• Hello guest! Are you an Apistogramma enthusiast? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Apisto enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your fish and tanks and have a great time with other Apisto enthusiasts. Sign up today!

Fish Collecting Questions

jmo

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
17
Hello,

I've always been a fan of apistos since I got my first ones from Ted Judy awhile back. I plan to go on a fish collecting trip in the next year or two and have few questions to those who have gone on some of these trips.
  1. I was thinking of using gowildperu but open to other recommendations.
  2. What are some must haves to bring along?
  3. How does the export/import process work to get the fish to your home?
  4. Do's and Don'ts when on a fish collection trip.
  5. Best time of the year to collect apistos?
  6. Best location (country, river, etc) to improve chances of finding apistos?
  7. Length of fish collecting trip?
Feel free to add anything else I missed. Thank you
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,303
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
  1. I was thinking of using gowildperu but open to other recommendations.
It will 'get your feet wet' (literally). Such trips have several advantages including they eliminate the headache of shipping fish home. The disadvantage? Well they go where they want to go and collect fish that you might not be interested in. As for Go Wild Peru Tours, they have their headquarters in Puerto Maldonado. Not as many apistos of interest are found where they collect. I always enjoyed my trips with TomC where we found a collector/guide who got us to the places we wanted to collect.
  1. What are some must haves to bring along?
It depends on what kind of expedition you are going on. I personally found a good pair of boots and non-denim pants that quickly dry important. Also take insect repellent with a high DEET value. The local stuff was considered more of a condiment by biting insects.
  1. How does the export/import process work to get the fish to your home?
In the US it's a PITA! It's getting almost impossible to import fish by yourself without a professional importer and US transshipper. Check with US Fish & Wildlife.
  1. Do's and Don'ts when on a fish collection trip.
Treat the locals with respect and as equals. If not, God help you! Don't be finicky about food, accept what you are offered.
  1. Best time of the year to collect apistos?
Autumn is the dry season in most of Peru
  1. Best location (country, river, etc) to improve chances of finding apistos?
Peru is probably the most accessible and safest. Ecuador doesn't allow export of any native species. Brazil is almost as bad. Colombia has become more accessible but has places even local collectors won't go. Most rivers will have apistos of some species. It's not really worth the cost to collect fish that come in commercially. Go for the experience and for species not commercially commonly imported
  1. Length of fish collecting trip?
My trips were 4 weeks long. Two weeks is too short for me.
Feel free to add anything else I missed. Thank you
Don't just go for the fish. Go for the experience. Take lots of photo (water resistant camera) and keep a journal of your experiences.
 

Ttw

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
222
Location
Goodyear, Az. USA
I agree with most of what Mike says. I would consider a Puerto Maldonado based trip since the apistos you would get there are never available otherwise. An Iquitos based trip offers a lot as well. Make certain you are informed about the facilities available for holding the fish and what equipment they will supply. As Mike says, getting the fish home is a major problem. I wouldn't try to bring them in yourself no matter what anyone says. US Fish and Wildlife are a force unto their own. They will interpret the regulations as they want and you won't win an argument. Shipping the fish home is very expensive so get that cleared up so you are aware of the costs.
My equipment includes a collection jar(plastic) to hold the fish until you return to base. A good dip net (Jonah's best dipnet or Wildco electro fishing net with fiberglass handle). A camera, pH meter, TDS meter, thermometer, GPS receiver and a journal to record your experiences. Whoever you go with should provide a list of clothes and toiletries to bring.
As Mike said go for the experience.
 

jmo

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
17
It will 'get your feet wet' (literally). Such trips have several advantages including they eliminate the headache of shipping fish home. The disadvantage? Well they go where they want to go and collect fish that you might not be interested in. As for Go Wild Peru Tours, they have their headquarters in Puerto Maldonado. Not as many apistos of interest are found where they collect. I always enjoyed my trips with TomC where we found a collector/guide who got us to the places we wanted to collect.

It depends on what kind of expedition you are going on. I personally found a good pair of boots and non-denim pants that quickly dry important. Also take insect repellent with a high DEET value. The local stuff was considered more of a condiment by biting insects.

In the US it's a PITA! It's getting almost impossible to import fish by yourself without a professional importer and US transshipper. Check with US Fish & Wildlife.

Treat the locals with respect and as equals. If not, God help you! Don't be finicky about food, accept what you are offered.

Autumn is the dry season in most of Peru

Peru is probably the most accessible and safest. Ecuador doesn't allow export of any native species. Brazil is almost as bad. Colombia has become more accessible but has places even local collectors won't go. Most rivers will have apistos of some species. It's not really worth the cost to collect fish that come in commercially. Go for the experience and for species not commercially commonly imported

My trips were 4 weeks long. Two weeks is too short for me.

Don't just go for the fish. Go for the experience. Take lots of photo (water resistant camera) and keep a journal of your experiences.
Thanks for answering my questions Mike. Really enjoyed your talk on apistos for the Aquarium Coop channel.
 

jmo

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
17
I agree with most of what Mike says. I would consider a Puerto Maldonado based trip since the apistos you would get there are never available otherwise. An Iquitos based trip offers a lot as well. Make certain you are informed about the facilities available for holding the fish and what equipment they will supply. As Mike says, getting the fish home is a major problem. I wouldn't try to bring them in yourself no matter what anyone says. US Fish and Wildlife are a force unto their own. They will interpret the regulations as they want and you won't win an argument. Shipping the fish home is very expensive so get that cleared up so you are aware of the costs.
My equipment includes a collection jar(plastic) to hold the fish until you return to base. A good dip net (Jonah's best dipnet or Wildco electro fishing net with fiberglass handle). A camera, pH meter, TDS meter, thermometer, GPS receiver and a journal to record your experiences. Whoever you go with should provide a list of clothes and toiletries to bring.
As Mike said go for the experience.
Thank you for the recommendations. I'll have to see what expedition tours are around those two locations.
 

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
18,063
Messages
117,503
Members
13,145
Latest member
Smutz123

Latest profile posts

jloponte wrote on hongyj's profile.
Please send me info regarding cuipeua. Thx, Joe.
jloponte wrote on hongyj's profile.
Where are you located?
Josh wrote on anewbie's profile.
Testing
EDO
Longtime fish enthusiast for over 70years......keen on Apistos now. How do I post videos?
Looking for some help with fighting electric blue rams :(
Top