Otocinclus affinis

Otocinclus affinis

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Otocinclus affinis

Note: Due
to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image
provided



































Synonyms



None



Distribution



Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



Sexual Dimorphism



Mature females appear fuller bodied around the
midsection when viewed from above.



Maximum Size



4.5cm (1.8?)



Water Parameters



Soft & acidic to neutral. pH: 5.5-7.0, dH: up
to 12 degrees.



Temperature



21-26 deg C (70-79 deg F)



Compatibility



Community



Lighting



No special requirements


 

Care

Otocinclus are one of the smallest species of suckermouth
catfish. Peaceful by nature, these fish tend to do best in large groups and
have the added benefit of helping to control certain types of algae whilst
leaving precious plant-life alone. They do, however, have a reputation for
being rather delicate, so must only be considered for very mature aquaria (9
months+) with a good level of oxygenation. If acclimatised carefully to such
tanks, and once safely past the initial settling in period, these herbivores
should fare well and can be expected to live upwards of 6 years. Their
diminutive size means that they are one of the better choices for smaller aquaria.
The tank itself should be decorated with a dark substrate, incorporating dense
areas of planting and shady hidey holes amongst bogwood and rocky caves. Bright
lighting will encourage abundant algal growth, which will provide some
nourishment for the fish (but should not be solely relied upon). Soft-neutral
conditions are recommended for Otocinclus, as are areas of moderate current.
When housing very small specimens, take preventative measures to ensure that
they cannot be drawn into filter intakes/powerheads. Small, peaceful tankmates
such some members of the Tetra, Pencilfish, Rasbora, Apistogramma, and
Corydoras families would be suitable. Otocinclus are very sensitive to chemical
treatments and nitrogenous wastes. Ensure that small partial water changes are
carried out (slowly) at least once or twice per week. Only the front glass
should be cleaned of algae during maintenance (if needed); the sides and back
glass should be left alone for the fish to graze upon. Shipments of Otocinclus
affinis sometimes actually turn out to be the very similar species Otocinclus
vittatus and vice versa. They are very difficult to differentiate, but the
needs of both species are the same. May also be seen on sale as Otto or
Otocinclus.

 

Feeding

Herbivorous. Whilst these fish will graze upon the various
surfaces in the aquarium for certain types of algae and the micro-organisms it
may contain, other foods must be offered on a regular basis. Algae wafers,
green flakes, Spirulina tablet foods, blanched cucumber, courgette, spinach,
lettuce etc will all help to keep the fish in good condition. Remove any
uneaten vegetable matter after 12 hours.

 

Breeding

These fish have successfully bred in aquaria. The trigger
for well-conditioned fish is usually a cool partial water change. Small
clutches of adhesive eggs are deposited onto leaves or the aquarium glass, and
these should either be carefully moved to a separate hatching tank (with
matching water) or all adult Otocinclus and other species removed to another
tank. The eggs usually hatch after 48 hours, but this will be temperature
dependent. Expect the fry to be free-swimming after a further 48-72 hours.