Oto owners - pls help

(19 Posts)
agnesf Fri 31-Aug-12 01:17:16

We have got a new 60l tank and have spent a lifetime cycling it (interupted by holidays/ Olympics etc). We got 4 guppies and 2 otos last weekend.

All seems well with the guppies - swimming about, sparring a bit with each other at first but now seemed to have settled down. We have fallen in love with them all - I couldn't believ that fish would have characters but they do!

The otos is a different story. They seemed ok at first but yesterday one died sad. I was alreay fretting about them because they wouldn't eat the algae wafers and now have read rather a lot about them on t'internet and have discovered they are indeed rather tricky e.g often half starved when you get them and then your new tank is too stressy with not enough algae for them.

So now we have one lonely oto and are trying to give him lots of tlc. But this is v difficult because he isn't interested in algal wafers even if placed in front of his nose. Have finally got a veggie clip and today had a bit of break through when stuck some cucumber in front of his nose and he stuck himslef onto it.

Read a really good blog about them saying if you get them through the first month they will be ok. We've managed almost a week but am beginning to obsess about him.

If he survives should we try to get him a friend? Anyone got some otos who could give us some advice about where we go from here ... If he doesn't make it we'll not get any more but if he does I feel obliged to get him a friend or two.

P.S Sorry about typos - message too long to correct

MushroomBurger Fri 31-Aug-12 02:48:03

Just quickly as I'm breastfeeding - they need to be in a school, minimum of 6 - or they die, as they are extremely timid and rely on the presence of others to feel safe. I'd go buy 6 more ASAP. Also try them on dome algae wafers or a weighted down piece of cucumber.
Some of ours are about four years old now, lovely fish but I can't stress enough that if you don't have them in a group they WILL die.

MushroomBurger Fri 31-Aug-12 02:49:31

Oh I see you're doing wafers and cucumber already. I'd go back to the fish shop today for more otos. Best of luck.

MamaPizza Fri 31-Aug-12 08:47:20

The problem you have is that it is a fairly new tank and I assume you don't have enough algae yet. Mine prefer natural tank algae rather than wavers and veggies (which I still put in but they are rarely seen on them).

What you could do is start growing algae on rocks. Put some rocks into water in a sunny spot and wait. Now that's the problem. It takes a while, but eventually (1-2 weeks) you'll have them covered in algae. Have enough rocks, so you can constantly swap around, i.e. one is cleaned by the otos then you swap to a fresh one and let the clean one develop new algae.

I wouldn't get 6 yet, as there isn't enough food for them. For now just up the number to 2-3 and then later once you got algae rocks and more algae in the tank you could have 6 of them.

EauRouge Fri 31-Aug-12 09:43:48

Agree with MamaPizza, otos don't do well in a new tank. I'd take the remaining one back and wait 6 months. Also they are quite delicate so you might want to check that your water conditions are suited to them. If so then the algae growing thing that MamaPizza mentioned will work really well for feeding them.

agnesf Fri 31-Aug-12 17:16:07

Oh dear. I feel quite bad about him all on his own but think I am stuck between rock and hard place as fish shop only had 2 otos and never seem to have very many - probably because they die so easily sad. If I take him back he will be on own in fish shop tank and probably die there.

But I don't think we could really have 6 in our tank as it isn't v big.

I think I'll have to make the best of a bad job and try to keep him going with algae rocks. We did have quite a bit of brown algae in our tank after we had cyclced it because we had it for so long (almost 3 months) and have got lots of plants in there too. But I cleaned it all up before we got the fish - how dumb was that.

With the rocks - what water should I use - do I need to add aqua safe? Also what rocks confused. SHould we get the fish shop ones or can I just pick something up in the garden and clean it up somehow. We have quite a few ornaments - could I take one out and grow algae on that?

Or do you think I could advertise for an oto keeper local who would take him to a nicer place with lots of oto-ey friends.

agnesf Fri 31-Aug-12 17:43:30

Good news ish - oto has been seen poo-ing. I read somewhere this is good news as shows they are getting enough to eat.

When we got the tank I told DS I was having nthing to do with it - now I am obsessing about a fish doing a poo. grin

MamaPizza Fri 31-Aug-12 17:52:59

Oto poop is indeed good grin

You don't need six, three will do in a tank your size, but add them later. Whereabouts are you? If you really are unsure, try preloved or local FB groups if you really want to rehome.

I put the rocks in normal tapwater. You can look in the garden. Pour some white vinegar over them and if they fizz they are no good otherwise they are safe to use.

agnesf Sat 01-Sep-12 14:00:13

Ok so the best thing is to keep oto no 1 alive with cucumber if poss while growing algae and then in a couple of weeks can get him some oto friends.

Have found suitable rocks so will clean them up a bit and start algae farm this afternoon.

One question - went to Pets @ Home today and they had lots of otos but all rather smaller than our one and a bit skinny looking but quite lively. Would it be best to get 2 friends from there rather than other shop which only has 1 or 2. Is small & lively better than bigger and lethargic (the one that died was pretty sedentary even when we got him)?

MamaPizza Sat 01-Sep-12 14:19:58

Lively is always a good sign as they will roam the tank to find food. I had some from P@H and they are still alive. But yes, wait until you got your algae on the rocks, they will love you for it. Blink and it's all eaten up, so make sure you got enough rocks.

agnesf Sat 01-Sep-12 17:06:59

Have had a big success today with courgette. smile

MamaPizza Sat 01-Sep-12 18:10:34

That's great! Once they eat they are most likely going to survive smile

agnesf Thu 06-Sep-12 22:22:44

Just a quick update - lone oto still hanging in there. He seems to be finding enough to eat with the extra courgette/ cucmber. He's so cute - always sitting around on leaves or hanign upside down on the courgette.

Algae farm is not progressing very fast so hope he keeps going until we can get him some friends.

Meanwhile there seems to be a bad scene developing with the guppies. One is constantly chasing another one - is there anything which can be done to calm things down.

MamaPizza Fri 07-Sep-12 06:32:50

Good news on the oto! I know the algae takes ages, but once you have a few rocks and the tank gets more established itself it will be better.

I actually moved some of my otos from one tank to the other not long ago and the difference they made to the original tank is amazing. It is full of algae now without them, they really should be compulsory in every tank as once established they do a sterling job of keeping it clean.

Are the guppies all male or is there a female? If it's a mix, they could be chasing the female for some loving. If all male, there can be some nipping and pecking. I had one bully guppy once who nipped everyone's fins and that was in a 340 litre tank, so definitely not space issues. He was just simply a git.

agnesf Sun 30-Sep-12 18:19:16

We have got an oto friend for oto no 1. New oto is very lively and doing a lot of rushing about. Old oto has not noticed him yet and is sitting on the algae cleaning magnet as per usual (strange isn't it that he likes the magnet seeing that algae cleaning is his job!).

Fingers crossed that new oto can show old oto delicious food sources such as the algae stones that have spent ages cultivating only to have them completey ignored by old oto hmm

agnesf Sun 30-Sep-12 22:16:09

The otos have met and are now both rushing around excitedly - hope they don't over do it and not have enough food to keep them going. Old oto has really perked up so lets hope new oto doesn't go the same way as the first oto friend.

MamaPizza Mon 01-Oct-12 05:45:09

How sweet, bet old oto will be happy with his little bro. smile

agnesf Tue 30-Oct-12 21:36:34

Quick oto update. One month on and the oto friends seem very happy. They hang out together and old oto has completely put his dark days of sitting on the algae cleaning magnet behind him grin. Now they are to be found sitting on near each other on plants/ eating cucumber or sometimes having a mad 5 minutes swimming about (usually after dark).

I don't think our tank is big enough for any more but they seem happy enough. Much less stressy than the guppies who spend the whole time bickering.

MamaPizza Wed 31-Oct-12 08:35:25

Aw, very cute. Glad it worked out. In a 60l tank you could add a couple more. If you got enough algae now and they eat on cucumber, then it wouldn't be a problem.

I agree with guppies. Don't have them anymore, pretty but plain annoying with their tail envy antics...

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