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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking of trying to get some otos for a community tank I'd like to start, I see them at the pet store and they're just so cute! Most of what I've seen on them, though, makes it sound like they can be challenging but if cared for properly, can live for several years? I'm just wondering if anyone on here has had good luck with them, and if there was anything in their tank set-up that seemed to help them thrive?
 

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The best you can do for survival rate is to get good stock with otos. I bought approximately 10 otos and I now only have 6.
You're looking mainly for fat bellies, not recessed, however, that is still no guarantee as their digestive bacteria may have been compromised.
These fish are typically wild-caught, not fed in transit, and you could get a bad survival rate. When I get some, I blanch as many different veggies as I can, toss them in the tank with some algae wafers and cross my fingers. I did well for a chain store though, however, I crossed my visit with a new shipment which can be better as you get the fish fed ASAP. Plus if you get the bodies, you may be able to get replacements.
Remember to cut off the lights for even less stress and do very slow acclimation if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, JDragon, I'll follow your tips when I'm set up and hopefully I'll have a decent survival rate.
 

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All three I started with have survived. They weren't as fat as they could have been when I got them, but I attribute their survival to having survived over a month at the fish store before coming home with me. I put them into a newly set up planted tank, with only one of the plants inside being covered in algae (I'd been saving it just for them) which they finished off pretty quickly. They now eat blanched zucchini and algae wafers pretty well. I feel like I do water changes more often than I would without them because it takes them a while to notice when I put food in for them. Mine really love having hiding places.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nyri what sort of hiding places do you have for yours? I was thinking of trying to have some driftwood in the tank for them, since I've read they enjoy it, but I hadn't thought about trying to set it up as a sort of hiding place maybe with how I arrange the rocks...
 

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I got some cholla that they can hide under, and quite a few plants. One piece is kind of cave like, and the other is a branchy piece I put upside-down. I keep looking for good rocks that would work for my tank, but haven't come across any yet, but they'd probably enjoy that, too
 

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I have a trio and they've been great.

I don't really feed them anything and I rarely see them though, honestly. I haven't fed them anything in months.

They come to you SUPER hungry because they often starve them at the stores. After that they lose interest in eating as much. Mine spend most of their time in the "forest" area of my tank and only come out at night.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Your tank is amazing, Nyri! I can see how the otos would be happy in there :)

Blu, the lfs I'm planning on getting mine from has said that they need a 10 gal, but then again I was planning on getting 5-6 and just having them only in the tank. Maybe others have had luck with them in smaller tanks?
 

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Ok best advise for ottos is buying ones who have been at the pet store for more than a week, and buying chubby ones, since I got real picky about the ones I buy, they all seem to survive, before I knew it was basically 50/50 I do not have any jides for them in any of my tanks they just hang out on the leaves of the plants or hang out with my peppered corys, some of the ones in my 46 gal tank are so fat they resemble fat little puffer fish
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Stone sounds like they're really happy in your tank! Is there enough algae in your tank for them to be eating, or are you giving them anything else? How often? I'm just trying to have as much info to know what to expect once my tank is done cycling...
 

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Your tank is amazing, Nyri! I can see how the otos would be happy in there :)

Blu, the lfs I'm planning on getting mine from has said that they need a 10 gal, but then again I was planning on getting 5-6 and just having them only in the tank. Maybe others have had luck with them in smaller tanks?
I don't think they need 10 gallons, but how big is your tank? How many other inhabitants? I would want at least a 5 gal tank with ONLY 5 Otos in there, if you're going to go smaller than 10 gals.

Otos definitely need friends (I wouldn't want less than 3), but yes, I'd consider 5 gal a minimum size. Smaller than that and they won't have enough algae to eat, for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
kman, I'm going to put them in a 10gal planted tank, it's got nerites in it now and maybe I'll put in a betta depending on how the otos I get happen to do.
 

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kman, I'm going to put them in a 10gal planted tank, it's got nerites in it now and maybe I'll put in a betta depending on how the otos I get happen to do.
Sounds like fun. :)

With that many otos in a 10 gal tank, you'll definitely need to supplement their food supply. Unless you have a serious algae farm, most normal/balanced tanks aren't going produce enough for the Otos and Nerites to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sounds like fun. :)

With that many otos in a 10 gal tank, you'll definitely need to supplement their food supply. Unless you have a serious algae farm, most normal/balanced tanks aren't going produce enough for the Otos and Nerites to eat.
It should be :) I've only ever really kept bettas and ADFs before, all I've looked at makes it seem like w/otos you should be expecting losses, unless like you & others have suggested you get good stock.

My worry is that yes, once they finish the algae, they'll be starving, and I was just wondering what's been good to supplement their diet? I've read some things that say they can be picky, I'm trying to make sure whatever I do with them once I get them that I'll be ready to help keep them alive :)
 

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If you have a house with a yard (or at least a balcony with direct sun?) you can probably set up a little "algae farm" with mason jars with rocks in water, set them in the sun and algae will grow like magic. Then rotate the rocks into your tank for the Otos (and Nerites) to eat, always keeping the next batch growing outside.

Not that I've actually tried this, but it makes sense in my mind. :)

My main tank is big enough, and heavily planted enough, that my otos always have something to nibble on.
 

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Keping an eye out on this thread as I just got myself a pair of otos yesterday. Drip acclimated (very important step!) into my 6 gallon with Perseus, they're not exactly fat but there's plenty of algae for them to munch on. They've been at the pet store for at least 6 days and look relatively healthy so I hope they'll do well.

lizcateyes, if you're looking to supplement their diet, remember that otos are herbivores so feeding them bloodworms or other frozen foods isn't the best idea. Try to get your hands on some algae wafers. You can also feed them blanched vegetables!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If you have a house with a yard (or at least a balcony with direct sun?) you can probably set up a little "algae farm" with mason jars with rocks in water, set them in the sun and algae will grow like magic. Then rotate the rocks into your tank for the Otos (and Nerites) to eat, always keeping the next batch growing outside.

Not that I've actually tried this, but it makes sense in my mind. :)

My main tank is big enough, and heavily planted enough, that my otos always have something to nibble on.
That sounds brilliant, and like something I'll get underway :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks, Kisiel, I've got some hikari algae wafers that I've been using to supplement the diet of my nerites, I figure they'd be ok for the otos, too? Is just more than one oto enough, or is there a bare minimum that I definitely need to have in my tank?

Also, did you quarantine your otos? For how long, if you did?
 
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