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Gold Nugget Pleco
Alternative Name(s): L177, L081, L018/85
Scientific Name(s): Baryancistrus, L177, L081, L018/85
Category: Tropical
Difficulty:
Maximum Size: 35cms
Minimum Tank Volume: 540 litres
Minimum Tank Size: 78" x 24" x 24"
Water Temperature Range: 25-30°C
Water pH Range: 6.5-7.5
Water Hardness Range: 2-15 dGH

General Information: Sub-categorised into three different types, L018/85, L081 and L177. They originate from three different parts of the Xingu river in the Amazon rainforest and have a dark green-black body with striking yellow spots and a band of yellow on the tip of the dorsal and caudal fins. L081 has small yellow spots, L018/85 has medium yellow spots and L177 is the large spot variety. The L numbers are used to categorise them until a scientific name is given. They are from the family Loricariidae.
Tank Requirements: See Minimum Tank Volume and Minimum Tank Size above. They need water with a high dissolved oxygen content, a strong flow created by a venturi will help. Consider a river style set up. The need for high oxygen levels should not be underestimated. Caves and hidey holes are important. Excellent filtration is needed as these are messy fish.
Diet Requirements: These fish need to be fed with care and attention as many starve in captivity. Algae and bogwood do not form a part of their diet although they may be seen to graze. Courgette and cucumber should be offered, as well as other vegetables such as peas and sweet potato. They also need very small amounts of crustaceans such as prawn and brine shrimp. Small pieces of mussel and white fish may be accepted, but these should be given in very small amounts. Explore as many foods as possible to ensure they don't starve.
Compatibility: Territorial and will chase away rival 'plecos' and other bottom feeders. They are highly territorial towards other bottom dwelling fish. Their aquarium will require plenty of caves if other 'plecs' are present. They fight for long periods of time if not enough hidey holes are given.
Recommendations: The GN should be given a defined territory with as many caves as possible, ideally feed fresh veg daily and feed just before lights out as this fish is nocturnal. They need feeding deliberately daily with a little animal protein as well as veg as discussed above.
Common Problems: As with most bottom feeders regular vacuuming of the substrate is neccesary. Many recently imported fish may show signs of malnutrition if they have not been eating well. When purchasing, avoid sunken bellies and sunken eyes. Lack of understanding of dietary requirements on the part of the keeper can easily result in starvation.
Similar Species: While their common name is Goldnugget plec they are not from the family Plecostomus. They are similar to certain other catfish. However, all should be researched individually.
Sexing: Very difficult. Easier at breeding time when males have a flatter head shape and females have a rounder one.
Breeding: A cave spawner, these have been known to breed in captivity, but this is not often reported and is unusual.
Author(s): Goldnugget, suey2, Fishlady | Photo: Goldnugget | Views: 56965
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