Otocinclus Catfish (Otocinclus Vestitus)

OtocinclusQuick Info – Otocinclus

  • Min. Tank Size: 10 gallon
  • Max. Size:  4 inches
  • Temp: 74°-80°
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • KH: 6-10
  • Peaceful
  • Herbivore
  • Beginner

Otocinclus is a genus of catfish in the family Loricariidae native to South America which are commonly called “dwarf suckers” or “otos”. This genus, like other loricariids are characterized by rows of armor plating covering the body, as well as the under-slung sucker mouth. They are generally small in size; O. tapirape is the smallest of the species (2.4 cm), while O. flexilis is the biggest (5.5 cm).  These species have adaptations that allow them to breathe air. A duct forms at the junction between the esophagus and the stomach and expands into an enlarged, ring-like diverticulum, diagnostic of this genus, which allows air-breathing.  Otocinclus are popular aquarium fish. They are often purchased as algae eaters. It is difficult to breed them in captivity, and only wild caught Otocinclus are available to hobbyists. This genus is widely distributed east of the Andes of South America, throughout the lowlands from northern Venezuela to northern Argentina, but are generally absent from the Amazon and the Orinoco lowlands.


OtocinclusSpecies of this genus are diurnal and generally are found in small streams or along the margins of larger rivers, clinging to substrates using the mouth as a sucker and feeding on algae or aufwuchs on roots, stones, macrophytes and broad-leaved grasses. They inhabit well-oxygenated, moderate- to slow-flowing environments, often near river banks. They are found near the surface of the water, but are often associated with vegetation or other structures. They lay adhesive eggs and do not guard them; this is in contrast to many other loricariids where the male builds a nest and guards the eggs. These fish live in shoals or schools. Otocinclus are able to breathe air. Prior to surfacing, they will release air through their gills and mouth. Upon returning to the bottom, the fish do not need to pump their buccal cavities, indicating they are absorbing oxygen from the swallowed air.

Read More at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


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