• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Snails or Otocinclus

Welearn

Member
Thread starter
Joined
15 Sep 2019
Messages
43
Location
Warwickshire
Question,
I have brown diatoms on some of my Hydrocotyle tripartita plants,I would like know which invert is the best to clean the leaves.
Snails or Otocinclus?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Simon.
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
7,999
Location
Netherlands
Well, Oto's are pretty expensive and it's always a question of how long they will last. If they make it past a year you are very lucky. Snails are cheaper and can reproduce, same as shrimps as said above.

But whatever livestock you choose they are never the solution to alga problems, if the conditions favor it grows faster than it can be eaten. Diatoms are something you patiently have to wait out, it can take weeks to months but eventually, they disappear on their own not to be seen again, at least not in numbers. To speed up this process some say reducing the light will help... :)

One of my tanks was littered with brown filamentous diatoms for over 6 months... I never changed a thing, all I did was wait and it went away and never came back in the 6 years this tank is running now. Somehow it will deplete its own food source, logically let it do its thing then this will only be sooner. Fighting and eradicating the algae will not remove the food source. This might be waiting it out looking at a lot with minimal effort or put energy in the fight for longer looking at less. :)
 

PARAGUAY

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2013
Messages
2,249
Location
Lancashire
Not expierinced with Ottos that much but mine do a brilliant job but l am aware that running out food they sort of "give up the ghost" and pass away. I am adding parboiled spinach leaves every couple of days and within 20 minutes they are on it. 4 years thats encourging @ hypnogogia
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
7,999
Location
Netherlands
Wow. I feel privileged and lucky to have some Otos that are approaching 4 years.

That's indeed extreme old age, good job! They actually are rather notorious for dropping like flies for no obvious reason. I stopped buying them for that at €2.95 per individual had about 30 over the years and all gone within the year.
 

Sean Scapes

Member
Joined
23 May 2021
Messages
29
Location
Dudley West Midlands
I would get them all if you can afford too. I have otos, nerite snails, amano shrimp and cherry shrimp. Cherry shrimp will breed in tank if happy so you can grow the population.

Otos are very sensitive if you buy them drip acclimation is a must I did it for 4 hours to be safe. My local pet shop sells 6 for 10 pounds so not overly expensive. Brown diatoms are caused by silicates in the water and some hardscape rocks leech this plus no limit to how much can be in tap water.

From studying my clean up crew otos are most effective for diatoms took less then 24 hours to clean all the brown algae off my plants. Snails are good but move slowly but amazing at removing more stubborn algae green spot for example. Shrimps are amazing all rounders but stubborn algae they struggle with my shrimps clean gravel and an trapped waste between plants.

If you buy otos make sure they have plump bellies as they are caught wild and starved till they arrive at your LFS, full bellies increase chance of survival as they have bacteria in their digestive system, when they are starved the bacteria numbers reduce and their ability to digest foods also drops hence the high fatality rate.

Not sure how true it is but I read they use cyanide to help catch them in the wild, adding to the reason they are prone to dying. This is all based off my research before purchasing them myself.
 

erwin123

Member
Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
194
Location
Singapore
Otos are very sensitive if you buy them drip acclimation is a must I did it for 4 hours to be safe. My local pet shop sells 6 for 10 pounds so not overly expensive. Brown diatoms are caused by silicates in the water and some hardscape rocks leech this plus no limit to how much can be in tap water.

Wow that a pretty steep price.

Otos are less than a pound each in my country, slightly more than Amano shrimp which are 70p-80p. So I admit i've never drip acclimated my otos (I just add tank water to the bag the oto came in. wait 5 minutes, and add them to the tank). They easily live for more than a year?

