Dwarf Sucker Catfish “Otocinclus”
- Maximum size 5–6 centimetres
- Temperature range 26 °C
- Prefers softer slightly acidic water.
- Lifespan up to 5 years
These fish originate from Venezuela in South America to Argentina.
They tend to be mottled grey colour on top with a black stripe running down the centre
length of their body with a white abdomen. Their caudal fins have unique dark markings as in the picture above. There are other variations available for example I have seen darker coloured Otos with lighter horizontal striped patterns across the top of their body.
They will spend a lot of time in the home aquarium attached to plants, glass or other objects grazing on algae.
They are very peaceful in nature and will cohabit happily with most other tropical fish. They should be kept in groups of three or more.
They are herbivores choosing mostly algae as their main food source and are usually kept for their algae eating abilities. They should be fed algae wafers not flake food and can have their diet supplemented with spinach or courgettes. A sunken abdomen is a definite sign of poor nutrition.
Otos like a heavily planted well oxygenated aquarium. They appear to be inactive most of the day as they just attach themselves to feed but they are very graceful, and fast swimmers when they choose to be.
They will school together when they get stressed but tend to ignore each other feeding in different parts of the tank for the most part.
Breeding is not very common in the home aquarium. They lay adhesive eggs on rocks or plants but do not guard them. They are not particularly easy to sex either and are still very small when mature. Egg laden females would appear rounder or larger though with males slimmer in appearance.