Otocinclus Catfish – Size | Breeding | Tank | Mates | Care

Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish are also referred to as Dwarf Suckers or Oto Catfish. To preserve the cleanliness of the aquatic surroundings for a long time, specialists advise you to get Otocinclus Catfish, which eat algae shaped on stones, ornamental components, and the partitions of the tank.

Otocinclus Catfish facts

Scientific Name: Macrotocinclus Affinis, Otocinclus Affinis
Common Name: Oto, Oto catfish, otto cat, dwarf suckermouth, dwarf oto, dwarf Sucker
Tank Size: 100 liters (26,42 gallons) and more
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivorous backside feeder
Temperature: 22-28 C (71,6-82,Four F)
pH: 6.5-7.5
Care Level: Easy
Color Form: Various, most have a brown stripe down their body
Lifespan: 3-5 years
Size: 1-2 inches
Family: Loricariidae
Tank Set-Up: Freshwater- sandy substrate with caves
Compatibility: Peaceful community aquariums

Natural Habitat

The homeland of Otocinclus Catfish is taken into account Argentina and Venezuela. Some kinds of fish boast Brazil, Paraguay, and Peru.

Otocinclus Catfish inhabits small streams and clear rivers with a weak presence, the place they eat algae and fouling on the backside of watercourses.

Typically, catfish might be seen off the coast, the place they disguise in small-leaved vegetation. Using suction cups, they cling to broad-leaved thickets, stones, and different underwater objects.

Otocinclus Catfish dwell in packs that might be as large as a number of thousand people. Flocks feed within the shallow sand, the place there are various vegetation and snags. These Catfish feed on periphyton and algae.

Description of Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish acts as a placing instance of an aquarium cleaner. The size of his body is 5-5.5 cm. The form of the body of the fish is just like a spindle. Otocinclus can be known as dwarf suckers or Oto catfish.

These cleaner fishes have an attention-grabbing color. Their aspect plates have a gray-yellow hue, and the back is roofed in darkish color. The susceptible stomach of gray-milk coloration is devoid of platelets.

Along the body from the edges, there’s a darkish strip, passing on the tail right into a spot, which can differ in numerous species in form and size. Small fins are characterized by transparency.

An attention-grabbing function of Otocinclus is intestinal respiration. Catfish have an air bubble, with the assistance of which they inflate their esophagus and float to the floor.

With an absence of gill respiration, the catfish usually swims on top of the water to breathe. This serves as a sign that the water is poorly saturated with oxygen.

Even learners can decide the gender of those cleansing fish. It is sufficient to have a look at the fish from above: the males are small in size and chic in form, and the females are bigger, wider, and rounded.

Deciding on the gender of aquarium pets is sort of straightforward, however, specialists advocate maintaining a flock for those who plan to breed Otocinclus.

After a while, the catfish themselves are divided into pairs.

Little cleaners attempt to keep within the thickets, on the partitions of the aquarium, and on the stones on which they scrape off numerous fouling with the assistance of their mouth-suction cups. Catfish have small teeth, so they don’t injury the vegetation.

Varieties of Otocinclus Catfish

There are about 18 species of Otocinclus Catfish, however, only some of them are bought for the aquarium. There are only a few variations between the kinds of Otocinclus. They differ solely in small deviations in color and size.

Most usually, aquarists select the next varieties of Otocinclus Catfish:

1- Otocinclus Affinis: Aquarists purchase these cleaners very often. The body of catfish reaches a size of 3-4 cm. The species is distinguished by a silvery-yellowish color and the presence of a brown stripe on its sides. On the gray-beige back, there’s a brown speck and light marble spots. Transparent fins forged a greenish tint.

2- Speckled Catfish or Otocinclus Flexilis: The body of the catfish is characterized by an olive-gray or gray-yellow color. On the back, there are quite a few spots of darkish color. The fish has intermittent aspect stripes.

3- Otocinclus Arnoldi: Inexperienced aquarists usually confuse this species with Affinis. Arnoldi is distinguished by spots of a darkish brown hue.

4- Dwarf Oto: Individuals of the smallest species develop no more than 2 cm in size. Acquire them just for small tanks.

All varieties of Otocinclus Catfish get alongside properly in an aquarium and are capable of cleansing the aquatic surroundings properly.

