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The Best (And Worst) Otocinclus Tank Mates to Consider

The Best (And Worst) Otocinclus Tank Mates to Consider
This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addtion, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

You might be interested in buying otocinclus catfish because they have a reputation for being good cleaners. Many people like adding cleaner fish to community fish tanks.

Of course, you need to look into compatibility before moving forward. Otos are known for being good community tank fish, but they’re not compatible with every type of fish out there.

You need to choose tank mates carefully to ensure the safety of the otos. Keep reading to learn about the best options for your tank.

You’ll also get information about some tank mates that you should avoid when putting together a community tank that contains otos. It should be easy to have a good experience with these fish in a community aquarium, but you do need to plan things out properly.

Otocinclus and Betta

You shouldn’t keep bettas in the same tank as your otos. Sadly, bettas are known for being rather aggressive fish.

If you were to keep them in the same tank as the otos, it’s likely that the otos would get bullied. Otocinclus catfish are known for being very peaceful and shy.

The aggressive bettas might pick on the otos and attack them from time to time. This can stress the fish and make them get sick.

It’s not wise to even attempt to keep bettas in a community tank with otos. There are many better options when looking for good otocinclus tank mates.

Otocinclus and Shrimp

It’s common for people to keep otocinclus catfish and shrimp in the same tank. This can work out nicely because otos show no interest in eating the shrimp.

It helps that otos like to live in aquariums that have many live plants. A planted aquarium does a good job of offsetting issues with shrimp and shrimp fry getting eaten under normal circumstances.

Will Otocinclus Eat Shrimp?

Otos are fish that are very unlikely to eat shrimp. Many people keep otos in the same tank as different types of shrimp.

They aren’t big fish so they can’t eat many of the adult shrimp even if they wanted to. It also appears that otos don’t commonly try to eat shrimp fry.

So if you’re looking for tank mates for otos, shrimp won’t be a bad option. If you have certain shrimp that you’d like to keep in the community tank they should be safe with the otos.

Otocinclus and Angelfish

Angelfish are considered to be good tank mates for otos. They thrive in conditions that are similar enough to the otos so it can work out nicely.

It’s true that angelfish are semi-aggressive, but they aren’t overly aggressive fish. They shouldn’t bully the otos so long as you pick angelfish that aren’t known to be more aggressive than usual.

To help make things go smoothly, it’s recommended to give the otos plenty of hiding spots in the tank. Ensure that the otos can hide in plants, caves, and other rock structures so they can get away from the angelfish if necessary.

Otocinclus and Goldfish

Goldfish are terrible tank mates for otos. You should never try to keep goldfish in a community tank with otocinclus catfish.

Simply put, the goldfish have much different requirements than otos do. They don’t come anywhere close to matching up in terms of water parameters.

So don’t keep otos in the same tank as goldfish. One of the fish types would simply die out due to being kept in an improper environment.

Can Otocinclus Live with Guppies?

Guppies can be fantastic tank mates for otos. You just have to make sure to keep the tank very clean.

Otos are sensitive to poor water conditions. Guppies are hardy fish that aren’t quite so sensitive.

So you’ll have to pay close attention to the water quality to make this work out. That’s something you’d be doing anyways even if you were caring for the otos by themselves.

Can Otocinclus Live with Plecos?

Plecos can get along with otos, but you need to be careful. There are some plecos that are way too big to keep with otos.

Smaller plecos such as bristlenose plecos will work out the best. Aside from worrying about the size of the fish, it’s also prudent to consider food.

Both plecos and otos are bottom-feeding catfish. They can get along, but you have to ensure that there will be enough food for them to coexist and thrive.

Can Otocinclus Live with Cory Catfish?

It’s common for people to keep cory catfish and otocinclus catfish in community tanks together. You can count on both of these fish to act as cleaners.

As with the plecos mentioned above, you need to make sure that all of the fish have enough food. So long as that is handled, everything will work out great.

Both of these catfish types are known for being very peaceful. They won’t bother each other and you won’t have to worry about fighting or anything such as that.

Can Otocinclus Live With Gouramis?

Dwarf gouramis can work out nicely as tank mates for otos. To have the best experience, it’s recommended to pair otos with dwarf gouramis that have peaceful temperaments.

It’s nice to be able to put dwarf gouramis in the same tank as otos. The dwarf gouramis add color to the tank and they get along fine with the otos.

You should see that the dwarf gouramis will leave the otos alone completely. It’s unlikely that you’ll see the gouramis interact with the otos in the tank much.

Can Otocinclus Live With Rasboras?

Rasboras are very common fish to put in community fish tanks. Due to their peaceful nature, they’re going to make good tank mates for otos.

If you want to put rasboras and otos in the same tank, you’ll have many options. There are many colorful types of rasboras that will work nicely.

You should be able to keep otos in the same tank as small rasboras such as chili rasboras. Harlequin rasboras will also be a great option to consider.

