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Otocinclus flexilis
Photo by James0816 from, Photo Bucket


Species: Otocinclus flexilis
Common Name: Peppered Otocinclus, Macrotocinclus flexilis, Otocinclus arnoldi, Otocinclus fimbriatus
Size: Up to 2.1 inches (5.4 cm)
Habitat: SOUTH AMERICA: Middle and lower Paraná/Paraguay, Uruguay and La Plata basins and Atlantic coastal streams of southeastern Brazil.
Min Tank Size: 20 gallon, live-plants less of a priority compared to other Otos.
Diet: Omnivorous: May be difficult to switch wild-caught Otos to prepared food, but should eventually accept frozen bloodworms and algae wafers. Could also try blanched vegetables the same as other Oto species.
Behavior: Very social, should be kept in groups. They can be slightly protective over food but do not harm other fish beyond this feigned aggressiveness. If they are kept in a tank with Corydoras paleatus, the Corys actually appear to be fooled by the similar markings and mimicking behavior of the Otos. The Otos seem to know better and will act slightly aggressive to the Corys than to each other, showing they may know the difference, unlike the Corydoras. The Corys will go so far as to follow the Otos to the surface to gulp air at the same time, and even display to female Peppered Otos in a confused attempt entice mating with them.
Water: Temperature of 68 to 77°F (20-25°C), pH 6.5 to 7.8; dH range: 2 to 25.
Care: They enjoy shaded areas of tall overhanging plants and wood. They are diurnal, meaning more active in the daytime, than other Oto species that are rather nocturnal.
Communities: Keep them in social groups of 6 or more, and they will do fine in a community tank of small-medium sized peaceful fish.
Suitability: Good for anyone with an established tank.

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