Green oto, Epactionotus aky

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Ian Fuller on the stunning Otocinclus-like Green oto, Epactionotus aky.

Common name:Green Oto

Scientific name: Epactionotus aky

Origin: This species is known from two streams, the arroyos Garibaldi (Type locality) and the Fortaleza. Both streams are headwaters of the arroyo Yabot-Guaz, which flows into the Ro Uruguay, in the Province of Misiones, Argentina.

Size: 3.5 cm/13/8"

Water: The depth of the streams where the species was collected varied in depth, but averaged about 50cm, with clear and rapid flowing water. A temperature around 22C/74F, pH 7.5, Conductivity 40 S (very soft 2-3 GH). In nature the temperature may be as low as 18C/65F. Aquarium water should be well aerated and have a good flow.

Aquarium: Tank set up for this species should consist of a sandy substrate with smooth rocks and pieces of bogwood, with thickets of broad-leaved plants such as the Amazon sword, Echinodorus paniculatus.

Diet: In nature this species is a grazer, and feeds on algae, micro organisms and insect larvae found in the bio-film on submerged objects, such as rocks, tree roots, drift wood and plant stems. In the aquarium vegetable and insect based foods should be offered.

Notes: This species was described by Casciotta, Almirn, and Krber at the end of 2004. This is possibly the first time it has been in the UK, although it has been successfully bred under aquarium conditions in Germany.

Identification: A very unique species, in that it can be easily recognised by its overall green body colour, although freshly imported specimens are often olive coloured and do not show the bright metallic green colouring until well settled.

Availability: Imported by Neil Woodward and available at Pier Aquatics, Wigan, Lancashire, (01942-2366617).

Price: On sale for 9.50.

Ian Fuller