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Old 03-24-2013, 12:44 AM   #1 
Xaltd1
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Ocellifer Cats and Bettas?

I bought 4 Ocellifer catfish for detritus cleaning (I know I will have to supplement). I've tried corys- they just don't live in my tank; the water is hard. The oto cat is the best algae eater, but they are too delicate and die in a heartbeat. (I still have 2 out of 5 I bought in Butch's tank.) I hear that the Ocellifer is a tough fish to kill, and don't get as large as the common plecos (which is what I wanted. The smallest plecos cost $$$!) I'll have to adopt these cats out if they get too big.
I added 1 cat to the 29-gal to see what would happen (They've been in QT for a week; I thought 1 would be a good test). I have noticed today that the girls were drawn to the back corner of the tank; to the point that one or two were obsessing about it. I was worried that I had another sick fish they were bullying- then I saw a dark brown tail flip- the Ocellifer had been hiding under the gravel there and the girls are too curious. I don't know they're intentions. I take some comfort in that the cat will come out after the girls are asleep.
I know these cats have a barb; can they injure my bettas? Or should I worry about my bettas killing him (and the others, if I introduce them)?
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:23 PM   #2 
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I am not sure why you bought a Synodontis cat for algae cleaning- especially a species that is more carnivorous than others.
"If they get too big..." They will. 4 fish that will hit 7.9" long over time, and grow pretty quickly in their first years.
If you want an algae eater, I would just get a lone BN pleco, much better suited to your tank. It's better to get something you can keep forever than to waste money on something you will have to get rid of in a year or two when it becomes a threat to your other fish.

Also yes, all catfish species possess barbs, I am not sure how your fish will treat them though..
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:07 PM   #3 
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I understand these cats aren't algae eaters; I was hoping they'd help w/ uneaten food.
To address algae, I've started a RCS farm. I have 30 juveniles; I hope to have a supply of adults to do battle on the algae. I also want to add more plants & MTS's.
The BN plecos I ordered were DOA. I'm gunshy- I don't want to kill anything else.
The information on the size of the Synodontis are ridiculously all over the board; from 6" to 19"! Mine are hardly 2" at this point. I'm prepared to offer them for sale & ship if necessary. A year from now, I may have a tank large enough for them all, or I may have what I have.
I have the time and money to persue this hobby. The only thing I can't control is my Ph (I can keep it stable). I am most concerned about not killing any more fish.
Bettas are remarkable- they have incredible curosity about whatever enters their realm. I watch them more than most people watch their fish; I can pull and QT if things get nasty.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:00 PM   #4 
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What you are reading can be correctly stated this way- 8" in captivity, up to 24" in the wild.
Definitely expect 8". Fish in the wild have much better living conditions, and once you start getting up into larger fish (especially bottom dwelling species) it is quite common for fish to not even reach half the size they do in the wild. In the wild they have better food, better water, more space, and who knows what else (it really isn't understood why this happens- some will believe fish have some way of sensing the size of their environment and growing to fit it- crazy revival of that old myth.)

I'm sure the bettas will get bored eventually. I'd move the others in as synos are shoaling fish.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:52 PM   #5 
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I have a lot to learn about other fish than bettas.
Unfortunately, on line there is too much contradictory information; and in-store there is an astounding lack of information, especially about non-specialty fish. I have seen a number of public areas w/ aquariums. They all seem to have a standard pleco that is 2 or 3x bigger than the tank will allow.
I just hope to keep these fish alive until I can re-home them or get a larger tank; it seems like I have a year or so to act, since they're quite small now.
I'm seeking the perfect compliment to our bettas, as so many of us are.
I want about 10 more of the little oto cats! Butch loves them so much...
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