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Otocinclus in muddy water (or Fat Otto story)

     Last night I was looking into a bucket of murky water which I've been 
     using to grow daphnia. I started it in a 5 gallon pail with about a 
     cup or so of chicken manure compost and a handful of dolomite lime and 
     I shine a strong light on it to encourage algae. At some point, one of 
     my otocinclus got into that bucket; I've no idea how unless it was 
     several months ago when I was drawing green water from one of my tanks 
     or when I periodically top up the bucket with tank water. I usually 
     notice a fish that gets accidentally drawn into the jar I use for 
     transferring water. Anyway, unless this guy leapt right out of the 
     aquarium and landed in the bucket, he's been in there for a month or 
     longer in some _very_ murky water. I only happened to notice him by 
     pure chance and what a time I had to capture him again! I had to draw 
     all the water out and scoop the mud out until there he was flopping 
     around in the last bit of mud in the bucket. These guys are experts at 
     not being caught! I finally trapped the little beggar and transferred 
     him to cleaner quarters. This is the FATTEST otocinclus I have EVER 
     SEEN! He'd been eating as many daphnia everyday as he could desire. 
     I'd wondered why I didn't see the huge amounts of large daphnia in 
     this bucket as I'd expected. The little beggar was gorging himself! 
     Fortunately, the daphnia were so prolific that he wasn't able to wipe 
     out the entire population. 
     I thought people might be interested in this story since it 
     illustrates how some of these Amazon fish can live in waters with very 
     low oxygen content. I'm surprised he was able to survive since I'd 
     have expected there to still be ammonia. I have been in the habit of 
     leaving a few floating plants to reduce ammonia concentration so it 
     wouldn't kill the daphnia although I've never bothered to measure the 
     ammonia concentration. I know the manure compost is loaded with 
     ammonia when you take it out of the bag (just sniff it). Doesn't seem 
     to bother the daphnia much though...
     BTW, in my outdoor daphnia containers, the mosquitoes have begun to 
     breed. I captured a few and the fish LOVE them! I've also transferred 
     some of the killie fish outdoors. I use a 1/2" aluminum screen to 
     discourage crows, cats and raccoons from unauthorized fishing 
     expeditions. The screen is well fastened down with wires because 
     raccoons can manage to get into almost anything. The other outdoor 
     containers without fish are now covered with fine mesh screen to 
     discourage mosquitoes from overrunning the neighbourhood. A mosquitoe 
     larvae in a tankful of tetras has a life expectancy of about 3 seconds 
     (if they don't get it instantly)
     OB aquatic plant content: The melon sword (E barthii?) and the E 
     horemanii are both doing well and sprouting new leaves. The deep 
     substrate (which I described about a month ago) seems to be performing 
     well without creating a green water problem this time. I've been a lot 
     more cautious with Fe additions and gradually increasing the Fe 
     dosages until I see a good response in the leaves of the Hygrophila 
     stricta, Frogbit and Pennywort. The H stricta does not seem to be able 
     to draw sufficient Fe from the substrate yet. Perhaps if the root 
     system were more developed. Since things are doing well with Fe 
     additions, I'm somewhat reluctant to now reduce the dosages. I suspect 
     that if I had lower light intensities, these iron deficiency symptoms 
     would not occur (when not supplementing Fe).
     Steve in Vancouver where it doesn't just threaten to rain; it just 
     dumps water on you for days at a time!