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Common Otocinclus Behavior to Expect

Common Otocinclus Behavior to Expect

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

You might be interested in buying otocinclus catfish for your fish tank sometime soon. These fish are very neat, and they’re known to be quite peaceful.

If you’ve never had otocinclus in a fish tank before, you might not be very familiar with them. Perhaps you’ve only seen pictures of them, and you’re interested to learn more.

Keep reading to learn everything that you need to know about otocinclus behavior. This will tell you what to expect when caring for these fish in an aquarium.

Are Otocinclus Nocturnal?

Most types of catfish are nocturnal, but this isn’t exactly the case for otocinclus catfish. These fish are going to be active both during the night and the day.

Many say that these fish are slightly more active during the night. Even so, it’s common to see them moving around and eating algae in the tank during the day as well.

So you can’t lump them into the nocturnal category confidently. They don’t stay asleep or hide during the day as many nocturnal fish do.

Many people find otos to be some of the most entertaining catfish to watch. If you’re looking for algae eaters, these fish will certainly be a good choice.

Are Otocinclus Aggressive?

No, otocinclus catfish are certainly not aggressive. These fish are very peaceful and are not known to start fights with other fish.

You’ll see otos run away and hide rather than confront other fish in the tank. They’re so peaceful that you need to be careful not to put them in fish tanks with other fish that will bully them.

They are great community tank fish, though. Otos go about their business and peacefully eat algae off of the side of the tank.

You won’t need to worry about otos causing drama in a community tank. If you’re looking for peace-loving fish, you’ll love buying otos.

Do Otos Like to Hide?

Otocinclus catfish are known to enjoy hiding in the fish tank. Excessive hiding isn’t necessarily a good sign, but it’s normal for them to hide a bit.

These fish like to hide among the plants in the tank. You’re supposed to keep otocinclus catfish in planted aquariums.

They won’t feel comfortable in a fish tank unless it has plants. This is because they’re used to eating algae directly off of the plants.

You’ll see these fish hiding among the plants sometimes when they aren’t eating. They’ll hide in other spots as well.

It might be good to keep rocks and little caves in the tank for the otos. They’ll use them to hide from time to time when they feel the need.

Are Otocinclus Very Active?

So long as the otos are healthy, you should notice them being pretty active. These fish like to swim around together and search for algae and biofilm.

They have specialized mouths that can attach to things. Otos can scrape algae and biofilm off of the glass of the fish tank.

You’ll see them doing this a lot during the day as well as at night. If you’re keeping the tank in good condition, your otos will be fairly active fish.

Most say that these fish are among the most entertaining catfish that you can buy for small tanks. You won’t regret buying them for a community tank if you’re looking for fun little algae eaters.

Will Otos Chase Each Other Around?

Sometimes you might see otos chasing each other around in the tank. This can be interesting to watch, but it’s never something that you need to worry about.

There are fish out there that might fight with each other. Otos simply aren’t like that.

These fish are so docile that they’re never going to fight each other. You don’t even have to worry about males fighting with each other in the tank or anything like that.

Buying otocinclus catfish will be a very relaxed experience. You just need to focus on giving them good care, and they will do well in your tank.

Are Otocinclus Catfish Hardy?

Sadly, otocinclus can be a bit finicky at first. These fish sometimes have issues when first being introduced to a tank.

They sometimes die suddenly due to being stressed in new tanks. You need to baby them and keep a close eye on water parameters in the initial weeks that you own them.

Once they’ve established themselves in the tank, they will be much easier to care for. At this point, the otos can be considered to be somewhat hardy fish.

Otos have an average lifespan of five to seven years in a fish tank. You just have to get through the initial phase of introducing them to the tank.

Are Otocinclus Social Fish?

Keep otocinclus in small groups if you want them to be okay in your fish tank. These fish cannot survive on their own.

You have to keep otos in groups of six or more. The ideal number of these fish for an aquarium is said to be between ten and fifteen.

Six of them will be fine, though. If you only have room for a 10-gallon fish tank, it’s perfectly acceptable to go with six otos in the tank.

These fish need to hang out among their own kind. They live in huge shoals in the wild with thousands of other otos, and these fish and aren’t comfortable if they don’t have a big enough group in the tank.

Final Thoughts

The above information should give you a good idea of what to expect when buying otos for your aquarium. Knowing more about how these fish behave will make it easier to make good choices.

These fish may or may not be appealing to you based on many factors. They can be a bit tough to care for in the first few weeks, but if you get past that time, they’re rather easy fish to own.

People love otos because they’re peaceful fish that work in many types of community fish tanks. They’re so peaceful that you have to be careful when choosing tank mates, though.

Do your best to make good decisions, and you’ll have a good time with these fish. They’re well-loved bottom-feeding fish for a reason.

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