September 20

Sarah Robertson

Fascinating Facts About the Gold Spot Pleco

Plecos are amazing freshwater fish that make a great addition to any aquarium. They are very hardy and can live in a wide range of conditions. Plecos can be found in a variety of colors and patterns, but the gold spot pleco is one of the most beautiful varieties.

The stunning Gold Spot Pleco is a sought-after monster catfish for a large freshwater tropical aquarium. As the name implies, this fish has beautiful golden spots on its body on a dark brown or black background. The fins are also lined with golden spots.

The Gold Spot Pleco is a peaceful fish that gets along well with other fish in the aquarium. It is not aggressive and will not bother other fish unless they are smaller in size and can be eaten. To know more about how to take care of your gold spot pleco, read on.

Gold Spot Pleco Quick Guide

  • Scientific Name: Pterygoplichthys joselimaianus
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Care Level: Easy-Moderate
  • Compatibility: Peaceful
  • Ph: 6.4 – 8.0
  • Temperature: 75.2-84.2°F
  • Water hardness: 2-15 dgh
  • Minimum Tank Size: 75 Gallons
  • Tankmates: Tropical Fish, Dwarf Cichlids, African Cichlids, Some American Cichlids
  • Size: 12 inches
  • Life expectancy: 10-15 years

Gold Spot Pleco Origin 

The Gold Spot Pleco comes from northern South America's Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana, between the Essequibo and Oyapock River basins. This fish may also be found in the Amazon river basin.

These tropical fish prefers warm water. In the wild, this fish can be found in slow-moving rivers, creeks, and streams with sandy or muddy bottoms. The water in these habitats is usually stained with tannins from decomposing leaves.

Gold Spot Pleco Size

The Gold Spot Pleco (Pterygoplichthys Joselimaianus) is a big fish that can grow up to 12 inches long when mature. The size of this fish will depend on the conditions in which it is kept and its diet. Genetics also plays a role in how big your fish will grow.

These fish are slow-growing and can take up to two years to reach their full size. During this time, plecos will go through several growth spurts.

Gold Spot Pleco Life Expectancy 

The Gold Spot Pleco has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, but some fish have been known to live more than that with proper care.

The key to a long and healthy life for your pleco is providing them with the proper care and diet. These fish are omnivores and need a balance of protein, vegetables, and algae to stay healthy. A well-maintained aquarium with clean water and plenty of hiding places will help plecos stay stress-free and reduce their risk of disease.

Gold Spot Pleco Behavior 

The Gold Spot Pleco is calm and retiring, rarely interfering with other aquarium inhabitants; they go about their business and mind their own business. They do, however, become territorial with other plecos, so it's a good idea to keep one type of catfish in your community tank.

Plecos are nocturnal fish, so they are most active at night. During the day, they will often hide among the plants or in caves. At night, they will come out to feed on algae and other food sources.

Gold Spot Pleco Appearance

Gold Spot Pleco Appearance

The Gold Spot Pleco is a spectacular fish for a huge freshwater tropical aquarium. Golden Spot Plecos, as the name suggests, has golden dots on a brown background. These dots are medium in size and tend to congregate, covering the entire body and fins while also providing hooks for the preoperculum.

In Gold Spot plecos, the fins are flat on the bottom and sharply rounded from front to rear, although from the top they taper down less dramatically to the tail. The fins are also dotted with golden dots. The number of rays in the dorsal fin may be used to identify this fish. They have at least 10 dorsal rays.

These species are scaleless, like any other pleco. The Gold Spot Pleco has whiskers (barbels) on either side of its mouth that it uses to discover food. These fish have a ventral sucker that they use to attach themselves to surfaces. This sucker also helps the pleco move along the bottom of the tank and climb walls.

Gender Differences 

  • The genital papilla is a tiny yet robust nub in males that sticks out from the fish's undercarriage. It is less apparent in females and recedes or flattens with the body.
  • The female's body, as compared to the male's, is also thicker and fuller in shape.

Gold Spot Pleco Tank Setup 

The procedure for the L001 Pleco tank setup is not difficult and does not require special attention. They're a low-maintenance species that do well in a large aquarium with many hiding places. If you're a beginner aquarist, follow these recommendations for creating the ideal Gold Spot Pleco tank:

Tank Size 

A Gold Spot Pleco requires at least a 75-gallon tank. On the other hand, a larger aquarium is usually preferable since it allows for more movement and maintains water quality. A small-sized tank will only put unnecessary stress on your fish, which will result in a shorter lifespan.

