I know some of the FK staff pride themselves on ensuring the information given to potential keepers is accurate so that the fish is correctly cared for. However I've noticed a few inaccuracies amongst them, but the care sheet for the golden nugget plec has to rank as the worst I've ever seen.
If newbie keepers follow this, they'll almost certainly kill them. Golden nuggets are not for beginners. They often feed poorly when imported. These are all wild caught fish and many find the transition to captivity too challenging. Even experienced L number keepers have lost fish through starvation.
I'll comment in bold on the innacuracies of this fishes care below :-
Gold Nugget Pleco Alternative Name(s): L177, L081, L018/85 Scientific Name(s): Baryancistrus, L177, L081, L018/85 Category: Tropical Difficulty: Maximum Size: 20cms Minimum Tank Volume: 150 litres Minimum Tank Size: Water Temperature Range: 24-28?C Water pH Range: 6.5-7.5 Water Hardness Range: 0-0 dGH
First of all they will grow considerably bigger than the 20cm specified. They will even in captivity grow to around 35cm if properly cared for. Wharfe Aquatics have occasionaly had specimens for sale much larger than the 20cm specified.
Therefore they really need a tank measuring at least 6' x 2' wide to allow for their large size.
Temperature range should actually be 25?C to 30?C
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, they 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. Demanding of high water quality! Tank Requirements: See Minimum Tank Volume and Minimum Tank Size above
Not only are they demanding of high water quality they also need water with a high dissolved oxygen content. A strong flow created by a venturi will help. If it drops too low the fish will literally try to stick their noses out of the water. The need for high oxygen levels should not be underestimated with these fish.
Diet Requirements: GN's will eat most food left over from other fish as well as grazing on algae and "chewing" on bogwood to supplement its diet with fibre. A good algae wafer and fresh veg should be fed frequently.
This advice if followed will result in the death of the fish. The information given is absolute garbage! They do not eat algae! They do not eat bogwood! They need to be fed with care and attention! Many starve in captivity after reading caresheets like this! They need to be fed on courgette and cucumber. They also need trying on other vegetable matter such as peas and sweet potato. They also need very small amounts of crustacean such as prawn and also brine shrimp. Small pieces of mussel and white fish may be accepted, but these should be given in very small amounts. In any case, as many foods as possible should be explored to ensure they don't starve. Vegetable matter is not enough. And keepers who leave them to graze need shooting as they'll die a slow death from starvation!
Compatibility: Can be aggresive towards smaller fish, and will indeed attempt to eat small fish such as Tetras when it reaches adult size. 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. I don't have clue how a Baryancistrus could catch and eat a tetra, especially when you consider their dentition!
Recommendations: The GN should be given plenty of bogwood to graze upon and a defined territory with as many caves as possible, ideally feed fresh veg twice weekly and feed before lights out as this fish is nocturnal.
They need feeding deliberately daily with alittle animal protein as well as veg as discussed above.
Common Problems: As with most bottom feeders the Gold Nugget is susceptable to bacterial infection and fungus which cultivates in the gravel/sand bed, regular vacuuming of the substrate is neccesary.
Armoured cats are well known for their disease resistance. You'll have an dreadful tank if you allow these to become ill with fungus etc.
Similar Species: Most other Pleco's have similiar dietary and environmental needs.
Complete and utter rubbish. Plecs have very different needs. Some are carnivorous while others herbivorous. Others are omnivores. All species should be researched individually.
Sexing: Very difficult and no known reliable methods of sexing.
Breeding: A cave spawner, but no reliable reports of succesful breeding in the aquarium environment. They have been spawned in captivity. I confess I could never get mine to spawn when I kept them a few years ago.
Do not pay any attention to this care sheet if you want your fish to survive. It's concerning how it's had almost 20,000 views. :(
Some quality information for people with a 6' tank plus wanting to keep them can be found here :-
Has the author ever kept this species for any length of time? Even a 'google warrior' should be able to reproduce information more accurately. I love L numbers and hate to see rubbish written about vulnerable species like this. People complain about poor advice from LFS, well any LFS staff member would struggle to get their info more wrong than this care sheet!
No probs, I think we may have a 'volunteer' to help me sort this one Maybe take a look at the convict cichlids one too, someone posted a comment on that the other day with a few concerns too. Am I right in thinking we are limited with number of characters in the caresheets? I remember Psy saying he had to cut down his assassin snail one, maybe we could up the number of characters allowed so we can have a bit more detail?
PS - I can think of worse caresheets But two wrongs don't make a right so we'll sort this one
Again by all means as long as the details are correct then a mod will amend the discrepancies, but yes characters are limited and if a care-sheet is too long it may deter peeps from reading them fully although Admin can within reason add some more characters if needed
The convict caresheet seems a bit OTT to be honest. It needs more info on how to care for them rather than demonising the fish. They are not as aggresive as the author infers.
Infact, I did wonder if he'd (Assuming it was written by a bloke) made a mistake and written about Neetroplus nematopus as from a behaviour point of view the author has described this fish rather than a convict.
I can't believe even a beginner would mistake these for frontosa though!
I did allow myself a small snigger, I amended the one I replied to hence all after are ok, didn't think to do the original though.
I've a feeling the convict one is one of LHG's? Can't remember for sure but the wording sounds like one of his.
Will have a crack at the GN one with my new helper and see how we go, if the required info can't be fitted in maybe Admin could add a few more characters so it's not too long but has the necessary info