If you have good plant growth with very little Algae can Otocinclus get by with Algae wafers, I am using Hikari Algae wafers, if that's all they get, is it sufficient? or should I supplement their diet with some other types of food?
I give mine slices of zucchini that have been boiled for two minutes or so. I cut and cook a whole zucchini at a time and freeze it, then thaw each portion as needed. This along with algae wafers have kept mine happy and healthy for a while.
Personally, in addition to what has been stated above, I would add a piece of natural driftwood to your display as well. They will enjoy eating the 'microflora and fauna' or 'aufwuch'sp. that grows on the wood also.
We ship in Otocinclus cocama about once a year and they love the dried seaweed sheets that are used for wrapping sushi. Most supermarkets will have this in the Asian food aisles. It is a bit messy after several hundred Oto's attack it, but the left overs don't seem to foul the tank.
In my experience, not even the least picky otos will bother with algae wafers. They prefer something softer like blanched veggies or various mashed peas/algae wafer pastes. They have much smaller, more delicate mouths than most other members of the suckermouth family and tend not to appreciate the texture of wafers.
My experience is that from all kinds of algae wafers, otos only participate on local brand ones called minitabs which contain 20% of spirulina. Hikari, JBL, Tetra, SERA algae and pleco tabs simply don't seem to attract them at all. Other than that, I'm currently raising 8 o.vittatus purely on SERA Micron powder food in a small breeder. Sure, some algae grows on the glass as the breeder has been setup for some time before I put oto's eggs in, that is a must at the beginning. I have a so so experience with zuccini recently, it seems to me that they only accept it when it is in certain condition and in 50% they do not even try it. Not sure why. From time to time I also shortly boil common nettle leaves which are easy to get here. They seem to quite like it (also after being in tank for at least 24hrs)
The food I make mine is very similar to the Soilent Green. I make it with spirulina powder, mashed peas and various other veggies like broccoli and zucchini then I mix the paste with boiled agarose to create the gel. As I am typing this, my shoal of about 25 strong is demolishing a piece the size of a small stone. I've also found that newly arrived fish tend to transition better to foods without the agar. It is much more natural for them to graze on the powderized mixture once its been scattered over the wood, rocks and leaves in the aquarium, rather than the solid chunk of veggie food the agar creates.
Hello to all, Thank you for all the food suggestions, I think I will try Vlacek's idea of stinging nettles, I have a question, I get the nettles boil the leaves and when cold freeze them, how do I get the the said food to the Oto's ? put it in a tube and try to get it to the bottom of the tank. Can you let me know how you get your food to the right place. An easy question If you know the answer. Thank you
I have not tried the nettles yet, I have a big problem. My tank has been ticking along nicely for months, On Sunday I did my usual 40% water change, and yesterday ( Wednesday ) the Oto's and Pepers were hiding and very nervous, I did a water test Ammonia Zero, Nitrite Zero, Nitrate High !!!!!!, I have carried out another water change and will do another tomorrow and see if things improve. Any Ideas what's gone wrong the only change I have made recently is to go over to Tetra PlantaMin, could that be it? Help. Thank you