Gold Nugget Pleco Aquarium Care, Feeding and Native Habitat Information
The Gold Nugget Pleco is a very attractive and long lived (25 years) species of plecostomus that has become quite popular within the aquarium trade. Once the domain of exotic fish collectors, the Gold Nugget Pleco has become much more attainable for the average aquarium hobbyist. However, they are still somewhat rare and do command a higher price than your average or more common pleco species. Gold Nuggets have also developed a reputation for not being as hardy as many of the more common pleco species, thus it is important to choose a healthy specimen and provide excellent aquarium conditions. The bright coloration and color pattern of the spots and yellow stripes on the fins makes the Gold Nugget Pleco a must have for many tropical community aquarium hobbyists. It is recommended that hobbyists keep this species in a well established aquarium with plenty of driftwood and live plants.
Gold Nugget Plecos are a bottom dwelling species that will appreciate an aquarium environment that offers plenty of shaded areas within the aquarium. They do best in aquariums with live plants, plenty of submerged wood and rocky caves, crevices or piles. They should be kept in well established aquariums that have a mature biological filter systems and moderate water flow. The Gold Nugget Pleco will consume algae, but is not nearly as effective at this role as many other plecostomus species, as they are more likely to consume meaty foods that they can scavenge first and feed on algae and plant matter as a secondary food source. While most all pleco species prefer some wood within the aquarium, the Gold Nugget does much better in captivity when plenty of wood and live plants are present within the aquarium. This species is well suited for tropical Amazon aquariums, tropical community aquariums and aquariums with semi-aggressive South American cichlid species.
Gold Nugget Plecos will readily consume algae from wood, rocks, plants, aquarium substrate and walls along with decaying plant and meaty matter found on the substrate. This species is also more likely than many pleco species to enjoy more meaty foods in their diet, especially worms, brine shrimp or similar meaty fare. Ideally the Gold Nugget Pleco should be offered a wide range of both meaty and vegetable based foods consisting of high quality flake, frozen or freeze-dried foods along with sinking pellets and wafers. The aquarist should spend some time to identity the food items that the Gold Nugget Pleco is most interested in and be sure to provide plenty the desired foods to help keep this species strong, healthy and free from disease.