The Planted Tank Forum banner

My oto is in the process of dying... what to do?

930 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  james0816
The details:

Tank (Fluval Edge) is established and has been running for about 8 months. Being in LA, the water is hard and basic, but not so much that I've had issues. All other parameters are ~normal.

Got the oto about a month ago. Seemed to be doing OK since bringing him home, although has never been as prone to "darting" as other otos I've seen.

Have been running DIY C02 for about 2 weeks, but switched to pressurized 3 days ago.

Checked on tank this morning, but couldn't find the Oto. Eventually located him stuck to the back side of the foam intake cover. I removed the intake, and he swam away, erratically and upside down. He seems to want to "curl" up, if that makes sense.

I've moved him to a hospital tank with an aerator, but he doesn't seem to be improving. Looking at him, I see some red discoloration under his skin between his eye and gill area on both sides. He's not gasping- he's just lethargic and seems unable to swim properly.

It's my 3yo daughter's fish, and I'd really like to save the little guy. Any suggestions?
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Same EXACT thing happened to mine. Even the red (blood) by his eye. I took care of mine and put him out of his misery. Sorry this is not the best news.
Looking at him, I see some red discoloration under his skin between his eye and gill area on both sides.
This probably doesn't help, but I bought three a while back and they all had that. I thought it was some different species or something, so I've ignored it. Mine seem to be doing fine.
Sorry to hear about your Oto. But unfortunately these little guys mostly come from the wild. And are very shy and do not do well to change. The stress from coming from his home to your is most likely the issue. By moving him to the QT it may have stressed him more, perhaps the QT should have been where you first put him? With Otos it seems to be hit and miss. I only have about 15% of the Otos have purchased. It seems more and more people are being able to successfully breed them in captivity. These are the ones I want to get my hands on.

Good Luck!
Well, thanks for the help folks. I went back to check on him a while ago, and he was having spasms, so I decided it would be best to euthanize him.

They are very cool little fish, but after reading about how they are collected, I doubt I will buy another, unless it's been captive bred.
I believe that many of these do not do well with moderate to high CO2 levels. I had 3 that survived for 6 months on a non pressurized tank. The only change I made was going to pressurized CO2, and with levels relatively low (after 24 hours drop checker was blueish green) during setup, I had 2 doing the swimming upside down and generally acting disoriented. I pulled them and put them in my QT and they came back relatively quickly. None of my other fish showed any issues from the CO2. I then slowly raised my CO2 levels over the next week and was able to get my drop checker to a light green color without any effects on my other fish. I slowly acclimated the Oto's to my primary tank but within a couple days had lost 2. I went and purchased 3 additional ones from my LFS and they survived about a week with me lowering the CO2 slightly but still exhibited alot of the erratic bahavior. Know I only have 1 Oto and he doesn't seem to be effected at all with the drop checker showing a light green. I think some just can't handle the CO2 levels. Are they from fast moving well oxygenated locations?

See less See more
I don't think the CO2 levels played a part in it. I keep mine steady green (and at times close to yellow) according the DC. Oto's do just fine in there and includes breeding and fry.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.