If you are planning on keeping other fish with your pleco, you will need an even larger tank. Plan on at least 10 gallons of water per inch of fish.

Tank Water Parameters 

The Gold Spot Pleco has no special water quality requirements. They can endure in a wide range of pH levels and temperatures. However, to keep them secure, they need the appropriate maintenance and setup. The Gold Spot Pleco is a tropical fish that prefers a temperature of 75.2-84.2°F and has a pH level of 6.4 - 8.0, as well as hardness of 2 - 15 dGH. Both nitrates and ammonia should be at 0 ppm.

To maintain the quality of your tank's water, do a weekly water change of at least 10-15% to guarantee that the water remains consistent. There should not be any significant changes in your tank's water parameters because this might cause stress and illness in your Gold Spot Pleco.

Tank Decor 

It's really easy to customize a Gold Spot Pleco tank. They aren't picky, and they can handle a variety of situations. Here are some suggestions for making the ideal Gold Spot Pleco tank:

  • Caves: The fish's rest is aided by caves since they seek refuge there during the day. Use driftwood, rocks, or other materials to make a hiding place for your pleco. The caves must be large enough for the fish to enter and exit without any difficulty. Make sure that the caves don't have any sharp edges that might hurt the pleco.
  • Live plants: Gold Spot Plecos like tanks with live plants, as they offer hiding places and help to maintain the water quality. These fish species are unlikely to consume living plants, so you don't have to worry about them eating your vegetation. Java fern, anubias, amazon sword plants, and cryptocoryne are all viable choices. Make sure the plants you choose are safe for your Gold Spot Pleco! If you don't want to deal with actual plants, fake ones will work just as well. Make careful to get plants made of soft plastic or fabric so that your pleco doesn't get harmed.
  • Substrate: Another key component of your fish's environment is the substrate. Because your lovely barbs will not be damaged, smooth gravel or sand flooring is best. Make sure the substance you choose is safe for your fish and does not cause them suffering.
  • Filter: The Gold Spot Pleco tank is a must-have for any aquarium, and the Gold Spot Pleco filter is no exception. The type of filtration you'll need will be determined by the size of your aquarium. A canister or hang-on-back filter should be enough. Check to see if it's suitable for your aquarium's size and make sure the filter has an output of at least 10 times the volume of your tank.
  • Lighting: Lighting isn't necessary for a Gold Spot Pleco tank since they're nocturnal fish. However, if you want to maintain live plants or want to show off your fish, then you'll need to provide some form of lighting. For a low-light setup, use an incandescent bulb or fluorescent tube. If you have a more intense light setup, then metal halide, LED, or T5 HO lighting would be best. Be careful not to overdo it with the light because plecos are sensitive to bright light and it might stress them out.

Gold Spot Pleco Fish Tank mates 

The Peaceful Golden Spot Pleco is an easygoing fish that gets along with pretty much all other species. They aren't aggressive, and they get along well in groups. They are not compatible with their own kind or other pleco species, though.

Some good tank mates for a Gold Spot Pleco are:

  • Danios
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • Tetras
  • Tropical Fish
  • Dwarf Cichlids
  • African Cichlids
  • Some American Cichlids
  • Certain shrimp species like Vampire Shrimp, Dwarf Shrimps

The Gold Spot Pleco is not suitable for fin nippers or other aggressive fish. Do not keep them with smaller fish because the pleco might see them as potential food items. It's preferable to keep only one male gold spot pleco per tank because the males of this species can get territorial with each other.

When looking for tankmates for your Gold Spot Pleco, keep in mind their comparable needs for care. This will make maintaining the water quality of your tank and keeping everyone satisfied and healthy much easier.

Gold Spot Plecos should not be kept with the following tank mates:

  • Betta fish
  • Goldfish
  • Shrimps
  • Oscars
Gold Spot Pleco Fish Tank mates

Gold Spot Pleco Diet 

Gold Spot Plecos are omnivorous and will eat just about anything you put in their tank. They are not fussy eaters, but they do have some dietary needs that should be met.

In the wild, Gold Spot Plecos eat a diet of algae, plant matter, and small insects. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of foods, including pellets, flakes, frozen/live foods, meaty foods, and vegetables.

Pellets: Gold Spot Plecos do well on a diet of pellets. Choose a high-quality pellet that is nutritionally complete and suits the needs of your fish. These are rich in vitamins and minerals, and they will help keep your pleco healthy and Happy. Shrimp Pellets are an example.

