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Feeding Otocinclus
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Shai
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Location: Calgary, AB

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)12:58    Post subject: Feeding Otocinclus Reply with quote

How do you know if otocinclus is finding enough to eat? I plan to have 3 in my 55g and don't want them to starve to death if there isn't enough algae in the tank.

I've read that feeding algae wafers can cause otos to ignore real algae, but if at some point there isn't enough algae to go around, how will I know to supplement the diet? I have seen LFSes put a slice of cucumber or zucchini on a rock to feed to their stock; how often (if at all) should I do this?
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Dusko
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Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)13:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep Otos in my 180 liter planted tank. 1 per 70 liters should have enough algae and microorganisms to feed on without us interfering with extra food. Note that microorganisms are the preferred diet, brown algae comes second. IME they will ignore commercial food, probably because they have enough of fresh aquarium grown algae/microorganisms Wink

You can do Zucchini and place it after it was blanched for two days in the tank and leave it for two days with no worries to pollute it.
Here is a link to my Oto/zucchini photo;
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4144/1890/1600/33rddayyyhhjjikfg%20001.jpg
But they don't spend much time eating it.

If their bellies are nice, round they are happy IME and if they are fallen in they probably will... Confused

Kind regards, Dusko.
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DF Bobo
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Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)14:50    Post subject: Reply with quote



that's what a full otocinclus should look like. if their bellies look empty, they'll need supplementary food, like zuchini.

photo from http://www.otocinclus.com/
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tetrabarb
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Joined: 05 Jan 2007
Location: SE US

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)15:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had ottos that looked like that, except one.
I always thought it meant it was a girl or it was pregnant.
thanks for the pic
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Shai
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Location: Calgary, AB

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)18:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great info, thanks!

What does "blanching" mean?

I never buy zucchini myself and despite how much I adore my fish, I'm not going to spend that kind of money on a vegetable just for them. Will a slice of cucumber suffice?
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2007.01.07(Sun)6:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly a disclaimer: I don't have a lot of experience with these fish so take what I say with a pinch of salt.

I have been told by our 'local catfish enthusiast' (Deborah) that too much protein (including algae tabs) in the diet can lead to gut implosion...this matches what I have seen with Otocinclus shipments. Generally those fed with excess algae tabs are more likely to be fat like that picture DF Bobo posted which brings me to the next point...

...I'm not sure that picture is actually a healthy Otocinclus. I did originally, but speaking with Deborah gave me a few doubts on that topic and I agree with her now that the Otocinclus in that picture is a little 'too' fat for my liking based on what I have seen with subsequent Otocinclus shipments. It could be pregnant and/or perfectly fine, but I would be wary of upping the feeding just because it does not look like that.

Like Dusko said, I now agree that natural algae/biofilm is the best food for these catfish, followed by vegetables. Algae tabs are accepted, but I would only feed these in moderation just like us and steak.

Shai, cucumber is perfectly fine as far as I know, although zucchini is more nutritious. I tend to think of it this way: if I keep feeding fish bits of my food, I might as well buy them their own zucchini and eat my food (no point in buying more for myself only to feed them right?). I make slices out of the zucchini/cucumber and wrap in cling-film and freeze them. Just unwrap and chuck them into the tank (will thaw in the tank fine, no fish is stupid enough to freeze itself to death as far as I know) - they don't need to be blanched after being frozen in my experience. Incidentally, freezing is also a great way for increasing shelf life since there is no way they'll be able to eat a whole cucumber in time. The cucumber will usually sink after being defrosted (I just throw them into the tank frozen, they'll melt) while the zucchini floats so you might want to weigh that one down with something. Oh ya, blanching is basically boiling something for a short amount of time so the outside is cooked but the inside is not.

http://www.aquahobby.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=37143
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Dusko
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Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: 2007.01.07(Sun)14:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

About zucchini;
Quote:
they don't need to be blanched after being frozen in my experience.


Agreed Wink
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Skittles
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Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Location: Alberta,Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.08(Mon)10:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine don't seem to like cucumber for some reason lol but they love zucchini. I just attach a slice to a small rock and place it in the tank for about 2 days. Its fun to watch them eat it Smile
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eelman
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Joined: 26 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2007.01.08(Mon)16:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

the oto in the picture above may be healthy, but I can tell you from experience that they can be not quite that fat and still be perfectly healthy. mine are less fat than that (but still nicely rounded bellies) and they live with plenty of brown and green algae.

one thing you should know about otos, and I don't think anyone else has said this, is that they are very delicate at first. it is normal to buy 5 and have only one or two survive the first two weeks. after that, though, they are quite hardy IME. I bought 4 otos about 9 months ago, knowing that they had a reputation for being fragile, and two died within three days. the other two are still with me and doing great. its just hit or miss, I guess.
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Avenger
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Joined: 11 May 2006

PostPosted: 2007.01.09(Tue)16:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine will eat carrot bits, peas, lima beans, and practically anything vegetable that will sink down to the bottom of the tank. They do LOVE the zucchini though.
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