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Old 07-21-2011, 06:53 PM   #1 
ForbiddenSecrets
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Anyone kept Otocinclus Catfish?

So for some reason I can't get any solid information on them in my net searches. Are they primarially a schooling fish or is it optional? Some sites seem to suggest both so I'm confused. Also has anyone kept them with Bettas with any success? Since there would have to be more water movement then before and aeration ect.

Furthermore what size tank would you suggest for keeping them and how many in them? Minimum ?

I'm fond of them but there is no way I'd plunge into owning them without proper information of course c: [Assuming of course that I can find them]

Also why do 2 inch fish need 30 gallon tanks? I'm just wondering is all c: (Not saying I couldn't get that of course)

Last edited by ForbiddenSecrets; 07-21-2011 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:04 PM   #2 
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Otocinclus are really neat fish...but since most of them are wild caught and stressed they can be a challenge to keep.....

The smallest tank I would keep them in is 20gal...yes, they are small fish-but due to their activity level, swimming needs and feeding-grazing needs....at least 20gal and larger and the more of them you have the better...they are a shoaling fish and do best in large numbers-at least 5+...

The tank needs to be mature (3+mo) with an established nitrogen cycle with massive amount of live active growing plants to help ensure low nitrate and lots of algae and microorganisms on the non-viewing walls, plants, rocks and driftwood...etc.......this is ideally........

In the right setup and chemistry they will even reproduce and what a sight that is too......almost as neat as Bettas spawning and rearing fry 10 times harder than Bettas....but very rewarding......

More water movement the better......water temp 75-80's....to breed they need low pH and soft water for egg/fry survival...... but can be kept in most source water since they will adapt with careful acclimation.

I kept mine in hard water with high pH without any problems and they would spawn but I didn't get fry until I changed them over to soft rainwater/oak leaf tanned water like I do with the Neon tetra.......

Feeding-I feed mine lots of fresh veggies to start and I added algae wafers at least 3 times a week-I would change out the driftwood and large rock weekly with the one I kept outside that I would grow algae on to feed the fry....I keep a large barrel outside in the sun with rainwater to encourage algae growth on my replacement rock and wood-along with a squirt of miracle grow plant food....lol....I do this for my plecos too.....

Fresh blanched spinach was their favorite food other than the algae.....then zuccinni squash and sweet potatoes....

My Bettas couldn't catch them in the large heavy planted tanks..... so keeping them together was never an issue.....
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:17 PM   #3 
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I have two in with my sorority. Originally had three, one "dissapeared" (but long before the bettas were added). Mine are usually in seperate areas of the tank; they certainly don't school together. However, I think groups of three or more are ideal.

Mine are in very hard water with a high PH. I literally just plopped them in and they thrived. My tank is planted and has lots and lots and lots of algae. I put algae wafers in the tank but I've never seen them touch them so I guess they're just eating the algae/plants.

My bettas don't bother them, but the bettas were introduced last so maybe that is why.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:29 PM   #4 
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Thanks for the advice OFL

and Super Fish - how big is your tank and how many females do you have c: ?
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:33 PM   #5 
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20 gallons high, 5 females (one bristlenose, 2 otos, 8 glowlights, 3 shrimp, 3 skunk cories, one guppy).
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:48 AM   #6 
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Alright - shame on me for falling in love with a fish before knowing its needs haha. I had been hoping that 3 or so Otos and a Betta in a well established well planted 10g tank (In a few months) would be alright like it is for Cory Cats however I was surprised when I saw the gallon needs for the tiny things.

While I've read a lot of people say they do have them in 10 gallons I've also read a lot against it and I'm too afraid to accidentally hurt them being selfish. So... when I upgrade I suppose.

Still ! Owners tell be about your little Otos I'd love to learn more personal experience with these darling little loves. c:
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:12 AM   #7 
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Three otos in a ten gallon with a betta does not seem overstocked to me. Not even close. Heck, if it were me, I'd have the betta, 4 or 5 panda cories and 3 otos. Even then I wouldn't consider that tank heavily stocked.

The issue is all of the above fish need an established tank. Do you have cycled filter media which you could use? If you do I'm go (if you want them) pandas, then the otos around 2 weeks later and then the betta last.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:47 PM   #8 
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@Super Fish

Well currently I have the betta in the 10 gallon. The tank is cycled however the plants are new so I'd wait a few months to really get a good system flowing. I'm also adding a moss wall to the tank because I adore the looks. I was thinking that once that was grown out the tank would be mature enough for them.

If I go through with this do you think it would be wise to add the Betta in last? I do have spare tanks I could start up and keep him in for a bit while I get the oto's used to their new home.
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Old 10-14-2011, 01:48 PM   #9 
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I had otos. They were okay but didn't really seem interested in anything. At first, I had 3 in a 10 gallon. One of them died, then I moved the remaining two into my established 30 gallon. They really, really need room to swim as they are super fast. And in my experience, they really prefer algae over anything else. I used to rubberband spinach to a river rock and put it in the tank, and eventually they'd eat it, but mostly they would hide. I'd always worry cleaning the tank cause I couldn't see the substrate very well with the lack of light and I didn't wanna suck em up. I think they are cute fish, and in the right environment will do well. But personally, I probably wouldn't buy them again. :)
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Old 10-14-2011, 01:51 PM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Fish View Post
Three otos in a ten gallon with a betta does not seem overstocked to me. Not even close. Heck, if it were me, I'd have the betta, 4 or 5 panda cories and 3 otos. Even then I wouldn't consider that tank heavily stocked.

The issue is all of the above fish need an established tank. Do you have cycled filter media which you could use? If you do I'm go (if you want them) pandas, then the otos around 2 weeks later and then the betta last.

I really hope you are joking.
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