Otocinclus (Otocinclus sp.)

The Oto originates from southeastern Brazil. It is also known as the Golden Otocinclus, the Dwarf Suckermouth, the Pygmy Suckermouth and the Midget Suckermouth Catfish. The scientific species names for the Oto include Otocinclus affinis and Otocinclus vittatus. The body shape and coloring are similar to a Flying Fox and a Chinese Algae Eater. There is a dark, black mottled band running from its head into its tail fin. Below the banding it is silvery white. Above the banding it is brown in a mottled pattern. Water conditions should be very clean.

The Oto is the perfect algae eater. It eats soft algae exclusively, so make sure a food supply is established in the tank before an Oto is introduced. It will clean algae off of plants without harming the plant. It also will clean algae off of plastic plants and glass. Oto are seldom active in a tank, but they are always entertaining to find. They will stick themselves to the glass in any direction. They will stick to plant stems and the underside of leaves. Occasionally they will swim across the tank to take up a new resting or eating position. Oto won't harm other species and the only concern is that some larger, aggressive fish, such as cichlids, will eat them.

Differentiating the sexes of Ottos and breeding them is very difficult.

  • Family: Catfish 
  • Temperature: 20 - 26 C; 68 - 79 F 
  • pH 6.0 - 8.0 
  • Size: 4 cm; 1.5 inches 
  • Life Span: 7 years 
  • Breeding: Difficult, Egg Layer

Size: Approx. 1"

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