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Golden Nugget Pleco


Spinning around
Oct 25, 2003
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Common name/s: Golden Nugget Pleco.

Scientific name: Baryancistrus sp.

Family: Loricariidae.

Origin: Amazon, Brazil, Rio Xingu.

Maximum size: 14" has been recorded but 8" is more likely in captivity, slow growing.

Care: Excellent water conditions are required with a soft and slightly acidic PH prefered. Provide caves and bogwood as a retreat for the fish during daylight hours. They can be a territorial bottom dweller that will occupy a hiding place and keep it to itself, with other Golden Nuggets they are highly territorial.

Feeding: These fish require a varied diet including meaty foods like Bloodworms, they will also except more vegetable based foods like cucumber and algae wafers. Try to feed before lights out with newly introduced fish to give them a chance to feed as they are nocturnal.

Sexing and Breeding: Not detailed breeding reports, difficult to sex even in mature adults.

Comments: A highly attractive fish that makes a shy but wonderful addition to a tank. There are actually three species, L018, L081 and L177. L018 believed to smaller than others reaching a maximum length of 6".


May 17, 2006
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Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK
Apparently the way to tell these three apart is like so:

L081 - will grow up to 7" - small spots

L018 - will grow to the largest (contrary to previous post) - reaching up to 14" - medium spots

L177 - will grow up to 8" - larger spots

Obviously though without another fish from one of the other types to compare to - it's a tricky business lol.

They're all notoriously hard to acclimatise, some people losing their GNs within the first couple of weeks of owning them. Like many of the more sensitive plecs, due to the length of time they're in transit with no food, they can sometimes lose their gut flora, and even when in a home with the right food and care, without the gut flora they can essentially starve to death before their body can replace it. Best way to increase your chances of getting a healthy plec is to:

1. Only get a specimen that has been in the shop for several weeks (or at least a couple) - not fresh in from the wholesaler
2. Do not buy a fish with a concave tummy or sunken eyes - these are the ones usually too far gone to save

Sadly, in some cases, even with these measures, some will die. The bigger the plec, and the longer it's been in captivity, the higher the chances of a healthy one. Once arriving home, running an air stone or two is good, as they prefer warmer highly oxygenated water. Raising the temp a little might also help.

Saying all that - there are many people who've bought a GN and done nothing special care wise, and have had no problems at all! :nod: