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Thread: My three new Ottos!

  1. #9
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    I read a thing about Ottos and their "high mortality rate" years back, and it makes total sense to me, (and it applies to almost any aquarium fish really)..the theory is this:

    Tropical fish collected from the wild are highly stressed during the weeks or months between the time they are captured in their amazonian stream (or wherever) and the time they finally make it to your tank at home..they live in water that is too hot, too cold, crowded, dirty, etc..its really bad, and more than 50% die before they even make it to the fish store..
    the ones that do make it to the fish store, and the ones you buy, are still in the middle of their downward death spiral..and many of them *complete* that downward death spiral *after* they make it to your tank at home!
    its not because your tank has bad conditions..on the contrary, your tank is probably the best conditions they have seen since being captured, its just that they are already "at death's door" due to weeks of stress when you buy them..which is beyond your control.

    This is why many newly-bought fish die..its simply because they were already nearly dead when you bought them..the process just happened to finish in your tank!..even "tank raised" fish can fall under this theory, because fish-store tanks are usually very crowded and sub-prime in terms of water quality.

    I have had 4 different Otto cats over the years..3 died within days or weeks after I got them..the 4th is still alive and well in my tank after NINE years!
    im amazed that it keeps going and going..
    the trick is getting them "over the hump" so that they recover before they die..then they can enjoy a long life..IF your tank conditions are good!

    I bet that 95% of "new fish deaths"..fish that die within days or bringing them home, are due to this concept..

    Scot

    p.s.
    if you want Ottos for algae control, forget it..they do nothing for that..
    yes they technically EAT algae, but not enough to be even noticable as far as overall algae control. there is only one reliable way to control algae..nutrient control.

  2. #10
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Well my tank is new so i've got diatoms. This morning I peeked inside and it looked like someone took a toothbrush to the rocks! It was dark brown, and now you can see the light tan rock.

    I got 'em because they are so cute and they are shrimp safe. Any algea they eat is just a bonus for me.

    Do you think it would be unethical of me to replace them as they die untill I got three healthy ones total?

  3. #11
    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    From what I've heard (could be a myth... who knows) otos are a special case because to harvest them people pour some kind of neurotoxin into the river upstream to temporarily paralyze them. It makes it much easier to catch large numbers of them. So even though the ones that make it have survived the process, they have some degree of damage to their systems that acts as a ticking timebomb.

    I certainly wouldn't put it past people to do such a thing. There may be other species who get the same treatment.

    Otos only eat so many types of algae (if it grows on glass, it's probably the kind they'll eat, not counting cyanobacteria which isn't an algae anyway), but what they do eat they eliminate fast. For algae control of that type, they're one of the best species you can get.

  4. #12
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    I know that it's common with a lot of wild caught marine fish to use Cyanide.

    I'm gonna leave them alone until saturday or sunday when I get home, and either they will be alive and fat or dead and fouling the water (hence why I bought the Purigen...)

  5. #13
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    So, how are they doing, Clint? We brought ours home at the same time. Both are still alive and seem very happy but I wouldn't describe their bellies as being fat yet. Maybe they're both males?? I understand females are generally plumper. They play a cute chasing game and get along well with the lone cory.
    My chicken legs taste like chicken--only less meaty.

  6. #14
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    One died and fowled up the tank when I got home, but the other two are still alive

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    I'm sorry about the loss. But the other two are hanging in, yeah! I saw some ottos at my LFS and they were BIG (compared to mine). They weren't for sale though...
    My chicken legs taste like chicken--only less meaty.

  8. #16
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Ehh, I expected all three do be dead by now so i'm happy lol. They have put on weight, too.

    They aren't eating the diatoms as fast as i'd like.... Lazy otto's I'm not feeding them since they are eating the diatoms and i've put some phosphate absorbing material in the filter and upped my nitrates so maybe those three things will help. It's still a new tank but it's choking out the old growth on my HC so it pisses me off

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