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Old 07-02-2013, 11:57 PM   #1 
thisismydesign
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My oto cat is sick

I already lost one and now a second one is showing the starting signs. I don't know what to do.

Has anyone ever had an oto with red patches at the base of its fins? Or another fish with red at the base of it's fins.

Anyway, here's a little tribute to the one I lost.

Auto the Auto cat </3

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Old 07-03-2013, 07:14 AM   #2 
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If you haven't yet, I suggest you test your water with liquid{titration} test kits. Red on a fish can mean high levels of ammonia. Unfortunately otocinclus are catfish, so they do not have scales. They cannot be treated the same as fish who do. Clean water is your first defense. They often have internal parasites. What other fish, how many are in the tank? How long has the tank been set up and what size is it?
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:54 AM   #3 
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I just have the two otos and a betta I put in last night. It's been set up for about 20 days.

I changed the water last night after testing the ammonia. It looks like that is the problem. Their gills are pink instead of red this morning. I'm just going to have to ignore my parents' complaints about changing the water so often and do 20% changes every day for a while, then go to 20% every other day so I don't totally wreck the cycle.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:18 AM   #4 
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What size is the tank? You had the otos and added the betta, or added all three at once? Just because the tank was set up 20 days ago does not mean it has cycled unless you added bacteria to start a colony, and kept it fed, tested to see the cycle had actually happened etc. It can take a shorter or longer period of time to cycle a tank, depending how you set it up and what you used. I set up my tanks weeks ago, but used Dr. Tim's one and only, to kickstart my bacteria. By the time I got fish in my tank I was already showing nitrates. Some people do a fishless cycle using suds free ammonia. Something has to cause ammonia to start the cycle.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:17 AM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keepsmiling View Post
What size is the tank? You had the otos and added the betta, or added all three at once? Just because the tank was set up 20 days ago does not mean it has cycled unless you added bacteria to start a colony, and kept it fed, tested to see the cycle had actually happened etc. It can take a shorter or longer period of time to cycle a tank, depending how you set it up and what you used. I set up my tanks weeks ago, but used Dr. Tim's one and only, to kickstart my bacteria. By the time I got fish in my tank I was already showing nitrates. Some people do a fishless cycle using suds free ammonia. Something has to cause ammonia to start the cycle.
I have the biozyme bacteria cultures and I had the otos first then added the betta (he was only in a .75 Qt for fin rot). It's a divided 10 gallon, but the otos are going to be moving into a 45 once that's cycled in a few weeks. Once they're in there I plan on moving my baby betta to the other half of the 10 gallon (where the otos once were)

I haven't changed the filter cartridge and excluding the time a few days ago when I rinsed the gravel in hot water (in case my other oto died from a disease or something) I only vacuum it occasionally (to get up the small bits of algae wafer that got trapped in the gravel. I also only rinsed the plants briefly. I probably goofed up the cycle, but at the time I didn't know what caused Auto to die so I wanted to be safe.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:42 AM   #6 
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Yeah, rinsing the gravel probably was a mistake, and wouldn't have done anything for any 'disease'. Testing the water daily, and water changes appropriately are going to be best at this point. I would give the tank another dose of beneficial bacteria as well.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:47 AM   #7 
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Originally Posted by keepsmiling View Post
Yeah, rinsing the gravel probably was a mistake, and wouldn't have done anything for any 'disease'. Testing the water daily, and water changes appropriately are going to be best at this point. I would give the tank another dose of beneficial bacteria as well.
alright, sounds good. Thank you.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:56 AM   #8 
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Last month one of my otos began to get red near his fins and gills. After googling like a madwoman I discovered that one of the reasons is as keepsmiling says, ammonia. But many, like me, had no ammonia present- it was just one of those mysterious oto illnesses that no one could figure out. I lost Batman Fish (my red oto) last week, but not to illness- he was getting better. Sweet little bugger got himself stuck in an empty snail shell.

Know that these guys are extremely sensitive due to the way that cyanide is used to catch them in the wild and their dietary needs. It is very common for the most experienced fishkeepers with the most established tanks to lose half a batch. The first month is the critical period. Once you can get them past that first month, they are out of the danger zone.

