I wish I could have those cute little guys in my tanks, but alas, they're unfiltered NPTs. I'm assuming they need water circulation, and that their requirements are not limited to good water quality, is that correct?
I'll have to live vicariously through the people in this thread. :P
Otos, 'they" say, are river fish & "need" a swift current. HHmm... they seem to be OK in my 29 gal! I have the filter baffled & directed toward the back of the tank. The bettas can avoid it, but it's there for the otos- eventually they ate the algae off the back of the filter outtake. The intake & thermometer is another matter!
I've only lost 1 out of 14 otos this week; I'm thrilled. I'm convinced they need lots of company & areas to swim.
This morning I saw 3 dead otos under the glob of decayed seaweed sheet I put out the night before.
Sigh; I got out my 12" pinchers & a cup to dump them in... but wait! Where are the dead otos???
It turns out that the little cats were feeding UNDER a sheet of algae! When I put my pinchers into the water, they shot to the other side of the tank!
I tested my water; the nitrates are up a bit: maybe due to algea sheets?
I removed the algae, vacuumed the gravel & did a 1/4 PWC.
Live and learn; how can I keep the otos happy w/o driving the nitrates too high?
Yes; they are TINY fish, though; none even close to 2". I honestly thought 1/2 would be dead by now! So far, I've only lost 1.
I tested agin later; my nitrites are 0ppm but nitrate was up 5.0ppm.
I changed another 5 or so gal of water, and changed the charcoal part of my 3-stage filter (the sponge needs changing, the other part was changed last week- you can't change all 3 at once, according to the filter directions). I added a bit of "Nite-Out" & "Microbe-Lift Special Blend".
This AM, I had another betta down. She is listing & bloated.
In the 29 gallon I have 10 bettas, 13 otos, & 4 synodontis= 27 fish, but not 27
inches of fish, but add a few Ramshorn snails & I am pushing the bioload.
I've got to attend my ailing fish- she's in a hospital tank, then do another liquid test.
My #1 problem is that I'm an impulse buyer. These were on ebay for CHEAP so "what the heck? I'll get 4!" (I was shopping for a good bottom feeder).
B/f I bought them, I learned that they were hardy fish, & that they didn't get more than 4". AFTER I bought them, I read more on-line articles: I can't get any to agree on the "final" size: it ranges from 4" to 20"!!!!
These synodontis are very young- about 1", (hence the low price) and they are TERRIFIED! I have 2 pieces of driftwood & they are under them. I rarely see more than 1 fin. The bettas are MORE than curious- I've found the girls staring intently at what appears to be plain gravel... I thought they were nuts until I realized a synodontis must be under the gravel.
What I want is one good-sized synodontis that will "come out and play" b/c they are sooo beautiful! I'm one of the few that thinks plecos are, um, unattractive & kinda gross- they remind me of my ex husband ;0) I think I'll wait until these 4 grow out (as I hope they do) then sell them. Good sized ones get a nice price. I'd like one to keep until it gets too big (a couple of years? I may have a 55 gallon by then!) I hope that they learn that the bettas don't want to kill them, just play!
The otos hae no interaction w/ the other cats. If a betta gets too curious, they zip around the tank like they're on fire.
Veggies don't seem to have much effect on nitrates. I have to leave my zucchini in for over a day because the otos won't touch it til after 24 hours, and I've never noticed a difference. Perhaps there was just too much of the seaweed? Try smaller portions, it might help. Or get some floating plants if you don't already have some to suck up the nitrates.