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Old 08-01-2016, 03:41 AM   #1
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Otocinclus Cat Fish

I love these little cat fish, but can't seem to keep them all alive! I have 3 in my 20 gallon tank which also contain neon yellow shrimp, Amano shrimp, and nerite snails. It is a planted tank with a large 2 sided sponge filter. All of the inhabitants are doing well, but every time the I add #4 otocinclus, 3 days later I find one dead in the tank. All of my water parameters are good and do a partial water change of approx. 20% every other week, religiously, but I can't seem to maintain 4 of them in my tank! I provide supplemental food such as a small piece of Tetra Algae wafers in a feeding dish, daily. HELP!!! What am I doing wrong???
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:12 AM   #2
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When I got back into the hobby I had the same issues with Oto cats. How long has your tank been running? They need a well established tank. Personally I would also recommend at least 20-25% water change per week. Do you treat the water when you do a water change. They are also quite sensitive to chlorine and other stuff found in tap water.

What I also found out is in general if not always they are wild caught and the shipping to your lfs takes a toll on them. The secret is to ask how long they have been in the store. The rule of thumb is minimum of a week to 10 days. Also you need to look and make sure they look healthy their bellies should look slightly rounded not indented.

A trick I was told if you take 30 min to acclimatize a new fish to your tank an oto cat needs 45-60min

I now have 4-6 in my 70 gallon they have been happy and healthy for years. You need to expect to lose one or two at the beginning.

Hope this helped


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Old 08-03-2016, 05:02 AM   #3
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Otocinclus Catfish Deaths

Thank-you for your helpful advice! My tank has been up and running and cycled since May. However, I just added the ottos about 3 weeks ago. When I do a partial water change, I use cold water that has been treated with Prime, and has been sitting out for at least 24 hours. Before adding the new water, I warm it using an extra aquarium heater. I think what I will do for now is enjoy the 3 ottos that are alive and well, and focus on maintaining this tank so that all inhabitants continue to flourish and be happy and content! Thanks again for taking the time to offer your advice and knowledge about ottos.
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