Otocinclus and driftwood…

Naterjm

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Long story as short as possible…

had 5 otos in my 20 long with an old decaying piece of driftwood. When it came time to upgrade to my 38 long, I found all 5, which was strange because I didn’t think I had any left.

in the past, I’ve had otos that would graze on algae all day long, algae wafers and zucchini no problem. (Unplanted and fake decorations)

still no active sign in the new tank they’re eating algae. But they are still hiding in very hard to see places seemingly chewing on the wood. As long as they are eating and staying healthy, growing like crazy, I’m happy for them.

miss the days though when they were out and about to see them.

Has anyone else had this experience? I know there a few theories out there that otos choose to eat wood like plecos do, so I’m not totally surprised here.
 

Ichthys

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New wood won’t have that biofilm. In fact some store bought woods are too hard for Otos till they start to soften, which can take a while.
 

Naughts

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What tankmates do they have? They could feel intimidated hence not want to feed in the open areas?
 

itiwhetu

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They are in their happy place. Fish don't want to be out on show for their humans. They want to be where they feel safe and secure. Do you every sit along way away from the tank and observe, you may be surprised what you see.
 

Myraan

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Mine regularly sit on the front glass even though it the least algae growth and don't seem at all intimidated. The other fish just ignore them. I only have two - as when I had four before the tank didn't make enough food I think, but I read somewhere they evolved to superficially resemble corydoras so like to loiter around cory shoals in the wild. So maybe you need some rambunctious dumbass cories bounding around the tank as dithers?
 
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Naterjm

Naterjm

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Tank mates are 12-15 neon tetras, can’t count those little buggers…, 3 panda corydoras, 2 amonano shrimp and a variety of trumpet and assassin snails.

the original piece of driftwood was quite far along in its decomposition, the “new” piece in the upgraded tank is actually a piece I got used from another tank from a local seller.

Its much hardier than the last piece but still soft enough for them to chew on. I’ve got what looks like a few different kinds of algae forming on the new driftwood. So there’s definitely life in it, I suppose that’s keeping the otos going.

I did find one spot that I can’t get a picture of, but there seems to be a good hiding spot under the wood, and I can always count a few oto tails hanging down. One tail is huge, I’ve never seen an oto that big.

my only concern is that they’re happy and healthy, but I do think they’re chewing on the wood, or what’s on the wood, or both
 
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Naterjm

Naterjm

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I would also like to add that this isn’t particularly a problem or issue…

hell, I thought they were all dead until I pulled the driftwood and found them all alive in the old setup.

i would consider it more of a curiosity, as being mostly wild caught, I would imagine individual patterns for eating habits would vary depending on catch locations and conditions.
 

Myraan

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Get a few more panda cories, it will make them ridiculously confident I would guess which will probably make the Otos feel the same. You know the Otos are healthy because they get round little tummies.
 
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Naterjm

Naterjm

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Get a few more panda cories, it will make them ridiculously confident I would guess which will probably make the Otos feel the same. You know the Otos are healthy because they get round little tummies.

I think I’m done with pandas to quite honest. I’ve had very little success with them. The three I have right now are the survivors of almost two years now.
Just not a lot of success with them in this region, even a couple locals I spoke with are having a hard time

i just bought 6 green cories, they’re in quarantine right now. I think they look real sharp, and are supposed to be more hardy.

the otos, when I did the tank swap, looked really healthy, well coloured, round bellies.

honestly, I think they just like the wood, or any biofilm that’s on the wood.

judging by the one tail I saw hanging down today, at least one of them is a huge chunker…
 

itiwhetu

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Green cats and Sterbii are the two I think are hardiest. I have tried lots but those are my fall back ones. Pigmy's of course but they are in a class of their own.
 

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