Flakes: Flakes are another good option for feeding your Gold Spot Pleco. Look for a high-quality flake food that is nutritionally complete and has all the vitamins and minerals your fish needs.

Frozen/live foods: Gold Spot Plecos will also enjoy frozen or live foods as a treat. Some good options include brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. These are rich in nutrients and will help keep your pleco healthy and happy. Especially during the breeding season, providing live foods will induce spawning.

Vegetables: Gold Spot Plecos also like to eat vegetables. Some good options include zucchini, cucumber, and squash. Make sure to chop them up into small pieces so your pleco can easily eat them. Vegetables help to provide essential nutrients and vitamins that your pleco needs to stay healthy.

When feeding your Gold Spot Pleco, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Because Gold Spot Plecos are known to be messy eaters, keep an aquarium vacuum on hand.
  • Feed your pleco a few tiny meals several times each day, rather than one large meal.
  • Remove any leftovers from the tank after a few minutes to prevent pollution.
  • Do not feed live food more than 2-3 times a week as it can lead to obesity.

Gold Spot Pleco Diseases

Although the Golden Spot Pleco is a hardy fish, it is still susceptible to a variety of ailments. The following are the most prevalent diseases affecting this popular fish:

  • Hole in the Head (HITH): HITH is caused by bad water quality and food. In its early stages, the disease causes holes to appear in the head and body, as well as lethargy and loss of appetite. HITH can be fatal if not treated quickly.
  • White Spot Disease: The illness is caused by a parasite. White spots on the body, lethargy, and a loss of appetite are all symptoms. If you believe your Gold Spot Pleco has this condition, raise the water's temperature. It's possible to cure it with antibiotics as well.
  • Dropsy: Dropsy is caused by poor water quality. Bloating, tiredness and loss of appetite are common symptoms. Dropsy may be deadly if left untreated. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines might be used to treat dropsy.
  • Columnaris: Columnaris is an infection caused by bacteria. White patches might appear on the body, fatigue, and loss of hunger are common signs. Columnaris can be deadly if not treated promptly with antibiotics.
  • Fin rot: This is an illness that is spread by germs. The disease causes the fins to expand or shrink. Lethargy and a loss of appetite are symptoms. Fin rot can be prevented using a variety of drugs, including antibiotics.
  • Velvet disease: This is a parasitic illness that affects goldfish. A yellowish tinge to the fish (gold dust-like skin discoloration), tiredness, and lack of appetite are all typical signs. Velvet disease is a deadly illness that should be treated as soon as possible. If you suspect your Gold Spot Pleco has velvet disease, quarantine it immediately to avoid the spread of the illness and to treat it with increased water temperatures and anti-parasitic medication.
  • Swim Bladder Disease: This is a condition in which the swim bladder, which controls a fish's ability to float, is damaged. Lassitude, loss of appetite, and difficulty swimming are all signs. If your pleco has swim bladder disease, restain from feeding it for a few days and increase the water temperature.


There are a number of indications that your Gold Spot Pleco is sick. The following are the most prevalent:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Gasping for air
  • Floating upside down
  • White patches on the body
  • Abnormal swimming behavior
  • Sores or holes on the head

If you see any of these warning signs, remove the fish from the tank as soon as possible to minimize the disease's spread to other fish in the tank.


Rather of treating sickness, it is often preferable to prevent it. As a consequence, in order for your Gold Spot Pleco to remain healthy and disease-free, you must adhere to a few safety procedures. You may do the following:

  • It's critical to keep the aquarium clean and in good working order. Both water changes and keeping the tank clean are ways to maintain this condition.
  • Before introducing new fish to your aquarium, quarantine them for at least two weeks. This will allow you to check for illnesses and parasites.
  • Offer your pleco a varied diet to keep it healthy.
  • Provide many hiding places for your pleco in the aquarium.
  • Check the water parameters of your aquarium on a regular basis.
  • Keep an eye out for warning signals of disease and act as soon as possible.


There are a variety of treatments you may try to cure your Gold Spot Pleco if it is sick, even if it is an aggressive disease. The following are the most frequent treatment choices:

  • Water changes might be used to reduce pollutants from the water and assist with fish comfort.
  • A healthy diet might aid the pleco's recovery from an illness.
  • Bacterial illnesses are typically treated with antibiotics.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications can be used to treat a variety of illnesses, including fin rot and Dropsy.
  • Add aquarium salt to the water to assist relieve the fish's symptoms and limit parasites' reproduction.
  • Raise the water's temperature to aid the fish in fighting sickness.

