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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

Some of you folks may have seen a journal I've been keeping focused on otos in the journaling forum. It's a 90 gallon with a 20 sump, and currently has about 50 otos and a dozen pygmy corys in it. If not, here's a picture:



A few months ago I also started up a little cichlid tank, with a half dozen lamprologus multifasciatus in a little 20L:



Though I love my otos, I have a confession to make...my tank is boring!

Though I see the odd group of pygmaeus come out and snuffle about, you'd never know there were that many fish in the tank because they all hang out in the vals.

On the multi tank, even in a few months we've watched some fry be born and start to grow up, and I've had a chance to learn the personalities of each of the fish in the tank. My wife loves it, and even bough the overpriced (but super cool) blue biased light that makes the tank look a little like a reef tank at night.

So, dear friends...how do I add some personality and life to the 90?

It's a softwater tank with a neutral pH, almost zero KH, TDS around 100 most of the time. It's open topped, so that's a consideration, and if the otos ever breed it'd be neat if the fry stood a chance of surviving. The amano shrimp in there are due to have some reinforcements added, and was thinking more pygmaeus.

What can I add to spice things up a bit?
 

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how about 2 dozen or so small schooling fish , something that'll inhabit the mid/upper range but aren't particularly jumpers . Maybe von rio or black or red phantom tetras , small barbs , lamp eyes that sort of thing . Something that'll be out and about always , is reasonably docile , and not too expensive.
 

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I agree with other, with the shrip idea. Plus watching them breed and what colours they have will add and interesting element.

Id also add thread rainbow fish. They are small, have small mouths so will give any baby ottos a better chance of survival. But they are active and colourful. The males will chase each other and flare, they will breed in your sort of tank. So getting a school of 15 or so will probably grow. Then you have the added interest of a fish species, and one that may breed which will add more excitement to the tank. While not getting rid of the idea of getting the otto's to breed.
 

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Maybe a bit less placid, but I think some tiger barbs would look nice against the val background too.
Been decades since I kept any, so I can't remember how they got along with bottom dwellers.
 

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I'd go with at least 3 pair of threadfin rainbows and a 20 sakura red cherry shrimp (or blue velvet but they are pricier). Threadfins have the smallest mouths and mine do not appear to actively hunt like the celestial pearl danios I have do, so I think they would be better with shrimp. Pseudomugil species of rainbows are also small and beautiful but have a little larger mouths and hunt a little more actively from what I recall when keeping gertrudae previously. Google images of Iriatherina werneri and you'll see some great males displaying. I think AquaticArts actually started carrying threadfins so you could purchase both those and shrimp from them. I've had good interaction with them so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good thoughts, though AquaticArts is out for me being north of the border.

Any issues with amanos and cherries together? I've read mostly that there isn't, but a few say there can be.
 

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I've never had an issues with Amano and cherries. I'm almost positive Amano will only eat other tank mates after they have died, as will snails and other shrimp. Planetinverts site has a temp of 72-84 so it would be on the high end at 80. Red cherries are known as one of the easiest things to keep. Your current fish would be great for them as the Otos pose no threat and most likely the same with pygmy cories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks folks! Definitely going to add a shrimp with some colour. Just have to find a softwater shrimp that doesn't mind a more neutral pH. Luckily I have a local breeder.

Still debating fish.
 

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My favorite schooling fish is the harlequin rasbora. They are a blackwater fish, along with many other schooling fish, and I keep them in a tank with otos and other bottom feeders, and a large school really brings some pleasant schooling action to any aquarium.
 

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That temp would be fine. RCS are very adaptable dudes. I also have oto/pygmy community, with 6 otos and 7 pygmies. Yes, they do hide a lot, but for me, feeding them and water changes always seemed to make the pygmies come out more. i also have a breeding colony of shrimp in there.
 
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