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Over the past few days 3 out of my 7 Otocinclus died during the night (one
on Wednesday, two on Friday).
My water parameters are capacity=55g, pH=8.2, Ammonia & Nitrites=0, Nitrate
~10ppm, Fe etc.=Trace, Temp=24C.
Having run out of ideas I decided to service the filter (Fluval 404) during
which I found that there were cracks in the impeller housing retaining clips
& the impeller itself seems to foul the filter housing. Now the filter
won't start up properly (runs noisily like it's air-locked but won't clear.
It's about 4 months old by the way). I currently have a small powerhead
circulating the water until I can get to the LFS to get the filter fixed
(there is enough flow, hopefully, through the deficient Fluval to keep the
bio' materials in it alive).
The question is, is it possible that the filter has been slowly failing &
the night time O2 levels have fallen a little low (I don't use CO2 & I don't
have any O2 injection mechanism other than the filter circulating the
surface water)? Are Otocinclus particularly sensitive to O2 - more so than
other fish? (although I also lost a 3 out 8 Guppies within the last 4
Lately the Otocinclus spend most of their time lazing around on leaves in
the depths of the Elodea at one end of the tank. Is it possible that they
are being 'aggressed' by the 6 Angels I have? The Angels certainly seem to
take pleasure in the harassing my 3 Bristlenoses if they are careless enough
to stick themselves to the tank front glass - although the B'noses seem mean
enough to take care of themselves! I haven't seen the Angels actually
hassling the Oto's but they certainly look like they're hiding. I've also
never seen them eating anything - they don't come out at feeding time & they
don't seem interested in the algae wafers or Zucchini that I put in the tank
for the B'noses.
None of my other fish seem sick.
By the way, has anyone else had problems with the Fluval 404? It's a
relatively new model I believe.