I recently got a gold nugget pleco, and days after getting it I noticed my new ($18) member of my aquarium had FIN ROT! I treated it with MelaFix (Aquarium Pharm.'s new cure-all remedy using melaleuca) and the rot on the pectoral fins seemed to get better. However, one fin seemed bloody. I continued following the directions on the melaleuca and it kept hiding on the bottom under my glow-in-the-dark plants (when I first got it, it was clinging to the side of the aquarium and acting normally). Anyway, the last time I saw it alive it had white growing on its back. I asked a fish expert if MelaFix was okay for Gold Nugget plecos when I got the MelaFix, and he assured me it was. I have goldfish with a very low salt concentration (I know plecos hate salt; 1 tbsp/80 L), a pH of about 7.5, and clean clear water with no unusual chemicals. Also, I put zucchini in there and although the goldfish loved it the pleco never touched the stuff.
I've always been a catfish person, ever since I got into aquaria, but recently I've gotten myself into Pleco's. I've had two Gold Nuggets, both bought recently. They are one of the most beautiful fish I've ever seen! And while they're quite lethargic during the day, at night they come alive, swimming around the tank, sucking on the glass, eating any algae they can find. I currently have eight Pleco's, and this is definitely one of the most beautiful, with vibrant colors, and a great personality for a fish. I would recommend anyone to buy them with either an algae problem, if they like Pleco's, or if they just want a new and exciting fish.
Just looking at the picture of this catfish, I now realise that I have two of these guys. I purchased them as bristlenose cats but there is no comparison between the photos, my 2 are defintely Gold Nugget Plecos. I bought them as tiny 1 cm babies. I had to change my filter because they kept finding their way to the bottom and not a day went by when I didn't have to pull my filter apart to rescue my baby Gold Nugget Plecos. I've had my Nuggets for 5 months now. One is still only small but the other has grown to 3 cm. They are happily living in my 40 liter tank with my small Red Dragon Discus. They are hard to find. Sometimes I think one has disappeared. Even in my small tank they like to blend in with the rocks or hide in the little cave or behind the heater where I can't see them. My discus likes his tank warm and slighty acidic. My cats don't seem too bothered with temperatures of 29°C and a pH between 6.6 and 7.0. They eat the scraps of frozen foods that sink to the gravel and I have been advised, too, that if they can find a piece of zucchini floating on the water they LOVE that too.
I have a trio of these plecos (specifically the L-177) and they tear Romaine lettuce apart day or night (of which livebearers and silver dollars like to eat the leftovers by the way). They are extremely intolerant of each other and three in a 280 liter seems just about right. I have seen little evidence of any strong interest in driftwood or bloodworms.
I had 3 Gold Nugget Plecos. Unfortunately 2 of them are dead, and that's because Gold Nugget is a very sensitive fish. The best pH is about 7.0, 7.5 max (you can try 6.5 but I don't recommend it). Also you have to be very careful when you want to catch this fish. It can be injured very easily because at the start of its head it has some things like small teeth and they are very sensitive, so be very careful when you want to catch it. I noticed also a small sensitivity to parasite medications. The best food to give is Spirulina discs and that's because I noticed an anorexia to other discs and tablets. The best temperature to keep this fish is 27°C and it needs soft water, so try to keep pieces of wood in your aquarium or some peat in your filter (in a sock like you do with carbon). It's a wonderful fish, so have fun!
I used to manage a shop with a lot of plecos including many L numbers. Golden nugget plecos were very popular, but as with all plecos they are normally starved to prevent waste when imported in the bags. This can often be seen with a sunken stomach. If this is really bad, never buy them as they always run the risk of never feeding again, and if expensive the shops may not repay you. If you are willing to buy an anorexic golden nugget pleco or any others - which can top over £30-150 depending on which one, try feeding them potato skins or bogwood if you do not have any.