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  1. #1

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    Default Otoclinus Feeding Problem (and their bioload)


    0 Not allowed!
    I have an oto catfish (just one, but I'll get to that question later) that I bought not actually knowing what it was or what it needed, based soley on what the petstore said. He's an amazing creature, and I don't regret the purchase, but I'd like to really have him thrive.

    Right now, he does alright eating algae in the aquarium. I had an algae bloom awhile ago, and he really helped clean that up. But it's basically cleaned up now. Anything remaining is not nerely enough for him to live off of.

    So I feed him algae wafers. I also have panda cories. As soon as the wafer his the floor, the cories, as if they have radar, home on the wafer, and it's gone in a matter of minutes. Anything leftover, the snail and shrimp argue over.

    So then I tried feeding it a piece of celery leaf. I put it under some rocks, and waited. The oto didn't even notice it. He just stayed there, like he wasn't even alive or anything. Instead... again... the cories tackle it and devour it, and the snail ends up ripping it to shreds so much I had to remove it before the oto was even awake.

    Any time I put food in for him, the faster, awake animals get there first, and by the time the oto wakes up and notices the new food, it's just a pile of leftover mush with a snail laying on top of it, and some shrimp dragging the other bits off to their cave.

    So how can I feed the little guy without anybody else in the aquarium noticing. I tried dividing the wafer into three pieces, and putting 2 in the front, and one right next to him. The cories attacked the two in the front... and the shrimp carried away the one right next to the oto.

    He doesn't become active until 9pm and goes back to hiding at noonish. These times make it difficult to feed him while he's awake, and while the cories are asleep, since they wake up whenever I open the lid. Obviously, also, the shrimp are always pretty much active, and the snail wakes up imediatly when he senses new food, and he moves pretty fast for a snail and isn't afraid to push some cories out of the way.


    Now part 2: The lonely oto
    I now know oto catfish need a small group of 3 or so. I'm running a little close to a stocked aquarium, and I really would absolutely love a nerite snail and ADF.

    Can I afford 2 more oto catfish, while still having the option of a nerite snail and/or an ADF? If it'll make the oto happy, I could probably give up on one (or both) of those other creatures.

    Current stock
    10 gal (fully cycled)

    1x Female Betta
    1x Mystery Snail
    1x Otoclinclus Catfish (obviously)
    2x Neon tetra (not gonna get a school of these, I haven't had any luck keeping them alive, other than these 2 that remain from 8 I got nerely a year ago.)
    3x Panda Cory
    6x Ghost Shrimp

    and possibly
    1x Nerite Snail
    1x African Dwarf Frog


    I imagine getting him buddies would make him more likely to go after the food, since he just seems so skittish and lazy right now. Most of the time I can't even find him because he's hiding or sleeping.

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Did you try feeding him when you turn the lights off for the night? Sometimes they shy fish come out to eat after the lights go off.
    As you stand right now, you are over stocked without adding any more fish. Your options would be to rehome a fish or two, or maybe think about a bigger tank. The bigger the better....
    How is your filtration and water parameters for this tank?

    Google is your friend. Use it!!!

  3. #3

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    Because you needed a comfort fish... :-) Cheer up. Things will get better soon. - lotus flower   For your studies :D - CassieLEO   Have a bunny!  Be cautious if you get another  ;-) - 850R   850R said you need another bunny. - gadget228   Awww.. Your bunnies are now parents :-) - 850R   
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I suggest you give away the neons if your not getting a bigger group
    1 betta
    4 ottos
    The snails and shrimp
    And I say get a home for the cories too
    Last edited by Fisharefriends27; 02-21-2011 at 02:40 PM.
    120 gallon29 gallon
    5.5 and 2.5 gallon
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    Angie R.I.P. 10/29/11

  4. #4

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    For your future SW tank, and your kind words - Cliff   For having beautiful emeralds! - johndoe222   For suffering through my bad jokes. ;-) - Taurus   Practice on this oscar :-) - 850R   Thank you about the eel! I should Pay you to be my eel specialist! - Fisharefriends27   
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The Neons have a smaller bioload than the rest of them, so they wouldnt be a problem keeping. The snails give off a bigger bio load than them...

    Google is your friend. Use it!!!

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I was thinking about that for the tetras, since I don't even really like them. How would I go about finding a home for them? If I kept them, would they be okay just the two of them?

    I don't want to give away my cories. They seperate the top activity of the betta and the bottom activity, and are just bubbles of energy.


    I run a 20 gallon side hanging filter. Last I checked, yesterday, the parameters were 0 amonia/0 nitrite/20 nitrate.


    Feeding him at night is the same situation. The cories end up finding the wafer and eating it before he can get to it. He doesn't try to push into the group, so he usually just sits close to it and tries to move in, only to be pushed away by shrimp and the snail later when the cories are done.


    What has as bigger bioload, a Mystery Snail or a Nerite Snail? My Mystery snail is kind of old, so when he dies, would it not be much of a difference to get the nerite snail? Do snails have a big bioload, when the mystery dies, should I not get another snail?

