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What is wrong with my Otocinclus Catfish?

7461 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Sierra255
Hey everybody.
I have had an oto for about a month and he/she has been doing well.
Recently I have noticed that the oto's stomach is bloated i know that is normal but it seems a little bigger than normal.
Also, he is literally "standing" in the water he is not stuck on anything he just "floats"in the tank not anchored to anything.
Usually, when I accidentally touch him/her, he/she flips out. When I touched the oto, he/she barely moved at all.
Is this normal? I know they are not active fish but still this is weird.
I have Blu green slime algae in my tank.
Could the oto have ingested that and become poisoned?
Why is my oto acting like this and how can I help?!

He/She is also losing/lost some color.
PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!
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· Banned
106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, I do not have pictures, but now it looks like swim bladder (if that's even possible).
She/He has difficulty swimming to the bottom, His/her stomach is bloated, and she/he is floating around at the top.

· Registered
512 Posts
Look up bloat and also dropsy. Sounds like it could be either. People use epsom salt(magnesium sulfate) since it can draw out excess fluids and mucous from the fish. It is also a natural laxative. It's the main ingredient of Fleet enemas, they are commonly used in this hobby. It may not work and you may still lose the fish unless you treat for the underlying cause which could be a parasite like Hexamita and would require an anti parasitic med called Metronidazole. Please do not treat without researching some more. Hopefully this can send you in the right direction. Good luck.

PS. You can spend 10x the cost of the fish on meds and still come out with a dead fish. Sometimes you have to make the call and euthanize a suffering fish. It may be worth a shot to treat with epsom salt to see if that relieves any pressure. Just be carful not to overdose.

· Fresh Fish Freak
24,398 Posts
Do you have a test kit to check your water parameters?

It's about impossible to know for sure with the little information we have so far what's wrong with your Oto, but since you've also got an algae problem, I suspect you may have a water parameter issue.

How often do you change how much water?

· Registered
305 Posts
For what it's worth, I had what sounds like a similar issue recently with one of my Bettas. He was floating at the top of the aquarium on his side all the time, was very lethargic and when he did swim he couldn't stay submerged, he'd just float right back to the top. He did look a little bloated, but it wasn't overly noticeable. Other than that, there were no outward signs as to what was going on. I did a water change and added some aquarium salt (2.5 tablespoons to a 6.6 gallon aquarium) and that has seemed to fixed whatever was going on. It took a few days for things to start getting better (been a week now), but it looks like everything is all back to normal. Lately, he was sleeping between the HOB filter outtake and back wall of the aquarium and last night I saw him sleeping in his cave for the first time in several weeks. Maybe this information can help.
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