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Together with a recently acquired new oto crew I also introduced columnaris desease to this tank and all but 2 out of 27 blue neon tetras died. Still the otos are all healthy after 2 months. The bunch of otos before that died completely on me all of a sudden within days after only 6 weeks. Again the ones preceding I could keep for more than 3 1/2 years. I'm using reconstituted distilled water for that particular tank and the param's were kept stable all the time within small variations.

I suspect it might be gene pool or treatment (antibiotics etc.) when juvenile determining how long they can make it?
I recommend swaping retailer/source to buy from.

Best regards,
Detlef
 

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If you're talking about Otocinclus rather than the neons here then the 'gene pool' (I assume you're referring to inbreeding depression?) shouldn't be an issue as they are, as far as I am aware, all wild caught.
Ed, yes I was talking about otocinclus on which I've got controversial info. Some say otos are wild caught others claim they are all raised in captivity (with inbreeding issues going along). May be some one more knowledgeable can chime in? And I was also confirmed that especially otos are prone to sudden death for whatever reason. They often needed to be treated with antibiotics similar to guppies which had turned into one of the most delicate/sensitive species of fish.

Wild caught otos have to withstand a long journey for sure until they make it to their final home so they can easily get starved and won't survive if it takes too long a time for them or if they can't find the particular alga they like. What surprised me was that several different batches I've bought did not show any signs of stress diplayed normal looking bellies, shape and behaviour for about 6-8 weeks but then were all dead within 8 days.

I not only like these little cats because they are irreplaceable removers of periphyton.

Best regards,
Detlef
 

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Here is the outcome on S.O.D.S. about which I've asked a few people including biologists who should know much more about fish health than I do:

It's likely that wholesalers treat otos with a combo of malachite green, methylene blue and copper sulfate to keep fish losses down. As otos seem to be very sensitive to Cu they can die very quickly several weeks or even months! after treatment from heavy metal poisoning without displaying any signs of illness (cirrhosis of the liver was suspected).

Otos seem to live only 3-5 years on average depending on species. They are said to be very sensitive when comitted with new water param's, nitrite or high PO4 (>1ppm).

Growing otos is possible and was done both from individuals and from breeders although not very often. With otos caught in the wild wholesalers and LFS can make more money than with otos raised in captivity since the genus is not very productive. Thus the fish is supposedly taken from the wild simply because profit matters most.

Be careful with these charming and peaceful but sometimes featherbrained little guys.

Best regards,
Detlef
 
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