Otocinclus (Otocinclus vittatus)
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Otocinclus (Otocinclus vittatus)


Information

Common Name: Otocinclus
Proper Name: Otocinclus vittatus
Category: Catfish
Temperature: 21 - 28 C
Temperament Peaceful
Maximum Size: 4 cm
 
Algae Grower
 
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i had a bad experience with mine. i bought 5 and they were sucking onto any fish they could. they avoided algae and just focused on sucking onto the slimecoat of my fish and they die easily out of nowhere. i will stay away from them in the future.
 
Algae Grower
 
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I had initially purchased 3 of these little guys and they were great. They were industrious algae eaters, often swam together and seemed to enjoy one anothers' company. Months down the line, I had brought in a total of 9 oto's, relocated them to our 30g tank and 3 had died mysteriously. If they were harvested fro the wild, I'm actually not surprised that some didn't make it considering how they are usually collected from S.America. That aside, I've noticed that the ones that we've had in the tank the longest, are a lot less active than the 2 newer ones. They kind of have a reserved corner of the tank where they hang out for a majority of the day, doing very little of anything. When the lights go out though, that's when they seem to come back out and forage for algae.
 
Planted Tank Guru
 
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Ignore the first comment. THESE GUYS ARE GREAT! After keeping tons of these over the years I have determined that acclimation is not the killer, but the stress of being moved. I have moved Ottos from different tank back and forth many, many times without any losses or health concerns. Its seems the trip from the store to your tank is the big stresser, not to mention they likely just got shipped in... I have Ottos in tanks ranging from 7.2 ph - 8.0 ph, all with medium or hard water. If the Ottos are comfortable in your tank, they will be seen often. I find the best thing you can do is buy lots of them. I have 12 Ottos in my 29g display tank. They even shoal in larger numbers. The second big killer for Ottos is starvation. They seem to only eat softer Algae. I supplement their diet with Spirulina, occasional blanched veggies, and shrimp pellets, which they do eat. Their diet should be 90% Veggie/Algae based. I also recoded having an 'algae farm' tank with smooth stones that you allow algae to grow on. These can be placed in tank with Ottos to add more algae to their diets. Breeding can be difficult and is usually not witnessed. It seems lover hardness encourages them to spawn. The ale pushes against the female and she curved her body. Eggs are laid under large leaves or in dense coverage. Many people never know their Ottos have spawned until they notice a small, additional Otto in their tank. I have only witnessed one spawn in action but have had several over the last few years in my tanks.
 
Junior Member
 
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Awesome, under rated and often confused. I've had a few and over the years and have found them to be an asset to a planted community tank. They are very peaceful. Harvest algae all day long and clean the plants. I had a smaller tank and move the ottos to a new large one. The old tank for the first time in three years has now developed algae! Great alternative to something like the Siamese algae eater, which grows much larger. I've found about 1 in 5 visits fish heaven when first purchased as they are stressed from lack of algae and transport. Just get them through the first month :) Also blanched zucchini is good for a change. Leave in tank for no less than 24 hours, no more than 72 otherwise will break down too much.
 
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I love my little Otto, He or She had gotten through the first month but it still Very Shy, Only see him when you sneak in b4 you turn on the light hides in the shade of driftwood. Not a lot of algae in the tank for him and i have not seen him eating either the Algae wafers or the zucchini that i drop in, but they get eaten, he is in with Cherry Red Shrimps and Guppy Fry ( until there big enough to move to a Guppy Tank ) . Very Shy but Lovely little Buds 0-0 If i start another tank and have the funds I would love a School of these little Bad boys :)
 
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I WAS owned 12 of them.Erased in 10month.Too hard water.BUT do not laid in tank before plants not growing at least 30days!Very important kH gH and they dont eat anythink exept algea...
 
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We have 3 of these little guys, and they are very awesome fish. They clean the algae off the plants and sand (The whole reason we got some was because we had algae) and they swim around with each other and are very VERY active. Sometimes we wonder if they are the most active fish in our tank. They haven't tried to eat any other fish's slime coat, and they don't eat algae wafers. All in all, they are very fun to watch, and do their jobs well.
 
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Absolutely love these little guys. I have always been fascinated with them. I currently have two in a 10g. Yes, they do spend the entire day eating algae. I wouldn't consider them a "cure" for an algae-cursed tank. They are small and eat small quantities of algae. Spend time acclimating to your tank. You'll greatly increase their survival rate. After that, just sit back and watch them go to work. Super-fun to watch.
 
CDE
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I've had 3 of these for about 4 months now. They have been pretty hardy little buggars! I had bought them because my roomates 55g tank was always green green green so I thought these would at least be happy in that environment...which they were! The tank was covered in algae and there was maybe a few little 1cm by 1cm random spots throughout the tank that were sucked clean. I bought myself a 36g tank and they are now in there. Not much algae yet, so hopefully they can pull through until the tank is more established. But they often will swim and stick together. I have several plants and they don't seem to damage them, just sit on them for a few minutes at a time. They almost look like little sharks when they are swimming normally. Good little fish and fairly cheap.
 
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These little guys are fun... They are very active for a cleanup crew, they seem to love foraging and will even play tag with each other in the tank. They are super active, and definitely keep the tank clean too.
 
