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Old 08-17-2013, 11:19 AM   #1
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Oto. Feeding

Ok so I don't have any Algae in my tank, I do drop in algae disks, what else will they eat? They are tiny babies, not sure how to get them to eat.

Thanks
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:11 PM   #2
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Nothing, unfortunately, all Otos on fish stores are wild caught, and don't know what an algae wafer is, you have to go in your LFS during feeding time and see which ones eat, but most likely they won't
Mine don't eat anything but diatoms and green algae, never throw anything in there for them
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:19 PM   #3
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Oto's main staple in an aquarium is bio-film which is why they shouldn't be added to a tank that is less than 4-6 months old. They also eat diatoms and green dust algae. Oto's will rarely eat any processed food. I have 20 something alone in my 220g and every one in a while I will see one eating on the blanched zucchini I hang in my tank every other day for the BNP and Whiptail cats.
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:46 PM   #4
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+1, they need a 4-6 month old tank, mine is 6 months old and has a lot of green dust algae and diatoms, that's what's keeping them alive
I clean the walls from the inside, but I always leave my back wall alone so that algae can grow there
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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Try a sliced cucumber on a suctioned clipper.


David
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidAl View Post
Try a sliced cucumber on a suctioned clipper.

David
Thanks for the idea.
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:16 PM   #7
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You could try a bit of well cooked spinach leaf, though it may take a few tries before they eat any. I'm really fond of Otos.. it's very sad the way they are handled in the fish industry.They are caught using cyanide to stun them, then held and not fed for awhile.

This is a real tragedy because they rely on bacteria to digest the cellulose which is what makes up the cell walls in the algae they eat, and that allows them to get the nutrients inside the cells once they break down. Without a steady intake of food, the bacteria tend to die off, so by the time they get to a lfs, they are starving.

Even if they eat 'til they are bulging, without the gut flora they need, they can't digest their food. This is why so many die soon after reaching stores and more die in the first two months in a tank at home. If they survive two months, you are usually home free, and they can live many years. They are not truly fragile, it's just that they need a steady food intake and once caught the whole system gets destroyed. Only the strongest typically survive.

If you can ever get them tank bred, there are no real problems with them but only a few are bred in tanks, the vast majority are wild caught as has been said. None are bred commercially as yet.

I grow algae on rocks for mine. I put rocks in a jar, add tank water, leave it in a sunny window or right out in the sun, and let green fuzz grow. I top up with tank water as needed. Does not go swampy, possibly because I do run an airstone in the jar. Not all rocks work for this. Some won't grow any green, but marble chips are really, really good for the purpose. Once they are green on the side facing the sun, I drop them in the tank. They will be almost snow white again in a day or so and I take them out and drop them back in the jar.

I have also taken hair algae I was struggling with at the time and pureed it. I am not sure the Otos ate any, but the shrimp sure did.

If they are not eating algae wafers now, they will eventually. All of mine ate them within a few days of arrival, if not when they got home. I will not buy an Oto that has not been in the store for a minimum of a week, preferably two or more. The mortality rate is too high with freshly arrived fish.
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:53 PM   #8
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Thanks, what a great idea.

Will look for some white rocks tomorrow....
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:07 AM   #9
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Unfortunately I was to late. I feel bad my Oto's didn't. make it. Gonna let the tank-mates hang out for a while.

Thanks for your help/advice
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:40 PM   #10
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Unfortunately, this happens all too often. If you buy more Otos in future, wait until they have been in the store tanks for at least a week, preferably more than that.

Get the ones that have fat tummies and are active and have been eating the algae tabs the store gives them, at least then you know they'll eat the stuff.

If they live two months, usually you are good for years to come. But up to then, sudden losses are not at all unusual and are not usually because of lack of food, but because of lack of bacteria to digest food, or chronic starvation has weakened the fish to the point they cannot fight back to health. It really does matter that the tank be well established. Six months minimum before you get Otos.

Condolences.. I hate losing fish that way.
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