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Old 02-22-2012, 03:44 PM   #1 
jaela
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Female betta and otocinclus -- how to go about this?

Hey friends! I've had a female veiltail in a 2-gallon tank for about a month now, and I'm looking to get her a bigger tank today. It's a 15-gallon, so I'm thinking of getting her tankmates.

I really love otos and have had them in the past, and I've heard of them existing peacefully with bettas, so that's what I'm thinking right now -- either otos or another small algae-eating catfish.

I need to pick up the tank and cycle it first, so in the mean time I wanted to ask for some advice.

Have any of you had experience with keeping bettas and otos in the same tank? What potential problems should I look for, and what would be the best way to introduce them to the same tank? My betta girl is a little aggressive, so would it be better to put the otos in the new tank first, and then introduce her later so she doesn't get too territorial about having new fish added to her home?

Any advice at all on tank set-up, introductions, food, etc. for this combination would be hugely appreciated. I'm doing a lot of research before I move anyone into the new tank, but I wanted to see if anyone had first-hand experience they could share with me, too. =]

Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:56 PM   #2 
copperarabian
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Otocinclus are great but prefer to be kept in small groups. You could have several females and a few other types of fish with them. My favorite is the African butterfly fish, but they aren't a beginner's fish because they often need to be weaned off of life food.

Natural planted tanks are also great, they will help to filter the water along with the normal filter and add hiding places.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:40 PM   #3 
jaela
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Otocinclus are great but prefer to be kept in small groups. You could have several females and a few other types of fish with them. My favorite is the African butterfly fish, but they aren't a beginner's fish because they often need to be weaned off of life food.

Natural planted tanks are also great, they will help to filter the water along with the normal filter and add hiding places.
Is there any particular number of otos you would recommend? I know they do better in groups, but I'm not sure how many could live comfortably in a 15-gallon with my betta. Also, it's a 15h, so the bottom dimensions are the same as a 10 gallon, it's just taller. Additionally, is there any particular benefit to keeping other fish in the tank besides my betta and the otos? I'd gladly get some others if it helps, but I'd also be perfectly happy with just my betta and the otos, if it's okay to keep a tank like that. =]
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:55 PM   #4 
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Is there any particular number of otos you would recommend? I know they do better in groups, but I'm not sure how many could live comfortably in a 15-gallon with my betta. Also, it's a 15h, so the bottom dimensions are the same as a 10 gallon, it's just taller. Additionally, is there any particular benefit to keeping other fish in the tank besides my betta and the otos? I'd gladly get some others if it helps, but I'd also be perfectly happy with just my betta and the otos, if it's okay to keep a tank like that. =]
The otos coexist really well with bettas, at least in my experiences. You should have at least 4 miniumum. The only thing to keep in mind is otos aren't a hardy fish. When you purchase them, make sure you can get home from the store immediately since they don't handle transport very well (ask the petstore to throw an algae wafer into the bag if possible, ive been told this helps). Also I would try to get otos from a pet store at least a week after they arrived (they have a high mortality rate). Also once you get them, you may very lose some or all of them within the first month. But if they survive the month, you have hearty otos that should last the long haul.

Also, if you don't have enough algae growth in your tank, they will die. You may need to augment their diet with other foods. Algae pellets may work (but not always, and sometimes it takes time to wean them on to them). The most successful thing to do is use slices of zucchini. I usually slice one up and freeze it, and drop a slice or two into the tank (anchored in the substrate), once or twice a week. You can leave the slice in there for 24-48 hours, it may be 24 hours or so before they go for it.

I have 4 in my community tank, they do a great job cleaning green algae and brown diatoms. They don't clean green hair or green spot though.

They're great fish, a lot of fun to watch.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:26 AM   #5 
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Otos can be great, just watch for aggression, and have a backup plan in case they don't get along (like moving her back to her old tank).

Also, a sorority of betta girls can be nice if you get some color and variety in there.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:44 AM   #6 
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I loved my otos but you have to be careful to make sure they get enough to eat if you run out of algae. Some people say they even die without algae. o.O Algae wafers or pellets help, as well as parboiled vegetables like cucumber or zucchini.

That said, my betta ignored the otos completely and vice versa. I rotated 3 different bettas in and out of my community tank for various reasons and they all did fine with them.

Cory cats also work great but feeding them without the betta eating all the food can be a real challenge and/or pain in the rear.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:47 AM   #7 
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I loved my otos but you have to be careful to make sure they get enough to eat if you run out of algae. Some people say they even die without algae. o.O Algae wafers or pellets help, as well as parboiled vegetables like cucumber or zucchini.

That said, my betta ignored the otos completely and vice versa. I rotated 3 different bettas in and out of my community tank for various reasons and they all did fine with them.

Cory cats also work great but feeding them without the betta eating all the food can be a real challenge and/or pain in the rear.

I use TopFin Algea Thins and all bottom dwellers I've owned love them.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:03 PM   #8 
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I just want to give my 2c on introducing the betta and the otos. Add the betta girl first. Don't add the otos until the tank has been established for at least 6 months (this will also give you some time to build up algae). The tank needs time to mature (even after the cycle is complete).
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