Otocinclus catfish can be very handy fish to have in your aquarium. They will gladly graze on any soft brown or green algae that grows in your tank. However, what happens when your Oto eats all the algae and it doesn’t grow fast enough to sustain your catfish? Well, there are several other types of food that you can add to supplement your Oto’s diet.
1. Otos love to eat fresh vegetables. Veggies such as spinach, romaine lettuce, parsley, cucumber, zucchini, green beans, and peas are all great options. Cut them into small pieces and then blanch them, as these catfish need the veggies to be soft in order to eat them. If there are any vegetables left in the tank around 24 hours later, make sure to take them out before they dirty the water.
2. Another food that you can feed your Otocinclus that they love is frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp. These are a good source of protein that your catfish might not otherwise get, as they are mostly vegetarian. If you have other fish in your tank, be aware that your Oto might not get to the frozen food before any other fish do, as nearly all tropical fish go crazy for these frozen foods.
3. A third great option is algae pellets and flakes. These are convenient to feed and are fairly nutritious. Make sure that the ingredient list has spirulina (algae) near the top, as that is what attracts the catfish and may be the difference between your Oto ignoring the food and eating it.
As you can see, there are many different foods that you can feed your Otocinclus if your tank doesn’t have enough algae for the fish to eat.