Can Otocinclus Live with Neon Tetras?

Neon tetras are gorgeous fish that should be a joy to own. They’re good community tank fish and they can indeed be kept in tanks with otocinclus catfish.

If you want to keep a small community tank with just otos and neon tetras, you could use a tank that is as small as 20 gallons. Neon tetras aren’t the only types of tetras that are compatible with otos either.

You can also choose to keep black skirt tetras, cardinal tetras, bleeding heart tetras, and lemon tetras. All of these fish work well in community aquariums with otocinclus catfish.

Can Otocinclus Live With Boraras?

Boraras fish are largely considered to be good tank mates for otos. You can expect boraras to get along well with otos in a community tank.

The boraras generally leave bottom-feeders such as otos alone. They should look good in the tank with the otocinclus catfish, too.

Can Otocinclus Live with Barbs?

Barbs can get along okay with otos in community tanks. Tiger barbs are commonly kept with otos.

It’s true that tiger barbs can be a bit aggressive. However, things should be fine if you keep the tiger barbs in groups of six.

Also, ensure that the otos have plenty of hiding spots in the tank. Do this and you should have no trouble keeping tiger barbs in the community aquarium with your otos.

Can Otocinclus Live with Oscars?

Oscars are not going to be a good fit for otocinclus catfish. Otos are peaceful fish that are rather shy.

Also, otos are fish that only grow to be around two inches long. Oscars are large fish that will grow to be so big that they can easily devour the otos.

This is something you want to avoid, and it’s best not to even consider putting otos in a tank with Oscars. Oscars can be neat fish to own, but they’re best for experienced fish tank owners.

Can Otocinclus Live With African Cichlids?

African cichlids have much different requirements than otos. So they won’t work out in the same tank.

It’s also true that cichlids are generally too aggressive for otos. These fish aren’t good community tank members that can be paired with peaceful fish such as otos.

Can Otocinclus Live With Jack Dempsey Fish?

No, Jack Dempsey fish are cichlids. They’re large predatory fish that are likely to snack on your poor otos.

You never want to put your otos in a situation where they will be in danger. Do your best to avoid putting them in a fish tank with large and aggressive fish that can harm them.

Can Otocinclus Live With Mollies?

Mollies are another peaceful type of fish that should make perfect tank mates for otos. There are many great mollies to consider as well.

One thing to keep in mind is that mollies need a bit more room to thrive. So you need to keep them in a tank that is more than big enough for them and the other fish in the community tank.

At a minimum, you should buy a 29-gallon aquarium. Depending on how many other fish you want to add to the tank, it might be wise to go larger than that.

Can Otocinclus Live With Zebra Loaches?

Zebra loaches as well as other types of loaches can work as tank mates for otocinclus catfish. Loaches are also bottom-feeding fish, but you can easily make it work.

Just make sure that the tank is more than big enough for both types of fish. The loaches are peaceful and won’t bother the otos.

Both types of fish will just go about their business. It should be nice to have both zebra loaches and otos in the same community aquarium.

Can Otocinclus Live With Danios Fish?

Danios fish are great little fish that are incredibly peaceful. Much like rasboras, these fish will work out great as tank mates for otos.

These fish aren’t very big and they’re peaceful enough that they would never stress the otos. It’s likely that the danios fish will simply stay away from the otos in the tank.

Danios fish are very reliable community tank members. They’re also gorgeous fish that are perfect when it comes to adding color to the tank.

Can Otocinclus Live With Mystery Snails?

What about keeping snails with your otos? Snails might not be the first idea that you’ll have when thinking of tank mates, but they can work out fine in community aquariums with otos.

Mystery snails are good options to put in a tank with otos. They won’t bother your fish and they won’t harm anything.

These little snails can be another part of the cleanup crew in your tank. If you like the idea of keeping snails in a community tank, these snails come highly recommended.

Can Otocinclus Live With Endlers Livebearers?

Endlers livebearers are an interesting type of fish. These fish are incredibly colorful and that is what draws many people to them.

They’re also known for being hardy fish. You can keep them in a community tank with otos without it being a problem.

Final Thoughts

There are so many good tank mates that you can choose for otos. They thrive when put in community tanks with other peaceful fish that aren’t too big.

Just make sure that the fish tank is big enough for all of the fish that you want to put in the tank. The otos can have issues if they’re forced to live in cramped conditions.

Also, it’s important to keep the water clean for the fish. Poor water conditions can harm otos faster than many realize.

So avoid overcrowding issues and pick a tank that is more than large enough. Be sure to use a filter that is powerful enough as well.

You know what to expect and you can choose the tank mates for your otos that you think are the most interesting. Perhaps you’ll want to go with small and peaceful fish such as rasboras or danios fish.

It’s also just as viable to pick clown loaches, angelfish, shrimp, and snails. Just set the tank up right and be sure to perform tank maintenance regularly no matter what you wind up choosing.

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