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Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    Default An observation on otocinclus behavior...

    0 Not allowed!
    In my 10 gal tank I have 4 otos ~ they'd been living alongside some neons and guppies for the longest time and seemed generally happy and active. I moved the guppies to an upstairs tank thinking the neons could use the room and be more active instead of hanging around the bottom corners of the tank and the oto wouldn't mind...and the opposite happened...the neons didn't change one bit but the otos went nocturnal and hid through the day.

    I got to thinking that maybe the guppy activity actually gave them some assurance that all was well in the tank.

    I moved the neons upstairs with the guppies and added 7 harlequin raspboras yesterday~~the otos immediately came out~and are out again this morning doing their thing...(and the harlequins are doing what I wanted the neons to do)

    My question~is this simply a unique issue that happened to me, or is it that otos need that activity to be comfortable in the tank?

    29: Harlequin Raspboras, Zebra Danios, Black Skirt Tetras, Platies, Neon Tetras, CAE
    10: Otos, Amano Shrimp, Cherry Shrimp

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Seems to me like the harleys are acting a dither fish for the otos. As long as the dither fish don't run for cover and stay near the top level of the tank swimming normally, that's the "all's good" signal for the otos. The harleys that I've kept were mind level swimmers, but if yours like the upper level, so be it.

    It's nice to see the otos out and about!

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    7 harlequins in a 10 gallon is packin it in very tight.

    What you've seen is that the other fish act as dither fish. That's a well known phenomenon for a lot of small fish, I've seen it with my pygmy cories as well and small cichlids are also known for needing a dither fish

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    I've never heard the term "dither fish" ~ there's even a wiki article about them:

    Thanks so much~I discovered "dither fish" :D
    29: Harlequin Raspboras, Zebra Danios, Black Skirt Tetras, Platies, Neon Tetras, CAE
    10: Otos, Amano Shrimp, Cherry Shrimp

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Interesting thread - I have learnt something.
    Have observed the same with my kuhlies who are very active and always out and about ... so long as the guppies are well x

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    I will see my otto's for a period of time and then not see them again. I had one that I saw only two times in two years and only because I emptied out the tank. I honestly don't even know how many I have anymore because they often stay scarce but when I do see them it's generally towards evening when playtime starts for them.

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