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Otocinclus cocama REIS, 2004

Zebra Oto

Etymology

Named for the Cocama-Cocamilla Indian tribes that used to be dominant in the lower Ucayali and lower Marañon region of Peru plus neighbouring parts of Brazil.

Classification

Order: Siluriformes Family: Loricariidae

Distribution

Type locality is ¡s ‘Quebrada Yamayacu, about 4°55’S, 73°43’W, tributary to the caño of the cocha Supay in Jenaro Herrera, Provincia Requena, Departamento Loreto, Peru’, and O. cocama is thought to occur throughout the lower Ucayali and Marañon in Peru.

Habitat

Otocinclus spp. are mostly restricted to small tributaries or slow-flowing marginal zones of larger rivers and usually associated with aquatic vegetation or terrestrial grasses growing in the water. They tend to occur in large numbers, often among the vegetation in the upper part of the water column, near the surface.

The type locality of O. cocama is described as a creek containing clear water with dense marginal vegetation among which the fish were found.

Maximum Standard Length

40 – 45 mm.

Aquarium SizeTop ↑

Aquarium base dimensions of 45 ∗ 30 cm or equivalent should be the smallest considered for long-term maintenance.

Maintenance

Requires a mature, densely-planted set-up, ideally with floating vegetation and roots, twigs or branches to add structural complexity. Dried leaf litter can also be added if you wish and will be grazed by the fish as it decomposes.

Use gentle filtration; an air-powered sponge-style unit should prove adequate in most cases. This species requires stable water conditions and should never be added to an immature aquarium.

Water Conditions

Temperature21 – 25 °C

pH6.0 – 7.5

Hardness36 – 179 ppm

Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑

Peaceful with other species but does not make an ideal community fish due to its small size and rather timid nature. Ideally it should be kept alone or at most with diminutive, non-aggressive characids, smaller callichthyid or loricariid catfishes, and perhaps freshwater shrimp from the genera Caridina or Neocaridina.

Otocinclus spp. arer gregarious by nature and should ideally be maintained in a group of 6 specimens or more.

Sexual Dimorphism

Fully-grown adult males tend to be 5-10 mm smaller than females, and possess a conical urogenital papilla behind the anus which is absent in females.

Males also possess a flap on the dorsal surface of the unbranched pectoral-fin

Reproduction

Has been achieved, but unforunately very few details are available. Presumably the fry are very tiny and will require access to copious amounts of algae and other greenstuffs.

NotesTop ↑

This stunning miniature Loricariid has only been available in the hobby since 2001, and was described to science in 2004. As with other otos, it can be a little delicate when first imported and should be quarantined carefully until it’s settled.

Missing information here? Our Knowledge Base is an ever-evolving work in progress, which naturally means that some species profiles contain more information than others. We're working on a daily basis to fill in all the gaps, so please have patience. This site relies heavily on the help of hundreds of people without whose valuable contributions it simply wouldn't exist. Information and photos regarding any freshwater or brackish fish species, its natural history or captive care is always much appreciated, so if you've anything you'd like to share please leave a comment below or email us.

4 Responses to “Otocinclus cocama – Zebra Oto”

  • Sverting

    Same story as with regular oto.


  • Fixed, but scanning these oto profiles is a painful experience. Give us a few weeks and we’ll try to get them sorted. ;)

  • Rüdiger

    Hi Matt,
    eversince I started keeping “otos” I went by the recommendations of Remo Wiechert ( http://www.remowiechert.de/otos.html ), whom I regard as somewhat of an authority on Otocinclus spp.
    He recommends e.g. as a (general maintenance) species setup a tank of 60 x 30 x 30 cm for a group of max. 12 Otocinclus macrospilus (or similar sized spp.) and breeding setups at 30 x 20 x 20 cm.
    Regards
    R.


  • Hi Rudi, thanks for the link. Have added it to my bookmarks and will take a good look when it’s time to edit this genus.


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