Otocinclus too shy..unlike petstore!!
My first post in this forum. :)
Got 2 otos in my 10gallon cycled tank, with 2 cardinals, 2 neons, 2 ghost shrimps.
Ammonia and nitrite levels are well in control, and i do 15% water change once a week. Heater keeps it around 75 F. Live plants (wisteria and micro swords), on gravel bed. Lighted for about 7 hours. Otos seems to be feeding right, convex bellied, appreciate occasional algae wafers. Community is healthy and disease free. Now about 2 months running.
I had added half table spoon salt initially, but not adding them any more with water change to dilute the concentration for otos.
My Q is:
Unlike the otos in petstore and youtube, my otos don't jump around infront of the tank. THey are far too sober, and prefers hiding behing the leaves, or under the bridge, and comes out when its dark just doing their feeding job. But moment i come even near the fish tank or try to watch them, they panic and hide. Yes, i look like a barracuda, but is that the only reason or did i really get a shy pair? are they going to change? can i make friends with them?
I have found that aquariums that see little foot traffic in front of the tank, that fish are more shy than say a tank where people often enter the room . Perhaps this is something to consider?.
I found my male swims around the tank far more then the female. she seems to have found a spot she likes and sticks to it anytime we are around. I think it's temperment of each one.
I have five Otocinclus affinis in my 115g, I've had them for more than a year; except at feeding time in the morning, I never see all of them, rarely will I spot 2 or maybe 3 during the day. Their nature is to remain on surfaces grazing algae, and in planted tanks they are constantly on the plant leaves. If they are moving I can sometimes spot them, if resting hardly ever. They have frequently spawned, and once fry actually managed to survive in a community tank.
They appear at the front at feeding time when the pellets/tablets/wafers are put in daily for the bottom feeders, and they eagerly feed from any of these. There is insufficient algae in the aquarium to satisfy them. Once acclimated, they will readily eat prepared foods that sink.
You mentioned salt but I'm happy to see that you no longer use it. Soft acidic water fish are very sensitive to salt, some moreso than others. Salt should never be added to a freshwater aquarium except for medicinal reasons (to cure something specific) and then with caution depending upon the fish species. I can give you plenty of authorities on this opinion. Salt will cause internal issues long-term in many of these soft water fish, and it affects their immune systems through stress. And otocinclus are one such highly sensitive fish genus. As are cardinals. And speaking of these and neons, you need to get a few more; a group of at least 6 of each will ease their stress considerably. All characins are shoaling fish that naturally prefer to be in a group of their own species, and will be under stress if not.
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