A Ride Through Mitu, Colombia

Take a ride with us through Mitu, Colombia!  This video shares our first views of the Rio Vaupes and the city of Mitu in the far east of Colombia. Seeing a new river for the first time stirs thought and curiosity of what lies within. This was the start of an epic trip to Colombia. And while there were certainly challenges during the trip, we will always remember our time in the Rio Vaupes area. Hope everyone enjoys the ride through the city of Mitu!

Spring Finally!

Spring seems to finally be in full bloom. May marks the end of the spring auction season and we have been quite busy attending various auctions including the Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Columbus auctions. Unfortunately with how busy work has been plus the auctions, it has left little time to work in the fishroom.

We are however slowly making progress. One of our main focuses right now is to move some fish in order to spreed out the species we plan to work with going forward. Some of those projects include building up future breeding stock for Hypancistrus zebra and Hisonotus aky. Some this has been more successful than others.

We are also working with pretty interesting Ancistrus including Ancistrus sp. Honeycomb, Ancistrus hoplogenys and one of the species we collected on our Colombian trip, Ancistrus sp. “Upper Rio Negro”. The Honeycomb Ancistrus in particular have recently put on a lot of size and we can tell that we already have at least two males and two females. The Ancistrus hoplogenys seems to be a smaller species in general as the largest fish are slightly over 3″ TL. Here too, we can see males and females maturing.

As mentioned, our other main focus is going to be working with fish that we collected in Colombia including a very nice Ancistrus with horizontal lines that we are calling, Royal Bristlenose Plecos. We shared some details about this species in a previous blog. Here again, we have both sexes but feel that we are still probably a year out before any males will be mature enough. Meanwhile, we have a rather large female that is around 5″ TL that is putting on some weight. Fingers crossed that eventually they spawn!

One other interesting development would have to be that we do in fact have two species of Apistogramma from the Colombia trip. One of which is a known species scientifically described as Apistogramma personata. It is a lovely fish with a yeallow-orange base color with black markings and extensions to the first 5-6 dorsal rays. The other species is very likely new. It is more slender and appears that it may remain smaller. Its base color is also yellowish but with hints of blues, greens and red facial markings.

We recently shuffled all of the above fish around to give them some more space. It should be interesting to see how these develop and we hope that at some point they produce some offspring. So stay tuned for more updates as things develop. Happy fish keeping!

Where Has the Time Gone?

It has been over a month since our last post! Hard to believe but we have been busy with various fish events. A big thank you to the Raleigh Aquarium Society for hosting us during their workshop (RAS Workshop). It was a great event and we met a lot of new aquarists!

We regularly receive requests for species such as Hypancistrus zebra, the Zebra Pleco. Right now we are trying to build up our brood stocks so that we can regularly offer juvenile fish. It is going to take some time but we are getting there. Right now we have around 50 zebra pleco juveniles with more on the way. Our goal is to have a minimum of 100 zebra plecos before we start offering juveniles once again.

We are also trying to do this with other species such as Hisonotus aky, the Emerald Green Dwarf Cat, Tatia strigata, the Pinstripe Woodcat and Centromochlus schultzi, Schultz’s Woodcat. However with any fish species, it takes time, patience and dedication. It takes daily feedings, many water changes, a trained eye and observances of the fry and juveniles. You need to know the fish and their needs to be successful. And just because you think you know what is best for your fry, there may be a better way. Mother Nature can be cruel and not ever spawning ends with success.

With that said, give us time, we will get there. We may have some additional news to share in the future so stay tuned. For now, I would like to share an updated photo of our Centromochlus schultzi. Take care and please enjoy your fish!

The Perfect Dip Net

I am switching up things and taking a step aside to discuss some basics. I want to share some of the supplies that I took with me to Colombia. The list is long and includes items like battery operated air pumps, GPS tracking devices, a water proof camera and the list goes on and on. However, the most important item I took was my dip net.

Now you may think that any old fishing net will do for collecting but have you considered the conditions?  Just think about it for a minute, you are in the middle of the jungle, what are you likely to encounter? In rivers, there are often  sticks, branches, leaves, rocks and unfortunately materials discarded from humans such as bottles, cans and perhaps the worst, plastic that could damage or destroy your net. With that in mind, would you jeopardize your entire collecting trip with a net that may tear or break? I do not think so!

