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Old 04-15-2011, 01:14 AM   #1 
trono
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Otocinclus - Acclimating, feeding and general care

So, I've done a little bit of research about these little guys, but since many people on this forum are so knowledgeable about fish in general I wanted to get your opinions on the matter.

So, I have my VT betta in a recently cycled 10 gallon tank and he seems to lonely in there that I want to get him some nice small herbivores and felt that otocinclus' would be the best choice.

I know I need to have a few of them and was thinking about getting 5. I also know that they are very sensitive and many die in the first month because of how they are captured/cared for.

So, what do you guys think? I know that one Petsmart in my area carries them. I haven't gotten around to checking some of the locally owned pet stores. Is Petsmart a good place to get them? Should I try the local pet stores first or maybe aquabid?

Is there a good way to acclimate them other than the standard way?

I know that they will eat algae wafers, cucumbers, zucchini etc, how much and how often is a good amount to feed them? I also have read that blanching the fresh veggies is a good idea as well.

I think that about covers my questions. Anything else you can think of would be most appreciative. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:23 PM   #2 
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Ask the store how long they had them (petsmart/petco usually don't know), there is usually a die off of the weak ones during shipping. When you get to the store try to see if their tummys are fat and their color is dark. Make sure your tank is cycled and you have a lot of hiding spots and leafy decorations to eat off of. When introducing to your tank let the bag float and after a while mix your aquarium water with the bag water.

What I did on my otto's in the past was to float the bag for 30 minutes and poke a hole in the bag so that the waters mixed but not too fast. It is the lazy mans way, but what works for me may not work for you
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:28 PM   #3 
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You should wait until you have sufficient algae build up to get ottos. Many ottos won't eat wafers/pellets/whatever for the first few months. They are already hungry and won't last long in a bare tank. Personally, I would wait a few months.

What about cories?
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:44 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackisLost View Post
Ask the store how long they had them (petsmart/petco usually don't know), there is usually a die off of the weak ones during shipping. When you get to the store try to see if their tummys are fat and their color is dark. Make sure your tank is cycled and you have a lot of hiding spots and leafy decorations to eat off of. When introducing to your tank let the bag float and after a while mix your aquarium water with the bag water.

What I did on my otto's in the past was to float the bag for 30 minutes and poke a hole in the bag so that the waters mixed but not too fast. It is the lazy mans way, but what works for me may not work for you
So you think I should get some live plants? I've never been good with regular plants so I'm afraid to try live ones.

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You should wait until you have sufficient algae build up to get ottos. Many ottos won't eat wafers/pellets/whatever for the first few months. They are already hungry and won't last long in a bare tank. Personally, I would wait a few months.

What about cories?
Well, I'll be waiting until after the semester is over to get them. I'll stop cleaning the sides of the tank and see if a fair amount will build up. I also have a couple of marimo balls that may hinder the growth of algae. Sigh.

Cories, maybe. Is there a kind of cory that grows to 2 inches or less. The small size of the otos is what attracted me to them. According to the signs on the tanks at petsmart and petco the ones they have grow to 3 inches. I'll have to check out the local pet stores when I get a chance.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:47 PM   #5 
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Dwarf cories! There are three varieties… corydoras pygmaeus, corydoras habrosas, and corydoras hastatus.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:51 PM   #6 
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Dwarf cories! There are three varieties… corydoras pygmaeus, corydoras habrosas, and corydoras hastatus.
Yes, I don't believe my Petsmart and Petco carry those. I'll have to check out the LPS.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:24 AM   #7 
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Ottos are somewhat hard to take care of, when I first started aquariums about a decade ago I had many problems. Mostly because I started with a biocube 14 aquarium and the Otto fish will squeeze in the tightest spots and end up in my filter. I even had one enter from the outlet and clogged it and died. They are somewhat sensitive, and if you can make Otto fish last a year, I will immediately consider you an intermediate skilled aquarist.

Live plants is not a must with these, as I would assume more algae is able to grow on fake plants than real, fake plants might actually be better. Make sure you have large surface area plants real or fake. Make sure your ph level stays consistent, and temp is warm.

Edit: I meant to say I started with a 10 gallon and had no success. When I got better a few years later I got the biocube and still had problems. Now I enjoy shrimp, I find them easier than Otto but my betta might like baby shrimp too much

Last edited by JackisLost; 04-17-2011 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:53 AM   #8 
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Cories are generally easier, but they're carnivores, so if you're looking for something to eat algae, I'd go with a snail.

Dwarf and pygmy cories are the smallest. Panda cories are also small.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:07 AM   #9 
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It sounds like you might be better off starting with dwarf cories. Otos are very delicate and due require substantial algae growth and IMO they need live plants.

Dwarf cories are a lot of fun and not nearly as delicate. Unfortunately, not many LFS carry them so you might have to order some from aquabid.

-DM17
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:47 AM   #10 
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Well, I've been convinced to go with cories. I checked aquabid and the minimum amount for an order I saw was 10, which would be too many. I hope I can find some locally.

Also, I use gravel for a substrate which I read can be bad for them. Thoughts?
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