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Gold Marble Bristlenose Pleco
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(Ancistrus claro) Easy Peaceful 3" 30 gallons 75-82° F, KH 2-15, pH 6.0-7.5 Omnivore Amazon, Brazil Loricariidae Plecos Community Originating from the streams of the Rio Cuiaba basin in Brazil, the Gold Marble Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus claro) is a beautifully colored smaller pleco species. Their interesting color pattern and small size make them ideal additions to Amazon stream type setups or peaceful Amazon biotope aquariums. Gold Marble Bristlenose Pleco will also do well in tropical planted aquariums as their small size allows them to feed on algae growing on the plants, without damaging the plants in the process. They are very peaceful with dissimilar species, but are quite territorial towards other plecos. While a single specimen or mated pair will do well in a 20 to 30 gallon aquarium, a group would require a much larger aquarium (90 gallons or more) to support multiple territories for the male specimens. In their native habitat Gold Marble Bristlenose Pleco are found living in rocky streams, where they use the substrate for protection from larger predators and to feed on algae and detritus. They do best in aquariums with well oxygenated clean water, with at least moderate water currents provided by either power heads or canister returns. The aquarium substrate should ideally be a mix of sand and gravel with plenty of smooth rocks or varying sizes. This will provide the pleco both with territory to claim and with algae feeding opportunities. They will also do well in a planted aquarium if moderate water currents are provided. The Gold Marble Bristlenose Pleco makes an excellent tank mate for peaceful community aquariums and peaceful Cichlid aquariums. They should not be kept with large aggressive Cichlids, and should only be kept with other Plecos in larger aquariums that provides enough territory for each male pleco. When transporting the Gold Marble Bristlenose Pleco caution should be exercised as they have spines located on each side of their head and on their pectoral fins that can become entangled in the mesh of aquarium nets. While the Gold Marble Bristlenose Pleco is technically an omnivore, it is mainly a vegetarian. The bulk of it's diet should come from vegetable matter including: algae, fresh cucumber slices, blanched green leafy vegetables, algae wafers, sinking vegetarian pellets and other similar items. They will consume leftover meaty foods that make there way to the aquarium substrate. Gold Marble Bristlenose Pleco will also eat small worms, daphnia and small crustaceans that it comes across while foraging in the substrate.
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Galaxy Pleco
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(Leporacanthicus galaxias) Easy Peaceful 8" 55 gallons 72-79° F, KH 8-12, pH 6.0-7.5 Omnivore South America Loricariidae Plecos Community Galaxy Pleco's originate from the Amazon basin, where they can be found living along the bottom of the many streams, tributaries and flood plains. They spend the majority of their time searching the growth along the river bottom for decaying plant matter, algae and small meaty items. They typically avoid the brightness of the midday sun by hiding under plants or driftwood, then come out at night to forage. The Galaxy Pleco is a very peaceful species that will get along well with tropical community fish and cichlids. They will squabble with other similar sized Pleco's and bottom feeders if not given enough room to establish a suitable territory. These territorial battles tend not to be too violent; however, they should be house in an aquarium larger than 55 gallons if they are to be kept with other Pleco's or similar species. The streams and tributaries of the Amazon from which the Galaxy Pleco originates have relatively strong water currents and large amounts of dissolved oxygen within the water. Galaxy Pleco's will appreciate an aquarium that has plenty of water current and high levels of dissolved oxygen within the water. They should also be provided with plants, driftwood and rocky caves in order to give them plenty of places to find cover and look for algae growth. It is important to provide them with shaded areas within the aquarium to allow them to retreat from the bright aquarium lights, thus some rock caves or driftwood are important aqua-scaping elements for this species. Galaxy Pleco's require good water conditions with stable temperature and pH. They should be kept in aquariums of 55 gallons or larger in order to provide them enough room and to allow enough water volume to maintain quality stable water conditions. The Galaxy Pleco is a peaceful species that can be housed with a wide variety of tropical community fish species and semi-aggressive cichlid species. Galaxy Pleco's are omnivores that will eat a large variety of foods ranging from algae and decaying plant matter to sinking meaty foods or foodstuffs that find their way to the aquarium substrate. They are not picky about what they will eat, but should be offered a varied diet containing plenty of algae and plant material, along with some meaty based foods. In a mature aquarium, the bulk of the Galaxy Pleco's diet can come from scavenging the aquarium substrate for excess food and from eating algae. If enough food is not available to scavenge, their diet should be supplemented with sinking pellet foods or algae wafers.
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Gold Nugget Pleco (L018)
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(Baryancistrus sp.) Moderate Peaceful 8" 55 gallons 73-80° F, KH 8-10, pH 6.5-7.0 Omnivore South America Loricariidae Plecos Community The Gold Nugget Pleco (L018) 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.
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Laura