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Old 02-24-2013, 03:28 PM   #1 
Nicci Lu
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Question on Otos

So, I bought two otos last week to put in my ten gallon whose only other inhabitant is my male VT. The first 3-4 days, they were super active. The last few days, they mostly hide out. They change spots every now and then, but I never see them chasing each other anymore or dancing up and down the glass like they used to. I never see them eat, though they must be getting something because their bellies are round- not as round as they should be, though. My tank has a ton of diatoms, about the same amount as it did when I first put the otos in- my water has silicates. I've also been trying to supplement with veggies, to get them used to veggies in case I run out of diatoms/biofilm. BTW, the veggies haven't been very successful- no one touches the zucchini, and I've tried 3 slices so far; peas are a no go because my greedy goblin betta hoards them to himself like he's Smaug; the carrot was semi-successful in that one of my otos ate some.

The tank is heavily planted and has lots of hiding spots for the otos, but my betta likes to chase them. He doesn't try to nip them, and as soon as they stop swimming he loses interest, but when they're moving, so is he.

I'm worried that because they are only two, they are too intimidated by my betta and that is why they aren't active. Perhaps they are too intimidated to go out to eat as often as they should. I know that otos need groups to feel secure, but I originally only got two because I read that a 10 gallon will only have enough algae to feed two, and I figured that it would be better for them to have the majority of their diet come what they eat in the wild.

Finally getting to my question....does it sound like I should get more otos so my little guys have some security from my big guy? Would the otos be better off with a heavily supplemented diet and more security? Do you think my otos would start eating more if there were more of them?
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:51 PM   #2 
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How many hides do you have? This may help out a lot for the otos.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:14 PM   #3 
Nicci Lu
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How many hides do you have? This may help out a lot for the otos.
Enough that playing 'Find the Otos' can be a rather challenging game, lol.

Here's my setup:

Last edited by Nicci Lu; 02-24-2013 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Picture too ginormous
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:16 PM   #4 
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Really nice setup :o

So many hiding places I'm surprised he can find them so easily then. I'll step back so someone with more experience might be able to help =\ I'm not quite sure.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:12 PM   #5 
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They probably are eating, but from what I've read they really don't eat too much. If I were you I'd just keep supplementing them with different veggies and see what they like best. Do you Blanche them first?
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:55 PM   #6 
Nicci Lu
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Yes, I blanch them. Well, the second zucchini I tried blanching and then let it sit in water for a day before putting it the tank. It got stinky fungus after 12 hours in the tank- ugh! The third one, I tried just defrosting it from the freezer cuz it was already pretty soft.

I read so much conflicting stuff on oto behavior. I was worried cuz some people say that they're always eating. Perhaps I'm being paranoid on that score. Not sure if you can see their bellies too good- my camera stinks with closeups.



So, would you say that their inactivity is normal for their environment, or is it indicative that they are miserable? Nighttime doesn't seem to be much change in their behavior, but who knows what happens when all the lights are out and everyone's in bed.

EDIT: Sorry about the ginormous pictures, can't seem to get them to stay small.

Last edited by Nicci Lu; 02-24-2013 at 07:04 PM. Reason: ginormous pictures
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:08 PM   #7 
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My oto's don't really get too active either. The first few days they were when they were searching for a good place to hang out, but now all they do is perch on my swords or java fern leaves

Wouldn't worry too much
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:14 PM   #8 
Nicci Lu
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Okay, cool, thanks. I'm just hoping I can get these guys through that tough first month.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:33 PM   #9 
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Is your tank established?

Also, you might want to atleast add 1 more preferrably 3 to your clan. They are schooling fish and need friends
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:27 PM   #10 
Nicci Lu
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Originally Posted by aemaki09 View Post
Also, you might want to atleast add 1 more preferrably 3 to your clan. They are schooling fish and need friends
LOL. That's what I was asking, if I should get more so they're more comfortable. I just took awhile to get to the question. :) I got two because I'd read that 10 gallons only has enough algae to feed two otos, but I was wondering if it would be better to supplement their diet so they can have more friends.

The tank isn't cycled yet. I'm about a month and a half in to the tank running so it should be done soon. I know it isn't recommended to cycle with these guys, but I'm really careful about checking water params every day and doing water changes twice weekly (one 50% one 40%, once with a gravel vac). My water params are a constant .25 ammonia/ 0 nitrites/ 10 nitrates. The ammonia is .25 from my tap, but I dose daily with Prime to detox it. My filter has a medium flow so the water is oxygenated and there's lots of yummy diatoms.

Do you think I should wait till the tank's cycled before adding more? My betta's still the king, but I want the little guys to be happy, too.
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