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La Reina 03-01-2010 10:10 PM

Otos getting enough to eat?
Hi there. Last week I brought home some otoclinius catfish, two of the four survived, and now I'm wondering if they're getting enough to eat in my tank.

There is quite a bit of algae growth for them in my tank, as I only scrape one side and don't scrape any of my ornaments or plastic plants. There's some brown scummy algae, some fuzzy dark green algae (hair?) and some brighter green algae that looks kind of like felt.

I feed my snail and platies an algae wafer every night.

I'm asking because I never see them grazing, just hanging out in one corner not moving. I know they're not very flashy fish, but I think they're quite cute and want to take good care of them. The two otos do not look skinny or ill, but not fat either.

Does it sound like they're doing ok?

Angel079 03-02-2010 09:23 AM

I doubt they passed due to lack of food. Oto's are SUPERST sensitive to changing water para's; may the be the KH/pH between the store and your tank or may that be any slight readings for NO's . With them guys you're really best up if adding them to tanks that are 1yrs+ old and the acclimate them VERY VERY slowly when you bring them home or ideally find a place to get them at that's as close to your tank parameters as possible.

Byron 03-02-2010 02:47 PM

As Natalie mentioned, otos are very sensitive to water conditions in several ways. But food is also an issue, as they usually arrive in the store almost starved.

Algae must be present in the tank when they are introduced, and they are fussy over what algae. Brown (diatoms) they devour, and common green also. They will not touch hair or brush algae, nor cyanobacteria (not a true algae as you may know). If the common green or brown is available when they are introduced, and assuming they are not too far gone already, they will be OK.

As they consume the algae and it is depleted, they usually (in my experience) turn to vegetable foods like algae and spirulina wafers and tablets. I feed these every day for the Corydoras, whiptails and Farlowella and I always see the five otos in the 115g lined up with the Corys in anticipation. They still spend all day grazing leaves, but I suspect not finding much edible algae, but the prepared foods keep them robust and they frequently spawn. Others have mentioned feeding spinach, lettuce, cucumber but I've never gone this route.


Angel079 03-02-2010 03:28 PM


Originally Posted by Byron (Post 336294)
......cucumber but I've never gone this route..

I never tried a variety of vegetables on them but they sure go after cucumber and squished pea's QUICK:-D

La Reina 03-02-2010 07:23 PM

Thankyou for your replies!

They seem to be ok so far, I think the other two died due to fast acclimation. I just made the sure the temperature the same and turned them loose. Oops. :oops:

Angel079 03-02-2010 09:24 PM

Yea I can see that happening with that sorta "acclimation" process there; toss in a few degrees difference between the store and your home and you're up for trouble with them guys. Just see how your 2 develop over time now and then see if you wanna try get 2 more (drip acclimation then please :-) )later down the Rd.

eileen 03-02-2010 09:39 PM

Sorry to hear about your fish loss. I had Oto's before and mine passed away really quick also. I gave up on them as they are very sensitive to water changes. I now have Bushy nosed plecos or sometimes called bristlenosed plecos in all my tanks and they do an excellant job on cleaning my tanks of algae and they stay small in size 4" at most. I hope that your 2 other Oto's survive but if not maybe consider getting a bushy nosed pleco.

PaperclipGirl 03-03-2010 01:05 AM

I bought 5 for my 55g tank as I heard they were sensitive and if they make through the first few weeks they will last a long time. (I also bought them from a supermarket that shouldn't sell fish, but I got them the day after the new shipment in hopes that they were not sick from the supermarket water) So I bought them with the expectation that at least 3 might die.

The first week I didn't see them do much more than settle on the bottom, and several times I thought they were dead and got the net out to get them, only to have them swim off. I though they were sick for a long time too, and I never saw more than two and I didn't see them eating so I though the others were dead and the rest dying.

I swaped out a decoration and added driftwood to my tank and suddenly I see 4 on a regular basis, and they are happy healthy and playful (never did find the 5th one!)

A month later I still have 4 otos and I worry they might not have enough to eat either. I do add algae wafers now, but I have never seen them eat them - but they LOVE my driftwood.

Right now, they are my favorite fish in my 55 gallon even over the angelfish!

La Reina 03-03-2010 08:12 AM


I hadn't seen my otos all day yesterday, so I did a tank cleaning water change and din't see them anywhere, alive or dead.

My danios have fat bellies, and my mystery snail is so fat he can't crawl all the way into is shell. I think they're all ful of catfish. :evil: :cry:

Angel079 03-03-2010 08:22 AM

Oh no! Are you sure...maybe they been hiding under some wood or plants to 'run away' while you were cleaning?

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