Collecting Apistogramma sp. Papagei ( A91 )
by Tom Christoffersen
In October /November 2006, I visited the Peruvian Amazon (again), exploring
dwarf-cichlid-habitats and collecting fish ( among some other things ).
From the jungle capital Iquitos, I carried out several expeditions to
examine different biotopes, fish and their habitats.
One of these expeditions was to Pebas, east of Iquitos.
Pebas, with Río Ampíyacu.
The tower-house is the atelier and house of the famous painter Francisco Grippa
We stayed in the only hotel in Pebas :
Exciting style inside the hotel:
The room-number was painted on a shoulder-scale of the worlds
largest fresh-water fish; Arapaima gigas.
From the hotel we could rest our eyes on the Río Ampíyacu:
I had hired a couple of local fishermen to help me find the fish I wanted,
and organize the expedition.
We started to walk into the jungle from Pebas.:
Sadly, this is a very common sight in the region:
For the fishermen accompanying me on this expedition, collecting ornamental fish is
the only way to make some income.
They were afraid I should tell others where to find the fish, and that strangers would
come to take all "their" fish and their possibilities to make their living.
In respect with the promise I gave, I will not give or show any exact position of where to
find the fish.
We walked for a LONG time, the ground was very sloppy ( yellow clay).
I fell, I rose, I fell, I rose......
At last, we found some water
A small glimpse of sunlight reached the small stream :
and we examined the fauna:
We found a Rivulus sp.:
and some Apistogramma sp. "Pebas", but “no machos” (no males):
We let the fish out in the water again, and went deeper into the jungle.
Finally, after a LONG, HUMID and HOT walk (more than 30 °C in the air),
we were looking at this :
Clear, very shallow water, with almost no water movement.
I couldn't see any fish at all... :-(
The bottom consisted of very fine sand, and leaf litter:
The water: Clear water with almost no water-movement. The depth was 0 - 15 cm.
pH: 5,10, Conductivity: 81 microSiemens/cm, T: 27,6 °C
There were a lot of dead leaves and some mud upon the fine sand on the bottom,
and the surrounding jungle gave shadow most of the day.
We tried the nets, and at the shore, among the overhanging plants, dead leaves
and branches, we suddenly had some beauties in the box:
Apistogramma sp. "Papagei (A 91) YESSSS !
And both sexes, too !
After our activities in the water, it was no longer very clear.....
We collected more than 20 fish, and I brought some of them back home to Norway.
This is how they look home in my tanks: Apistogramma sp. "Papagei" (A 91)
Another shot of a male, in different light:
Apistogramma sp. "Papagei" (A 91) Female )
Like this little boy in the harbor of Pebas, I had got exactly what I wanted,
and brought it home:
Thanks to my very good friends, Sergio and Luis,
who helped me with everything!