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Apistogramma biotopes

Contents:

  1. Shorelines vs. open water
    by Marco Lacerda <marcolacerda/ax.apc.org> (Sun, 02 Nov 1997)
  2. Shorelines vs. open water
    by "Vinod Kutty" <VKUTTY/prodigy.net> (Thu, 13 Nov 1997)
  3. Back from the bush: Apisto/Nannacara habitat
    by "Vinod Kutty" <VKUTTY/prodigy.net> (Sat, 11 Jul 1998)
  4. Rio Uatuma and Jatapu
    by "Vinod Kutty" <VKUTTY/prodigy.net> (Sat, 11 Jul 1998)
  5. Rio Uatuma and Jatapu
    by mfjacobs <mfjacobs/geocities.com> (Sun, 12 Jul 1998)
  6. APD (plants list)
    by Marco Lacerda <marcolacerda/ax.apc.org> (Sat, 15 Aug 1998)
  7. RE: Dwarf biotope
    by "Liptrot, Pete" <pete.liptrot/bolton.gov.uk> (Wed, 4 Apr 2001)
  8. Dwarf biotope
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Wed, 04 Apr 2001)
  9. White water rivers
    by "Gregory Nielsen" <gnielsen/andinet.com> (Fri, 12 Jan 2001)

Shorelines vs. open water

by Marco Lacerda <marcolacerda/ax.apc.org>
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

IDMiamiBob-at-aol.com wrote:
> 
> This question is aimed at folks like Marco Lacerda, who have had the
> priveledge of collecting a number of Apistos in their native habitats.
> I have always assumed because of their size and demeanor that most species of
> Apistos prefer and tend to inhabit lakeshores and riverbanks, rather than the
> open water areas in the middle.  It is only in the last few days that I have
> realized that it is indeed an assumption.  Can anyone confirm or deny this
> idea?  

Dear Bob,
In natural biotopes, Apistogramma spp. mostly can be found in a variety 
of water collections, like:

a) larger river shores, specially when there is a LEAF LITTER on the 
bottom (they particulary like the dead leaves, and hide under them when 
frightened);
b) small brooks emptying in larger rivers (named "igarapes" in Amazon). 
There you find them hidden under the leaf litter, or aquatic vegetation;
c) big lakes shores, but not on the very shallow part (which becomes 
warmer), shallower parts are preferred by dwarf cichlids like Laetacara 
spp. There they can be found among the vegetation, like submersed grass.
d) temporary pools inside forested areas, formed by the overflow of the 
main river or an igarape crossing the forest. This is the typical 
biotope for some very shy species, like A. paucisquamis and A. pulchra 
(real one).

>It seems to me that this information could influence our "tank decor"
> and help our charges to overcome their shyness.

You're right with your assumption that they don't like the 'openwater' 
of the big water collections. There they could be easy preys for larger 
fishes.
You can use things like a leaf litter on the bottom of your tank (as 
suggested by Stawikowski in the book 'The Biotope Aquarium', page 79), 
compact groups of short aquatic plants (like Anubias nana, Lilaeopsis 
brasiliensis or Echinodorus tenellus), bogwoods with holes and hiding 
places, etc. 
For shyness some dither fishes like small top-dwelling Characiformes 
(Carnegiella, Nannostomus, Mimagoniates, etc.) are fine.  This simulate 
situation on nature when the Apistos 'wait' for any reaction of the 
tetras to hide or start moving activities.
For species from 'forested areas' I would strongly recomend that you 
don't use direct light, or cover the aquarium surface with floating 
plants like Ceratopteris (water fern) or Nymphea.                                                                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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> Bob Dixon

All the best, and good luck.
Marco.

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Shorelines vs. open water

by "Vinod Kutty" <VKUTTY/prodigy.net>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997
To: <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>

Bob, your assumption is correct for the most part.  Apistos make a perfect
mouthful for a number of predatory and opportunistic predators in South
America...and the Apistos know it.  They live on the banks and shoreline,
usually under a lot of leaf litter.  How they survive under all that leaf
litter is beyond me, but if you scoop up a net full of leaf litter with
your pushnet, pick out all the leaves, you'll often be rewarded with a
small, usually unidentifiable apisto at the bottom.  

Recreating this habitat in aquaria is challenging and aestherically
dubious.  A fine substrate of sand, small gravel, dead and parboiled oak
leaves liberally scattered over the bottom, a few plants, driftwood and
floating plants will make your apisto feel quite a home.  They, however,
will lose their shyness only if you have a large group of harmless dither
fish.

If you keep your fish at or near eye level and have plenty of cover,
adequate lighting and dithers, they should lose their shyness, but very
large, crowded tanks almost always have happy, bold apistos.  

