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so long as your prospective otto is compatible with whatever other fish you have in the tank, (other fish won't pick on the otto, ... then treat it like any other fish as far as maintenance goes
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
so long as your prospective otto is compatible with whatever other fish you have in the tank, (other fish won't pick on the otto, ... then treat it like any other fish as far as maintenance goes
Yes, this otto is compatible with my other fish. I should get another otto, as I only have one. As soon as I put him in, he darted right to the algae! He is so tiny that I hope he doesn't become swordtail food. Right now my swordtail doesn't know what to think.
 

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what i've seen/heard of community they're usually happiest with 3+ as a minimum, some want 5+
the otto i'm not sure about by hand, but unless your tank is swimming with 20 of them or more, it can't hurt to have several :)
 

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community fish are less concerned about other fish species, ... would be like you or i on a farm with lots of horses, ... sure, there would be lots of horses around us, but we'd still be lonely

other fish will fight to the death to be the only one left and enjoy being the only one of their species

some are fine solo and don't care about other fish species, some are solo and don't want any other fish at all around them.

how many otto's do you have ?
have you looked up how many ottos it takes for them to be comfortable & happy ?

don't mean to link to other forum sites, but found this
Keeping Otocinclus catfish in the aquarium | Features | Practical Fishkeeping
"Otocinclus naturally occur in large shoals and are quite sociable, so if you want to try them go for at least six — or more if you have the space and algal growth."

i could guess a smaller tank (10 gallons) 6 of these may be pushing the limits of what you want in the tank
i could guess half of this 3 might push the ottos social limits but could be a very minimum number. if you can do 6 or more, by all means, your fish will love you for it., ... just make sure your tank can handle the bio-load

maybe this is what your mom is concerned about ensuring you have enough of these guys they live happy instead of lonely
 

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then get plants
the ultimate lazy route

when the plants are large enough, they will have roots through the gravel - cleaning the gravel then (actually sand would be prefered) will be full of roots hungry for all the nutrients most people vacuum out of your tank

with plants, water changes also become largely optional as they will gobble up nitrates

extra oxygen for your fish, ... healthier all around.

definitely the ultimate lazy route, ... if your mom can understand this i'm sure she'll love the idea as well :) ... some stick with vacuuming and water changes because they think they have to and never question why.

plants are great :)
 

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you should always quarantine new fish for at least 2 weeks. i prefer to go 4 weeks in qt. never add fish store water to your tank.otos are sensitive fish.they should be kept in mature tanks. i would wait a bit before introducing more fish to this tank. make sure you get a quarantine tank set up, then think about more fish. you may have introduced parasites into your tank. only time will tell. good luck.
 

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in addendum to what i just wrote.

i would get a liquid test kit and a qt set up before you get anymore fish.
in regards to the plants.i disagree with this being the ultimate easy/lazy way.planted tanks are hard work to get them right.to have a planted tank that does not require any vacuuming is a balancing act. first you need to decide what kind of planted tank you want. from low tech-low light to high tech-high light, there is quite a range. then you will need to research plants and their requirements.substrate,light,fertilizers,temp,co2 usage and ph are all factors.if you do not get this right you will have plants dying off,leaving you with ammonia spikes or a huge algae problem.80%of your plants will need to be fast growing stem plants.these are needed to use up the chemicals in your water column.the tank will need to be heavily planted,as in only 20% or less of your gravel will still be exposed.you also need to balance the plant uptake with the bioload of your inhabitants.do not forget about the constant trimming and replanting.there are a lot of things to consider. this will not be cheap either. i do not like vacuuming the gravel/sand either. some of the species i have require that i do this,ie.goldfish. if your mom is unwilling to do this, you may have to step up and help her. in a closed system,you are the only thing keeping these fish alive. so you can see that it is much more than getting a handful of plants and tossing them in the tank.
 

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Ive learned that ottos are VERY sensitive to poor water quality and can potentially starve to death without a constant amount of algae to graze on. Be sure your tank can support 1 otto let alone multiple as those little guys algae eating machines! I hope your mom doesnt assume that adding the otto negates vacuuming the gravel (which should be done regardless) as they dont "clean up" like say Cory cats do. However ottos do prefer live plants so that may be the way to go.
 

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I feel like what Im about to say is contradicting to everyone else XD I have 1 Otto in a 20 gallon, with mostly bottom feeders int here, those being African dwarf frogs, plattys, 5 Cory catfish, a mystery snail, and he has been alive for years. He used to live in my old 10 gallon too. He swims and sucks and all. I've never really done anything special for him.. I guess I give all the bottom feeders algae wafers and shrimp pellets though.


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