Happy New Year

Welcome to 2019! We are hoping for some great things this year. First, we will travel to Colombia for what should be some fabulous fishing. The area we are headed to, Puerto Carreno, is well known for its fishing which includes three species of peacock bass, vampire tetras (Payara) and tiger shovelnose catfish. It is also known for its river dolphins and caiman.

There are some notable species of fish that come into the aquarium trade from the areas in and around Puerto Carrreno including: Hemiancistrus sp. L128, Hypancistrus debilittera (L129), less commonly seen Tetranematichthys wallacei and Geophagus taeniopareius. But there are also a number of species that are supposedly found in the area that are not in the trade including: several Ancistrus spp., Hypostomus spp., Peckoltia spp., a Leporacanthicus sp., a Tatia sp., and a Trachelyopterichthys sp. There are also limited records of Corydoras spp. which is very surprising considering their popularity in the hobby. Perhaps the species found there are not very colorful? We hope to find that out and bring some of these species home.

To prepare for the trip, we have purchased some pretty advanced equipment including: diving boots, gloves, a mask, a drone and new waterproof camera. On top of this, we have built several photo tanks from extra glass that we had from making tank lids. All of this should allow us to document our trip in great detail. The challenge will be to find a balance between documenting our trip and fishing time.

To help with keeping our special fish alive, we have added on to the number of battery operated air pumps. We will once again have poly filter to help remove ammonia and other contaminants from the holding containers. It was very useful last year and likely will be again this year.

In order to bring fish home from Colombia, we need to add on to the fishroom. This includes adding ten 50 gallon breeder tanks! This should give us the room that we need to bring some of these fantastic beasts home and give them the space they require. See photos below. It is going to be a great year folks! We have much more to share but need to get back to work. Stay tuned and happy fish keeping everyone!

Photo tank construction
Glass ready for silicon
Larger photo tank
New 6′ Industrial shelving for 50 breeder tanks
New 6′ Industrial shelving for 20 gallon grow outs (photo tanks drying).

Happy New Year #Can’tWait42019

2019 is quickly approaching and we are gearing up for our trip back to Colombia. This means checking our gear and getting the fishroom ready. There is a lot to do before we leave. We need to organize all of our old gear and decide what we will take again this year and what can stay home. We also purchased new gear, which we hope will provide us with the tools we need to catch not only fish but also the photos and video we wish to share with all of you.

The fishroom will be expanding to prepare for the fish we find while in Colombia and plan to bring home. We are making arrangements to set up over 500 gallons more of aquariums including eight 50 breeder aquariums along with twelve 10 gallon aquariums. For those wondering, the fish we bring back go through all of the proper channels being exported from Colombia and then imported into the United States and checked by Fish and Wildlife.

This hobby is a labor of love. It takes a lot of time and energy. You have to have a passion for the fish you keep. The correct preparation is key. A big thanks goes to Hernando Gil and Ted Judy for organizing these trips. We would not be able to go without them organizing the trip. So we also thank you both for your work.

We share some photos both old and new from 2018. Until 2019, check out our YouTube.com channel: AmazonTropics.com

A cooler for Colombia showing liner that will be used to hold fish.

Another view of a cooler for Colombia showing opening on top.

Closed cooler that will be used to hold fish in Colombia.

Various equipment for Colombia

Various equipment for Colombia

Drone for aerial views in Colombia.

Part of our new rack system

Corydoras sp. CW106 and C. sp. CW107

Female Apistogramma personata

Juvenile undescribed Apistogramma from Rio Vaupes, Colombia

Juvenile undescribed Ancistrus from Rio Vaupes, Colombia

Juvenile undescribed Ancistrus from Rio Vaupes, Colombia

Evening meal photo in Mitu, Colombia 2018

Our entire group from our 2018 trip to Mitu, Colombia. From left to right: Jeremy Basch, Vin Kutty, guide and exporter Hernando Gil, collecting organizer Ted Judy, Ariel Borstein and Jeff Cardwell.

