These guys are Otocinclus vestitus, or at least that's the most commonly imported one and the one I am assuming that I have. They are one of my favorite fish and I've been wanting to try to breed them for awhile now. I've kind of played at it for the last year but I'm getting serious now. They are one of the least bred fish in the hobby, and one of the harder ones to get and keep alive.
Easy to acquire, hard to keep alive due to the fact that they are not fed right in store tanks. I've read that they have a bacteria in their stomach that helps them with their digestion. If they are not fed pretty much constantly that bacteria in their stomach dies off and they soon follow. It's very common to loose these fish between two weeks and a month after you get them home for this very reason. If they stay alive that for the initial month then they seem to be extremely hardy.
Todays test results:
Kh: 35.8 @ 2 drops solution
Gh: 179 @ 10 drops solution
Ammonia: .5ppm weird
I'm going to be recording my test results on this tank here on this blog. The ammonia reading from today is either a fluke or from the fertilizer tabs I put in yesterday. I will test again tomorrow to make sure. This is a long established tank so I'm not worried about it, there is plenty of established nitrifying bacteria present.
The total disolved solids (tds) are extremely high, as is the general hardness (gh)...we basically have liquid rock for water around here. I'm using a water softener pillow in an attempt to get those values down. According to the directions it should take 48 hours to do its work. I will test values tomorrow to see where we are on that. I bought it on clearence so hopefully it does work!
In the future for water changes on this tank I will be preparing the water ahead of time in an effort to keep the values the same. I may turn up the heater a bit, I haven't decided yet.
This is a good time to be preparing for this as catfish usually breed in the spring. I have some pygmy cories on the same tank I would like to see breed as well. I accidently bred them once back when I first got them (no clue how that happened) but not since, and none of the babies survived as far as I can tell.
The other thing I would like to see in this tank that I've tried and failed at twice now is crystal red shrimp. I think they are awesome looking but with the liquid rock around here they just can't handle it. They need much softer acidic water to even stay alive.
I've been following a thread on one of the forums that I frequent from someone that has bred these guys repeatedly, and am hoping to have as good of results here!