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Discussion Starter #1
I have a very easy going male Betta in a 10 gallon tank. He is 2 years old and has always done very well with tankmates (they have all either been moved to a larger tank, given away as gifts, or passed away). His glass tank is planted (medium to medium well I'd say) with a 5-15 gallon filter, caribsea sand, and décor. I keep up with my pwc.

I want to add Otos to the tank as I've heard they are very good at eating algae of all types including brown and my water perimeters will suit them well.

I will be ordering them from a small pet store. He will be ordering them in 2 weeks and hold them for a day before I can pick them up to make sure they're healthy. This gives me plenty of time to let the algae build up in my tank for them to eat as they tranition to algae waffers. I will increase pwc and vacuuming to make sure the tank doesn't get dirty while I let the algae grow. The shop owner also said he will replace them if they die within 2 weeks after I get them so keep that in mind (same thing applies to a replacement).

So, with all that in mind, how many Otto should I add to my tank? Is 4 a good number? Should I add more?
 

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4-5 is a great number, you might be able to squeeze 6 if they are the smaller variety, there are two main types that we catch; Vittatus and Vestitus, I can't remember which is which and I even have both types but one is smaller than the other. If its the smaller ones, you could easily have 6, I have 3 in a 10 gallon right now and they definitely got all the algae within a few days. Also feed them raw cucumber's/zucchini, they loooooove those! Much healthier than algae wafers which aren't good for them at all really.
 

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Otos tend to be picky and only really eat brown diatoms. 4 is a good number in a 10g, but with that number, even if they ate all types of algae, they would run out of food in a week. You can say no to the algae wafers, because otos are taken from the wild and shipped to the LFSs. They're not used to eating algae wafers, so they will most likely reject it. The cucumbers/zucchini is a great idea! A slice of it around 1/2 an inch thick is fine. You need to use something to weigh down the slices though.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks y'all. I had planned on getting one of the smaller breeds of Cory, but was told Oto are better algae eaters. I'm not sure which Oto type it will be. I'll let y'all know if I do, but in the meantime, 4 sounds like it will work. I'm so glad that won't overload my tank! I might get 1 more if it turns out to be the small type because I want to keep my tank a little understocked.

My well water is naturally VERY soft and slightly acidic which makes finding a suitable algae eater tricky. I do clean my tank, but I would like to have them as Gus has become a little mopy since his buddy passed away and I would like the extra activity as well as less algae. I will be offering them a bit of omega one algae waffer during feeding time (it will be cleaned up if they refuse it) along with other food options for them while also feeding the rest of my fish. I believe if I do this over the course of a few weeks, one will eventually become curious enough to gnaw on it and discover it is a food source therefore increasing their diet variety. I can't wait. And I have a garden so when I start getting plants, they will get some pretty good stuff :)
 

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Yeah, cory cat's don't actually eat algae lol so you went the right route with the Oto's at least ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My lease is out in April and I'll be moving after that (was gonna stay, but boyfriend and I decided to take the next step and get our own place). I've already paid for the Oto. I have no clue what the water will be like. We haven't found the place yet. How will I move everybody? I will have 3 betta, 4 Oto, and 6 kuhli loaches. Also, what about my tanks? 10 and 25 gal. Will I crash my cycle? And what to do if the water chem is different? What if it's hard?
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In order to move a tank, i would suggest removing some of the water to prevent spillage, and towels around the tank,as for your cycle, i do not have any info, as long as you keep the established filter media, the bacteria should be all right, but i have never done it before. Good luck!
 

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You'll need to keep the filter material wet and preferably in warm water when you move. Bacteria will die if subjected to below freezing temps or above 110*F. When you move, I would suggest getting a 5 gallon bucket or so to place all your gravel in, put enough water in to just about cover the gravel to keep the bacteria alive, you can also shove your filter media in that instead and then cover the bucket with saran wrap to keep the water inside, or if it's got a lid that's even better.

You'll have to empty your entire tank to move it, never move it with things inside of it, it can have the bottom fall out sometimes and that's no fun to deal with. Ornaments can also go into that bucket. Plants if you've got lives ones can go into a plastic baggie with water to cover them, they will dry up otherwise. Fish can go into plastic-ware food containers for wal-mart or some other place. I like the circle ones with screw on tops, you get a small set of 3 for 1.88 or something like that, pretty good deal I'd say.

Acclimate fish for around 2 hours to fully be sure they get warmed up slowly and get used to the new chemistry. If your pH is extremely different like going from 6.0 to 8.0, you'll need to take around a week, use Spring water which has a pH of 7.0 generally to get them half way, let them stay in a container of that water for a week while you slowly incorporate the new 8.0 pH water until they are acclimated and then into the tank they go.

Your cycle should hold up okay, it might be good to invest in a small bottle of Tetra SafeStart to help the Mini-Cycle that will inevitably happen, that way your cycle can build up again and not hurt your fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you so much! I never thought about the bottom falling out of a tank. Now THAT would be a nightmare. And that's what my friend just told me to do. Remove most of the water and let everyone ride in it to the new place (which is only about 15 minutes away btw). I have a thin layer of sand instead of gravel so can I leave that in there while I move it? Also, I will definitely cup the bettas and Otos, but as the loaches burrow in the sand and catching them would really stress them out, do u think if I leave just an inch of water above the sand, they would be okay for the short drive?
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I would catch everything, regardless of how it will stress them because you REALLY don't want the bottom of your tank to fall out. Take all the sand out, it weighs just as much as gravel does. I use a strong net to scoop out the sand and put it into the bucket, put water into that bucket and you can use like an inch or two to put your fish in there if you desire. Once you get to the new place, set up all the sand again, plants and decor. Get everything running and acclimate the fish slowly. Once they are all back in the tank, keep the lights off and throw a towel or blanket over the tank to keep it dark, do that for all day and the rest of the night. The darkness will help keep the fish less stressed. You can take the towel/blanket off the next morning before lights on and they should be all set!
 
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