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Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:05 pm
by Hudson T. ensz
This will become an article if fate allows but heres a little preview.

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:18 pm
by Hudson T. ensz
Apistogramma gibbiceps

The Apistogramma gibbiceps is a wide spread Apisto in Brazil and surrounding countries. They can be found in many streams and ponds, were they share the habitat of flies, mosquitoes, and other aquatic bugs, the Apistogrammas food.
I have had the chance to collect these apistos in there natural habitat.
Here is a story of how I got them and after, some tips on caring for them.

Personal encounters

The first time I ever saw this fish was in my favorite local fish store barely 4 blocks from my house. I was a completely new to apistogrammas (or any other fish for that matter) and when I saw a tank full with mixed apistos I promptly bought 12 of the little fish thinking they were A. agassizii (once again I was very new to the apisto game) I put them in with my agassizii female and some Dicrossus in a 8 gallon grow out tank. I sent some pictures to an online forum (Cichlid room companion) and some Apistogramma experts identified them as Apistogramma gibbiceps and Apistogramma paucisquamis not A. agassizii. Regrettably I sold all but one of each species and they eventually died when my tank crashed. For seven months I had been looking for another gibbiceps or paucisquamis, they were at the top of my wish list. Finally after seven months I found them in a very unusual way.
It started when our friends wanted to take me to their ranch. I agreed as I love nature, snakes, spiders, scorpions, horses, birds, etc… I also thought there might be a lake or two where I could “sample”. I brought some fishing line but unfortunately forgot my net. I really wasn’t planning on keeping anything as our home, Manaus, was 11 hours drive away and that was after an additional night. I expected to ride horses hence I wore my jeans. My excitement mounted as we crossed a stream and a sort of a swampland. As soon as the car stopped I immediately began to explore the pond. There was a large amount of tetras, splash tetras and a species of what was probably hyphessobrycon or hemigrammus. After looking into the water I gasped, in the water close to the shore was an Apistogramma!!! There were several other barred apistos around it and I was eager to catch some. And then I remembered my nets, I had none, and nothing to use as one. I thought of a bunch of unintelligent ideas, like tying grass together to make a net etc... etc… etc… but they were all implausible. I put some bread on my small hook and tried to get some larger fish. This seemed a likely place for a Traira (Hoplias malabaricus or wolf fish) or maybe an acara and I half expected to catch one. Not a chance, the thousands of 1-1 ½ inch tetras (they should be named Hyphessobrycon piranhatoothy) swarmed and attacked the bread so voraciously that it was ripped off the hook in seconds. Of course their mouths were way to small to get hooked and even if they were big enough, they wouldn’t put up much of a fight) I realized it was hopeless and set about attempting to catch the little apistos. Unfortunately my jeans were very annoying as I tried unsuccessfully not to get them wet and they only slowed me down greatly. I tried to get some of the barred apistogrammas with my hands but the fish (They were actually female Apistogramma gibbiceps) darted away through my fingers. The fish would have to jump into my hands if was to get some. Fortunately they did, literally. I was standing in 8 inch water when all of a sudden I noticed little golden fish, obviously a cichlid, obviously concerned why anyone would be standing in his territory. He began to actually jump out of the water several times. I was able to finally catch him after a few tries and put him in a plastic Ziploc bag I had brought to put my bait in. is I looked down again there was about 6 crowded around my feet. They also seemed to be a little jumpy and I succeeded in getting quite a few by catching them in mid air. I had an idea that they might be gibbiceps but this hypothesis was confirmed when I saw an adult swimming around about 5 feet away. Unfortunately he wasn’t in the jumping mood and he swam calmly away into the deeper part (in the deepest part it was barely 2 feet deep) I renewed my efforts and caught a nice 1 ½ inch male. Then I realized something, all the fish I had caught were males, not one of them females. I looked around and at the bottom were the barred apistos, unlike the yellow ones with a spot on their side like the ones I had been catching. I begin to try my hand catching a female as I was interested in attempting to breed them. Then I saw a 2 inch, thick bodied cichlid, and as it jumped I was able to catch it in my hands. It was a beautiful basket mouth cichlid (Acaronia nassa). I added it to the bag with the other gibbiceps that I had caught. It was then that I thought of using plastic bag to catch the females. I went to the caretaker’s house and they gave me a plastic bag I ran back and used it as a sort of net only it wasn’t near as affective. In one thrust I pulled up a shrimp and a tetra but as I practiced I got better results. I saw and caught other aquatic life too, pencilfish hidden in the weeds, little boatmen, dragonfly larvae, during dusk I saw a lot of frogs. Once I saw a broken section of a brick in the water(the bricks in brazil have much larger holes then American bricks). I had an idea and quickly covered both ends with my hands so that if anything was inside it would be trapped. I was surprised when I felt something hitting my hand, something large. It was a three inch basket mouth cichlid. I threw it back in and began collecting again. That was when I saw it… pike cichlid! There was two of them, one about three inches long and the other a tad smaller. I caught a pencilfish and put it on a hook. Unfortunately the pike starteled, darted away when the bobber hit the water and the pesky little tetras again managed to tear it off the hook and eat the pencilfish. I do not know what species the pike was but it looked like a relative to the Crenicichla inpa.
Then I saw it again, the male gibbiceps! I don’t know if it was the same one or not, but I managed to catch this one. It was what I had dreamed of for the last seven months, a gold color with iridescent turquoise on the fins that only show when catching the light just right. The fins also had intricate lines in them. The dorsal shimmered with red to when lighted just right. The caudal fin had long trailers on them in a full lyretail. I immediately put him in the bag. So far he was my most coveted catch of the day.
I finally was able to get a large female with my hands and soon after that a smaller female with the bag. By that time it was dark and I let some of the surplus specimens go I had, 2 female Apistogramma gibbiceps, 1 adult and 5 smaller male gibbiceps, 1 basketmouth cichlid, a couple of shrimp (one pregnant and full of babies) and a happy heart. I didn’t take any pencilfish or tetras, as I didn’t have adequate room, 9 fish were plenty! When we got to our temporary house in boa vista, I divided the fish into plastic Ziploc bags, as I didn’t have anything else. There was two fish per bag with the exception of one female alone. The bags corners were taped so that there wasn’t enough pressure to make the bag leak. After filling them with air from my lungs (I took a couple of quick breaths before I blew into the bags incase it might help) and taped the bags shut. I filled 30 percent with water and 70 percent air (as suggested on the TFH online forum) I was afraid they wouldn’t make it the night, not to mention the 11 hours over bumpy roads after. They all survived the night and were in good condition the next morning. I packed them in beside my seat and panicked every time we hit a bump or pothole. To put it plain and simple it was quite a stressful trip. During the drive home, however I had one casualty, a male died of unknown reasons. I have never had much luck in transporting fish but this time I got all of the fish, with the exception of one, back two my home. When I got home the first thing I did was, after acclimating them, pour all the contents of the bags with, a mixture of tank and tap water, into one 14 inch long temporary container with a sealed lid as the males tendency to jump never really left them. An odd thing I noticed is that the males seem to be more prone to hanging around at the top then the females who never seem to go three inches from the substrate.

