item: 4032049



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product highlights

  • Diet: Algae Wafers, Fresh Vegetables
  • Maximum size: 2"
  • Water temperature: 72-79° F
  • Swimming level: Bottom
  • Experience level: Intermediate
  • Tank Setup: 10+ gallons, lightly planted
Note: Pet availability is seasonal. State and local regulations may vary. Pricing may vary by store location. PetSmart stores cannot match the price below for this pet. Ask a store associate for details.

Aptly named, algae eaters are often placed in large aquariums to help keep algae from overgrowing. These bottom-swimming fish feed on green algae and vegetable matter, moving along the surfaces of your aquarium scraping green algae with their sucker mouths. They also eat all kinds of commercial flake and pellet foods, but must get sufficient algae and vegetable matter, such as fresh zucchini, romaine lettuce, spinach or spirulina pellets.

You will see your algae eater swimming at the bottom of your aquarium. They will also hang from plants and the aquarium walls, using their sucker mouths for attachment. To create a beautiful aquarium environment, be sure to add some middle and top swimmers as well. Ask a PetSmart associate to help you choose.

Things to remember

Frequent feedings
For optimum health, feed your algae eaters as much food as they will consume in 1-3 minutes, twice a day. You can alternate between regular staple diet feedings and 2-4 meals per week of a vegetable treat or specialty food. Remove uneaten fresh vegetables after four hours.

Adding fish
Whether you're just starting your aquarium or introducing new fish into your tank, don't forget to add only 1-3 at a time.

Unique gill opening
Algae eaters have a special opening on their gills so they can breathe without loosening their grip on a rock or other surface.

Minimum aquarium size should be 10 gallons or larger. A good rule of thumb is one gallon of water for every one inch of full-grown fish.

Decorate their aquarium with hiding places such as roots, driftwood and rockwork. Also include plants to provide grazing surfaces.

Fish compatibility
Algae eaters should not be kept by beginners or in a community aquarium with delicate fish. As adults, they can be aggressive to other tank mates and should be housed with large, tough fish or as a single species in the aquarium.

Vet Assured™ Promise
All pets purchased at PetSmart are raised under our exclusive Vet Assured program and come with a 14-day satisfaction guarantee. Vet Assured is a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to improve the health and well-being of our pets. The program sets standards for the care of our pets by our live animal partners and store associates and establishes strict standards for the monitoring and prevention of common illnesses found in pets. PetSmart makes a significant investment in the care of our pets and it is apparent in the quality and comfort of the pets in our stores. However, if your pet becomes ill during this initial 14-day period, or if you're not satisfied with your pet for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price. Please keep your sales receipt and return the pet to the store where it was purchased if needed.

2.89 New Out Of Stock
Otocinclus is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 113.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Perfect Algae Eater A great algae eater. Small, calm and friendly, will not eat shrimp or other small crustaceans so you can keep them in the same tank (ghost shrimp, red cherry shrimp, gammarus shrimp (scuds), daphnia (water fleas), copepods, moina, fairy shrimp, etc.) ... the Chinese Algae Eater is aggressive and grows to be rather large and doesn't eat so much algae. The ordinary Pleco hides during the day and grows huge and doesn't eat so much algae. The Siamese Algae Eater is hard to find and easily confused with the "false" Siamese Algae Eater and the Flying Fox. So the Otto is a nice alternative. (Get a Bristle Nosed Pleco too if you can.) It is normal for the Otocinclus to get a pudgy body shortly after you buy it if you have a well planted tank with invisible algae and organisms stuck to surfaces that the Ottos will eat.
Date published: 2013-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING LITTLE GUY!!!! I have had this little octo named octy. He is such a great cleaner and is so cute. He gets along with my guppys and mollies which are in a partly dense 10 gallon tank. He should only get to about 2inch. So he is a great little guy for the smaller tanks and the smaller fish. Did I mention this little guy alone can keep the tank clean and in shape very quickly. I might go out and get some more. Just 1 at the least. Great for begginers as well. THANK THE LORD FOR THIS FISH!!!!
Date published: 2013-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got one of these yesterday since my filter stopped working (don't worry, my fish are fine), and after making sure the water temperature was the same in the tank and bag, I let him into the tank. He stuck to the side of the aquarium and started eating. I saw him wiggling, and moving up and down. Wherever his mouth touches the tank, the algae is gone from that part of it! He's just a baby, but overnight he ate 1/8 of the existing algae in the tank! I'm getting another soon! My Betta was a little curious, but Bubble isn't very aggressive (for whatever reason), and just swam after looking at him (Stripe) around 3 or 4 times. Petsmart, Keep on carrying these guys! I'd totally recommend these little guys to anyone!
Date published: 2014-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LUV IT i love the otocinclus. they are always eating algae of the walls of the tank. be careful because they are very small fish and should be housed with other small tropical community fish.
Date published: 2013-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Algae Eaters EVER!!! I have a 29 gallon freshwater aquarium that had a huge algae bloom about a week ago. I bought 2 of these little guys 4 days ago, and yesterday, I could not see any algae!! In just 3 days, they ate all of the algae! Now that there is no algae for them to eat, I feed them Hikari Algae Wafers and it takes a little while, but eventually they find it and just sit on it and feast! Also, these fish don't get big like other algae eaters, so they fit in most tanks and they don't take up nearly as much space. Additionally, they are very peaceful and don't get bullied at all from other bigger fish. Overall, fantastic addition to any peaceful community aquarium. I would definitely recommend this to anyone with an algae problem. Just make sure you have a back-up food supply for when the live algae is all gone!
Date published: 2014-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SOOOOO COOL!!! I just got three oto's today, they are really cool! I can already tell there is a difference in algae in my 10-gal tank. They are very active and they are not aggressive AT ALL. They are so cute and small! They haven't stopped eating algae since I got them. These are the best algae eaters out there! And they are very affordable and definitely worth your money! They are perfect!
Date published: 2014-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Oto's are the best! For small size tanks that need algae help, these are the best! Too many people try and shove plecos in a tank refusing to believe they will get big when these little guys are far better for the job. Love em!
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cute and Amazing I recently purchased two otocincluses and added them to my community tropical tank. They are so effective at eating algae, and are my favorite catfish by far! I have never seen them harm live plants, and they like to rest on them. They will not bother eggs or any fish, which makes them very peaceful. Mine love it when I add pieces of zucchini and will nibble on it constantly! Also really adorable and can be quite active. They need to constantly search for food, so if you don't have enough algae in your tank, sinking wafers or vegetables will be fine. They don't grow very big at all, which may be another plus. I love these fish and I am happy I found out about them!
Date published: 2014-01-23
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I was wondering if i could possibly have these fish in with just one beta. i have a 10 gallon and i was thinking about getting three of theses algae eaters. Im scared there wont be enough algae so i was also thinking about purchasing Christmas moss also

Asked by: Chelsey513

excuse me i have a 4 gallon tank and i have a algae problem i have heard that otocinclus catfish are good betta tank mates and eat algae is that true

Asked by: slenderlyn12
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