So let me recommend a net to you that will hold up and go the distance on those long ox bow rivers. A net that will reward you with some prized fish while you are out in the middle of the jungle. And that net is the perfect dip net from Jonah’s Aquarium.

These nets are hand crafted with the best of care. They collapse for easy storage. They have a deep net so even those crazy jumping Rivulus sp. will not escape. And the best feature is the strong handle to hoop connection. Nets that you buy in the stores do not have this design and simply will not last. So the next time you are planning to go collecting, get the net that will help you

Collecting Ancistrus sp. “Upper Rio Negro”

So excited to start sharing video with you guys on our trip to Colombia. We had an incredible time and found some potentially new species. While Ancistrus sp. “Upper Rio Negro” has been imported previously, it was only ever imported to Europe.  The photo of this fish hardly does it justice as compared to the fish we caught.  Perhaps the fish we collected is a better color morph or perhaps the species exhibits better coloration in the wild? We will just have to find out as it swims now in our home aquaria.

Check out the video below and watch how the species was collected. Just check out that flow! Thousands of gallons of water just going by every minute. And this water was dark with tannins just like some of the other rivers we visited during our trip. I wish we could have spent more time here. Who knows what other treasures there are to behold? Check out the photo of Ancistrus sp. “Upper Rio Negro”, what I am calling, the Royal Bushynose  Pleco.

Ancistrus sp. “Upper Rio Negro”

We Are Back From Colombia

We had a great trip to Colombia! We saw so many fish, plants, inverts, insects and other animal life. The people of Colombia are so welcoming! They made are stay so enjoyable. I hope to share some of our adventures on our website.

Right now we are gearing up for a speaking engagement in Raleigh, North Carolina for the Raleigh  Aquarium Society (RAS). Putting together a new talk takes a lot of time and patience to get things looking professional. As a result, we will not have much time to work on the website. For now, the easiest way for us to post, is through social media. Please stay tuned and visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/133731800111727.

Have You Checked Out Our YouTube Channel Yet?

Have you checked out our YouTube Channel yet? We have been adding content to our channel and are looking to share our knowledge with you. With over twenty-five years of experience, we want to pass on our knowledge to other avid aquarists and the next generation.

A lot of how we keep our fish is not difficult to replicate but what sets us apart is our passion. Our tanks are set up sparsely often with sand, driftwood, river rock, oak leaves, a sponge filter, heater and light. We feed our fish nothing but the best foods including frozen, live and prepared foods. Water changes are typically one to two times per week especially for juvenile fish.

Our YouTube Channel will showcase a lot of our successes and how we maintain our fish. We want you to be successful with the fish you purchase from us. As they say, if you want to be the best, learn from the best. Stay tuned and check out our YouTube Channel at:  AmazonTropics.com YouTube Channel!

Midweek Update

We provided an update last week on our fishroom. We are well on our way with providing some new and interesting fish. All of which I should mention are tank raised! We take high quality stock and provide the best conditions possible in the hopes that our fish will spawn in our aquaria. So far, we have had a lot of success however we still want more!

For now, we want to make the most of what is regularly spawning for us including: Wild Hisonotus aky, F-1 Hypancistrus zebra, F-1 Hypancistrus sp. “L-345”, F-1 Hypancistrus sp. “L-333”, Wild Tatia intermedia, F-1 Tatia strigata, Wild Centromochlus perugiae, Wild Centromochlus schultzi, Wild Corydoras duplicareus and F-1 Corydoras panda. We do have other species reproducing but catfish are the current focus. We are still working with other species like killifish and lampeyes. And the Geos spawn from time to time. Eventually we will spread our fish out even more in the hopes of being able to offer even more tank bread species. We will share more about these other species in the near future.

Recently we have acquired some new fish. We will share these with you in time but for now they are growing and being conditioned. Some of these species may take a few years to reach maturity to spawn but this hobby is a thing of patience. Enjoy this update!

Columbus Killifish Group (CKG) Extravaganza

I hope everyone had a great time at the CKG Extravaganza. A big thanks to the CKG for putting on a top notch event this past Sunday. We had no less than 20 killifish enthusiasts from as far away as Detroit, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Cleveland! There were over 100 pairs of killifish available along with plants, inverts, live food cultures and killifish journals and magazines. The fish themselves were from all over the world! There was literally something for everyone!

Great job guys! Below are some photos from the event. Stay tuned for details on next year’s event! For more details, visit the CKG website at: http://columbuskillifishgroup.org