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:30 pm
by Hurriken
You are one amazing kid. Nice haul and very good job on the write up. This sounds like a lot of fun. Be careful and keep your eye out for dragon fly larvae, they can devastate a tank in a hurry.

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:05 pm
by Hurriken
Hudson what was the bottom of the pond like? Sand? Was it rocky? Plants?

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:13 pm
by LoachMan
You lucky dog you...Thanks for sharing! :thumb:

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:04 am
by kb46
Great article. :thumb: Looking forward to reading more of your adventures,
Kylie

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:13 am
by oceansunltd
GOOD WORK HUDSON!! Your writing is pretty good! You may want to condense some parts and expand on others. More description of the environment would be helpful-most people have NO idea where fish really live. Most people wouldn't believe what fish will thrive in. One point-get yourself a diving mask and snorkel. Just laying in a couple feet of water and watching natural behavior is very rewarding. Buy yourself a Cummings "dip" net with small mesh-they stand up well to the rigors of collecting as they have a 3/16" steel frame and double sewed netting. Don't get the model with the extra steel bar-it just lets apistos escape. No other brand is as good-period. I've spent hundreds of dollars on nets, and Cummings are by far the best. Also, get some practice bagging and holding fish in tranquilizer. Experiment with stuff you can afford to lose. You're on the right track-with some practice and a little luck you'll be able to bring anything back alive. A properly tranked fish will survive in a bag for a week with no problem. My survival rate on fish I caught in the Barcelos area and brought back to the USA was about 97% after initial capture losses (pretty low-about 10%). DO NOT crowd fish-one to a bag is the safest way. I trank fish as soon as I catch them. Once they're in LaLa land they won't stress out and die from the capture.

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:13 pm
by freshfish
That is a great article! :clapping: I definitely think you should tweak it just a bit and submit it for publication!!! (It needs to be separated into a few more paragraphs, for example. :thumb: )

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:44 pm
by Crazygar
Wow Hudson! You lucky lucky person! I would have loved it out there doing the same thing. Pencilfish and Apistos are in my top 5. I would have been in Seventh Heaven. Yes, if you could describe what the water was like, plants, substrate, wood? stuff like that, it would be perfect! Thanks again! Wonderful write up.

Gary

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:32 pm
by J.B.
Wow...truly remarkable! :clapping: Nuff said!

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:43 am
by Hudson T. ensz
Hurriken wrote:You are one amazing kid. Nice haul and very good job on the write up. This sounds like a lot of fun. Be careful and keep your eye out for dragon fly larvae, they can devastate a tank in a hurry.

Apreciated. It doesnt sound like a lot of fun it IS a lot of fun. thanks for the warning, so far so good!
Hurriken wrote:Hudson what was the bottom of the pond like? Sand? Was it rocky? Plants?

