Golden Nugget Pleco
Article By: Brian Robinson
Species name: Baryancistrus spp.
Common name: Gold Nugget Pleco, Gold Seam Pleco, L018, L081, L085, L177
Maximum size: Sources vary from 6" to 14". They are slow growers and few in captivity have reached anything close to the larger end of this range. The largest I have seen personally is approximately 8".
Origin: Soft warm waters of the Amazon River system including the Amazon, Xingu , and Iriri rivers.
Temperament: Peaceful except with similar bottom dwellers.
Company: Soft water species that also prefer higher temperatures are ideal tank mates. This includes many tetras, discus, and rams. Avoid other bottom feeders, mainly plecos, as these are very territorial and can even become vicious in defense of what they decide is their territory.
Water Parameters: Temp: 25-30C (77-86F), pH: 6.5-7.6, high water quality, stable pH, and high current are all preferred and even needed.
Aquarium Setup: Safe with live plants. Include driftwood for a sheltered hide area. Rocks can also be used in addition to the wood.
Feeding: Will take prepared foods. Although it does have a ventrally positioned suction style mouth and is partially herbivorous, it is more carnivorous than many other plecos. It is also a detritivore. May feed a little on the driftwood it uses as a shelter, making it even more important to have driftwood in the tank.
Breeding: High flow rate is vital. Difficult to sex until fully mature. Males tend to have a flatter forehead. As with most or all species of fish, the females are plumper when fully mature and in breeding condition. Once they have paired and in breeding with a suitable breeding site, the addition of a powerhead aimed at their cave is all that is needed.
I have had my gold nugget for about a year now. It started off in a 40high, moved to a 150, and is now in my 40breeder with my discus and a few other fish. There has always been driftwood in any tank it is in and this seems to be an important factor. Current is also important and even seems to be enjoyable for them. I found mine on the outflow of the Whisper filter multiple times. It had actually managed to swim up the current and sucked on to the plastic to remain in position. Mine currently hides under the driftwood directly in the path of the outflow of the Fluval 304 which is only about eight inches away. It does not seem to mind the Synodontis petricola that is also in the tank and hides next to the gold nugget. Mine, as with all my fish, is fed New Life Spectrum exclusively. I feed it the normal pellets, not the wafers.
Golden nugget pleco - Copyright www.jjphoto.dk
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