After reading positive things about the otocinclus dwarf suckermouth catfish, I ordered six from my local fish store. They arrived this morning.
As per my understanding, they need to be acclimated slowly, so I did several things to minimize the shock.
First, I carried them out of the store in a black metal pan with their bag wrapped in cloth. This provided a dark-ish and hopefully secure feeling environment for the trip. (When I picked up Red and Blue, it was night-time so bright light wasn’t an issue then.)
In my home office, I mean my fishes territory, I turned off the main lights and put them in a large wide mouth glass container that holds about a gallon.
Next, I inserted a bubble stone with a slow air stream. Whether this was necessary, I’m not certain but certainly it wasn’t going to hurt.
Finally I have a two gallon container with a spigot that I purchased at the local WalMart. It was originally intended for serving drinks. I placed it up on a top shelf with an air hose line attached to it along with an adjustable restriction valve.
After adding about a half-gallon of water from the 10 gallon tank, I set it to go drip-drip-drip into the glass container. For the next four hours or so, the goal was to give the otos a very slow, steady and hopefully low-stress acclimation period.
BTW, I have another of these that is plumed into the 10 gallon tank and will put two gallons of prepared water in there. When I do water changes / vacuum the gravel, I pull out two gallons down to a line that I marked on the glass and open the spigot. It takes about 15 minutes to refill the tank and doesn’t cause a serious water current to disturb the residents.
I then extracted some water from the glass container using a turkey baster and repeated the process with another half-gallon from the 10 gallon tank.
At this point, I felt the otos were as ready as they will ever be to enter their new home.
So far, the bettas have been curious about the new residents. I’ve seen a few brief chases but the otos are so much faster than the big finned bettas that it was no contest. It was like a lumbering 1960 Lincoln chasing an Ariel Atom.