To keep the illness from spreading, it's critical to follow the treatment guidelines and quarantine the fish while treating your Gold Spot Pleco for disease.

Gold Spot Pleco Breeding

Gold Spot Pleco Breeding 

Plecos are difficult to breed in an aquarium since the right water conditions and temperature range are necessary. These fish dig into the bank and deposit their eggs in caves in the wild. They are mostly commercially bred. However, if you are determined to breed your gold spot pleco, here are some tips.

  • To start, you will need a breeding tank that is at least 80 gallons in size with plenty of hiding places. The water should be clean and well-filtered with a temperature between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. You will also need to add aquarium salt to the water. A ph level between 6.5 and 7.0 is ideal. Water hardness should be between 5 and 15 dGH. The tank must have lots of gravel or sand for the plecos to lay their eggs in. Caves or driftwood can also be used as hiding places.
  • Next, you will need to find a male and two female gold spot plecos that are of breeding age, which is typically 2 to 3 years old. The easiest way to determine the sex of your pleco is by looking at the ventral fins. The males have longer and thinner fins, while the females have shorter and thicker fins.
  • Once you have found a suitable pair of gold spot plecos, condition them for breeding by feeding them a high-quality diet of live foods which are rich in protein. Condition them by keeping them in separate tanks.
  • After a few weeks, you can introduce the male and two females to the breeding tank. You will need to acclimate them to the breeding tank by slowly adding water from the tank to their bag over the course of an hour. After they have been properly acclimated, you can release them into the tank.
  • The female gold spot pleco will lay her eggs inside the cave, and the male will fertilize them. Once the eggs have been fertilized, the female must be removed from the tank. The male Gold Spot Pleco will stay to guard the eggs until they hatch, which usually takes about a week. After the eggs have hatched, you will need to remove the male from the tank as well.
  • The fry will consume algae and other tiny food items in the aquarium. Live foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms can be added to their diet. You may feed them pellets or flakes as they mature. Cut the pellet food into tiny pieces for the young fish to ingest it. Change the water in the tank on a regular basis to ensure that the fry has clean water to live in.

This is just a handful of suggestions if you wish to produce your own gold spot pleco. It does not suggest that you will be successful. Gold spot plecos are typically only bred commercially. They are difficult to breed in an aquarium, and it is recommended that you leave breeding to the professionals.

So, if you are interested in gold spot plecos, your best bet is to purchase them from a reputable breeder or pet store.

Frequent Questions 

How big do gold spot plecos get? 

Gold spot plecos can big fish species. They grow to be between 10 and 12 inches in length.

How long does a Gold Spot Pleco live? 

If you provide your gold spot pleco with the proper care, they can live for up to 15 years in captivity.

What do gold spot plecos eat? 

Gold spot plecos are omnivores, and their diet consists of both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they mostly consume algae, but in captivity, they will also eat pellets, flakes, vegetables, and fruit.

Do Gold Spot Plecos need wood? 

Gold spot plecos do not need wood in their tank, but it is beneficial to them. Wood provides a place for the pleco to hide if they feel stressed.

How many Gold Spot Pleco should be kept together? 

Despite their placid demeanor, gold spot plecos should not be kept with other gold spot pleco species since they may become territorial. So, it is recommended that you keep only one gold spot pleco per tank. However, they can be kept with other peaceful fish that are similar in size.

Do Gold Spot Plecos need a cave? 

Yes, gold spot plecos need a cave in their tank because they are shy fish that like to hide. The cave provides them with a place to feel safe and secure.

What is the best way to acclimate a Gold Spot Pleco? 

The best way to acclimate a gold spot pleco is to slowly add water from the tank to their bag over the course of an hour. After they have been properly acclimated, you can release them into the tank.


The Gold Spot Pleco (L001) is a beautiful fish that makes a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They are peaceful fish that get along well with other tank mates. They are also easy to care for and are a hardy fish species.

They prefer aquariums with plenty of hiding places and plenty of plants. A water temperature between 72 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for them. Gold spot plecos are omnivores, and their diet consists of both plant and animal matter.

Gold Spot Plecos are omnivores, and their diet consists of both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they mostly consume algae, but in captivity, they will also eat pellets, flakes, vegetables, and fruit. If you provide your gold spot pleco with the proper care, they can live for up to 15 years in captivity. They are easily available in any fish shop.

If you are looking for a beautiful and low-maintenance fish for your freshwater aquarium, then the gold spot pleco is a great choice. They are easily available in any fish shop, so get one today.

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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