Physical description: It is covered everywhere but the belly with large bony plates. The head is large, broad, and flat. The mouth is on the underside of the head and is shaped like a suction cup. The body color is black with polka-dots in an irregular pattern. These spots are usually white or bright yellow and provide a striking contrast with the black of the rest of the body. The tail, dorsal, and anal fins are body color, but have a yellow edging.
Size/Length: To 14" (35 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: South America; the Rio Xingu, Brazil.
Aquarium: 40" (101 cm) or 45-55 gallons (170-209 l) is sufficient for individuals under 10" (25 cm) in length. The tank should have a strong current and good aeration. Provide plenty of hiding places, such as rocks, wood, roots, and caves. The fish of this genus have a tendency to nibble plants when they are hungry. If the fish are fed "green foods" on a regular basis, this problem usually will not arise. In this case, robust, live plants can be used.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7 (6.7), 2-12 (8), 75-82°F (24-28°C)
Social behavior: Aggressive towards own species, but otherwise a good community fish.
Suggested companions: Characins, Discus, Angelfish, Gouramis, Barbs, Corydoras
FOOD: Vegetable food, tablets, spinach, occasionally life
Sexual differences: Unknown
Breeding techniques: Unknown
Breeding potential: 10. No success in breeding the Gold Nugget Plecostomus has been reported.
Remarks: Do not treat the water with medications, or do so in small amounts. The medications become concentrated in the algae, and when the fish eats these, it can be poisoned to death. These fish are also subject to intestinal disease if not fed the proper diet. The Gold Nugget Plecostomus grows slowly.
Difficulty of care: 7. The Gold Nugget Plecostomus is highly sensitive to chemicals and water pollutants. Be sure to include plenty of "green" foods in its diet.
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