Betta and otos - and stocking question - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Betta and otos - and stocking question

I currently have 1 male betta in a 10 gallon. I recently added 3 otos - would have prefered to add 5 but the pet store only had 3 in stock at the time and the one I went to yesterday had none. I plan on adding 2 more this week.
At first my betta (Sayid) flared at the otos and nipped at them a couple times but he seems to be tolerating them better now. Would adding 2 more be too much for a betta? I read that otos prefer groups of at least 5.
I checked on stocking (using a stocking calculater website) and it said that 1 betta and 5 otos in a 10g is 93% capacity. Does this sound right?

Also I have a 20g long with 10 female bettas (and currently 1 black mystery snail) in it. The calculator said I could safely add 5 otos to it as well. But it did say i should probably upgrade my filter.
Would 10 female bettas and 5 otos be overstocking? I plan on removing the snail once I can find it. LOL

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 03:23 PM
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Add more coverage for the 10 gallon and everyone should be fine.

What kind of filter do you have on the 20? mine is aquaclear 20-40.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 05:16 PM
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I have to respectfully disagree.

Otos are extremely sensitive fish, and unless you've got a load of natural algae growing along the walls of your tank, they will probably starve, as they are notoriously picky eaters, IME. They also require very established tanks due to their sensitivity to water quality.

As for the sorority, yes I would find that it is definitely overstocking unless you've got (again) a very established tank preferably with plants and possibly a filter to handle the extra capacity (2-3x).

Those calculators are pretty inaccurate, in my opinion.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 05:26 PM
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I agree with Bahamut. I had 3 otocinclus in a 30 gallon tank with plenty of soft brown algae to graze on. In around 2 weeks, they had stripped nearly all of the edible algae off the wood and tank walls.

I tried blanched cucumber, but they didn't really go for it. They now live over in my brother's tank as I didn't have one established enough for them to move to.

Otocinclus are sensitive, but once acclimatised are pretty hardy. I used to do regular cold water changes on mine and it never bothered them.

In the wild they would constantly graze on algae, which can be difficult to replicate in the aquarium. It's why a lot of them often get sick or die in the first few weeks of aquarium life. Most of them are half-starved and highly stressed because of the techniques used for capture and export.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 06:44 PM
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I had 5 otos in a 3 month old tank. they ate the algae covered walls within a week. after a few months, i now have 1 left.

otos will ONLY eat tank algae. theyr'e great for algae eating but once the supplys gone they will die of starvation

As for the sorority - yes that would be overstocked, and as stated, you shouldn't try ottos without a well established tank (at least a year old or more) and where you can have algae growing on the walls constantly.

Last edited by cajunamy; 04-03-2012 at 06:46 PM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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My sorority tank is constantly growing algae - I can't get rid of it. The left side wall is currently covered in it. I've added algae wafers to the tank that I have 3 otos in currently but I can't tell that they've gone near the wafer. they've just about cleaned up the surfaces that had algae on them before.
Why does the tank have to be established for a year?
Each tank has been running 3-4 months with plants.

My bettas: 6 boys and 8 sorority girls
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 07:40 PM
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Keep in mind otocinclus will only eat certain types of algae. I've found they much prefer the softer brown and green algae. They will not usually touch green spot or black beard/staghorn algae.

You can tell if they are eating enough by the size of their stomachs. A healthy oto should have a rounded, fuller-looking stomach.

I kept my otos in an uncycled tank and it didn't do them any harm. However, I was scrupulous with water changes and they were the only fish in the tank at the time. Otos can be sensitive to water conditions, and because most are in poor condition when purchased, it is advisable to put them in only an established, mature tank so as not to further cause them stress.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 08:12 PM
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Mjoy, thanks for asking. I was actually wondering about this as well.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 08:25 PM
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One of the reasons commonly given for their extreme sensitivity is the method used to catch them. They are really hard to breed in a tank, so most otos are wild-caught, using cyanide in the water to stun them. Unsurprisingly, they don't react too well and their immune systems are pretty knocked about for a while afterwards. An established tank helps them recover, because it provides optimum conditions. :)

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 12:41 AM
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daww poor things such a mean way lol.

I'll be having a tank in direct sun >.> if I'd want otos xD or with a UV light, and purposely finding plants with algae blooms on them :p ugh. lol.

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