For this reason, it can be very difficult to introduce otos to an immature tank. Water parameters must be spot on, and there should be a good buildup of biofilm for them to eat, which is usually not present in an immature tank. Otos are wild caught and it can take them a while to figure out that the food we supplement them with is actually food. Add to this the fact that the poor guys probably haven't eaten anything at all during transport and at the LFS (I once bought otos at Petsmart and asked the employee what they feed their otos. She said, "well they just eat the algae." Goodness, have you ever seen those scrupulously clean, bare tanks?! Algae, what algae?!)- well, they're probably starving by the time they get to us. And if an oto doesn't eat for a long enough time, his gut bacteria will die off, leaving him unable to process food even if he does start to eat again.

So, keeping new otos alive in an uncycled tank. Check water params every single day and do a WC immediately upon seeing ammonia or nitrites. Supplement with food, even if they are not eating it, keep it in there at all times. They'll figure it out at some point. Blanched zucchini, carrots, spinach, peas- otos often wait till veggies have been in the tank for a day before they'll start noshing, so leave the veggies in for two days. I have never seen it affect my water params, just make sure it isn't falling apart or getting fungus. My otos adore Repashy's Super Green, and now refuse to touch veggies. They are fat, fat, fat- which is a good thing in otos. If you get algae wafers, make sure they are vegan. Most algae wafers contain fish/seafood and otos cannot process this- they are strict herbivores. Keep an eye on their tummies- they should look rounded, not sunken.

So, spotlessly clean water, supplemented food. But know that sometimes otos just die in the first month, despite your best care.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:49 PM   #9 
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Originally Posted by Nicci Lu View Post
Last month one of my otos began to get red near his fins and gills. After googling like a madwoman I discovered that one of the reasons is as keepsmiling says, ammonia. But many, like me, had no ammonia present- it was just one of those mysterious oto illnesses that no one could figure out. I lost Batman Fish (my red oto) last week, but not to illness- he was getting better. Sweet little bugger got himself stuck in an empty snail shell.

Know that these guys are extremely sensitive due to the way that cyanide is used to catch them in the wild and their dietary needs. It is very common for the most experienced fishkeepers with the most established tanks to lose half a batch. The first month is the critical period. Once you can get them past that first month, they are out of the danger zone.

For this reason, it can be very difficult to introduce otos to an immature tank. Water parameters must be spot on, and there should be a good buildup of biofilm for them to eat, which is usually not present in an immature tank. Otos are wild caught and it can take them a while to figure out that the food we supplement them with is actually food. Add to this the fact that the poor guys probably haven't eaten anything at all during transport and at the LFS (I once bought otos at Petsmart and asked the employee what they feed their otos. She said, "well they just eat the algae." Goodness, have you ever seen those scrupulously clean, bare tanks?! Algae, what algae?!)- well, they're probably starving by the time they get to us. And if an oto doesn't eat for a long enough time, his gut bacteria will die off, leaving him unable to process food even if he does start to eat again.

So, keeping new otos alive in an uncycled tank. Check water params every single day and do a WC immediately upon seeing ammonia or nitrites. Supplement with food, even if they are not eating it, keep it in there at all times. They'll figure it out at some point. Blanched zucchini, carrots, spinach, peas- otos often wait till veggies have been in the tank for a day before they'll start noshing, so leave the veggies in for two days. I have never seen it affect my water params, just make sure it isn't falling apart or getting fungus. My otos adore Repashy's Super Green, and now refuse to touch veggies. They are fat, fat, fat- which is a good thing in otos. If you get algae wafers, make sure they are vegan. Most algae wafers contain fish/seafood and otos cannot process this- they are strict herbivores. Keep an eye on their tummies- they should look rounded, not sunken.

So, spotlessly clean water, supplemented food. But know that sometimes otos just die in the first month, despite your best care.
They eat fine. I have algae wafers due to the lack of algae. Sometimes I'll see them munch on it, but most of the time they eat when I'm asleep. I'll wake up and they have plump little bellies and the wafer chunk I put in will be gone (the thing is the size of a quarter so I break it up).

They're doing better now that I've changed 60% of their water. I used to do 2 gallons a day, but my parents were complaining (as if it concerns them) so feeling self conscious I've only been doing it every few days. I'll go back to doing it AT LEAST every other day, probably everyday.

Their gills are pink instead of red now and my betta is doing very well. I'll just ignore my parents' complaints.
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