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  • Otocinclus Affinis (Dwarf Otocinclus)



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    Species: Otocinclus Affinis
    Geo. Location: Southeastern Brazil
    PH: 6.0 - 8.0
    Temperature: 68 - 79F
    Water Hardness: 5 - 12dh
    Size: 1.5"
    Diet: Herbivorous - algaes, vegetables
    Difficulty: 3

    Photo Credit: ADH
    Notes: Otocinclus Affinis is a very shy and peaceful dwarf loricariidae. Usually not bigger than 1.5 inch, Otocinclus do much better when kept in group of at least three. They are very respectful to their tankmates and are great community fish. During the day, these fish usually rest on a leaf or stick to the glass of the tank. They become more active during night time. Great algae eaters (one of the reason why they are so popular), they will not harm plants in the aquarium.
    Otocinclus Affinis has a greyish upper body. A black trim crosses its entire body from mouth to tail. The lower portion of the body is silver.
    Otocinclus Affinis is not very picky regarding water conditions. However it is very sensitive to water condition changes and a sudden change in water chemistry can be leathal to him (inlcuding adding medications). It is therefore recommended to keep water at stable conditions by making frequent water changes. A lot of Hobbyists have reported sudden deaths of Otocinclus after a few days in a new tank. New water conditions is partly responsible for this. When getting Otocinclus, the following question must be asked: what is my ratio of algae/volume of warter in my tank? As we said before, Otocinclus do much better in schoals of 3 or more. However to keep Otocinclus it is imperative to have an heavily planted tank with lots of algae for them to feed on. If algaes are gone after a few days, Otocinclus will starve and die. A solution would be to supplement their diet with vegetables (zuchini, lettuce, parsley...). However, we do not recommended to get Otocinclus if you don't have enough algae production in your tank as it will not create a good habitat (a starting ratio can be 3 Otos for an heavily planted 30 gallons). When properly acclimatate, Otocinclus are great fish to have in a planted tank.
    Dwarf Otocinclus will require a well planted tank with a few hidding areas where they can hide from other fish (rocks, driftwood). Good filtration (peat can be used) , oxygen and water movement are quite important to recreate their natural environment (most Otocinclus Affinis are imported from streams and rivers of South America). They will need to be kept with calm, non aggressive fish. Some floating plants can be added to create shading areas.

    Breeding: Breeding this species is quite difficult and reserved to experienced hobbyists.
    Males are slender and slightly smaller than females. Paul Kjaerland wrote an article on Otos reproduction (this article is available here). The tank must be very densely planted and parents must be conditionned with live brine shrimps and algae tables. The condition in his tanks where as follow when spawning took place: temp: 25C, ph: 7.5, dh: 10.
    otocinclus breeding habits are quite similar to the ones of Corydoras. However, these fish are not too productive and only a few dozen eggs are laid every time. Raising the fry is the biggest challenge when breeding this species.

    Contacts pierre@fishandtips.com