If you have an otocinclus in your home, you can see the otocinclus turning white. 

You may be thinking “ What is the problem with my otocinclus” Why they are changing color or turning white?

The otocinclus fishes are very sensitive in nature. So they will change color when you turn off the aquarium top lights. But they will change color when the light comes up. If they don’t to normal color then you should worry.

In my experience, The fish have turned back to normal color when the light is on, But the fishes also have parasites that will affect their health of fish. So In this explanation post, you will walk through different sections about otocinclus turning to white and color changing.

So let’s start.

Why Does Otocinclus Turning White?

Otocinclus Turning White

Do you ever see the fish change color? I have seen, The otocinclus fish turns to fade white at night when the light is turned off.

After turning the light on, the fish turns to standard color.

But in some cases, the fish will have white spot problems and it would be considered as the Ichthyophthirius parasite.

The otocinclus fishes are very sensitive and sudden changes in the water parameter can make them stressed if aggressive fishes start attacking them, they will begin to fade their colors.

Otocinclus change color at night

Otocinclus are one of the best fish for reducing algae, but some people won’t care for them well.

So they start to die without proper care because they are very sensitive and sudden changes in the water parameters will make them stressed and even they may die.

The otocinclus fish change color at night. 

That means they will not change color from red to green. They will fade out the color when they become stressed. So otocinclus care is important and provide good mates for otocinclus.

They will lose color when they are sick. So most people will not care about them because they will consider it as the nature of fish.

Why does my Otocinclus have white spots?

Otocinclus Turning White

If you have seen any white spots on otocinclus fish then it was a major problem. 

The white spots on the fish’s body are formed due to a parasite known as the Ichthyophthirius parasite which was also known as Ich.

Ich was a parasite that was present naturally in the aquarium and it was controlled by the immunity power or system of the fish. 

If the fish becomes stressed or weaker, the Ich parasite can reach them faster and it was very dangerous for the fish because it will start spreading from one fish to another in the tank.

So you need to be very careful about the white spots on the fish. If you spot any fish, separate the fish into another tank.

 What is the Ichthyophthirius parasite?

Otocinclus Turning White

If we look into the direct meaning “Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is a large, ciliated protozoan that causes “Ich” or “white spot disease.” This disease is a major problem to freshwater aquarists and commercial fish producers worldwide.”- Source.

As you know the Ichthyophthirius parasite was a major problem for every fish keeper because it will spread to the entire tank.

Ich was already present at the aquarium naturally and it was controlled by the fish’s immunity system. If the fish become weaker and stressed, the Ich parasite will reach them faster and spread to the whole fish in the tank.

 What causes the Ichthyophthirius parasite?

Otocinclus Turning White

The fish may have white spots on their body due to the Ich parasite. It was caused due to some of the reasons that I have listed below.

Stress: Stress was the main cause of ich because when they become stressed the fish will lose energy. So the Ich will start affecting them and soon their body have small white spots.

Lower Immunity: Due to lower immunity power the fish become weaker and struggle to fish against the Ich parasite. So lower immunity fish will be affected faster and it was very hard for curing the Ich from weaker fishes.

Poor Water Quality: Another cause of Ich parasites is due to poor water quality. When the water quality becomes dirty, the fish start to struggle to breathe and they may get stressed. So they will become weak and the Ich parasite will start affecting them.

Overcrowd: When the aquarium gets overcrowded, the fish will start fighting between themselves and get weaker and more stressed. So Ich can affect them faster and the overall fish may have white spots because the Ich can spread very faster.

Sudden changes in water parameters: Sudden changes in the water parameters make the fish stressed. So the ich will affect them.

These are the major causes of the white spots and you need to care for them well.

 How do you treat white spots on fish?

Otocinclus Turning White

There are different ways to treat the white spots on fish. But here, we are explaining two methods as heat curing method and the salt curing method because it will be easier for beginners without any huge effort.

Heat Curing Method

Otocinclus Turning White

It was a simple method, as you need to increase the water temperature to a certain level for some days for curing them.

It would help if you raised the water temperature to 86ºF (30ºC). Slowly increase the water temperature until it reaches 86ºF (30ºC) and maintain it for at least 10 days. The high temperature will speed up the curing and prevent tomont from replicating.

You need to make sure that other fish have the ability to handle the high temperature. Otherwise, Separate the white spot fish to another tank and treat them. So the other fish will not affect.

Along with increasing temperature, you need to change the water regularly until the disease disappeared. Provide them air pump for generating oxygen into the tank because high temperatures can lower the oxygen level of the fish tank.

Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater,300W Adjustable

  • ★It shows an area to adjust the temperature. It’s not exactly accurate but it turns easy and can be adjusted at small intervals.
  • ★Explosion Proof: 2mm thickened quartz glass, can be used in fresh water and saltwater aquariums, easy to hide in the tank.
  • ★Precise temperature dial from 68 to 89°F allows for complete control of aquatic climate within a 1-degree difference.

Salt Curing Method

Otocinclus Turning White

In this method, you need to add aquarium salt to treat the white spot on the fish. It was very simple, You need to dissolve 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt into 1-gallon water separately and add this mixture to the tank.

Leave the aquarium for 10 days and check whether the white spots are disappearing or not, The salt will help to develop the fish’s natural mucous or slime coat for protection.

Don’t use any other medicine in the water for faster results. Change the 20% water every day and add the correct salt for water taken out. The water change can remove trophonts and tomites from the tank and improve oxygenation.


  • Promotes fish health and disease recovery with increased electrolytes
  • Improves respiration for fish in freshwater aquariums
  • Made from evaporated sea water for all-natural results

How long does it take to survive fish from the Ichthyophthirius parasite?

Surviving and disappearing of Ich parasite will tank time. In my experience, it will take 5 days to 2 weeks for a successful result and if the fish immunity system is lower, then it could take more time to remove the Ich parasite.

How to prevent fish from affecting the Ichthyophthirius parasite

Otocinclus Turning White

Ich parasite was very dangerous for fish. 

So you need to be careful with a white spot on the fish. Here are some preventive methods for Ich parasites.

Maintain good quality water

You need to maintain good quality water in the tank. Water condition is important for every aquarium and otocinclus fishes are very sensitive so sudden changes in the water parameters will make them stressed.

Cleaning the aquarium and water is important. It was the main thing you need to do to prevention from Ich parasite.  If the water is not clean, the fish may struggle to breathe and they will get stressed faster.

Test water regularly

Testing water regularly is important for preventing fish from ich parasites. Sudden changes in the water parameter will affect the fish and they may become stressed. So you need to test the water and ensure water parameters are correct.

Complete routine maintenance

You should make routine maintenance to prevent the fish from ich parasites. Cleaning the fish tank and maintaining good quality water can solve all most all problems. So complete routine maintenance is a must for every fish tank. If you don’t care about the otocinclus then it will affect your health and otocinclus will die faster or shorten the lifespan

Wrapping Up

Now you know the answer to why otocinclus turning white and what is ich parasite.

In this post, I have covered mainly Ich Parasite. If this post helps you to solve the problem, then Refer the post to friends.

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