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Down arrow Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Baryancistrus xanthellus  Rapp Py-Daniel, Zuanon & de Oliveira, 2011
Common Names L018, Gold Nugget Pleco
L081, L085, L177, LDA060, Guldklump-sugemalle (Denmark)
Type Locality Rio Xingú, in the vicinity of the cachoeira Buraco do Inferno, 3°27'07"S, 51°41'53"W, Senador José Porfirio, Pará, Brazil.
Pronunciation bah ree ann siss truss
Etymology Greek, barys = heavy + Greek, agkistron = hook - Essentially "Heavy Ancistrus". From the Greek xanthellus, yellow, in allusion to the bright color of the specimens.
Article Link - CotM Right Arrow 2000 Right Arrow December
Article Link - Shane's World Right Arrow Catfishology Right Arrow The yellow seamed “Golden Nugget” – a problem pleco?
Down arrow Species Information
Size 240mm or 9.4" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification With the exception of L081 (not mentioned in the description of B. xanthellus), the combination of yellow markings on the dorsal and caudal fin and numerous yellow spots on the body is specific to this species. L177 is a variety with larger spots more obvious in younger specimens and LDA060 is a variety with ill formed spots or flakes.
Sexing Dimorphism is difficult to notice unless the fish are at full breeding size. Males have a flatter, more levelled slope to their foreheads and are slightly wider about the head. Females have a more rounded forehead and are slightly plumper at the mid body when in spawning condition. There is no noticeable difference in odontodal growth in either gender.
Down arrow Habitat Information
Distribution This species is widespread and common in the Rio Xingu. Exports are collected near Altamira, from the area called Volta Grande do rio Xingu, an area immediately above Belo Monte falls, and from rio Iriri, the larger tributary of rio Xingu. L177 is from further upstream near the where the Rio Iriri joins the Xingu. L081 is reported in DATZ to represent three very similar small spotted gold nugget plecos. It was said to be hard to keep alive for any length of time; the others are considerably more hardy - however as more is known this appears more to be a result of transit times. These fish all represent the range of population, as more and more areas are collected, there seems to be a little pattern to the matching of colour form to geographic location.
Amazon, Lower Amazon, Xingu, Lower Xingu (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Lower Amazon, Xingu, Iriri (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Not Evaluated
pH 6.4 - 7.6
Temperature 25.0-30.0°C or 77-86°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Clear with a noticeable current.
Down arrow Husbandry Information
Feeding These fish are grazers, but not in the sense that they eat only vegetation. They actually sift and chew at the film of organic matter on hard surfaces in search of higher protein foods. In the wild this would constitute mainly of algae and vegetable matter, but with a variety of foods from small insect larvae and crustaceans to other animals eggs. With this in mind, a largely vegetarian diet, cucumber and courgette appear on the accepted menu, with treats of frozen foods such as bloodworm and blackworm, along with frozen prawns. Algae and plants are avoided. Accepted food morsel size changes with age in all of these fish. Best results are obtained by offer these foods in a paste. The very long intestine of these fishes indicates a biology adapted to breaking down food high in vegetable content.
Furniture Bogwood and rock caves. Plants are up to you but won't be molested by the fish.
Compatibility Gold nuggets are territorial to other bottom dwellers and downright vicious to other gold nuggets. This stems from a desire to find and defend the best spawning cave, so take this into account if you plan to introduce these fish into a catfish tank. They do well in a community environment that fits their other requirements. Be careful with adult fish, they can kill each other in a crowded space.
Suggested Tankmates Although strong currents are needed for breeding attempts, only good water quality and a high temperature are required for this fishes successful onward maintenance. Thus, characins are good biotope fish but you could look further afield at discus and gouramis. Most other cichlids tend to over compete for food with these fish, so be careful especially when introducing new gold nuggets.
Breeding Well documented breeding in captivity has been accomplished twice. The fishes had a very specialised diet of blended meat, fish and vegetables and were kept in a large aquarium with lots of current, high DO and spawned at 30°C. The free-swimming fry were fed the same food to raise them.
Breeding Reports There are 2 breeding reports, read them all here.
Down arrow Further Information
Reference Neotropical Ichthyology v. 9 (no. 2), pp 242, Figs. 1-2.
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Last Update 2021 Jan 09 06:55 (species record created: 2001 Apr 19 00:00)