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Old 04-05-2004, 09:47 PM   #1
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Otocinclus catfish

Are these fish good for a beginner?I heard they would eat algea and be good for the live plants.
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:20 PM   #2
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They are fairly sensitive so they are not very good for a beginner IMO.
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:44 PM   #3
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Yep; I agree. They are great for live plants, but very sensitive. Most die in the first 2-3 weeks after you get them because of digestive problems stemming from poor shippment. I'd advise bristlenose plecos, as they stay relatively small (5-6" max) and are moderately hardy.
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:47 PM   #4
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Yes, they eat algae, both green and brown and are good for plants... I've also heard that they aren't great beginner fish but I've had good luck with them.. well, most of them... I bought 4 or 5 and all but two died, later on I bought 3 more, I lost all three but the other two are still doing great... What is your setup like? size, current fish, etc... water parameters might also help someone give you advice on whether they'd be a good buy for you or not...
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:13 PM   #5
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If you want an algae eater, let us know what your set up is so far. Otos are only one choice. I happen to like plecos and have a 2 1/2" Rubber Lip in my community tank (should max out at 4-5" and I have had him for over a year).
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Old 04-06-2004, 07:36 AM   #6
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If the Oto is that hard to keep alive I wont bother with them.What other Algea eating fish do you reccomend?It will be in a 30 gallon tank with live plants.Haven't got any fish in it now.
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Old 04-06-2004, 07:37 AM   #7
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If the Oto is that hard to keep alive I wont bother with them.What other Algea eating fish do you reccomend?It will be in a 30 gallon tank with live plants.Haven't got any fish in it now.
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Old 04-06-2004, 10:31 AM   #8
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A Circumstance of exception..... I've got 2 otos in my 15 with no live plants, and they're doing great. My PH is a bit higher than they care for too. 8.2 They're the only two I've ever owned, and I've had them for about 3 months now. Again, a circumstance of exception. The Rubberlip I've got in my 55 does a wonderful job at cleaning the tank too. But you won't generally see them during the day.
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Old 04-06-2004, 11:22 AM   #9
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I've twice been unsuccessful with Otos. The second attempt I made was a good effort too. Water parameters, cucumbers, peas, algae and still.... I finally went to the uglier, but much more durable Bristlenose which has now outlived my otos combined.
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Old 04-06-2004, 02:01 PM   #10
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Jeez. I didn't realize such a negative reaction to otos.

I bought my otos as a complete beginner. I'm not sure what factors led to their survival. They've been in my tank for a year (I'm knocking on wood now, because every time I say something good about my tank something bad happens...) I think I waited for my cycle to finish before adding them so as to not stress them. I had read that it's touch and go with them at the beginning, because of starvation during shipment, but that they seem pretty hardy otherwise.

I think I kinda increased chance of survival by purchasing them from a LFS that had the same water parameters (and tapwater) that I did. I also bided my time after the shipment arrived so the weaker ones were weeded out. And I decided to buy the ones which looked most healthy with round, not swollen tummies. (Which happened to be the only two left . )

Also the LFS was 10-15 minutes away, so they weren't in the bag long. I don't recall if I let the bag sit or if I dumped them in the tank right away.

The reason I decided to go with otos over a pleco was that I have a small tank, and I wanted as many fish as possible, which meant very small fish (I am well within the inch per gallon guideline). And they're really cute - plecos are kinda ugly. I also had read at the time that plecos are major waste factories. But then I've since discovered that otos are miniature poop factories.

They're really cute and industrious. I don't know if they scratched up my acrylic tank, but they may have. (I guess all suckermouth catfish have the potential to scratch acrylic, but I don't have this verified). BTW I do supplement with zucchini now and then, because the tank doesn't have much algae. I sort of go by tummy size.

I don't know if this is helpful or not, but thought I'd relate my experience.
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Old 04-08-2004, 01:18 AM   #11
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I forget if this has been covered before, but even if it has, it could apply here anyway... it's a question... I've heard people saying how much ottos will help with both green and brown aglae, I've never seen any brown algae in my tank with the ottos around, my question is, are there any other brown alagae eaters out there. Green is a nice color so a little green algae here and there doesn't look horrible, but start seeing brown spots everywhere, i'd hate it... I'm sure my ottos wont live forever and I may try something else later on... but who knows...
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Old 04-08-2004, 01:40 AM   #12
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My common pleco ate brown algae--I was so surprised! He had been in QT for weeks due to an infection and we started seeing gross algae that was not there before! I had no idea my pleco was such a good cleaner!

As for smaller algae eaters, I just bought my second Rubber Lip (and may buy another one tomorrow--now that I found them!). I would recommend Hillstream loach (butterfly loach), but I lost my second one in a week. I'm not sure why
Anyway, LOVE the smaller plecos, including clowns and pitbulls.
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