Zebra Oto – Otocinclus cocama

Zebra Oto - Otocinclus cocama

  • pH: 6-7
  • gH: 2-10
  • Temperature: 21-25
  • Maximum Size: 4.5cm
  • Minimum Tank Size: 40 litres, 45x12x12cm

Originating from Peru, Otocinclus cocama inhabits slow-moving, clear water among plants at the margins.


Otocinclus cocama is a very peaceful, somewhat timid species so shouldn’t be kept with overly large or boisterous tank mates. It makes a good addition to a nano set up with small characins or similar or freshwater shrimps.

Housing and Feeding

As a gregarious species found in large groups in the wild, it’s essential to buy a group of six or more of these; solo specimens often fail to thrive. The tank should be well-planted, with shade from floating plants and have structure in the form branches, twigs and smooth stones and pebbles on which algae can form. Dried leaves can be a useful addition as the otos will graze on them as they decay.

Otocinclus cocama feeds on algae and aufwuchs so should never be introduced to a new tank; a good growth of algae needs to be established before adding these fish as they can be difficult to feed with commercial foods. Mine did adapt over a few weeks and will happily eat algae wafers and courgette, as well as my home-made spirulina based paste food which I bake onto pebbles and stones for them to graze on.


Rarely bred in aquaria.


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