|Synonyms||Microlepidogaster notatus, Otocinclus notatus|
|Sexual Dimorphism||Male fish are generally smaller, and with a more depressed dorsal profile compared to that of the female.|
|Maximum Size||4cm (1.6")|
|Temperature||22-24 deg C (72-75 deg F)|
|Water Parameters||pH: 6.5-7.5, dH: up to 18 degrees.|
|Lighting||No special requirements|
The Black Otocinclus is known from the Rio São João drainage and other small coastal tributaries running to the Baía de Guanabara and to the Baía de Sepetiba in Rio de Janeiro State. This is a charming miniature Loricariid that is ideally suited to a quiet, heavily planted aquarium. It is a peaceful fish that is best kept in good sized groups (6+) in a mature aquarium with plenty of shady hiding spots amongst plants, driftwood, and slate caves. Tankmates should be of similar size and temperament e.g. some of the smaller tetra and Corydoras species, or dwarf cichlids (Apistogramma, Mikrogeophagus etc). Avoid tankmates that are boisterous at feeding times, as these shy little catfish will not compete well. This species can be rather delicate when first imported - always ensure new arrivals are well rested, and quarantine any new purchases to ensure they settle in well before adding to the main aquarium.
Omnivorous. Offer a varied diet consisting of sinking catfish pellets, algae wafers, and frozen foods such as bloodworm, daphnia, cyclops etc. Provide vegetable matter such as slices of cucumber or courgette on a regular basis.
A handful of aquarists claim to have bred this egglaying species, but details are few and far between. The fish apparently clean the spawning site/s together (often the underside of leaves or the aquarium glass) and spawn in a T position similar to that of Corydoras. The fry are tiny and feeding presents quite a challenge.