Newbie
 
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I have four Otto Cats great little fish.Eat algae all day,don't bother other fish.I have some hair algae in tank they aren't eating this.The Chinese Algae Eaters are the ones known to suck on other fish,they are bigger
 
Planted Tank Guru
 
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I added 5 of these little guys to my tank to help with some diatoms and they are the hardest working cleaners in my tank and I did not acclaimate these fish but did a shop and drop because I was told the stress from the ride, then waiting in the bags was enough to kill them, my tank is planted heavy and they are fat and loving life.
 
Planted Tank Guru
 
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Although some people find these fish challenging, they are not really that. Perhaps the most important thing is to make sure that you get good healthy ones to start with. In the store, some things you should look for are a nice plump belly and an active fish. Good slow acclimation is also important. These fish tend to do better in established tanks where algae/bio-film has had a chance to build up, but if there is not much for them to eat in your tank you can supplement their diet with algae wafers or blanched vegetables.
 
Junior Member
 
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Cyanide harvesting is often used to catch these little fellows, which often results in death of the fish later down the line. Otos can't digest algae (cellulose). Rather they have anaerobic bacteria in their guts that do the work and the fish is nourished off the by-products of this process. During transport, so much of the bacteria may die off from lack of food that, even when the Oto is placed back into an algae-rich environment, the fish literally starves to death, i.e. the algae passes through the fishes system untouched. One of the best methods of selecting a healthy Oto is to find only select specimens that have spent at least a couple of weeks at the LFS. And as Axel mentioned if the fishes stomach is flat or concave, pass it by. Also best food i found was a blanched cucumber, this seems to be the choice food for my 4, as a plus side the cherry shrimp take their cut also.
 
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i baught three of these guys because of an algae outbreak on leaves of slow growing plants, and these little otos do more work than any algae eater i have purchased in the past. I am definately going to add a couple more to my tank this weekend. *PS: ignore the first comment...*
 
Algae Grower
 
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I love these little guys!! They are fun to watch as they work a corner of the tank, sometimes grouping up, sometimes working on their own. They are hard little workers, they had my tank cleaned up spic and span the first night :)
 
Algae Grower
 
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These little guys are very sensitive so acclimate them slowly to your tank. When purchasing them at the store look for the ones that are swimming around and avoid the ones that are stationary and curving their tail. The tail curving seems to be a sign of bad health.
 
Planted Member
 
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I love these guys! Great activity, always running around scarfing down algea...they keep my tank spotless. I keep ottos in every one of my tanks.
 
Algae Grower
 
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Bought three of these guys on Friday. So far, they are great! They have already cleaned up a good amount of algae out of my 46 gallon. I'm worried they will run out of things to eat! They are very active. Late last night, when the lights were off in the tank, I watched as they all swam together to the top of the tank, sucked onto the glass for a moment, and then let go and dropped all the way to the bottom. They did this over and over like they were playing a game! Great fun to watch.
 
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
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MUCH much much happier in a bigger school. I had two for a long time, they hid all the time but otherwise seemed happy/healthy according to what I had read online so I never worried about them. Then I got 9 more to up the school to 11 now they are the most active fish in my tank (no joke) always out and about and very visibly happy fish. They'll even fight my bristlenose plecs for food. If you want the best oto you can have get a bigger school, you'll all be happier!
 
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I have 10 vibrant and playful otos in my 20 gal planted CRS tank. I have ideal water parameters for CRS breeding. I have almost no visible algae on glass with the triple combo of shrimp, nerites and otos. They eat everything I prepare for my shrimpies. Awesome fish! Just make sure you know what your doing, do your homework and keep your water clean. I have had them breed in my 25 gal high tech planted community and it is pretty sweet to find baby otos here and there. Started with 6 and now have around 20 otos working full time. I'm assuming they will do the same in my shrimp tank as there are many places to hide and lay eggs without predators.
 
Algae Grower
 
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Bought 6 a few months back and lost 2, but now they're happy and tough. Just got my first spawn in a 30g today. Great little fish.
 
Newbie
 
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I've heard of Chinese algae eaters doing what jaysen described. Just bought two otos. Hoping they do well in my tank and devour all the algae.
 
Algae Grower
 
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So does anyone have any experience putting oto's in with a dwarf puffer? I have a 5.5gal tank with a dwarf puffer and he has cleaned out the snail population and thinks RCS are a great treat. He dosnt' mess with the ghost shrimp or amono I have in there but the amono isn't keeping up with the algae and I'd read somewhere that oto's are good compainions for dwarf puffers. I was thinking of adding a couple to this tank when I came across this string...
 
Algae Grower
 
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They are amazing fish and algae eaters! They are always working and cleaning the tank of algae. They are even cooler when you get a school of them.
 
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
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These fish will breed if the natural food is often present (soft aquarium algae) I had 3 only and one is bigger then the other two and layed about 2 dozens of eggs already. Sadly I only saw one fry and moved it to my 2.5 celestial pearl danio breeder tank because I have 3 triple red dwarf cichlids that love hunting fish and shrimp fry. Talk about an expensive red cherry shrimp meal :/

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