Colombia 2016 – Episode 8 – Corydoras metae

Episode 8 features my last day out exploring the waters of the Llanos region of Colombia.  We had already seen a lot of really cools fish on the trip, but almost no catfish.  I had really hoped to see some Corydoras sp. while in the Llanos, because there are so many species from that area in the hobby.  Most notably, Corydoras metae.  So I asked Hernando and Allesandro to take me to a place we would find them…  Enjoy.

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Colombia 2016 – Episode 7 – Llanos Ditch Aquascape

This episode of Colombia 2016 revisits the ditch habitat from Episode 6, which has inspired me to aquascape an aquarium to give the impression of that ditch.  Trying to recreate a specific ‘biotope’ in an aquarium is very hard to do… I actually think it is impossible, but there will always be someone willing to make it happen.  A ‘biotope’ aquarium, in my opinion, is an impression of a habitat that looks as close as possible, but is also manageable.  For example, trying to maintain an aquarium with several inches of organic mud on the bottom is not a good idea.  Sometimes getting the actual species of plants or fish is also impossible, so another species that is similar is used to fill that niche.  The idea is to have an aquarium that gives the impression of the biotope.  When I look at this aquarium, I am reminded of the Llanos ditch.  That is the effect I am after.

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Tuesday Night Mixer – Facebook Live Stream – Killifish

I am hosting a live stream event each week that we are calling the Tuesday Night Mixer.  Tonight was the first one, and it was a lot of fun.  The topic was how I work with killifish.  Here is the recording…  join us next week!   

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Colombia 2016! – Episode 6 – Llanos Ditch

This episode takes us to a very small blackwater stream that is really more of a flooded ditch just off the main flow of a larger river.  The creek is choked with plants, and finding a place with enough open water to film is difficult.  There are a lot of really cool little fish in this stream, including an undescribed tetra that looks like a dusky-bodied silver tip tetra.  There are also a lot more Apistogramma alacrina at this location, including many females with fry.

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Planted Tanks Update – Downstairs 75-gallon

Here is a video about the changes I made to the downstairs 75-gallon aquarium several months ago.  Again, this is old footage that I had misplaced.  I will be doing more recent update videos on these tanks.

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Working with LED Lights

Here is a video that was created on my FaceBook page as a live feed.  The topic is working with DIY LED lights.  

 

 

 

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Colombia 2016! – Episode 5

This episode of Colombia 2016 takes us back onto the Llanos to search for Apistogramma alacrina.  Our plan was to spend most of the morning on the Rio Guejar, a larger river with a lot of cool fish, but the water was too high and muddy after overnight rains.  We then retraced our steps and visited a few streams on the way back to Villavicencio.  The first stop was a stream near the town of San Juan des Arama, a place close to the type locality of A. alacrina.  That stream is the focus of this video… Enjoy.

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75-gallon Planted Tank (Upstairs) Update

Guess what!  I found the footage that I shot months ago when I intended to make a 2-month update on the planted aquarium projects I started last summer.  I was shooting a new update after doing a major overhaul the other day, but since I found the older footage I will make videos and show you the progress over several months leading up to where I am at on the tanks today.  This episode shows the upstairs 75-gallon 2 months after starting the tank.  Enjoy…

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Colombia 2016 – Episode 4: Colombia Aquarium Export House

Two of my goals while visiting Colombia were to see how a fish shipment is packed for export out of the country and to follow the path of altum angelfish from the river to the export, in hopes of learning something that will help us be more successful with this amazing angelfish species.  This video will show an afternoon spent in an exporter, Colombia Aquarium, and also investigate the water parameters in which altum angels are held and shipped.

I was very surprised to see the pH with the altum angels under 4.0.  That is really low!  Especially since I have been told by several people that the water in Bogota, where the fish are shipped from, is harder and more alkaline. I do not know any importer, wholesaler or store in the USA that is maintaining tanks with pH that low for these fish.  Not many hobbyists can manage it either.  I do not believe altum angels need the pH that low long-term, but they may need the acidity while acclimating to life in an aquarium.  Enjoy the video…

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Colombia 2016! – Episode 3 – Hernando’s Fish Farm

Ornamental fish farming is a new idea in Colombia. Hernando Gil purchased a farm near the Rio Meta, east of Villavicencio, ten years ago.  The farm produces cattle and sugar cane, and it used to produce tilapia and pacu for human consumption.  Two years ago, Hernando reopened the ponds to give breeding ornamental fish a try.

I have visited many fish farms, and I imagine that what Hernando is building is very similar to what the ornamental aquaculture industry pioneered in Florida decades ago.  Colombia has some incredible species, many of which are hard to find, very seasonal or hard to acclimate into aquarium life. Hernando wants to concentrate on these species, in hopes of making them more available and easier to keep.  Species like the altum angelfish and the panda uaru.  Here is a look at the operation Hernando is building….

 

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