Colombia 2016 – Episode 18

We have one day left on the river after leaving the village of Santa Rosa.  We are tired after being up all night collecting fish in the flooded forest, so we decide to make today a short sightseeing trip and try to get back to Puerto Inirida early in the day.

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Colombia 2016! – Episode 17

After almost a week of exploring the rivers around Puerto Inirida, we finally get our best shot at collecting altum angelfish… in the middle of the night.

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Colombia 2016! – Episode 16 – Rio Inirida

After an unsuccessful day on the Rio Guaviare and Lago Macasabe, we regrouped for the night in Puerto Inirida and started fresh the next day.  Our goal is to make it to Santa Rosa along the Cano Bocon, a tributary of the Rio Inirida, where we hope to find fishermen willing to show us how to catch the altum angelfish.

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Colombia 2016! – Episode 15 – Lago Macasabe

After a day and a night fishing in the black water Rio Atabapo, we decide to motor back toward Puerto Inirida, up the white water Rio Guaviare and try to access the Lago Macasabe, a large oxbow lake we saw from the airplane as we were landing at the start of the trip.

 

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Colombia 2016! – Episode 9 – Bat Bridge Creek pt 2

In the last episode of the series we stopped at a nice stream with a colony of bats living under the bridge, and found the target species Corydoras metae.  The section of the stream we looked at was deep and calm, so in this episode we will take a look at the shallow, swifter section below a rock dam.  The most impressive features are beds of Echinodoras sp. sword plants that dominate the habitat.  This is the last stop, and the last video, in the Llanos region around Villavicencio.  The time has come to head back to Bogota to meet some friends (Vin Kutty, Jeff Cardwell and Eduardo Gomez) to take off for the second week of this adventure exploring the lowland rivers of eastern Colombia.

But you will have to wait a couple weeks….  I am going to take a two week break from publishing Colombia 2016 videos, and Episode 10 will air on Sunday, April 16 (Easter).  I am not being lazy.  I am traveling again!  The destination is Mexico to visit some streams in the central highlands and in the desert around Monterey.  I will finally get the chance to visit Quatro Cienegas… one of the places on my bucket list.  See you in a few weeks!

 

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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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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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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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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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