The End is Approaching…

The end of the year is quickly approaching! Are you ready for 2019? We are doing our best to prepare. We have a lot going on at the moment. One, we are working on expanding our fishroom. Two, we are expanding our fishroom prior to our return trip to Colombia. We will be visiting Puerto Carreno next year in the Llanos. It will likely be hot and dry, perfect for collecting! Three, we are building our website out to include a shopping cart. For the first time in years, we will offer shipping on our fish.

Please keep in mind that all of this is going to take a lot of time and effort. We still are working full time at our day job so this will not be very easy. You may have noticed our Facebook page, Amazon Tropics, has had a lot of updates recently. We are trying to share information on South American fish we find relevant. We hope you have enjoyed this feature.

At the same time, we have been taking a bunch of photos of fish we will have available next year. The photos will be used not only for the shopping cart but also for sharing information on each species. All of this is being done to give you a special touch that you simply cannot get anywhere else.  So stay tuned, we have a lot of good things coming in 2019!

Hypancistrus sp. “L-345” F-1 Male

We will get photos of the male soon
Hypancistrus sp. “L411” F-1 Female

Ancistrus sp. “Honeycomb” Male

Micracanthicus vandragti Wild Male, Full grown at ONLY 2″! The Nano Pleco

Micracanthicus vandragti Wild Female, Full grown at ONLY 1 1/2″! The Nano Pleco

Tatia gyrina Wild Male

Corydoras duplicareus Wild Female

Corydoras sp. “CW49” F-1 Male

Happy Thanksgiving

AmazonTropics.com is wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone is enjoying their time with family, friends and of course, fish! We have a special video for you today, a fish unboxing! A special thank you goes out to Bob Townsend for his gift to us.  Looking forward to all of the special events in 2019!

2018 Ohio Cichlid Association Extravaganza

It is that time of year, yes the holidays are upon us. But first, there is one last show, the Ohio Cichlid Association (OCA) Extravaganza. This year marks the 24th year of this event and as always, it is bound to be a big one!

There are tons of great speakers, a swap, several auctions and perhaps the big part, many aquarists selling fish from their hotel rooms. If you want to see super rare cichlids, catfish and other species, this is an event not to be missed! Already, several aquarists have posted their fish availability and it looks like this year might be one of the best yet.  For all of the details, visit the OCA website at: OCA Extravaganza.  Below is our availability list. Pre-sales are encouraged as many fish are limited in number. To make your purchase, please contact us at: jeremybasch@gmail.com. See you there!

Catfish Species Available Common Name Size Price
Centromochlus perugiae F-1 Honeycomb Woodcat 1 1/2″ 4/$80
Corydoras duplicareus F-1 Duplicate Cory 1″+ 6/$60
Corydoras panda  F-2 Panda Cory 1″+ 4/$20
Hypancistrus zebra F-2 Zebra Pleco 1 1/2″+ $150 ea. 5/$700
Hypancistrus sp. “L-333” Porto de Moz F-2 Yellow King Tiger 1″+ 4/$100
Hypancistrus sp. “L-345” F-2 (Small) Silver Prince Pleco 1″+ 4/$100
Tatia strigata F-2 (Extremely Rare!) Pinstripe Woodcat 1″+ 5/$400
Invertebrates Common Name Size Price
Asolene spixi Spixi Snail 1″+ shell 6/$10
Neocaridinia davidi Blue Dream Shrimp 3/4″+ 12/$20
Neocaridinia davidi Red Cherry Shrimp 3/4″+ 12/$10
Live Foods Common Name Size Price
Panagrellus nepenthicola Banana Worms Starter $5
Turbatrix aceti Vinegar Eels Starter $5

Corydoras sp. CW107

As we draw closer to our next trip to Colombia, it is not a idea to reflect back on this year’s trip. While the weather conditions were not ideal, it was still like being in paradise! We are a little over 3 months away from our next trip. To hold us off, we are going back through some of our photos and videos. Posted below is a video from our 2nd day of collecting in which we found Corydoras sp. CW107. It is a lovely Cory with golden-orange on the front end and a black stripe through the eye and back end of the fish. Check it out!

