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I really like the way otos look and act but I have heard that they are very hard to keep. They look like a fish that would be pretty resilient and easy to take care of but I keep hearing differently. I also noticed the thread about an oto that has taken a liking to slime coating. So, what is the deal with these fish?
 

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My experience with Otocinclus has always been a good one. I have 6 of them in my tank and they don't bother anyone. They'll suck on fish if they're starving for food. They have to be the safest fish to keep with inverts.
 

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I've had a few without many problems but found that with their small size in a heavily planted tank (58g), I never saw them. The only reason I'm assuming that they're gone is that it's been well over a year since I've spotted them.
 

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I've got 6 in my 110. What I discovered is that they don't transport very well. Over the course of three purchases I had one die from each. No big deal though because they aren't expensive.

They are the favourite member of my work crew that also has 3 SAE's and numerous Amano and Cherry Shrimp. They simply don't quit. As far as them sucking on other fish, I've never seen that. But I do think Oto's are tops in the algae containment department.
 

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Not sure how the "hard to keep" story ever got started but I've had no issues at all. I have 6 in a 58G and they work continiously. Much, much better than those plant stripping SAEs that I've had in the past.
 

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i love the job otos do. i have 20 somthing of them. they always do well in my 90.
 

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i love the job otos do. i have 20 somthing of them. they always do well in my 90.
 

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From what I have heard when you first buy them they are fragile but any that survive stay alive for a long time. They are just generally wild caught and half starved by the time they make it to a pet store.
 

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I as well think transport is a big part of it and is why they've got a bad rap as being a hard fish to keep. The only oto's I've lost have been shortly after getting them home and only one or two out of maybe 6. Once they're in the tank (a well established one I might add) they do fine. Certainly I wouldn't put them in a tank that isn't established.

By the way, anybody have any luck with oto's and tiger barbs? My daughter has a 10 gallon with 4 tiger barbs that needs an algae army and we're thinking of oto's.
 

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Once the Otos get past the stages of acclimation they do rather well. All my Otos have been lost during or very soon after the drip acclimation. I blame poor shipping of the fish to the stores and improper handling more than myself.

After that, they live long happy lives in planted tanks. Never had a problem with them eating the slime coat of other fish. Then again they have always had plenty of algae and diatoms to feed on.

In short:
Hard to keep - No
Hard to acclimate - A little bit, yes.
 

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I like otto's and have found that you need to acclimate them slowly. I also heard that the organism or bacteria in their stomach will die if they don't get fed -- this happens a lot in shipping -- and then they'll just get real skinny and die. I have 13 in my 90g and they're all still alive after 2-3 weeks. Maybe I'm lucky though. When I set up my other tank, I bought 4 or 5 initially and a couple died, but the others are still alive now, almost 2 years later.
 
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