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Collecting.....

Discussion in 'Apistogramma' started by Tom C, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Tom C

    Tom C Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Iquitos, Peru.

    The Heros' in the exporters outdoor ponds look fantastic:

    [​IMG]

    and so do the Rio Itaya, this time of the year:

    [​IMG]

    So who is crazy enough to leave this for 12,5 hours downstream on the Rio Amazonas in this "Rapido",

    [​IMG]

    just to have loads of challenges with police, papers, immigration, costs, documents, transport on land and water, housing etc. etc., and then another 12,5 hours upstream in the same boat a few days later?

    Well, I know him...

    The Apistogramma sp. "Kelleri" was discovered in 2006. I went to Leticia, Colombia, in 2008 with Mike Wise and Julio Melgar to find it. Some time before we arrived there, a lot of the small streams dried out (and the fish moved), and even if the water was back, we couldn't find any of the desired fishes...

    After that I have kept Apistogramma sp. "Kelleri", bred it and studied wild caught specimens in my tanks, but I had not given up the dream of collecting it in the wild and see the habitat.

    The internet connection here in Iquitos is not good enough to up- or download a lot of pictures, so I'll make this short (I'll publish a small report at my website later, with a few more pictures...)

    I travelled from Iquitos, Peru to Leticia, Colombia, last Friday, with two peruvian fishermen friends, and in this small quebrada:

    [​IMG]

    we found my favorite Copella: Copella vilmae

    [​IMG]

    and amazingly: these too:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Apistogramma sp. "Kelleri" with colors I have never seen before!

    One of the females was mouthbrooding in the bag!:

    [​IMG]

    In another small stream, 3 kilometers away, we found the more "usual" colorform, with red spots in the face:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Quite amazing to see these two so different colorforms of the same species!
    As I have kept the latter form earlier, I only gave priority to bring with me a few of the "yellow" colorform.

    It would be interesting to know how much the difference in color is influenced by environmental factors (if at all) or if it's purely genetics ..... of course, it has to be a kind of combination of the two.

    So: Back after a 5 days trip which only resulted in 1,5 days of collecting, tired, bankrupt, with loads of physical memories from water bound and flying insects, but with memories of nice people I met, quite a few beautiful fishes in the bags, and happy, happy happy!
  2. Ekona

    Ekona Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Amazing! C. vilmae are awesome - and so are the apistos. Love the habitat scene as well.
    Thanks for sharing.
  3. DBlauj

    DBlauj Member

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    Amazing fish!!
  4. Richgrenfell

    Richgrenfell Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks very much for sharing!
  5. Frank_H

    Frank_H Active Member

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    Wow, the yellow kelleris are absolutely stunning - great find!
  6. Rolo

    Rolo Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Wow!
    Tom... as always: fantastic catches!!!

    regards,
    Rolo
  7. bourdinite

    bourdinite Member 5 Year Member

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    wooowwww stunning. this form of sp kelleri is wonderful.
    and Copella are splendid. nice find Tom ;)
  8. Swez

    Swez New Member

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    Nice catch.. Love the yellow variant n the arnoldi...
  9. fart

    fart Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Looking forward to the full raport and more pictures when you back home :)
  10. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Tom, now you've got 'my juices flowing'. Can't wait for next year!
  11. Microman

    Microman Member 5 Year Member

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    Absolutely amazing Tom... And you found your C. vilmae too. Well done...
    Those yellow A.sp.Kelleri females seem to have a breastband much like A.barlowi. Could it be the intermediate form between the two species?
    Mark...
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
    peterclarke666 likes this.
  12. rr16

    rr16 Active Member

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    Great finds and beautiful fish. They remind me so much of my barlowi. My female barlowi is possibly mouthbrooding at the moment (and think the male was yesterday) and the aggies in the same tank are breeding too (as well as the Nannostomus beckfordi which spawned today and just found a few week old fry!). Interesting point about the environment. I've often wondered whether the white vs red barlowi colourform could be environmental. My so-called white male has a much more red-colour after being lept in blackwater (although not checked how the colour appears out of blackwater!).
  13. Andrew Powell

    Andrew Powell Member

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    Wow, just wow!! Loving the looks of the Copella Vilmae! Those sp. Kelleri also looks stunning too! Very, very jealous indeed Tom.
  14. Josh

    Josh Administrator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Sounds like an amazing trip. I'd love to do this some day. I've only been as far south as Panama. Would LOVE to see all of S America
  15. Fikret Celik

    Fikret Celik Member

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    Thanks for the information. These Apistogrammas are gorgeous...
  16. Imrahil

    Imrahil Member 5 Year Member

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    Very interesting findings. I'm going to wait further pictures and information from your web site now...
  17. Tom C

    Tom C Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    The Rio Corrientes

    [​IMG]

    is a huge tributary to the lower Rio Tigre. It is therefore not a big surprise that the Apistogramma bitaeniata from this area has a similar "beauty-potensial" as the well known Rio Tigre population.

    This one even showed a pink-ish body!
    Apistogramma bitaeniata (Rio Corrientes):

    [​IMG]

    This is not the only creature in the area with beautiful colours:

    Probably a Ranitomeya imitator (formerly Dendrobates imitator), the bodysize was around 1 inch!:

    [​IMG]
    MickeM, regani and bourdinite like this.
  18. themountain

    themountain Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Gorgeous bitaeniata and the C. vilmae I saw in a tank of a exporter in Iquitos...just incredible!
    Have fun and more pictures , please! :)
  19. Tom C

    Tom C Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    May I ask in which exporter's tank you saw them?
  20. themountain

    themountain Active Member 5 Year Member

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    It was in Santa Clara by Acuario La Tahuampa ..the guy there told me they were from Colombia,but couldnt say more about it.