Thank You Louisville and LTFF!

A big thanks to the Louisville Tropical Fish Fanciers (LTFF)! We truly had a wonderful time in Louisville checking out some of the local restaurants, bars and club member’s fishrooms. A special thanks goes out to Bill Merkley, Tim Stone, Rusty Wessel and Sandy Carson for sharing their fishrooms. An even bigger thank you to Bill for hosting us during our stay. Hope everyone enjoyed the fish we brought, bidding was very spirited!

 

Add Another to the List!

Well you can add another to the list! Tonight we discovered our Ancistrus sp. “Honeycomb” spawned. This species has one of the most interesting patterns of any Ancistrus. It has gained a lot of attention recently among catfish enthusiasts and rightfully so. Just take a look! Hopefully we will be able to offer this species sometime next year. Stay tuned!

New Spawnings in the Fishroom

We have some great news! The spawning keeps on going in the fishroom. Just in the last two weeks we have had spawns from our Centromochlus schultzi, Tatia gyrina, Scleromystax sp. “CW147” and another batch of our Hypancistrus zebra. Recently, we have had several inquires about our Ancistrus sp. “Snowflake”, well we are happy to report they have finally spawned again! The male is actively guarding the spawn perhaps better than ever.

Unfortunately, the male has previously either kicked out the eggs or very few have survived. This particular batch of eggs looks promising. One positive is that the male is a year older now and more experienced. It appears that there are roughly 25-30 eggs but of course they are hard to count. The male only offering brief views and honestly, we do not want to disturb them. Interestingly, the eggs were fixed to  the roof of the cave. All of our Hypancistrus lay eggs that only adhere to each other and the male freely moves the egg cluster around.

Below you will see a video sharing some of our fish along with an update on the All-American Catfish Convention, CatCon. We are proud to announce that we are donating 4 Hypancistrus zebra, Zebra Plecos to CatCon. All of the funds will go towards helping pay for the great speakers that they are bringing in for the event. We will also have this species and others available for the Spree on Three. Visit http://www.catfishcon.com/ for all of the details including Spree on Three: http://www.catfishcon.com/Program/Activities/Spree-on-Three. A special thanks to SwissTropicals.com and PlanetCatfish.com for the photos of Ancistrus sp. “Snowflake”.

Image result for snowflake ancistrus

Image result for snowflake ancistrus

Potentially Another World First!

It is moments like these that are truly special. We put a lot of time and effort into our work. This makes it all worth it! The only other feeling that comes close to this is collecting a new species of fish. It is with great pride that we share that potential first spawning of Tatia gyrina!

We will be the first to admit that there are probably not a lot of people keeping this species but it has been coming in to the hobby over the last few years quite regularly. It is likely that most of the imports are coming out of Peru. While the distribution of this species as listed as Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Suriname, it is highly unlikely these are all the same species. This would mean a distribution of several thousands of miles and living in rivers that do not connect to each other.

The original description of Tatia gyrina comes from Iquitos, Peru (Sarmento-Soares & Martins-Pinheiro 2008).  Specimens from Suriname are stated to be the same species from Peru but we have our doubts. Further DNA testing may shed some light on this intriguing story. Until then, we will assume that the fish from Peru are the original T. gyrina.

The species itself is pretty straight forward for woodcat species. They reach approx. 2 1/4-2 1/2″ and a 10 gallon aquarium outfitted with a sponge filter is all that is needed. Place aquarium sand, driftwood and some small caves in the aquarium and you have the perfect environment for this species. A diet of frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, Daphnia and the occasional feedings of small pellets and flake foods are all that are needed.

Our fish are now several years old and so it was not so surprising with an increase in water changes and feedings that our group produced eggs. The water we use is half tap water and half R/O water. We have shared this previously with you and this gives us a pH under 7.0 with a hardness of just under 100 ppm. Fingers crossed that we can raise these up! Stay tuned for more updated and do not forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel! For additional photos of the parent fish, check out our photos on PlanetCatfish.com at: Tatia Gyrina PlanetCatfish.com Profile