Although there’s a clear species classification of those catfish, will probably be tough for a newcomer to determine the selection of a future pet. Professionals advocate buying catfish kinds of Affinis. You can purchase fish from any specialized retailer.

Otocinclus Catfish Diet

Otocinclus Catfish continuously collects meals for themselves with the assistance of their oral sucker. In the aquarium, cleaners feed on microalgae and zooplankton, so cleansing the tank shouldn’t be carried out with chemical substances that kill small organisms.

Since there may be not sufficient necessary meals for catfish in a container with renewed water, extra feeding is necessary for them.

Fish might be fed with vegetable slices and bread. Especially catfish love cucumbers, zucchini, and spinach.

The merchandise needs to be soaked in clear water and solely then immersed within the aquarium. Food that continues to be undernourished needs to be eliminated after 1-2 days in order that it doesn’t pollute the aquatic surroundings.

Otocinclus Catfish will eat dry vegetable feed with pleasure. Protein-rich meals are given to fish throughout the spawning season.

Aquarium Conditions For Otocinclus Catfish

When the necessary circumstances are created, catfish will really feel protected and comfy in your aquarium.

Recommendations for Otocinclus Catfish:

Since catfish dwell in packs, they need a big aquarium with a quantity of 70 liters or more. Such circumstances are acceptable for a gaggle of 6-Eight fish. It is greatest to decide on containers of an oblong form, which have a large backside.

The aquarium needs to be stuffed with algae, shady vegetation, stones, and driftwood.

The water temperature maintained by the heater has to be between +22 ° C and +28 ° C. With elevated charges, fish can get sick and even die so that you need to commonly examine the temperature regime.

Otocinclus Catfish prefers to dwell in dim light, which is simple to prepare with a fluorescent lamp.

It will likely be necessary to deal with good aeration and water filtration. Avoid the detrimental response of underwater inhabitants to grime and stagnant water utilizing mechanical filters and aerators, which offer a gradual circulation.

Some people assume that Otocinclus are capable of preserve the purity of all the aquatic surroundings on their very own, however, this isn’t so. Water needs to be modified each 1-2 weeks. Only one-third of the total quantity might be up to date.

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Otocinclus Catfish Tank Mates

Otocinclus Catfish are shy, however, they’re fairly pleasant to most different aquarium inhabitants. In the daytime, they disguise among the many thickets and behind stones, and within the night they start to actively clear their properties.

Usually, they’re discovered within the depths of the tank, the place they simply discover and eat the shaped fouling. When catfish really feel hazardous, they swiftly float away to shelters.

Good Tank Mates for Otocinclus Catfish are serpae tetra, glowlight tetra, black skirt tetra, dwarf gourami, betta fish, Angelfish, Cherry Barb, Corydoras Catfish, Danios, Guppies, Harlequin Rasbora, Mollies, Tetras, and Zebra Loaches.

You ought to keep away from maintaining them with giant cichlids like flower horn fish, green terror, or oscar fish.

Reproduction and Care of Fry

For breeding Otocinclus Catfish, it’s necessary to create appropriate circumstances. The aquarist must purchase a spawn tank and the amount of it needs to be no less than 30 liters.

The tank needs to be supplemented with dense thickets and moss. Experts advise giving desire to Anubias, cryptocoryne, and echinodorus.

The temperature regime has to be set from +20 ° C to +23 ° C. Water needs to be with an acidity of 6.5-7 pH and hardness of 4-10 dH.

For a profitable spawning, it’s higher to make use of a big flock of catfish, however, three males with two females are fairly sufficient. The courtship interval contains peculiar mating video games and skirmishes between males.

Spawning normally happens within the morning. After selecting a partner, the feminine presses her head in opposition to his stomach, stimulating the manufacturing of milk.

Then she throws the fertilized eggs on a cleaned secluded place, which generally is a stone or sheet. In one clutch, there are from 120 to 140 eggs, which ripen within 3-7 days.

Eggs ripen at a temperature of +27 ° C to +28 ° C. The quantity of water within the spawning mustn’t exceed 20 cm. The first fry hatch already 3-Four days after the feminine has laid eggs.

The diet of fry contains micro worms, spirulina, egg yolks. If mass breeding is deliberate, then matured people need to be given Gammarus and bloodworms. Protein merchandise stimulates fish to breed. Otocinclus Catfish can breed at the age of 7-Eight months.

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