As far as open-water swimming apistos, I know of none - I'd very happily be
shocked if you show me one.  The only pelagic cichlids you run into are the
Peacock Basses of the genus Cichla.  

Vinny Kutty


- ----------
> From: IDMiamiBob-at-aol.com
> To: apisto-at-majordomo.pobox.com
> Subject: Shorelines vs. open water
> Date: Saturday, November 01, 1997 7:23 PM
> 
> This question is aimed at folks like Marco Lacerda, who have had the
> priveledge of collecting a number of Apistos in their native habitats.
> I have always assumed because of their size and demeanor that most
species of
> Apistos prefer and tend to inhabit lakeshores and riverbanks, rather than
the
> open water areas in the middle.  It is only in the last few days that I
have
> realized that it is indeed an assumption.  Can anyone confirm or deny
this
> idea?  It seems to me that this information could influence our "tank
decor"
> and help our charges to overcome their shyness.
> 
> Bob Dixon
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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> For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help,
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Archives"!
> 



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Back from the bush: Apisto/Nannacara habitat

by "Vinod Kutty" <VKUTTY/prodigy.net>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998
To: <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>

Bob,

Conductivity of whitewater Rio Uatuma was between 70 and 90 mS.  pH was
about 6-6.5  A. regani and A cf. regani were the most frequently encountered
Apistos.

Blackwater Rio Jatapu was less than 10mS.  My little hand-held conductivity
meter was calibrated and the reading was off the scale. pH was about 5.2 to
5.5 and we saw aggies and...uh, Mike Jacobs, you have all the fish, could
you please list you best guesses on what we think they all are?

Whitewater had fat, happy Apistos and Blackwater mostly skinny starving
juveniles.

Both rivers are north bank tributaries of the Amazon, east of Rio Negro.
Jatapu shares ichthyofauna with Negro and Branco that were previously
thought to be endemic to Negro (Satanoperca and Crenicichla.)

Vinny Kutty



-----Original Message-----
From: IDMiamiBob-at-aol.com <IDMiamiBob-at-aol.com>
To: apisto-at-majordomo.pobox.com <apisto-at-majordomo.pobox.com>
Date: Friday, July 10, 1998 3:53 PM
Subject: Re: Back from the bush: Apisto/Nannacara habitat


>I keep hearing about conductivity as a significant factor of water
parameters.
>But we never get reports of this from native water observations.  Is the
>equipment necessary too bulky or difficult to set up for use in the field?
If
>this is so important for suuccessful spawning of some species, I'd like to
>know what it is in Amazonian locations where our fish come from.
>
>Bob Dixon
>
>
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Rio Uatuma and Jatapu

by "Vinod Kutty" <VKUTTY/prodigy.net>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998
To: <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>



>
>> Conductivity of whitewater Rio Uatuma was between 70 and 90 mS.  pH was
>> about 6-6.5  A. regani and A cf. regani were the most frequently
encountered
>> Apistos.
>
>Vinny,
>
>Are you positive about this apisto ID?  A. ortmanni & A. cf. ortmanni range
from
>the Corantijn River, in Surinam, to the Rio Cuyuni on the eastern
>Venezuela/Guyana border.  The Rio Uatuma lies between the known ranges of
A.
>regani (on the west) and A. cf. geisleri (Smaragd) on the east.  Both of
these
>species are very similar to A. ortmanni and could be easily confused for
it.

Mike,
I am not positive...I am better at Crenicichla identification than Apisto
id.  That's why when I get back, I either take pictures of my fish and send
it to people like Jeff Cardwell and Mike Jacobs or just give the fish to
people I think can breed them faster than I can (M. Jacobs).
Next time I'll cc you on the pictures.

Both Jeff and Mike J agreed that they think it is A. regani.

Having said that, I am still scratching my head about something else: I
caught what I thought were juvenile Crenicichla regani (the commonly seen
blackwater dwarf pike).  I have about half dozen of them now and the males
have grown into C. notophthalmus!  C. notophthalmus is supposed to be a Rio
Negro endemic.  What was it doing in my net, 250 kilometers from Rio Negro??

We also caught Satanoperca daemon, acuticeps and lilith...species I thought
should be elsewhere.  I'll see apisto list lurker, Lee Newman in a couple of
weeks and may be he can set me straight on the Satanoperca.

The point is: endemism, IMHO, in cichlids is probably less defined than
previously suspected.  I know that is a bold and mostly unsubstantiated
statement but that's what I observed.

Another little surprise (since you mentioned the Guyanas), Alex Ploeg in his
PhD thesis on Crenicichla revision mentions that C. alta, a Guyanan pike is
found in the upper Uatuma.  That may not mean much to you but I almost lose
sleep over it.  I am confused...and the more I learn, the more I realize how
little I know.

