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[APD] Ottos, morality & breeding...

Have there been any reports of successful otto breeding by aquarists?
If so what were the breeding conditions?  A tank breed line of ottos
could potentially help solve the horrific death rate the species seems
to have currently in captivity.  I'd be tempted to try if I didn't find
it so sad to see so many die off initially, I don't think myself or
anyone I've met has ever managed to have more than one otto per tank no
matter how many we start with.  Its very sad, as watching the groups of
them in the LFS holding tank is fascinating but can I really bring
myself to buy a group when I know most are going to die?  

My last couple of otto keeping attempts I just bought a pair or a trio
but I think they are happier in larger groups (4-6)?  Maybe my error is
not having enough of them to keep the survivors happy?

One last thing does anyone know how to sex Ottos?


-----Original Message-----
From: aquatic-plants-bounces at actwin_com
[mailto:aquatic-plants-bounces at actwin_com] On Behalf Of Sandra Derrick
Sent: 04 April 2007 18:13
To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com
Subject: [APD] shedding light on Ottos

In my many years working in LFSs I have NEVER seen ottos shipped in
numbers less than 50 to a bag. The poor fish would generally be covered
w/ hemorrhages  and a high number would be dead within days. In order to
prevent these deaths I would try and order them in smaller numbers
however the percentage would remain the same... I just would loose 4 out
of 10 instead of 20 out of 50, when I sold them I put them no more than
2 to a medium sized bag. Of course I could do nothing regarding how they
were shipped to the companies I bought them from (and I tried several
different ones w/ the same results) and naturally they would be shipped
in even higher concentrations to the wholesaler. 

I have to believe that these little guys are hyper sensitive to the
stress of shipping regarding damaged inflicted by one another and high
concentrations of ammonia, and perhaps it is worsened by lack of food
during their time in transit from the collection to the LFS. However I
have found that if they have been at a LFS (and kept in their plant
tanks, w/ driftwood) for a week they did not have the high turnover rate
that most folks associate w/ them (because some would die at the store
leaving only the strong ones) and even my beginning plant tank folks had
little problems w/ them. I myself have several and my males chace my
very gravid female around from time to time- I fully expect them to
spawn one day when I have done a large waterchange... however I will not
be holding my breath for that to happen LOL.


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