Otocinclus

zozo

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the more the merrier...

They are known to be extremely sensitive to stress fatality... It's always a role with the dice what the results will be. I had quite a few over the years, in my personal experience fatality rate within a few months can be up to 80%. :( Less is lucky. :)

A good practice is to ask the vendor how long they are in the shop. If the answer is they arrived last week then rather leave them be and wait a few weeks longer. Depending on the sales rate from the shop. Because everytime you ask the answer can be the same..

Anyway, what's best? The stress fatality rate is very high... Take it or leave it.. Or rather leave them in nature where they belong...

Your choices... :thumbup:
 
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Jon A

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Not sure if I was just lucky but I purchased (and still have) a pair of Otto's in a 36ltr Fluval Flex. They've been perfectly fine and active since day one, and have been in there about a year now. The tank was already around 6 months old though when I added them, to make sure there was a good source of algae ready.
 

sparkyweasel

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A good practice is to ask the vendor how long they are in the shop. If the answer is they arrived last week then rather leave them be and wait a few weeks longer.
Also, they are often very skinny when they arrive. Sometimes they never recover. If they are getting fatter after a week or two in the shop it's a good sign. If not, they may just waste away over a few weeks.
I have heard, but can't confirm, that they can lose their gut bacteria during shipping and treatment, and have no way of replenishing it. Then they can waste away even if they are eating, as they can't digest the food properly without the gut flora.
So it's not enough to see them eating in the shop, you want to see them getting fatter compared to when they first arrived.
 

zozo

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The last time i bought 10 was late summer last year the first 3 months it looked like all were fine, as Sparky says, eating and very active.
But then suddenly start dropping like flies and lost 9 over a few months. All without an obvious reason, no signs of distress and looking healthy and active and next day dead as if the timer stopped. The last one swimming is alone now for at least 2 months. Looking very happy, but can't tell if it really is.

This is the 3rd time same experience, feel a bit sorry for the little guy and like to buy it some partners again. But it also feels a bit like a waste of money at almost € 3,- p/Oto and they like/need to live in rather large groups. And most of the time all LFS in my region rather don't stock them, then I have to place an order and buy 10 at the same time. That's minimum order number for the LFS.

If i want less they will arrive in the shop and i've seen them do it, they drop the bag into the holding tank, catch out the ones i want and bag them up again.

This is a rather high-stress impact for those little fish, Caught and bagged at the wholesaler, shipped, and the same day dropped in a different tank with different water and immediately caught and bagged and shipped again and dropped again in again different water. All this in a 2 day period... :(

Then i rather buy them all, i know the delivery day and say to the LFS leave them all in the bag, call me when they are in and I come flying over to pick them up to reduce this dragging around and it's still not a guarantee for better survival rate.
 

Millns84

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2 Sep 2017
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Stockport UK
I bought 12 to go in my Rio 450 a couple of months ago.

They seemed to disappear but just last week I managed to count 9 and I haven't found any dead yet.

My LFS currently has orange zebra otos in stock. Very rare... Very pricey!
 

JK1991

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7 Feb 2017
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What I found is that Oto's LOVE the slimey stuff that's on rocks and wood that's been in the water for quite some time. I had some rocks in a bucket standing in the garden, filled with rainwater over time. When I had put those stones in the tank, they swarmed them.
 

kilnakorr

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16 Mar 2020
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Denmark
I have had my 10 otos for more than a year. Had them in a large bucket for 3 weeks recently (getting floor done, so tank needed to be removed).

My advice:
Make sure tank is mature -at least a few months old.
Keep in groups of at least 5.
Pick out the ones with round and full bellies at LFS.
Remember to feed them if you have a very clean tank!
 

Fu Ranchu

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Keep an eye out for Hisonotus leucofrenatus or similar as well!

Was led to believe they were hardier than your regular oto species and have the same behaviours.

Kept them on there own and they bred regularily with hardly any casualties if any. Had more luck with these.

Always wanted a group of o. cocama but cant imagine paying that premium when they could just pop their clogs for no fault of your own! An expensive gamble.
 

Richard40

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Keep an eye out for Hisonotus leucofrenatus or similar as well!

Was led to believe they were hardier than your regular oto species and have the same behaviours.

Kept them on there own and they bred regularily with hardly any casualties if any. Had more luck with these.

Always wanted a group of o. cocama but cant imagine paying that premium when they could just pop their clogs for no fault of your own! An expensive gamble.
Are these difficult to get? Pier aquatics said Oto’s are difficult to import, that the fishermen don’t really look after them as they are cheap.
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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There are wholesalers that proudly state they have never done water change ... I suspect the fishermen are not the major challenge
There are excellent fish suppliers in SA and there are less reputable dealers, the first obviously charge more
 

rebel

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4 Aug 2015
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in my personal experience fatality rate within a few months can be up to 80%
Agree. To make matters more interesting my local LFS only gets a few in at a time to force the sale quickly on suspecting customers like me. I suspect it but have no choice but to buy em or accept that one day later they will be all gone.

I am surprised that they die in our tanks because they live in filthy water. I tried to put in 8 once but it gets really expensive for us in Australia because it's $20 each!


Maybe too much O2 in our tank is poisonous for them? ;)
 

zozo

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Maybe too much O2 in our tank is poisonous for them?

I kept them in both High and Low tech.

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Didn't notice significant differences in my low tech they perished in a similar fashion. Looking vivid and healthy for weeks and then suddenly start dying one after the other without obvious reason...

Since they are wild specimen I rather suspect they maybe have a live span between 1 and 2 years and we never know the age of the fish in the LFS. In my high tech tank, I had 2 living for over a year, while the other 8 died within the first.

Never found any scientific references on their maximum age.
 

Polly

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23 May 2009
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Keep an eye out for Hisonotus leucofrenatus or similar as well!

Was led to believe they were hardier than your regular oto species and have the same behaviours.

Kept them on there own and they bred regularily with hardly any casualties if any. Had more luck with these.

I picked up one of these when I bought some otos from MA about 2 years ago. I would have had more but it was the only one they had and they haven't had any since. They weren't sure what it was as it had come in with the otos. I just liked the look of it.

It's quite a character, and has grown well although still only about 1.5 inches. It seems to really like the bogwood and will come looking for algae wafers. I'd get more if I could. Lovely little fish!
 

Parablennius

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5 Mar 2016
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I got six, including one male Dec 2016. Used to spawn but male died after one year but I still have 5 females. Plus I've never target fed them!!
 
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