Life Habits of Golden Otocinclus Fish - fish-hobbyist

Life Habits of Golden Otocinclus Fish

Find out life habits of golden otocinclus fish from knowing their size, the care needed, temperament and behavior, and of course, the food that they mostly love since they are herbivores.

Many say that taking care of golden otocinclus fish is relatively easy. However, more complaining about how easy these species die shortly after they were moved to a tank. Therefore, maintaining these little companions is rather tricky. If you know how to set the ideal tank, choose the right tank mates, and giving the perfect diet, golden otocinclus fish will have a long healthy life. To know the best conditions to maintain their life span, here is some useful information about the life habits of golden otocinclus fish you should know.

Size and Appearance

Golden otocinclus fish has a small size. They can only grow to be about 1 ½-2 inches with a life span of 3-5 years. Mature otos rarely reach more than 2 inches. They have a plain cylindrical shape, rounded back, flattened head with eyes on each side, and suckermouth to help them feed and latch onto surfaces. Because they have a slight ability to breathe air, they love to stay at the bottom. Females otos are usually bigger and broader. For beginners, maintaining golden otocinclus may be a little bother because of a potential feeding problem in the beginning.

Care Amount

As mentioned above, the care level of golden otocinclus fish is quite easy but tricky. These species are known as algae eaters, so they have excellent cleaning skills when placed in aquariums. When you house suitable tank mates with them, the life habits of golden otocinclus fish will benefit other fish since they will suck all growing algae in the tank. 

Temperament and Behavior

Another life habits of golden otocinclus fish you should learn is about their temperament and behavior. These species are known as peaceful little fish. They rather stay away from other tank mates and love to stay close to the bottom. That is why it is not recommended to place them with larger and aggressive fish in the same tank.

Golden otocinclus are very skittish as well. They are great swimmers and will definitely clean your tank and aquarium accessories from algae. Once they finish clear the algae in one part, they will move to other areas. These tiny buddies do not only love to stay in the bottom but can also latch on to the side of your aquarium, where algae mostly grow. During this, you can have a clear view of its unique suckermouth motion. 


Golden otocinclus are herbivores. In the natural habitat, golden otocinclus eat algae and slime or biofilm that stick on plants’ roots, rocks, or leaves. Hence, if you maintain them in a tank, make sure to add living plants for the place to grow algae and biofilm. You can choose plants like Java Ferns, Cryptocorynes, or Anubis. 

You can also add algae wafers or catfish pellets to their diet. These little fish also love supplemental vegetables such as spinach, peas, cucumber, and zucchini. If your golden otocinclus leave these vegetables for more than three days, make certain that you remove those vegs from the tank to avoid bacteria. 

Those are the life habits of golden otocinclus fish you need to know. Even though they have a small size, keeping them in a big tank will potentially give them a happier and longer life. And most importantly, water change is a must. 

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