Tropical Fish for Freshwater Aquariums: Otocinclus Catfish
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Otocinclus Catfish
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Otocinclus Catfish (Otocinclus vestitus)
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Quick Stats

Care Level Easy
Temperament Peaceful
Color Form Tan
Diet Herbivore
Water Conditions 74-79° F, KH 6-10, pH 6.8-7.5
Max. Size 4"
Origin South America
Family Loricariidae
Minimum Tank Size 10 gallons
Compatibility View Chart
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Overview

The Otocinclus Catfish is the algae-busting favorite of aquarium hobbyists. Even award-winning planted-aquarium experts like Takashi Amano will employ this tireless algae eater. The diminutive Otocinclus Catfish does a great job keeping aquarium glass and plants free of distracting green. Your aquascape and schooling fish will take center stage when the Otocinclus Catfish turns problem algae into delicious meals using its sucker-type mouth.

The Otocinclus is one of the smallest catfish in the Loricariidae family. Featuring a tan with a black peppered body, the Otocinclus Catfish is an attractive and functional addition to any freshwater aquarium. Originating from fast-moving rivers in South America, the Otocinclus Catfish should be housed in at least a 10-gallon aquarium with high filtration, good water movement, and high aeration. A planted aquarium with rocks and driftwood will provide plenty of hiding spaces to prevent the Otocinclus Catfish from becoming stressed. As a peaceful and very social fish, the Otocinclus Catfish prefers to be kept in small schools.

A planted aquarium with high vegetation and some algae will sustain the Otocinclus. However, if algae are not present, supplement with a vegetable-based flake or wafer food.

Approximate Purchase Size: 3/4" to 1-1/2"

Customer Testimonials

Alan O Los Angeles , CA
These fish are almost mandatory for a planted tank - they do a great job of reducing algae in the tank and are great fish to watch dart around your tank...highly recommended!
Katrina L Middletown , DE
These little guys are awesome! Excellent algae removers and frisky as puppies! They're SO fun to watch! Please remember that they really should have at least one other too for companionship - they do better in groups.
Zane K Centralia , WA

I've found this little guy to be paramount in providing good lighting for plants by keeping down the algae growth on the leaves and such. He is such a cute little guy to watch scurrying about, scraping food items off of whatever his little mouth can fit around.
Robert N Albuequerque , NM
I have a 125 gallon fresh water tank that gets algae growth and I need to clean the glass every week, so I purchased a few of these fish. I only have 3 of them in my tank but they have cleaned my decorations in a few weeks and the water has never been clearer. I highly recommend them for any size tank. I keep mine with Mollies, swordtails, danios, clown loaches, and a pleco.
Shawntiah J Byram , MS
This little guy is so cute and does really well with other fish. They aren't aggressive like other suckermouth catfish and even though mine doesn't have a friend like him he does play with my two panda cory catfish. All three of them can be seen swimming together and playing together. They do a great job of algae cleaning and they stay small meaning you can add more fish to your tank and something small and cute.
Courtney M Marysville , WA
Indestructible! I've had mine for two and a half years and I was told that they were very particular about their living conditions... mine aren't. I am awful at remembering to clean the tank and they just seem to strive. I love these fish. They're great at cleaning and they have personalities.
Clare W Georgetown , KY
These little guys are adorable and efficient, and they're well-suited for community aquaria. PLEASE only introduce them to a tank that's been running for at least six months; many will not eat algae pellets, and if your tank doesn't have a lot of growth, they may starve. Feeding should be supplemented with vegetables - peeled zucchini is a favorite. These are schooling fish, and while large groups aren't as crucial as with some species, it's important to have at least two. I enjoy mine - they're spastic and positively adorable!
Nikolas W Miami , FL
I love these little guys. They're so fun to watch swim around my 40 gal.
Cathy S Carlin , NV
I just got two of these today. They took right off and began cleaning. They are fast, too. Zipping across my 75 gal tank like little sprites. So much to clean, so many things to see. Love it
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