Common Name: Dwarf Sucking Catfish, Midget Sucker Catfish, Golden
Otocinclus, Golden Dwarf Sucker Catfish
Scientific Name: Otocinclus affinis (STEINDACHNER 1877)
Meaning of Name: Otocinclus, sieve-ear, refering to the holes in the skull in the ear region.
Origins: Southeastern Brazil, in the region around Rio de Janeiro. Fast flowing small brooks with clear water, thickly grown with algae and plants.
Description: It is olive-green in color with a brown stripe running
down the side of a slim body. The fins are withiout color or markings. The
belly is white or a cream color, while the top side is dark in color. The
body is elongated with a flat belly and a slightly convexed back. The eyes
can be seen from below located out on the sides. The caudal fin is forked.
It also has a sucker mouth located beneath the head without barbels. Grows
up to 1 1/2 inches (4 cm). Nocturnal. Males are slimmer and smaller than
Diet: Herbivorous. Algae, green food, lettuce (soaked or frozen), food tablets, dry food, chopped and rinsed Tubifex, white worms, live and thawed water fleas and midge larvae.
Environment: Water temperature of 68-79F. with a pH range of 5-7.5, dH 2-15, with good filteration. Peat filtered or peat extract supplement if possible.
Tank Mates: Community.
Breeding: Egg Scatterer. Spawning usually takes place in the maintenance tank, but can be placed in a breeding tank and transfered back to the maintenance tank after spawning. Water temperature should be between 75-78.8F. (24-26C.) and the other conditions the same as above. The female will swim around actively while the male persuses her and then mates. The male prostrates himself in front of the female, and she tightly adheres herself to his pelvic fin and sticks three to six eggs usually to the underside of a leaf. Similar to the Corydoras, they attach their eggs to rocks and leaves; and can also spawn on the aquarium glass. The Otocinclus species does not tend their brood. If the spawn takes place in the maitenance tank, cut off the leaves with the spawn and transfer them to a rearing tank. If the spawn is on a rock or in a cave, transfer with the rock or cave if possible.
The rearing tank should have about 2 inches (5cm) of water and a fine airstone. Mix the water with methylene blue so that the eggs can still be seen. Twice a day exchange about 80% of the water with that of the same mixture of methylene blue. As soon as the young begin to emerge, or several hours prior to, suck up the spawn carefully with a pipe or thin rubber tube until the young break out of the eggshells. The same thing can be accomplished by gently brushing the eggs with a brush.
Raising the fry is difficult due to the small size of their mouths. The spawn, which can include more than 60 eggs, emerges in two or three days and should be fed as soon as the yolk sac is consumed. If the fry are in an uninhabited tank, they can be fed thawed frozen rotifers, which they will eat off the glass. Otherwise, dry food and soaked crushed lettuce. Also provide algae covered stones and roots.