I suspect that my Densoni Barbs eat the smaller cherry shrimp and babies in my tank. I thought the plant mass would provide sufficient protection, but the barbs are tenacious - they will even chase after Amanos who steal their wafers
 

arcturus

Member
Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
58
Location
Germany
This actually is really interesting. I guess it was probably because the otos could breathe air from the surface while the other fish couldn't?
A food overdose will trigger the release of toxic ammonia and nitrite as it decomposes. So, the main issue is not the (lack of) air or oxygen but toxicity. When otos breathe from the surface using their mouth they do not use the gills underwater while the oxygen is absorbed. This could indeed reduce their exposure to the toxic elements. However, they would have to do this until the water is changed or the elements are transformed... so this does not sound to be the most straightforward explanation - it is more likely that the remaining livestock was simply more sensitive to the concentration of NH3/4 or NO2 than the otos...
 

louis_last

Member
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
266
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
A food overdose will trigger the release of toxic ammonia and nitrite as it decomposes. So, the main issue is not the (lack of) air or oxygen but toxicity. When otos breathe from the surface using their mouth they do not use the gills underwater while the oxygen is absorbed. This could indeed reduce their exposure to the toxic elements. However, they would have to do this until the water is changed or the elements are transformed... so this does not sound to be the most straightforward explanation - it is more likely that the remaining livestock was simply more sensitive to the concentration of NH3/4 or NO2 than the otos...
Would be interesting to know more. I've always read that otos are relatively sensitive to water quality that's why I find it so interesting that they'd be the sole survivors of this kind of accident. I still think it's as likely that the bacteria decomposing the excess food also caused the dissovled oxygen to drop and their ability to breath from the surface could have saved them.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,171
Location
Nottingham
Wow that a pretty steep price.

Otos are less than a pound each in my country, slightly more than Amano shrimp which are 70p-80p. So I admit i've never drip acclimated my otos (I just add tank water to the bag the oto came in. wait 5 minutes, and add them to the tank). They easily live for more than a year?

I’m not sure the cost of a fish should determine the level of care it receives?

You are likely lucky that the shop where you purchased the fish had very similar water parameters to your own, and as a result the fish didn’t suffer osmotic shock and die.

I personally think all fish deserve at least several hours of drip acclimation to minimise the stress we put them under when buying them and adding them to our tanks.
 

erwin123

Member
Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
194
Location
Singapore
I’m not sure the cost of a fish should determine the level of care it receives?

You are likely lucky that the shop where you purchased the fish had very similar water parameters to your own, and as a result the fish didn’t suffer osmotic shock and die.

I personally think all fish deserve at least several hours of drip acclimation to minimise the stress we put them under when buying them and adding them to our tanks.
u are absolutely right , but people like me that started out mostly got our advice from our local shop and the common advice is just mix some fish tank water with the bag, wait awhile and then add the fish so that is a practice I've sort of gotten into... but the more I learn in this forum which I just joined, I'm slowly changing - like Ferts don't cause algae - I'm still wrapping my head around that :D
 

Libba

Member
Joined
12 Jan 2021
Messages
116
Location
Australia
It's annoying how much conflicting information there is about diatoms. My take on it: time and light. If your light is sufficient it will go away eventually on its own as other microorganisms outcompete it. My current tank was started with medium-high light and never experienced diatoms. None in the tank at all. The only place in my system they have shown up is in the hoses and in my filter where there is no light.
The tank right next to it has the same driftwood and the same source water but it's a low light tank. It was full of diatoms within a couple of weeks running.
 

Driftless

Member
Joined
4 Jul 2020
Messages
223
Location
Chicago-area
Is this is a new tank? How heavily planted is the tank, adding more plants will help? With bright enough light and CO2, the diatoms should go away. Your substrate may be a contributor as well.

I have Otos in two of my tanks, one is a shrimp tank with snails and the Otos being the only fish in the tank. I don't have a problem with their being short-lived.
 

louis_last

Member
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
266
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
u are absolutely right , but people like me that started out mostly got our advice from our local shop and the common advice is just mix some fish tank water with the bag, wait awhile and then add the fish so that is a practice I've sort of gotten into... but the more I learn in this forum which I just joined, I'm slowly changing - like Ferts don't cause algae - I'm still wrapping my head around that :D
You have access to some amazing shops over there in singapore, please drown us in photos if you're ever visiting any of them. I absolutely love the mini fissidens that seem a lot more common over there.
 

Gavin3171

Member
Joined
29 Aug 2021
Messages
31
Location
Essex
Otos didnt last long for me. Nerite snails power through algae, but as ive recently found out also lay eggs.
RCS would definitely be on overtime sorting it out
 

Similar threads

Top