tank walls, etc, they'll feel pretty isolated without any algae. I've always managed to have enough algae to keep them busy, but I think others have said that they can waste away without it.
Your tank is a 20g, was running 1 month (fishless cycle), then just over a week since you added 5 cherry barbs. As long as you don't overfeed, the ammonia should be down now i think.