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Molver 05-25-2014 12:02 AM

Taking care of new Otocinclus

I just got a new otocinclus today , and I'm wondering what I should be doing to keep him happy.

I have a 20 gallon tank with aquarium salt in it. I had brown algae developing on the glass before, but I cleaned it out and turned down the amount of time I kept lights on. This was before I planned on getting an oto.

I plan on keeping my lights on more often now so that algae can start growing again.

I have several questions though. Will keeping the lights on be enough? I normally feed all my fish Omega One Veggie Rounds every 2-3 days. Will I need to adjust that? I also feed all my fish peas every 4 days or so. Is there anything else I need to do?

I also know oto diets should be supplemented with vegetables like zuchinni and lettuce, but how do I do that? How do I get my oto to notice food? I put in a blanched pea today, but my mollies and swordtails jumped right at it while the oto didn't even notice it.

I got mixed messages from websites and pet stores about keeping otos in schools. Some websites say otos don't care about schooling, other websites say they prefer to be in groups of 3 or more.

Is it essential that I get more otos? I'm not sure about getting more because I'm worried whether more than one oto will have enough to graze on in my small tank.


How will I know if my oto is happy/healthy? I know it should have a full, round belly, and it does. I also know it should be pooping most of the time, which it is.

I know I'm asking for a lot of info. I have a general idea of how to take care of them. But I just want to be totally prepared.


Thoth 05-25-2014 02:33 PM

Too funny, I just bought a group of Otos myself. I have them in a 20L and they cleaned all of the algae in the tank during the first night. I woke up, took a look in the tank to see if they all survived the first 24 hours; there was pooh everywhere. Otos are most likely wild caught and will need to be weened on wafers and blanched veggies. Put cut zucchini, squash or cucumber in boiling water for 30 seconds or microwave in water for a couple minutes. I would try this over the pea as the livebearer fish will dominate a pea, due to its small size, leaving little opportunity for the Oto to recognize it as food.

This is the first time I have had more than one and they are quite social. They swim together and feed near one another. I have had them as an individual in the past and they seem like a total different fish in a group.

Active, full belly, pooping and no fin or body damage is what I would use to see if they are health.

Molver 05-25-2014 03:59 PM

Thank you!

That really helped me understand how I should care for it.

Otos are really hard to get a hold of in my area, but I'll try and get two more.

In addition to the vegetables, will the Omega One Veggie rounds suffice as algae wafers?

Thoth 05-25-2014 05:17 PM

They should do fine. Try not to leave them in the tank for more than a couple hours as they can pollute your water quicker than veggies.

FrightyDog 05-25-2014 07:56 PM

^i agree. they do everything together in my tank. always pooping, always full. i havent supplemented them yet, but they seem all alright.

Agent13 05-29-2014 11:40 AM

Really you may want to cultivate algae once you run out.. They rarely if ever wean to prepared foods.. I have some in my 55 and I have to "borrow" plants from my 75g where the guarami have floated plants directly under the light and then grew algae. They haven't cared for any other type food I've ever put in there .. had them maybe 8 months.. I'm not only talking from personal experience however .

Thoth 05-29-2014 05:01 PM

I have read/heard that and experienced them not taking to other foods past but it may have something to do with stock. I bought 9 last week and they have all taken to wafers and zucchini. I was not looking to buy them but I couldn't resist them as they were the best looking Otos I have ever seen.

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