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Otocinclus Catfish

4957 Views 17 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  AltheaGlyndwr
I've read many differing viewpoints on care for these little guys. I recently (just over 2 days ago) aquired an oto and would like to know how people have helped theirs thrive. In my tank I already had 6 Ghost Shrimp, a marimo moss ball, an Endoa plant, a Lucky Bamboo, a filter, heater, a light, and several caves/hidey places with marble pebble terrain. The tank has cycled since becoming established on the 12th of May after I lost my betta and cleaned everything out.

What are special needs I need to be aware of? I already have algae growing in my tank as well as some algae wafers. How often should I actually feed her? (I'm pretty sure its a girl) Also, how long will she take to fully adjust and perk up to be her normal self? At first she went crazy swimming around the tank on the substrate cleaning the algae off of the few rocks I have in there but she has since slowed down and is just kinda chilling in one area of the tank. At one point I actually thought she was dead but then when I moved my hand near her she totally moved. Is there anything that I can do to make her more comfortable while fully adjusting and make sure that she will survive? I've read they're hard to keep unless it's perfect. I also haven't named her yet because I'm scared of losing her (the last time I lost both my betta and the two ADFs within 2 days) and I don't want to do anything wrong.

Also, I know it's not very big, but I'm using a 5 gal cause that's all I have room for until I eventually move and I had been able to upgrade from the terrible .7 I had been using for my poor betta without realizing it was far too small. (When I do finally get the courage and space to get another betta it will only touch that tank if it gets sick as a hosp tank.) I've already learned so much from the community here and I'd really like to make sure I do the best I can with these guys.
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Oto cats are very sensitive and really need a well established tank -- one that has been cycled and running for at least 6 months. They also need very clean water, lots of live plants, and hidey holes.

I feed mine cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash and broccoli. They are so fun to watch flitting around constantly cleaning! :-D

Here's a couple of mine enjoying a piece of squash from my garden:
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My suggestion would be to keep his water as clean as possible and keep him well fed. They seem to be either eating or looking for something to eat at all times. If he's eating and is active, I would think that is a good sign.

Mine won't touch algae wafers but love their blanched vegetable slices. You may have to offer vegetables several times before they actually recognize it as food. Although I haven't tried this yet, I have read about people feeding "sheets" of algae that apparently are available at some online fish supply stores.

By the time they reach pet stores, they are in a weakened state because they're half-starved. Also, and I don't know if it's actually true or not, but I've read that when they're caught, cyanide is put into the water to slow them down so that they're easier to catch. So in addition to already starving, they may have also been poisoned.

Good luck with him and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed! :)
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