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September 19, 2014

Friday! We’re just heading into week two of our Anniversary Sale and with it, we have another fish on sale: Nannoptopoma sp. “Peru” “Orange Oto”. Read on to learn more about them!

The common Otocinclus is a popular fish for smaller aquaria - it is a very efficient consumer of brown algae with a small size. A little group is perfect for a 10-20 gallon aquarium where even an Ancistrus is too large. It is really refreshing to see different types of Oto available in the hobby, giving us all a choice of what type of tiny Loricariid we want in our small tanks. At about the same size and care requirements as the common Oto, Nannoptopoma sp. “Peru” “Orange Otocinclus” is a wonderful alternative if one wants something different for their aquatic habitat. Adult size for these fish is a mere inch and a quarter. Warm, high 70s Fahrenheit temperatures, will keep them comfortable. However, unlike the common Oto, the Orange Oto features a wider head and a dished facial profile - their little upturned noses are quite cute. Their bodies are heavily armored and striped brown and orange in tone. Each specimen has bright red eyes and orange faces and other light cream and brown markings over the body seem to vary between individuals, though they seem to follow scale edges. For best results, take your time acclimating all Otocinclus type species. Supplement their diet with algae wafers or blanched vegetables - while these fish are fantastic at eating brown algae and awfwuchs, their rough-textured lips are not typically strong enough to remove hard or hairy green algae from surfaces and they seem to dislike black beard algae.

Nannoptopoma sp Orange Zebra Otocinclus1

But what should we keep with our lovely little Orange Otocinclus? My favorite option is one of the smallest we offer, Boraras brigittae “Chili Rasbora”. A lot of sources will purchase the cheaper B. urophthalmoides “Exclamation Point Rasbora” and attempt to pass them off as B. brigittae, but we assure you that we would never consider purposefully mislabeling a fish, especially one as special as this one. The Chili Rasbora is much sought after for its beautiful bright red coloration and black flank stripe. Dashes of red mark each of its fins. The maximum size of these little beauties is only just over three quarters of an inch and a group of twenty would easily suit a 20 gallon long aquarium with a group of Orange Otos. Be sure to have very fine food sources on hand, as they have very small mouths.

Boraras brigittae

Another little nano fish I’m quite fond of is Pseudomugil gertrudae “Spotted Blue Eye/Gertrudae Rainbow”. This fascinating little fish reaches between 1.25 and 1.5 inches. P. gertrudae is typically a yellow fish with black scale rims as well as a somewhat bolder black stripe along their midline. Their fins are translucent white and patterned with intricate black dots. Their upturned pectorals, ventral fins, and first dorsal fins are tipped in bright yellow-white. The Spotted Blue Eye’s gill plates show slight pink coloration and their eyes, as in their names, are a brilliant, shining blue. This is an easily sexed species, with females sporting much shorter fins and lacking the brilliant white tips on their upturned pectoral fins. Soft, slightly acidic water is ideal for this species and they enjoy black water conditions, however, they are more than capable of handling neutral pH values.

Pseudomugil gertrudae BlueSpotRainbow

Perhaps a better contrast to the red tones of B. brigittae might be Celestichthys erythromicron “Emerald Dwarf Rasbora.” The Emerald Dwarf Rasboraoccurs frequently in Lake Inle and the surrounding watershed. This is an amazing little fish, though I personally think its common name is not very suiting. The dwarf part is correct as it does not reach over 0.8 inches in length. I personally would have chose to call them sapphire, as this fish has an orange color base with a an overlay of distinct iridescent dark blue vertical bars over its body. Brilliant red is displayed over theis gill plates and in the ventral and anal fins. The caudal peduncle is accented with a single black spot. Both sexes of the species share this lovely coloration, though females are slightly larger than the males with just a touch less color. D. erythromicron is a shoaling species. The best way to ensure a low aggression level is to keep as many of these fish as possible together.

Danio erythromicron2

Finally, I’d choose a dwarf Corydoras to occupy the bottom of the tank - Corydoras habrosus. This tiny Corydoras, reaching a maximum size of less than an inch and a half, is known by many common names - "Dainty Cory", "Salt and Pepper Cory", and "Venezuelan Pygmy Cory". As with most Corydoras, this species is a bottom-feeding scavenger, requiring a soft and sandy substrate, and care should be taken to ensure that enough food reaches the bottom of the aquarium to keep them well fed. It should be noted that if these fish are only allowed leftover food from the feeding of the tank's other occupants, it will probably not thrive.   These Corydoras should be kept in a group of six or more at a temperature of 72°F to 79°F, a pH between 6.2 and 7.2, and a similar hardness as the other fish considered - 2 to 12 degrees is ideal.

Thanks for reading, folks, and have a good one!

Jessica Supalla