View Full Version : I can't keep oto cats!

10-20-2010, 01:32 PM
I just don't get it. For whatever reason we're cursed and we can't seem to keep oto cats alive.

We've had one in our 20g for a few years, but he's the last survivor of a batch of 6 we bought. About two years ago, another batch of 6 all died within a month in the same tank.

We bought 8 more about a month ago so he would have others to school with ... but it's not any better. They've been in QT since mid-september and they're dying off by ones and twos. We're down to just one again and he's still go a little over a week of QT to go.

The water quality is good, we do weekly water changes, no ammonia, no nitrites. the pH is stable at 7.2 and the water is soft. About the only thing out of the ordinary are the phosphates at 0.75 ppm.

We've tried feeding with algae pellets, sinking wafers, carnivore pellets, sliced zucchinni and we've put an algae covered rock in there too! They seem to suck on the various plants and aquarium glass ... but don't touch the food. I'm not sure it's starvation though. The two I picked up today were far from thin and in the past month we haven't really observed them with sunken abdomens.

No obvious signs of disease either. No fungus/bacterial infections seem to be present and they're not breathing rapidly. No sign of abdominal hemoraging either, which is why we lost the last batch of otos.

So what's the secret? How do you manage to keep your otos alive?

Lady Hobbs
10-20-2010, 01:45 PM
Otto's are rather sensitive to keep alive, or so I've heard. I've had the same one for 3 years now but his friends all died within a short time that he was purchased with. I only see him every 4 or 5 months.

10-20-2010, 02:59 PM
I had that problem with new ones, too. I have 5 in my 10 g and 3 in my 29 g. Wanted to upgrade the group in the 29 g but only 3 survived. They are doing very well now. I guess they come stressed out from the store already and can't recover.

10-20-2010, 03:01 PM
Ive had the same 8 for years now, they are just growing bigger.

My ph is at 5.8 and 6.4 im hoping that has something to do with it.

10-20-2010, 07:29 PM
My pH is 6.0 - 6.4, and I've had the same 10 otos for years as well. They all hangout together in the back of the tank, or under the arch of my driftwood.

10-20-2010, 11:39 PM
I was like that with guppies. I just kept buying them, usually on the $1 sales because I didn't want to spend too much for them to just die, but now I have about 6 that are alive, happy and have been for about 6 months.

10-21-2010, 02:40 AM
Very sensitive fish. Every time I get some, I seem to lose a few. When picking them at the lfs, try to avoid any with sunken bellies. I try to avoid buying any that just came in that day at the lfs, best to get the ones that have "survived" at the lfs for a while.

10-21-2010, 03:24 AM
If they survive the first month in your tank, they'll be around for a long time.