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.

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.  

 

 

 

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…

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 2 – Cano Potosi

My adventures in Colombia really got rolling on my first full day in Villavicencio. The plan was to hit the road at 5:30 AM and drive straight out to Hernando’s fish farm about 2 hours away, and then stop at a few places to look for fish on the way back. The weather was crappy, with rain all night and a slight drizzle at dawn that lasted most of the morning. But a big delay was caused by someone parking Hernando into his garage, so we were not able to leave until the owner of the offending vehicle was found and the car moved. This is something that we chalk up to ‘COWA’… Colombia Wins Again… which means that annoying things will happen, there is nothing we can do about them, so just move on and do not get upset.  COWA was a BIGLY part of this trip.

The late start meant that we had to deal with more traffic on the roads, so we were slower getting out of town.  We hit the countryside about 8:30 in the morning, a time when we had intended to already be at the fish farm. The plan changed to trying to find filming locations while we had good light and work our way to the fish farm later in the day.  We can return to the city in the evening.  There is no sense driving when the conditions are good for filming.

But… COWA… the conditions are not all that good for filming.  The rain stopped mid-morning, but the skies remained overcast. All the rain had blown out the streams, and each creek we passed was flooded and muddy.  Hernando and Allesandro (a fish collector along to help out) were concerned that we were not going to find any place to film at all.

I, on the other hand, was having a great time.  Yes, I wanted to collect fish and get some good video, but this day was also my first real foray into the countryside of the Llanos.  Everything that I saw was new to me. I think that my bird watching was annoying Hernando and Allesandro a bit (after spending two weeks with Hernando, I think he became at least a closet birder), but I added 32 species to my life list that day.

The aquarium gods were watching and took pity on us, because the stream that would be our best chance at finding Apistogramma veijita, the Cano Potosi, was running low and clear, even while streams a kilometer away were blown out and muddy.  I have no explanation, but I am thankful that this stream turning out to be such a great place to see fish.

Thank you to my sponsors for this expedition.  Please visit their websites and take a look at what they have to offer.

 

Enjoy the video…

 

Colombia 2016! – Episode 1

Colombia has been a dream destination for me for many years, ever since I started importing fish from there in the late 1980’s. But traveling to Colombia back in those days, especially from the USA, was not a good idea. Times have changed. Colombia is a much safer place to travel and is poised to become one of the biggest destinations in the world for ecotourism. I fulfilled my dream in December 2016, and I have promised myself to go again… many times!

I was in Colombia for two weeks and visited to areas of the country.  The llanos region in the headwaters of the Rio Meta and Rio Guaviare, near the city of Villavicencio one the edge of the easter slope of the Andes mountains.  And the confluence region near the city of Puerto Inirida, where the Rio Inirida, Rio Guaviare and Rio Atabapo come together and join the mighty Rio Orinoco as it leaves the interior of Venezuela.  I will present this trip is a series of videos, of which the first episode is presented here.  I am not sure how many videos the whole trip will require, but I shot a LOT of footage.

The trip was sponsored by three companies that have been instrumental in the advancement of the aquarium hobby, and their contributions to this project are greatly appreciated:

                              

 

Episode 1 will set the stage for the entire trip.  My goal is to publish a new episode each week, probably on a Sunday.  Each episode will be previewed here on the vlog site telling you some more detail about the episode, so here is a great place to view the series.  But I also appreciate the sharing of this video on FaceBook and subscribing to the Ted Judy YouTube Channel.  Enjoy…

Apistogramma hongsloi Pair

Here is a short video of a pair of A. hogsloi defending a spawning site.  I think that they have already laid eggs, as the female is disappearing into the cave regularly for a few minutes, and she is thinner than she was.  The aquarium is a 30-breeder.  There are eight cichlids in there altogether, and this is the first female to show spawning colors.  The largest male is looking ver colorful as well, so I will assume that he is her mate.  She tolerates his presence around the spawning cave, but chases away all the others.  Enjoy…

 

Aquatic Experience 2016 – Aquascape Competition

The 2016 Aquatic Experience took place the first weekend in November in Schaumburg, IL. This is a GREAT event, and everyone should try to make it next year… same weekend. This year I was there with other members of Madison Area Aquatic Hobbyists promoting Cataclysm 2017, but I also participated in the ACA sanctioned cichlid show and in the small-tank division of the AGA/Fluval aquascape competition. Here is a video about how I set that tank up, which took 6th place. My scape two years ago was awarded 3rd place, but there were more entries this year, and all of them looked really nice. I will have to step up my game next year!

Spawning Tank for Egg Scatterers

I am in the process of planning the last rack build for my new fish room, which will be a rack of smaller aquarium specifically for hatching eggs and raising fry.  There will also be tanks used to collect eggs from scattering species.  I used to do this with mops or other spawning media on the bottom of a bare tank, and then net the adults out after they lay the eggs.  The challenge with some species is seeing the eggs, especially is there is a lot of spawning media in the tank.  I prefer to use a false bottom system, with a screen through which the eggs will fall, making is easier to separate the fish from the eggs.  But all the methods I have tried before have never been as easy or as effective as I want them to be.  This time I am going to build spawning tanks with screen bottoms out of 2.5-gallon tanks and set them into larger tanks to collect and hatch the eggs in.  This video will show you how I built that 2.5-gallon egg trap.