GIANT OTO'S

Magnum Man

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since the "nightmare on Captains street" thread may have escaped some people... I thought if titled like this, I'll continue my experience...

so I was curious about them, in so many ways, that I'll address some things here, but I began asking about them... not finding anyone that had one, or much info about them... when suddenly they appeared at my favorite on line seller Dan's Fish...


well, I just had to try them, ordering ( 3 )... so common Oto's are hard to keep, often coming to you starved, & from research may have lost the digestive bacteria they need to to process algae, so they often slowly starve to death, even if you have a food source for them...... so would the Giants be any better??? would they be social to each other??? will they be social to other sucker mouthed catfish??? or other bottom dwellers like Cory's??? will they actually eat algae off your glass??? how big will they actually get???
so many unanswered questions...
my 3 arrived alive & well from Dan's Fish... one is about 4 inches long, one about 5 inches long, & one a whopping 6 inches long...
I refer you to the "nightmare on captains street" thread on this forum, for pictures as received... they all came in a kind of gold / tan color...

my experience here... I've slowly killed many common Oto's, as well a many Zebra Oto's... but I do have one Zebra Oto, that I've had for close to 2 years now, & still going strong... & I have 5-6 varieties of Hillstream loaches... I have strong lighting in an attempt to actually grow algae for these critters, I've been fortifying my algae with Bacter A E... not positive if it's making much difference, but everyone gets excited when I add it to the tank... I also Supplement with Repashi Soilent Green, that I apply to sticks... I know my Zebra Oto, Plecos, & Hillstreams all love the Repashi... the Giants will get their 1st taste this weekend...

so far there has not been any major color up on the fish, from coming from the bags... the smallest one, did go to the basic common Oto colors, but the bigger 2, have so far kept the tannish color... they are social both within the species & have no issues so far with Cory's ( we have 5 baby Cory's in the tank the Giants went into, & so far no issues ) I'll be adding some baby plecos soon... I did see one working the glass this morning ( day 2 ) but they have been spending the bulk of their time on driftwood pieces... I did not have any "algae eater" in the tank I put them into, with the exception of a Mystery snail ( no conflicts there either ) & in 2 days there is not a noticeable clearing on the back glass which has a pretty heavy layer of surface algae...

I'll continue to add pictures and comments here as they progress or die???
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I like @CaptainBarnicles, and understand her aversion to the sucker mouths but also like fish everyone doesn’t have… sorry Captain, if you’re forced by job title, to check my language…
 
I like @CaptainBarnicles, and understand her aversion to the sucker mouths but also like fish everyone doesn’t have… sorry Captain, if you’re forced by job title, to check my language…
If you love disgusting poop machine beasts then carry on my dear 😉 its @Colin_T s language that is almost as gross as your beloved suckermouths that I have to keep my eye on🧐
 
I’ll admit that I have one of the poop machines ( common Pleco ) that I’ve had for a couple years… I’m not nice to it, but I’m not intentionally trying to kill it… and as long as they live, it’ll be around here for a long time… it is a good algae eater, and gets moved to problem tanks… it currently keeps the sides of tank that has my Bichir in, spotless and that’s in an acrylic tank with rounded corners, so it’s not easy to keep clean…

And as an observation, the plecos that I have that are not specifically algae eaters ( like my Gold Nugget, and my King Tigers, don’t seem to be poop machines… perhaps their diet effects the output

As far as Oto’s go, I’ve never noticed the little Oto’s, or my Zebra, being poop machines, and if we go back to one of my concerns for the Giants, if they don’t have the bacteria in their gut anymore, to digest the Algae, they will end up dying, and won’t be poop machines, because they can’t digest the algae… currently the main algae eater in this tank is still the Mystery snail… I have a couple baby Super Red Pleco’s coming for this tank…

A couple of today’s pictures of the Giants
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This one appears to be cleaning the algae off the top of this resin log, and seems mildly interested in the fish food… I think you can see the area in n the top of the log, that is cleaner
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This one has this hang on planter algae free… but still the best cleaner of algae on the glass is the Mystery snail… still no conficts, but don’t have the baby Pleco’s added to the tank yet…
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The biggest one, in the holding tank by itself seems to be starting to make some headway on the glass algae… everybody gets Repashi sticks for supper tonight
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Well I guess training begins tonight… I put the Repashi sticks (6) tonight into tanks… the gold nugget Pleco, and zebra Oto, go right away to them, as do most of the Hillstream’s… the Giants didn’t go right to them… I know Dan’s feeds Repashi, but the Giants may go to them tonight after the lights go down, but aren’t going to them like my currently trained fish… we’ll see by morning light
 
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1st training looks like it went well, after dark… the Oto that has had a pretty regular spot on a resin log, was on the Repashi stick at 1st light this morning… a few more times, and he may jump on it as quickly as the Gold Nugget, and Zebra Oto, do in the other tank…
 
Well the biggest one, in one of my holding tanks, that was overgrown with algae, is definitely clearing glass… the picture above shows a small spot on one of the short sides now after this weekend, there is a very large patch on one of the long sides, so that one despite being fed Repashi, is still eating algae, in this case, off the glass… the other two in the larger tank are clearing tank hard scape, but have yet, made a dent in glass algae… he’s pretty camera shy, but it’s work, is becoming visible
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well, I just had to try them, ordering ( 3 )... so common Oto's are hard to keep, often coming to you starved, & from research may have lost the digestive bacteria they need to to process algae, so they often slowly starve to death, even if you have a food source for them...... so would the Giants be any better??? would they be social to each other??? will they be social to other sucker mouthed catfish??? or other bottom dwellers like Cory's??? will they actually eat algae off your glass??? how big will they actually get???
so many unanswered questions...
I want to correct one thing here as i think there is a misconception. otto are very easy to keep IF the digestive bacteria hasn't died in the gut. The problem is on import path a certain number of them have the bacteria die and (my understanding) at that point there is nothing you can do to keep them alive long term. However as long as they are well fed during import and arrive in good condition i've found them to be extremely hearty fishes.

My solution is to ensure the seller has had them for at least 4 - preferably 6 weeks before buying them and there are a couple of sellers i use frequently enough that i can ask that sort of question and get an honest answer.
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The real issue with all the noise on the internet is people say a bunch of things and it is hard to decipher the exact issue - did the buyer abuse the fish or was the fish doomed to die before the buyer even obtained them.

As for giant otto - they aren't otto at all they are in the genus Hypoptopoma and i have no clue if they have the same issue with gut bacteria.
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