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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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.