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The ethics of Otocinclus

Oldguy

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Joined
27 Aug 2018
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420
Location
Gloucestershire, UK
also a decent current in the tank
Well done for getting ottos to breed. Do you think that the water movement may have helped with the ottos spawning? I had a pair of Royal Farlowella (Sturisoma panamense) which spawned where the filter return hit the side of the tank.. Too many tetras for eggs to survive.
 

Corbie

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22 Oct 2021
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Aberdeenshire
As a follow up to my original post, the first batch were very small fish, and thin. I suspect they were taken into the shop and then straight back out again. I bought them from a really well-respected, large supplier and I'm surprised about it. I ordered a second batch of 6 fish from a different shop, and I spoke to the owner first- he said that they had not had an import for a while and that the current Otocinclus they had had in the shop for about a month. I figured they were probably well aclimatised and healthy, and I was right- what a difference. Plump and active, twice the size of the others, feeding well, and now 10 days later all seem to be doing really well.
I think the reason so many of them seem to die soon after buying is that they are not treated well between catching and import. Once they arrive in shops they need to be looked after for a while before being sold on.
 

Stan510

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20 Oct 2021
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117
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Hayward ca
They are not hardy little fish and in the distant past,they died very fast on me and didn't seem capable of competing with the other fish for food. Now,in a nano plant tank things might be better but I think they are precarious to keep. Just the fact they are so small when sold..the mortality has to be high on them.
 

PARAGUAY

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13 Nov 2013
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Lancashire
@Corbie when l bought mine they were not on display but in a private shop area. They had been in shop awhile. The manager said they dont do too well in the open shop tanks and thats how they acclimatise them
 

Tim Harrison

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5 Nov 2011
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There are a few oto species commonly available in the aquarium trade, I'm guessing they all have their own idiosyncrasies. But my problem has always been getting them to feed on anything other than algae. That has implications on how many I can keep, overall health, and lifespan.

The quote below is from an article originally posted by Darrel @dw1305 in this thread the correct numbers for the tank

"For one thing, their diet is less typical than many common fish we keep. German fish keepers refer to Otos as ‘Aufwuchs’ eaters. This is a term they use that means a fish is more or less an obligate algae grazer...Some Otos don’t learn to eat anything other than fresh algae, so feeding them algae tabs/pellets or even fresh veggies, won’t be a guarantee they eat well."
 

Simmo

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11 Dec 2020
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174
Location
Scotland
I agree if you read a selection of posts on Ottos there seems to be fairly high mortality although some folks clearly have more success. I’d guess a lot more die in transit? It’s a difficult choice you describe, balancing animal welfare with wider sustainability and conservation as well as self interest, and there’s no right answer. My decision is to try to keep more common species that I have read tend to be bred in eastern europe and the far east with little wild collecting because they seem to have long healthy lives in my care and there’s no chance of depleting wild stocks (so Khuli loach is off the list..) That said, i’m under no illusions, and suspect there is high mortality of common, farmed species before they ever reach the shop. Without a labelling/traceability scheme we are shooting blind, I took a punt my Apisto borellii are captive bred but there’s no way to know for sure - I think we as aquarists deserve much better information on where livestock comes from.
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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Cory from aquarium coop did a video showing how they were held at the wholesaler, basically unfiltered trays without any feeding. They were stored this week apparently until they sold which could be a week or longer. So if this is a good representation of fact it's not surprising that a small fish which constantly needs to feed in order to maintain condition, suffers in the journey from river to our tanks. Lots are simply starving or weak by the time they are bought and often past the point of no return. If you are lucky they will have been captured and shipped quickly but I'd only buy ones with a nice fat belly.
 
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