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Otocinclus Oto cat is the best algae cleaner fish

Discussion in 'Plecos, Sucker Cats' started by michael, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. michael

    michael Thread Starter Administrator Staff Member

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    I love otocinclus sucker mouth catfish. They are the best freshwater algae cleaning fish of all. What makes them a fantastic addition is that they are very peaceful fish, very happy to just eat algae off of anything that doesn't move. They keep the glass sparkling clean and will eat algae off of rocks, wood and even ornaments. They are gentle fish so you shouldn't expect any type of after effect of the fish leaving any marks on glass or wood or anything else on which the algae has been scraped off.

    They can be delicate fish. If you do not have sufficient algae in the tank, you must feed otocinclus catfish some algae. I prefer the sinking pellets or spirulina over the wafers as algae wafers can disintegrate quite easily. Still, the wafers are typically fine as the catfish can locate traces and do eat these and microorganisms in the tank. They can eat algae rather quickly so don't buy too many oto cats for any tank. A 5 gallon tank is probably the smallest size I would ever consider for just one otocinclus and even then I would prefer it to be a 10 gallon at absolute minimum. This is because your tank needs to have sufficient algae building to feed all your catfish easily, not just barely making the grade - or they will starve.

    Otocinclus macrospilus - that is their scientific name - only stay very small, usually no longer than 1.5 to 2 inches in size or 3-4 centimeters. They are kept at the same temperature as most tropical fish, between 70 and 80 F. The tank pH can range between 5.5 and 7.5 and you'll find the otocinclus will tolerate most conditions general to tropical fish. Planted tanks are almost a must although high algae generating tanks should be sufficient. While they will spend a great deal of time on the glass, make sure that they do have plenty of in tank surface area, such as plants, fake ornamentation, wood and the like. Open area tanks with vast space and few objects to grasp on and hide by blending into the environment are not optimal for oto catfish. Even most with 10 gallon to 20 gallon tanks should meet the requirements, which makes the oto cat one of the greatest fish for your tropical aquarium, especially if you need to regularly deal with algae. It is the far preferable method to chemical algae cleaners, which you should refrain from using as much as possible.

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
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