Otocinclus info needed
I'm looking for some information on how best to add an oto catfish to my tank. I've had some bad experience with shrimp and want to avoid a repeat so I'm hoping to learn all I need to from everyone on here before making a purchase.
My tanks 28 litres and all I have in so far are 4 mountain minnows. It has live plants and its been running about 7 week (maybe closer to 8 now). It's an aqua 40 tank with the filter that comes with it (no idea what it's called). I've got the temperature set at 23c.
I cleaned the glass a few times and it got aglgaed up again pretty quick. I'm now leaving the algae so any future algae eaters will have a ready made meal. I also read somewhere that you can grow algae on rocks in a bowl of water on a windowsill so I've set some up in dechlorinated water and would to know everyones opinions as to whether this works.
I'm on the hunt for a bigger tank that won't bankrupt my neater finances but would need to cycle it so the ottos would probably be staying in this tank until a new one was nice and algae producing. I thought maybe two in my current tank and add more in the long term once a larger tank is fully established.
What does everyone think to this? If I'm going about it all wrong feel free to say but please don't be too harsh as I'm new to all this.
As odd as this may sound, with them being as small as they are, imo I don't think they will work out for you. If I did the temp. and vol. conversions correct, you have a temp of 74 degrees f (23c) which is low for otos, w/ that being the coolest temp they would tolerate. This may however stress them, and they don't do stress well at all. Oto cats are also schoolers and my only success w/ them was when I kept them in larger tanks w/ good water current and spots the school could to retreat to. Your 28 litres is roughly 8 gallons and that wouldn't support a school of sufficient numbers idk, that the otos would feel safe in. As I mentioned they don't do stress well at all. I tried six at a time in 20 gallon tanks and they never made it as the whole school for more than a couple weeks. The one success I had was in a 92 gallon (348 litres) w/ a filter pushing a return rate of nearly 900 gph (3406 litres per hour)... They used to love schooling through the current. that was a school of 20+ otos and they maintained those numbers for a couple years.
This is only my experiences and opinion... I came to this by trial and error, and error, and error................................. See what others say, maybe I missed a key component to keeping otos happy in smaller set-ups. Good luck!
As said above ottos are a schooler, so an 8g doesn't accomodate that unfortunately. If you goto the chatterbox forum lady hobbs recently posted a vid on catching wild ottos. Our tanks are sooooooooooooooextremely different from the wild its no wonder they are in our eyes a 'fickle' fish.
As far as the growing algae on rocks you need to be adding ammonia, Dave66 has a primer somewhere but I can't remember where.
From what I can remember your best bet is an outdoor paddling pool, just deep enough for the rocks and add ammonia. But no point seeing as ottos are out the question really.
My therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .
Thanks for replying. I'm kinda disappointed that they wouldn't go in my tank. If I went up to 60 or 100 litres would that be ok for them or would it still be a bad idea? In the uk they seem a pretty popular fish for all tank sizes but i have read they're hard to keep.
I thought ammonia was an aquarium keepers enemy not a great additive to help feed algae eaters.
Are there any other bottom feeder fish who would be more suitable? I've looked at Corys but they seem rather active for a small tank and destroy everything in their way.
Sorry the ammonia was to grow algae on rocks in a bowl, not promote it in the tank.
A snail is your only bet really
My therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .
Have you considered freshwater shrimp??? It is a cool alternative to snails. Ghost shrimp would work w/ your temp and tank size. They recommend 1 for every 4 litres, but for your tank size they suggest a few less. I'd try 4 or 5 in there total. They eat algae and will also scavenge morsels left from the white clouds.
If you went to a 100ltr tank then you would be able to have your school of otto's. Even an 80ltr you'd be able to have a small school.
Personally I would go anything under an 80ltr though.
4 ft 60g FW: 2 angels, 4 blind cave, 1 whiteskirt, 4 gold widows, 6 serpaes, 1 neonhead apisto, 4 clown loaches, 4 albino cory, 2 bronze corys & 3 BN plecos.
23g FW: 1 neonhead apisto, 1 yoyo, 2 albino BN plecos & 4 pepper cory
5.5g: Crowntail Betta, 6 black Khuli's & RCS
5 g: Crowntail Betta, 1 albino cory (Quasi), 4 baby khuli's & RCS
7 g: Dragontail Betta & 2 albino cory
3ft Axi tank: 1 black, 1 gold - 1 redcap oranda & 2 albino cory
cuckoochews; I have tried shrimp (crystal and cherry) and I lost them all. I dont know if it was my setup or just a bad batch of shrimp I bought but over the space of about two weeks I lost twelve shrimp (not all put in at once). If I do ever give it another go I will definitely look into the ghost shrimp though in case they are a little hardier so thanks for the suggestion.
Scottishfish: I thought it sounded a little odd to try and put ammonia in my tank but then I thought maybe it was some trick that I just didn't know about yet so thanks for clearing that up. Could I use tank water from one of my water changes to grow the algae in? It grows in the tank so there must be some ammonia or something in there that gets it going so could this work or would it just grow bad bacteria with not having filtration?
Col: you've made my day . I love the little ottos so I'm now searching for a 100 litre tank to eventually add them to.
Perhaps you lost shrimp because your tank wasn't cycled?
If you have nothing in a tank, you can use ammonia to grow good bacteria in your filter and then you stop adding it in order to add fish (then THEIR ammonia keeps the bacteria alive).
Also, if a tank is brand new and has no algae or other food source, your shrimp will die, depending upon what they need to survive. Not all shrimp eat algae.
46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted cory catfish, cherry barbs, guppies, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies
Hi andreahp, I think you replied to my other thread I started when I started losing my shrimp. I wish I'd come on here and got your advice before I started stocking my tank as I never intended to cycle with fish as it always seemed mean. I just listened to my LFS when they said it would be cycled and safe to put fish in. If I hadn't I might not have lost all my shrimp.