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!
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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Here is a short video showing my school of Corydoras sp. CW049 . These catfish were imported from Peru, but they come from the region around Letecia, where Colombia, Peru and Brazil intersect. They are similar to CW051, but the 49’s have proven to be easier to spawn. This is one of my favorite cory cats, but they are pricey. They swam around in the warehouse fish room for months and nobody bought them, so I decided to keep them for myself. You will also see a larger cory in the video, which is CW117 from Brazil. Also in the tank are a group of Apistogramma cacatuoides ‘triple red’, which are already spawning. I thought that the cories would go into the caves at night and steal the eggs, but so far they have left the cichlids alone.
The aquarium is a 30-breeder aquarium that is top drilled in the back. Water changes of about 15% are done 2x each week by topping the tank off with water and letting the excess drain out. The filter is a Poret foam 5″ cube filter with a jet lifter that has an elbow and spout on the top. That smooth 90-degree turn makes all the difference in the world when it comes to current in the tank. I get the filters from www.swisstropicals.com . The wood and caves provide structure and cover, but the catfish pretty much stay out in the open over the sand.
The tangled mass of plant-like matter in the back is Spanish moss, which you can get at most nurseries that sell supplies for planted hanging baskets. I soak the moss in hot water, changing daily, for a few days to get rid of a lot of the tannin, but there is still plenty in there. I do not mind the tannin, and the moss is a great place for the cories to deposit eggs (though it will be hard to see them in there). The yarn mops are also for depositing eggs. One mop is located directly in the current of the filter, and the other is on the calm side of the tank against the glass. Hopefully I will see some signs of spawning soon.
The cories are fed at least twice each day. Baby brine shrimp is given daily (along with all the other tanks in the room). Other feedings may be flake (Brine Shrimp Direct deli, plankton and earthworm flake), sinking pellet (Sera plankton pellets), Repashy gel food (Bottom Scratcher or Spawn & Grow) or live black worm. I generally feed each of those foods a few times each week, but not a lot of any of them.
A couple highlights on the list (and the reasons I am ordering)…
Crenicichla compressiceps… the dwarf green pike cichlid and a very attractive price. I have been passing on this species from other suppliers because the retail price would have been $50/fish. They are on this list for $22.99.
Apistogramma rupununi… not the flashiest apisto, but still a nice, uncommon fish at $9.99 each.
Apistogramma agassizii… these fish are from Brazil, but there is no indication from where in Brazil. They could be from anywhere, or even a mix. But Brazillian aggies are different from Peru aggies, and at $11.99 each they are half the price wild pairs from Brazil are going for right now.
L201 and L204 plecos at $19.99 each!!!
Scleromystax barbatus…. WILD… $22.99 each. The last time I saw this species offered wild they were retailing for $50/fish. But the price is not the issue here. Are the fish really S. barbatus? They could be one of the other Scleromystax, which would make them an fantastic deal.
I am in this for the Sclero and the pikes…. jump on if you want something! I need these pre-orders by MONDAY morning 9:00 AM (CST). Sorry for the short turnover. Order details are on the spreadsheet. This time around the file type is .xls, so you should be able to open it. I have also included a .pdf copy, but it is not interactive.
Here is the first installment from last month’s trip to Iquitos, Peru. The purpose of the trip was to get our feet wet with visiting Iquitos. We have every intention of going back, hopefully more than once each year. So this trip was pretty loosely planned out, and we scheduled out days based upon what was available to us. This first video is about our first foray out into the city to look at fish sellers. The video specifically shows the aquarium of my main supplier in Peru. Enjoy….
Here is a video on a subject that I have been wanting to show you for a while…. unpacking a large order of fish. A lot of planning goes into getting a new order of fish into the fish room, especially am import from out of the country. In this case, 30 boxes from Peru!!!
Every time I think this Winter is over, the forecast calls for more snow. 2-4″ on April 1st? Really? If the weatherman is playing a joke, it’s a bad one. We have warmed up enough that I can start ordering fish again though. Last week I got a SPECTACULAR order of wild fish from a new source in Columbia. Big cardinals, lot’s of great cory cats, checkerboard cichlids, royal farlowella, whiptail cats, parrot cichlids, baby wild oscars…. AND AND AND the real Apistogramma viejita!
More great stuff coming March 31. Several boxes from Brazil that will have some Apisto. mendezi, A. elizibathae and Dicrossus maculatus. And some Asian fish I have been nervous about missing out on this season. Chocolate gouramies: regular chocolate, cherry chocolate & vallianti chocolate. Betta albimarginata. Betta unimaculata. Crossocheilus reticulatus… a different siamese algae eater that is reputed to eat brush algae.
If we can get past these SNOW STORMS we might even be able to start shipping 2-day….