Tank bred otos?

Colin_T

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I suspect the difficulties like in both the water conditions they want, and a lot of people struggle just to keep them well fed. They live in massive groups in the wild, and people tend to keep just 1-3 or so in a tank. When I'm ready to try breeding them, I intend to keep a large group of 12 or so, and species only tank. They're easily bullied by other fish, so not likely to breed in a tank with other fish, and not many people keep them in large groups or in a species only tank.
This is just my suspicion based on research I did when I first began keeping them, and when I had a female carrying eggs.
It's a good suspicion :)

Most people only keep a few fish so that reduces the chance of getting pairs to breed.

Most fish starve to death in a short space of time.

Most people don't try to breed them and just have a few algae eaters in the tank.

Most people don't provide suitable water for them.

If you have other fishes in the tank that breed readily, those fish will release hormones into the water that encourage other fish in the area to start breeding. So a single species tank is not always necessary, nor wanted when breeding some fish. I had whiptail and twig catfish in a tank with rainbowfish and barbs. The rainbows would breed continuously because that's what rainbows do. :) But their breeding used to get the barbs and catfish going so within 30 minutes of the rainbows waking up and getting down and dirty, most of the other fish in the tank were also getting down and dirty.

If you have a small peaceful species of fish that breeds readily and has the same water requirements as the Otocinclus, you could keep them together and hopefully the other species breeding might encourage the Otos to breed.

For any fish, bird or animal, provide it with a safe clean habitat that is free of pollutants and predators, give them an ample food source and clean water, and plenty of suitable shelter, and they will breed like humans.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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It's a good suspicion :)

Thank you! That means a lot to me, coming from you, @Colin_T :)

That's another great point, about not having it be a species only tank plus the hormones released from others spawning. In that case, I would want to pair them with a corydora species. I ran across some research that showed specific species of otos being found near and among certain species of corydora. I can dig out the link if you'd like to see it. The researchers suspected that the otos evolved to hang around among the cories that were also in their area because corydoras have more defenses against predators than otos do, and the otos hoped for safety in numbers/to be mistaken for the corydoras. Since that would also be a biotope type set up, and it seems both cories and otos like some flow, setting up the tank to spawn the cories might be the way to induce spawning in the otos too, especially if the otos are in a decently sized group. Heavily planted and established tank with enough soft algae and supplimental feeding, lots of leaf litter and micro-organisms for fry to eat while they hide, soft water... it could work, I really think. Could get the otos first once tank is established and stable, try to acclimate them to supplimental foods to keep them well fed and conditioned, work out which sub-species you have, then get the corydora species usually found near them. Perhaps a peaceful top-dwelling fish found in their natural habitat as a dither, if it's not an egg and fry eater, and see what happens.

Would be a nice tank to have anyway, even if they didn't spawn!

Oh, I also remembered that @seangee has had his otos spawn and babies turn up in the tank, without intending to breed them. He just had more otos than he'd bought show up in his tanks. We know how beautifully kept and balanced his tanks are, so worth following his lead for anyone who wants to try breeding them.
 

anewbie

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Its in this month's competition

Its just an ordinary aquarium, nothing remotely special.....just bottled water, absolutely zero additives/medications, 60/40 artificial/real plants and artificial rocks.
Probably the key aspect is near 0 tds and likely a bit acidic.
 

anewbie

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It's a good suspicion :)

Most people only keep a few fish so that reduces the chance of getting pairs to breed.

Most fish starve to death in a short space of time.

s.
I see this a lot but i never get it. I've around 20 or so oto in my 40B (couple of different species) for the past 3 years. They don't seem to starve very fast....
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I see this a lot but i never get it. I've around 20 or so oto in my 40B (couple of different species) for the past 3 years. They don't seem to starve very fast....
Do you ever add food specifically for them? Or do they find enough in the tank? Really nice to see someone keeping these in a nice group! Otos are one of my favourite fish, and they're so often used just as tank cleaners and their group size preference never considered, makes me sad. So this is nice to see. :)

I kept eight otos in a 15.5g for a few years and they always had round tummies and rarely touched the algae wafers and things I added for them. Tank didn't look algae covered, but had enough plant matter and leaf litter that I think they found and prefer the naturally occurring foods, and go to the supplimental only when that's in short supply. Or, I wasn't providing the right kinds of supplimental foods, that's always possible. I did wind up losing them gradually, but I believe that was caused by my keeping them in hard water since I didn't know better at the time. It wasn't starvation, I know that for sure since they always looked healthy with rounded bellies, and same with the bodies. But even in that hard water (253ppm) I saw what looked like spawning behaviour and a female with a much larger belly than usual, and seemed to be carrying eggs.

I'd really like to try again with otos (my survivors are in softer water now) but I likely won't unless I've moved to a soft water area, or can juggle my budget to afford a lot of RO and a large tank for a large group. With the cost of living as it is, that probably won't be for a while...
 

Colin_T

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Could get the otos first once tank is established and stable, try to acclimate them to supplimental foods to keep them well fed and conditioned, work out which sub-species you have, then get the corydora species usually found near them.
Don't add Otocinclus catfish to newly set up tanks. the tank needs to be at least 3 (preferably 6) months old and have a decent biofilm and algae before Otos are added.

I would add Corydoras first and then the Otos a few months later.

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Otocinclus regularly starve at the exporters, importers and everywhere in between. By the time most shops get them, the fish have sunken bellies and haven't eaten for weeks or even months. These fish are small and need regular feeding with the appropriate food otherwise they die.

If shops get good healthy well fed Otocinclus in, they do really well, but most of the time the fish are emaciated and close to death when the shops get them.
 

anewbie

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Do you ever add food specifically for them? Or do they find enough in the tank? Really nice to see someone keeping these in a nice group! Otos are one of my favourite fish, and they're so often used just as tank cleaners and their group size preference never considered, makes me sad. So this is nice to see. :)

I kept eight otos in a 15.5g for a few years and they always had round tummies and rarely touched the algae wafers and things I added for them. Tank didn't look algae covered, but had enough plant matter and leaf litter that I think they found and prefer the naturally occurring foods, and go to the supplimental only when that's in short supply. Or, I wasn't providing the right kinds of supplimental foods, that's always possible. I did wind up losing them gradually, but I believe that was caused by my keeping them in hard water since I didn't know better at the time. It wasn't starvation, I know that for sure since they always looked healthy with rounded bellies, and same with the bodies. But even in that hard water (253ppm) I saw what looked like spawning behaviour and a female with a much larger belly than usual, and seemed to be carrying eggs.

I'd really like to try again with otos (my survivors are in softer water now) but I likely won't unless I've moved to a soft water area, or can juggle my budget to afford a lot of RO and a large tank for a large group. With the cost of living as it is, that probably won't be for a while...
Well I add some soilent green mixed with igaloo explorer (80:20); mostly for the bn but the pygmy cory jump on it before the bns wake up - and sometimes the otto will join the pygmy cory.
 

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