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Thank you, Zachary and Chuck, for the Oto fry advice. I really
appreciate it. I think I have 4 left; I'm not sure though.
I'm afraid that if I separate them from the rest of the fish, I'll also
be separating them from their food source. I do have algae in the tank,
since I started adding Flourish. I rooted through my fish cabinet and
found a nursery. Do you think I will be able to give them enough food to
eat in the nursery? I suppose I could add a few plant trimmings and try
the spinach puree. If I leave them alone, there is some algae on the
glass they can munch on--if they don't get munched in the process.
Zachary asked how big they are. I would guess that they are about 1 mm
or so. I tried to get a ruler next to them, but boy those guys are FAST!
And so darn cute. I tried to take some pictures, but my digital camera
can't focus close enough. They look just like the guys on this site:
http://www.pmmx.com/fish/otto/. My guys are hanging near the top rim of
the tank, which is good since the big guys swim middle to bottom. One is
very adventurous and has been cruising the top of the tank. I found him
over at the filter inlet, munching away.
Chuck asked about my tank parameters. I have a 38 gallon filtered by an
Aquaclear 500. I've had the tank running for probably 9 years, but the
past 3 or 4 years I haven't been able to do much with it--other than
feed the lonely clown pleco. In September I ordered a bunch of plants
and some driftwood from Aquabotonic and decided to get some friends for
the pleco. I've had the otos for a little over a month.
GH: 8 - 9
KH: frustrating! (3-5 out of tap, but never higher than 2 in the tank.
Drops to almost nothing after a week)
pH: 7.1 to 6.8 as measured with a Sandpoint controller. I need to get
No Co2 at this point. I'm still figuring out what I want to do.
I change the water weekly, probably about 30% to keep up with the
dropping KH. I have a feeling the green-water outbreak had something to
do with encouraging them to spawn.
As for food, they eat mostly algae; I also see the otos going after the
micro pellets that sink to the gravel and the loaches' shrimp pellets.
I went searching for eggs after I noticed the fry and found 2 eggs on a
single stem of Bacopa caroliniana that is on the fast current side of
the tank. That stem is left over from a stand that kept getting uprooted
in the current. The fry have moved themselves over to the slow current
side. The filter is overkill for this tank, but it was what I had in the
cupboard when the previous filter died on me. I've never gotten around
to changing it.
Getting this tank back in business is supposed to be preparing me for
setting up my now empty 110 gallon. I had both of the tanks going in the
late 90s. The 110 had substrate heating, co2 controlled by the Sandpoint
controller, which is now just measuring pH on the 38 gallon, and metal
halide pendants. Had to take a break from my tanks for a few years, but
am excited to get started again. I've been lurking, seeing what's new. I
recognize some of the list members from my days hanging out in
Compuserve's Fishnet Forum, where I did a short stint as a librarian
(how geeky is that?).
Thanks again for the help!