Oh brother i didnt take notes like i should have :dismay: There were lots of pebbles in some places as you can see around the shore, in most places it was very loose soil. further on there was lots of grass like plants that came out of the water too.
LoachMan wrote:You lucky dog you...Thanks for sharing! :thumb:
Your welcome!!! thanks
kb46 wrote:Great article. :thumb: Looking forward to reading more of your adventures,
Kylie

I got to say i am looking foward to some more adventures too!
oceansunltd wrote:GOOD WORK HUDSON!! Your writing is pretty good! You may want to condense some parts and expand on others. More description of the environment would be helpful-most people have NO idea where fish really live. Most people wouldn't believe what fish will thrive in. One point-get yourself a diving mask and snorkel. Just laying in a couple feet of water and watching natural behavior is very rewarding. Buy yourself a Cummings "dip" net with small mesh-they stand up well to the rigors of collecting as they have a 3/16" steel frame and double sewed netting. Don't get the model with the extra steel bar-it just lets apistos escape. No other brand is as good-period. I've spent hundreds of dollars on nets, and Cummings are by far the best. Also, get some practice bagging and holding fish in tranquilizer. Experiment with stuff you can afford to lose. You're on the right track-with some practice and a little luck you'll be able to bring anything back alive. A properly tranked fish will survive in a bag for a week with no problem. My survival rate on fish I caught in the Barcelos area and brought back to the USA was about 97% after initial capture losses (pretty low-about 10%). DO NOT crowd fish-one to a bag is the safest way. I trank fish as soon as I catch them. Once they're in LaLa land they won't stress out and die from the capture.

Could you be more specific on what parts i need to condense and expand on? i really need help in this area!!!this can be moved into the writers workshop if it would be better. can you get cunnings dip nets in brazil? thanks for the pointers you gave me. i will try to get a diving mask. there is a small lake about fifteen minutes away were there are peacocks, pirarucu's, apistogramma wagenfleck, satanoperca jurupari, cichlasoma etc etc etc... it would be cool if i could snorkal there. it is a man made pond though. i once watched two peacock basses probably a pair, in very shallow water. i caught one but it died :crying: I will try to practice and will look for euganol. Thanks again sun.
freshfish wrote:That is a great article! :clapping: I definitely think you should tweak it just a bit and submit it for publication!!! (It needs to be separated into a few more paragraphs, for example. :thumb: )
thanks!!! it isnt done and it still needs to be edited but i think its a good start. is there any editors on here? :D
Crazygar wrote:Wow Hudson! You lucky lucky person! I would have loved it out there doing the same thing. Pencilfish and Apistos are in my top 5. I would have been in Seventh Heaven. Yes, if you could describe what the water was like, plants, substrate, wood? stuff like that, it would be perfect! Thanks again! Wonderful write up.

Gary

Thanks! i have heard palm trees are good for apistos, and i did see some a little way off but i already had so many apistos i didnt think i needed to go there. i didnt see any wood, or leaves. but there were some rocks and plants where some females were gaurding.
J.B. wrote:Wow...truly remarkable! :clapping: Nuff said!

Thanks!!!

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:55 am
by Crazygar
Those pictures none the less were awesome! So no wood, sandy/pebbly substrate, grasslike plants (possibly Eleocharis) thanks!

Gary

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:58 am
by oceansunltd
Peacock bass are tough to keep alive when collecting-they get chilled easy and die, and need LOTS of oxygen. As for the aricle, you need to break your article up into an introduction, then the main body of the piece, then a conclusion. As fresh said, more paragraphs are needed. Whenever you change topics you need a new paragraph. Group your information together into segments. Check out some of my old aricles on the web that I wrote for the ACA years ago-perhaps they'll help. You might also get in contact with Dr.Labbish Chao-he lives in Manaus, is a professor and has studied the Rio Negro for YEARS. Project Piaba is his brainchild.

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:33 am
by Hudson T. ensz
oceansunltd wrote:Peacock bass are tough to keep alive when collecting-they get chilled easy and die, and need LOTS of oxygen. As for the aricle, you need to break your article up into an introduction, then the main body of the piece, then a conclusion. As fresh said, more paragraphs are needed. Whenever you change topics you need a new paragraph. Group your information together into segments. Check out some of my old aricles on the web that I wrote for the ACA years ago-perhaps they'll help. You might also get in contact with Dr.Labbish Chao-he lives in Manaus, is a professor and has studied the Rio Negro for YEARS. Project Piaba is his brainchild.

Thanks! How do i get in touch with him? I know how to write with enthusiasm and color but not how to edit, sorry :unsure: Iwould love to read some of your articles, were are they?!?!?!?!?
Crazygar wrote:Those pictures none the less were awesome! So no wood, sandy/pebbly substrate, grasslike plants (possibly Eleocharis) thanks!

Gary

Thanks gary. i didnt see any wood but there might have been. i am working hard on expanding, editing and finishing the article so i will send it to you when done!

Re: Collecting gibbiceps in boa vista.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:14 pm
by oceansunltd
Dr Chao is at the University of Brazil in Manaus-try the phonebook too.