Oto the way to go?
Hi there. I'd like an algae eater for my community tank (inhabitants in siggy) and I'm wondering if an oto is the right one for me. Plecos get too big for my taste, and my tank, and I've read that otos only get to about 2" long. I feed my snail agae wafers anyway, so the oto wouldn't be hungry.
What do you think?
Actually they only grow to about 1.5" :-)
I don't see nothing wrong with the stock; but keep in mind Otos do better in groups and they don't do well in new set up's (I donno how long your tank's been running). And if you want it only to battle algae, bare in mind they don't touch all algae types.
Otherwise they're REAL cute buggers IMO.
I know you said pleco's get too big for your taste, but have you looked into Bristlenose plecos?
They're small by pleco standards (up to 5 inches, usually smaller)
and eat a wide variety of algae, including a few, like beard algae, that are hard to get rid of otherwise.
I've never been able to keep my ottos alive more than a month or two... I'd vote for BN pleco...
(It probably has an equal or smaller bioload when compared to the group of ottos you'd likely get)
They're also very peaceful, unlike the other plecos (when they grow up, that is)
-edit- If you want it to stay under 5 in, make sure the latin name is "Ancistrus temminckii", because there are a few different strains of BN... All stay under 8, but the one I mentioned is the smallest I believe.
They will also, occasionally, breed in a community tank. The babies will eat the same foods as the adult. Second thought... the snail might eat the eggs. :-/
So no NO peaks any more since then; if its all in check you should be good to go.
I'd get 5-6 of them based of their needs and your tank size (if you had a larger tank I'd say a few more).
It sounds like they have a high mortality rate, so do I get the 5 and expect some to die? Also, if by chance they get ich while in quarantine, do I us only half the reccomended dose of medication? Do the otos cound as "scaleless" fish?
They do; like I said when added to new tanks they don't handle this well at all.
If you tanks is long cycled and stable since then like you said no I wouldn't expect non to die.
If you'd get ich then yea I'd ony dose half, to me they fall in the same sensitive category then Tetra's.
I've kept Otto's in many of my tanks. In my exp. you should get a group and expect a couple to die. They seem to come in either HARDY or NOT HARDY. I even got some of mine to breed once by accident. Not knowing they were in a tank I was buying, I dropped the water level to an inch or less for transport. When I got it home and filled it back up, I found the little guys *delightful surprise* they produced several fry, which didn't make it very long *got eaten I suspect*
Otto's are great little critters if you can find a good local source for them. Angel is right though, you tank should be well established before adding them... they don't like seriously fluctuating water conditions all that well.
I ran down to my local petsmart only to find the shipment comes in tomorrow! I think I'm going to buy four of them and expect only one to live, they'll be way stressed out I'd imagine. Oh well, that's what receipts are for.
Your best bet then is to ask the store you call you right as THEY get them in and take them home; so you'd avoid the stress of the store putting them in their tank and then from there 1 day later to your tank - That would be a LOT stress on them done this way and a higher guarantee of them dieing on you.
Or if you don't wanna do that give them ~2weeks at the store and then take a handful home.
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