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    Otocinclus not eating

    Discussion in 'Freshwater Diseases and Health Issues' started by Chinnavar, Jan 12, 2018.

    1. Chinnavar

      Chinnavar MFK Members

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      I got this 10 gallon tank which houses 4 oto's and some shrimp. Original I had 5 oto's, one died a week ago, checked the water parameters and everything seemed fine. So I had no idea what happened there, now i've started to notice that 2 oto's are getting fatter and fatter and the other 2 oto's almost don't eat at all. This resulting in them being smaller and really thin.

      I've tried feeding them algae wafers, none of the oto's seem to like them. Next step was Cucumber, but they still wont eat. All they eat is the algae in the aquarium.

      So, how can I get my oto's to eat food that's given to them?
       
    2. tlindsey

      tlindsey MFK Members

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      I personally would still offer the algae wafer but let algae grow in the aquarium.
       
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    3. Rocksor

      Rocksor MFK Members

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      You can grow your own algae in a 5 g bucket outside. Use tank water, large smooth rocks, and cover it with plastic saran wrap. Place the algae covered rocks back in the tank. It should take only a few days. Also, you should have twice the amount of rock that you would need.

      What brand algae wafers are you using? New Life Spectrum Algae max is the only wafer that I know of that has a many different types of algae in the wafer.
       
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    4. Chinnavar

      Chinnavar MFK Members

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      I'm from The Netherlands where it's pretty much freezing at night, will this affect the growth of the algae? I'm currently using Colombo algae wafers
       
    5. Rocksor

      Rocksor MFK Members

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      Use a lamp inside the house. People grow algae for their nitrate reducing algae scrubbers this way. If you look up how to make your own algae scrubbers, you can do the same thing. I wouldn't do it inside the tank since it may look it unsightly. You could fertilize the water in the bucket too using liquid plant fertilizer if you wanted to.
       
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    6. monkeybike

      monkeybike MFK Members

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      Chinnavar and tlindsey like this.
    7. Coryloach

      Coryloach MFK Members

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      If they are a recent addition, as in within the last month or two, you may lose some. What remains, is going to be really robust. They are tough fish once established. Then again a small tank won't give them much feeding area.

      They're the type of fish that need to feed 24/7 to remain healthy, so they can't survive on occasional fish food feeding in a small tank that is lacking surface area for algae and micro-organisms., especially if they have feeding competition because they can be timid,especially if you have quite a few of them to compete for food with each other. They are also great swimmers and large tanks suits them best in my opinion. Also large tanks is a factor for them being long lived.

      I had them for years. I killed them all via a leaking tank draining on my floor., and the consequences that followed although I caught a few from the floor. I miss them lots now as they were one of my most favourite fish and because of the way I lost them, I can't buy and look after new ones without remembering what happened to my long years living ottos dying horrific deaths.

      However, what you are describing is parasites. I am not sure which country your are living in, but if you can get flUbendazole, you may want to give it a try. It is really good and harmless to fish but it can kill snails and shrimp(not so much shrimp). Here it is sold under the name of Kusuri Wormer Plus.
       
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    8. Chinnavar

      Chinnavar MFK Members

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      Thanks! I'll go to my LFS today and check if they have that stuff. So oto's arent really fit to keep in a 10 gallon? I did some research on nano aquaria and everyone said that otos are great for them, I really like them since theyre so cute

      Also: I saw him swimming around disorientated, is this still a sign of parasites? He usually just hangs on the glass motionless and breathing really slow, but if he swims it looks like he had too much to drink
       
    9. Chinnavar

      Chinnavar MFK Members

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    10. Coryloach

      Coryloach MFK Members

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      I've kept mine in small a large tanks. No oto survived long term in a small tank. All ottos I kept in my 100G survived for years and were still alive when it leaked.

      Otos are great swimmers. You will only notice that if they're given the space. They'd fly like rockets around the tank and they can in fact be very active. The tank I kept them in was in the sitting room and every evening after tank lights out they used to "dance". They'd be going in circles around the glass as if they're chasing their tales, swimming rapidly from side to side, playing in the water flow, all kind of weird stuff I never saw while I kept them in small tanks. In a small tank all you'll see is them grazing on something, and they'd be rather stationary.

      Compared to other algae eaters, have you noticed the difference in their body shape? It is narrow and streamline, like in all fast swimming fish. The only reason they're recommended for small tanks is because they're small fish. Its just marketing. Also, otos are not exactly algae eaters. They eat tiny micro-organisms growing in the algae and biofilm. For example their favourite is diatoms, which also isn't algae, but micro-organisms type of brown film.

      Having said that, with some good care you can still keep them in a small tank but there's a chance they won't be very long lived in there. The minimum I'd recommend is just 2-3 ottos in a 20G at least.

      Sorry to hear the thin otos are dying. Its happened to me at purchase, some don't make it. Its the consequences of transport, stress, # lack of food leading to loss of gut bacteria, or how they're caught, etc....

      But It is a good sign that at least some are eating and getting fuller. If you can't find flubendazole, I'd recommend you don't dose anything at all and wait and see. Many meds are toxic to otos. The thin ones won't make it. Its a matter of time for them to die. Concentrate on the ones that are eating. Do plenty of water changes to help the fish get strong. It is really important when purchasing any fish, to do large, even daily water changes.
       
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