Alternative species (click on the thumbnail to see the card)
Origin: South America (Peru)
Males capable of reproduction develop odontodes (composed like teeth, with dentine and enamel) at the base of the tail. This feature is absent in females. Males are also slightly smaller and thinner than females
80 L / 18 imp gal / 21 US gal
T°: 24 to 26°C or 75 to 79°F
pH: 6 to 7
Hardness: 4 to 8°dGH
3 to 4.5cm (1.2 to 1.6")
3 to 4 years
How to feed the Zebra Oto?
Like all Otocinclus, it is partly independent regarding its food: it grazes on biofilm and algae on the scenery (it never touches the plants). However, do not neglect to feed it regularly with plant bottom pastilles (based on spirulina for example). Slices of cucumber and courgette, lettuce and poached spinach will also be welcome. From time to time, you can distribute a few vase worms, artemia or daphnia.
Distribute the meal in the evening, this is the time of day when it is most active!
What kind of behavior does the Zebra Oto have?
Very calm and peaceful, he can be very shy. It usually starts to become active in the evening and at night (night fish).
Who can live with the Zebra Oto?
In the wild, Otocinclus live in large groups. This gregarious instinct should be respected as a minimum in captivity by keeping at least 10 specimens in an aquarium. Isolated individuals are particularly shy, hiding and are more prone to stress and disease.
Because of its reserved nature, choose rather small and rather quiet roommates, such as small Characidae for example (in any case, no aggressive fish).
How to breed the Zebra Oto?
The reproduction of this species is very difficult. Moreover, it has rarely been successful in captivity. Unfortunately, there is no clearly defined protocol.
Stimulate spawning by distributing live artemia and spirulina pellets.
After spawning, the eggs are deposited on the leaves of the plants (count about ten eggs per clutch). The average incubation period is 2 to 3 days.
Fry food: algae and powdered food.
Which aquarium for the Zebra Oto?
Introduce these fish only into mature, well-functioning aquariums so that a food stock is already present.
This small fish will be happy in a well planted aquarium, preferably with broad-leaved plants on which it likes to rest. Do not hesitate to opt for floating plants that will dim the lighting. This shy little fish doesn't like strong lighting. Finally, since it feeds on algae, don't hesitate to install your aquarium near a natural light source (near a window, for example) to encourage the growth of algae (for once it's voluntary, let's make the most of it!).
Complete your decor with rocks or flat roots on which it can rest. Either way, a lush, busy decor with lots of hiding places and shady areas will be much appreciated.
For the soil, the ideal is to opt for fairly fine sand, or failing that, fine gravel. In any case, the soil should be non-sharp (avoid quartz at all costs). Finally, add some dried tree leaves such as beech or pure catappa more natural.
Do not put too much current in the aquarium at Otocinclus. Adjust the filter to the minimum to ensure a good water quality, or break the current coming out of the filter by directing it towards a wall of the tank.
Good To know
Good To know
Find all additional information!
Unfortunately, this species is classified as "endangered" in its natural environment (which is also very restricted).
Quite fragile, this fish requires a minimum of know-how in aquariophily. It is therefore not recommended for beginners.
Its name "cocama" pays homage to the Cocama-Cocamilla Indians who live in the region where this small Loricariidae is naturally found.
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