- Scientific name: Otocinclus cocama
- Synonyms: -
- Common name: Zebra Oto
- Group: Catfishes
- Habitat: South America; Peru; in lower Ucayali and Maranon Rivers.
- Size: 4-4.5 cm
- Biotope: Found in small clearwater tributaries and slow-flowing marginal zones of larger rivers with lots of vegetation.
- Social behavior: Peaceful, but shy and timid little catfish, that can be kept with small characins and corydoras species or with small shrimps in a community tank. It should be kept in a small group in a species aquarium.
- Diet: Herbivorous; In the wild it feeds on algae and biofilm that found on underwater surfaces. In the aquarium it feeds on green and brown algae, but once acclimated, it will feed on sinking and frozen foods. Vegetables such as cucumber and zucchini may be offered.
- Breeding: Very rare in aquarium.
- Tank: Minimum 35 litres
- Population: 5-6 fish for 50 litres
- Decoration: Keep them in a densely planted aquarium. Use some broad-leaved aquatic plants and driftwood branches or larger stones. Lighting can be bright to encourage algae growth. Dried leaf litter can also be added as these will be grazed by the fish as it decomposes.
- Temperature: 21-25 °C
- pH: 6-7.5
- Hardness: 2-12 NK°
- Lifespan: 5 years
Description: Zebra Oto has only been available in the hobby since 2001, and was described to science in 2004, unfortunately it is still rare in local fish stores. They do seem to be a bit more sensitive to the captive environment than other members of this genus. The base color of the body is bluish white to yellowish. The snout and the top of the head are dark brown, leaving a narrow, V-shaped white band on the head. Each fish have unique, distinct color pattern, but generally 4 vertically elongated dark-grey to black blotches spanning on their body: one at origin of dorsal fin, second behind dorsal-fin base, third between dorsal and caudal fins, and fourth at base of caudal fin. Another characteristic of the fish is a „W”-shaped vertical band on the caudal fin. In contrast with other Otocinclus species Zebra Oto has a complete lateral line. They live in large groups in their natural habitat often among the vegetation in the upper part of the water column, near the surface. Their scientific name derived from the Cocama-Cocamilla Indian tribes that used to be dominant in this region of Peru.
It is hard to tell apart sexes when young, but mature males have a conical urogenital papilla, however it is difficult to observe as the fish is very small, and males also have a flap on their pectoral-fins, which is absent in females. Females are a little larger and have plumper bellies. Breeding is possible in aquarium, but unforunately very few details are available. The fry are very tiny and require a large amounts of alage to be raised.
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