Otocinclus catfish not eating please help!! URGENT

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Lost af

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I bought four otonciclus, alongside some other fish, snails and shrimp. Unfortunately. two of my new babies died within a few weeks , and that is when I started getting REALLY concerned that my catfish are not feeding on the extra food I give them (Like cucumbers (prepared in a millions ways I tried everything) or algae wafers). I have tried doing everything, but they only suck on to the glass (which doesn't have much algae on it) or on various plants in my aquarium. I tried placing the food in all different locations (where they usually like to hang out) but they never even try to eat it. I checked the water parameters and temperature and everything is okay and they are not showing any signs of sickness. BUT as I mentioned before a few still died, so after observing them for a month I can't come to any other conclusion than just straight up starvation. At this point, if I were to continue with experimenting with food snails would take over the tank ( I already have way too many and can see many more eggs). As you can probably tell, I am new to aquarium keeping, I try my best to research as much as possible and discuss with the owner of a fish store before doing anything, but now I am at my wits end, and I don't want anything bad to happen to my remaining two catfish.
( I am familiar with the fact that they are schooling fish and I need to give them some friends, but before I figure out what the issue is I am too scared to introduce anything else into my aquarium)
 

Lost af

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Here is a picture of one of my otos currently, maybe it will help (with a photobomb of a neon tetra that always comes to the front of the tank if it sees me).IMG_1688.jpg
 

NoodleCats

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Otocinclus are notoriously hard to get to eat at first. They're all wild caught and don't recognize human offered foods as true food.

And many also suffer from a loss of gut bacteria during the import phases and they cannot recover from this and often die within the first 3 months of going to their new home.

You can help provide natural biofilm for them:

Add leaf litter and botanicals--let it grow white fuzz. You want that--that's a natural food for them.

Get some Bacter AE, it's a powdered shrimp food but it is meant to build up biofilm. It's extremely handy for biofilm grazers such as otocinclus.


You can also grow soft algae on rocks, place them in water under a light and keep them in sun or bright light
 
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Also, you can try Repashy food. It is a dry powder which you mix with very hot water. Normally, it cools into a clay type finish. However, while it is still liquid you can dip a small rock into it. Then let the rock cool and the foos coats the part of the rock you dipped. Then put the rock in the tank. Other things in the tank may want to eat it as well. Here is a lava rock I coated with Repashy Soilent Green.
https://www.shop.repashy.com/

IMG_1631.JPG

Albcoryassasnsoilent.jpg
 
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Nitani

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I bought four otonciclus, alongside some other fish, snails and shrimp. Unfortunately. two of my new babies died within a few weeks , and that is when I started getting REALLY concerned that my catfish are not feeding on the extra food I give them (Like cucumbers (prepared in a millions ways I tried everything) or algae wafers). I have tried doing everything, but they only suck on to the glass (which doesn't have much algae on it) or on various plants in my aquarium. I tried placing the food in all different locations (where they usually like to hang out) but they never even try to eat it. I checked the water parameters and temperature and everything is okay and they are not showing any signs of sickness. BUT as I mentioned before a few still died, so after observing them for a month I can't come to any other conclusion than just straight up starvation. At this point, if I were to continue with experimenting with food snails would take over the tank ( I already have way too many and can see many more eggs). As you can probably tell, I am new to aquarium keeping, I try my best to research as much as possible and discuss with the owner of a fish store before doing anything, but now I am at my wits end, and I don't want anything bad to happen to my remaining two catfish.
( I am familiar with the fact that they are schooling fish and I need to give them some friends, but before I figure out what the issue is I am too scared to introduce anything else into my aquarium)
A few years ago I had a couple of otoncyclus. Although they are peaceful and unpretentious catfish, feeding them can be tricky) I added driftwood and stones so that there would be a lot of algae.
 

FreshyFresh

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All these years I never knew otos were wild caught!

It's no wonder why they struggle, especially in a newer setup.
 

NoodleCats

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All these years I never knew otos were wild caught!

It's no wonder why they struggle, especially in a newer setup.
There are cases of them spawning in captivity, but most of the time that's hobbyists. Commercially, it's more cost effective to just import them, and half of them slap the label "vittata" on the various species and send them on their way lol
 
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jake72

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The bacteria in the gut dying is the key problem; even if they do eat after the bacteria die they can't recover. Some species of pleco have this same issue. Anyway best bet is to find a store iwth otto for at least a month before you buy them. I found a petco that had them for a month because no one realize how wonderful otto are and none of those died.
 

Nitani

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Interesting point about the bacteria. Are there specific types of bacteria they need, or any way to support it?
 

jake72

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Interesting point about the bacteria. Are there specific types of bacteria they need, or any way to support it?
What i've been told is that if the bacteria in the stomach dies they fish will die even if it eat; it can't be regenerated.
 
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