    Shrimp don't have much of a bioload, do they? I actually got so many because I was told they didn't have much of a bioload at all :x


    I would love a 20 gallon, but I don't have a stand for it. The stand is what seems to cost the most money. I really imagine a colorful aquarium with lots of life and activity, and a 10 gallon... doesn't really do that. I've started getting better at keeping the water quality better, as I learn more about hobby.

    I probably shouldn't have just bought the oto on impulse though. How bad is his life if he lives it alone (since it seems adding more otos would be over stocking)?
    Last edited by nmb7895; 02-21-2011 at 02:57 PM.

  6. #6

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    For your future SW tank, and your kind words - Cliff   For having beautiful emeralds! - johndoe222   For suffering through my bad jokes. ;-) - Taurus   Practice on this oscar :-) - 850R   Thank you about the eel! I should Pay you to be my eel specialist! - Fisharefriends27   
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Well, the mystery snail is bigger so that will put out much more bioload than the Nerite snail. I dont know if you noticed or not, but snails poop, A LOT! But the Nerite snails would have lower bio-load since they are smaller. But they still poop a lot...You can pick up a stand pretty cheap at walmart. Like 20 bucks or so...
    Your filter may say rated for a 20 gallon tank, but it really is only going to do a good job for a lightly stocked 10 gallon tank, which is what you dont have... The Neons have very low bio load, so they would not be the fish for you to get rid of due to bio-load....
    Your parameters may be ok, but you still need better filtration. The Oto will be fine until you get everything figured out...
    You could up the water changes to every other day, about 50% and it should be ok until you can get a stand for that 20 gallon and a better filter...
    Did you check out craigslist?

    Google is your friend. Use it!!!

  7. #7

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I don't think I would be able to use craig's list. I know my parents wouldn't want me to, and since they're the ones driving, well.

    Would I be able to rest a 20 gallon on a large cabinet? How wide are 20 gallons? I kind of have very little room where my ten gallon is right now to expand with width. I just imagine a 20 gallon being 2x as wide as a ten gallon, which I can't do at all. :P


    Incidently, my 21st birthday was last week, so I have about 100 dollars just laying around, since I don't have anything better to spend the money on. How much would setting a 20 gallon up cost me? 100?
    I already have the fish, the heater (it's rated 15-29 gallons), and the decorations. I would need to aquarium, the lid, the filter (a 50 gallon filter?) and more rocks (I can just re-use the 10 gallons rocks, right?)

    What would I have to do to transfer the cycle from one aquarium to another?

    Now you've gotten me all excited for a 20 gallon. Now see what's going to happen, I'm going to rent an apartment and keep 20 fish aquariums and it's going to be this forum's fault :P


    If I get a 20 gallon, could I get an ADF, on top of 2 extra otos? Getting an ADF would help lighten the news to my mom, since she's wanted one of those since I started the hobby.

    I have 2 weeks of spring break, so here we gooooooo

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    For your future SW tank, and your kind words - Cliff   For having beautiful emeralds! - johndoe222   For suffering through my bad jokes. ;-) - Taurus   Practice on this oscar :-) - 850R   Thank you about the eel! I should Pay you to be my eel specialist! - Fisharefriends27   
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    You should be fine with 100 to start up everything, just transfer the filter media to your new filter if you can and use everything from your 10 gallon tank into your 20 gallon tank. You can find a cover and stand and filter for 100 or maybe a little more than that.
    With the 20 gallon you can add the ADF and the Otos but nothing much more than that. With more bottom area you might be able to get more food into the Otos...

    Google is your friend. Use it!!!

  9. #9

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    You need a fish for your thoughtful posts!  Brain food! - Rue   Another Betta for your AC tank - Cliff   thanks for plant link - Lady Hobbs   good luck with your geckos! - Crispy   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'd personally just throw in an extra two otos as you have it right now. I run a "10 gallon" Aqueon filter on my 10 with 5 danios, 5 otos, and a good dozen or so cherry shrimp, along with their babies, with no problems to speak of. Live plants definitely help, too. But, if you're doing your water changes regularly and running a "20" filter, I don't see a problem with adding two more otos to the stock.

    I would try to figure out what to do with those neons, though. Either get more or send them back to the pet store or something. Most places will take your fish in for free if they appear to be healthy.

    Oh yeah, and it depends what kind of 20 gallon you get, as far as the size goes. Your 10 gallon now is most likely a 20" long tank. A 20 high will be 24", while a 20 long will be 30". Being able to rest it on a cabinet, depends on the integrity of the cabinet. If you can stand/jump on it and move around without having to worry about toppling it over, it can more than likely hold a 20 gallon tank.
    20 and 10 gallon community tanks, 5.5 gallon dwarf gourami tank
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    Mourning gecko, Electric blue gecko, Crested gecko, Mali uromastyx

  10. #10

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    For your future SW tank, and your kind words - Cliff   For having beautiful emeralds! - johndoe222   For suffering through my bad jokes. ;-) - Taurus   Practice on this oscar :-) - 850R   Thank you about the eel! I should Pay you to be my eel specialist! - Fisharefriends27   
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I dont think its enough filtering for you or her. Adding more fish wouldnt help out anything at this point. But thats my opinion and some people can handle way overstocked tanks. Just with the 3 catfish you are fully stocked. Nevermind the other fish too.

    Google is your friend. Use it!!!

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