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Islandx 06-29-2012 03:42 AM

Ottos Sluggish
Hi All,

I had a question that maybe you all can help me with, I'm getting concerned about my 3 Otto's. When I first got them, they were very active, seeming to want to taste every last surface of my tank. Now I barely see them, to the point that I check around the tank to see if they've jumped.

Specifics and conditions:

Tank: Mr Aqua 60-P sized
Substrate: Eco-complete (added in a week after otto's were placed in tank)
Hardscape: 3 pieces of drift wood, still leaching some tannins
Other Fish: 15 neon tetras (added in after otto's)
Plants: 5 java fern lace plants, Java moss
Ottos: 3, supplement feeding zuchinni and lettuce

Do you think the neon's could be bullying the otto's? The rare times I see an otto out, they're not very active - but the neon's seem to care less about them.

Any insight on what might be causing this anti-social behavior would help


CatB 06-29-2012 03:43 AM

it might be that you don't have enough of them to be happy.
or they could be sick.

what are your parameters? ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings?
do you inject CO2?

Complexity 06-29-2012 04:52 AM

I have never seen neon tetras (or really any fish other than large cichlids) bother otos. Most fish seem oblivious to them.

When otos are first purchased, they are usually starved (often, starved to the point of death). So your otos may have been all over your tank because they were extremely hungry and thrilled to finally have some food. However, after awhile, their hunger drive normalizes and the amount of food decreases (they ate it all) so they calm down a bit.

In the beginning, they're also scared so they may dart quickly from one place to another when another fish or person comes by, but after awhile, they adjust to their environment and calm down.

As long as they're active at all, they should be fine. It's not unusual to see them resting on a leaf or hanging on the side of the glass. They should have nice rounded bellies. When they do eat, they have a cute little wiggle. If they're eating in between rests and coming to the zucchini (usually after it's softened), then they're fine.

However, if they almost never move, are breathing hard, have clamped fins, have spots, fuzzy areas, or are laying in the substrate upside down, then it's time to worry.

Otos have a high mortality rate the first few weeks, but after that, they're usually pretty hardy. I wouldn't worry about them if they've just calmed down a bit. What you're probably seeing is a good sign that they're feeling relaxed and comfortable in your tank.

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