Mike Jacobs just bought a super duper camera system, so may be he can take
some pictures of the fish in question and upload it on to my cichlid
page...whadayasay Mike?


>
>> Blackwater Rio Jatapu was less than 10mS.  My little hand-held
conductivity
>> meter was calibrated and the reading was off the scale. pH was about 5.2
to
>> 5.5 and we saw aggies and...uh, Mike Jacobs, you have all the fish, could
>> you please list your best guesses on what we think they all are?
>
>Yes, Mike, I'd be VERY interested in finding out what apistos are in the
Rio
>Jatapu, too!  Could you describe its general location?  I couldn't find it
on my
>map of Brazil (not the best, I'm afraid).  Thanks.
>
>Mike Wise

Jatapu is a small river (by Amazonian standards) that is a right bank
tributary of the Uatuma.  Its headwater originate right on the equator where
the states of Para, Amazonas and Roraima meet.  We only went a third of the
way up the river.  Who knows what we'd have found in the upper course of the
river.

Vinny Kutty
vkutty-at-prodigy.net





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Rio Uatuma and Jatapu

by mfjacobs <mfjacobs/geocities.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Folks..........If this stupid e-mail would work I would have answered
earlier.   I don't understand how I can "...get ahold of the
administrator if I can't make the e-mail work."  That logic sound silly
to me.........;-)  Maybe this one will go through???

I had/have the apisto's that Vinny brought back.  He was kind enough to
give me the group of them and i had an absolute ball watching that group
of fish develop day to day because there was no telling, by me just what
they were!  There were some obvious A. aggies........a red tailed form
and a gray tailed form.......they spawned rather early and carried the
"spangeled" body similar to the aggie "Tefe"...but not really the same. 
There was and abundance of A. gibbiceps....maybe 1/2 of the fish
.......there was A. meinkeni  maybe 4-5 pair and there were 3 A. regani. 
Then there was the mystery fish.......the old "double" lateral
band..........there were two of those fish.  Julio Melgar was over at
the house and saw all of Vinny's apistos, and he spent some time looking
at those two fish....it was a little obvious that he was a bit befuddled
so I asked......he said they are young but maybe just maybe, based on
the double lateral line..... A. diplotaenia .....but they were
small!!!!  I let them grow up and now I think they are A.
paucisquamis.......pg. 54 of the AquaLog could be a photo of them.....I
promise all of the ident. are legit (I’m not as good as some of you
guys....just trying hard to learn) except the A. paucisquamis......I'm
still not absolutly sure but at times there is a double lateral line on
both fish and it is absolutly dark.

The niftiest tank of fish I ever watch grow up.....that was indeed an
experience!!!

Mike


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APD (plants list)

by Marco Lacerda <marcolacerda/ax.apc.org>
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

IDMiamiBob-at-aol.com wrote:
> 
> Okay, so we've heard that sometimes they live in leaf litter, sometimes in
> floating plants, and sometimes in flooded terrestrial plants along the shore.
> This sounds like the kind of thing that may be species- or complex-specific.
> Perhaps Marco or some of the others who have spent time in the field can take
> it further along those lines.

Dear Bob,

A short list of plants found on Apisto biotopes:

- Echinodorus spp., like E. tenellus in Pantanal area for A. borellii 
and A. commbrae.
- Nymphaea spp., with floating leaves providing shade for A. gossei in 
Rio Oiapoque drainage
- Sagittaria (Lophotocarpus) seubertianus, in Rio Guapore drainage for 
A. trifasciata and A. inconspicua

But most biotopes don't have true aquatic plants, specially the 
blackwater species are forest dwellers, and not much light reach the 
water. Hence no aquatic plants, just leaf litter.

Cheers.



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RE: Dwarf biotope

by "Liptrot, Pete" <pete.liptrot/bolton.gov.uk>
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001
To: "'apisto/listbox.com'" <apisto/listbox.com>

>I'm surprised that no one has mentioned two wonderful >books:
>Goulding, Michael.  1980.  The Fishes and the forest: 

>Goulding, M., M. Leal Carvalho, & E. G. Ferreira.      >1988.  Rio Negro:
Rich Life in Poor Water.

Both these can be pretty difficult to purchase, but inter-library loans are
ususally successful in obtaining them.
To these I would add "Fish Communities in Tropcal Freshwaters" by R.H.
Lowe-McConnell published by Longman in 1975, and "Ecological studies in
Tropical Fish Communities" by the same author. This latter one is available
from Cambridge University Press.
Pete. 


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Dwarf biotope

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2001
To: apisto/listbox.com

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned two wonderful books:

Goulding, Michael.  1980.  The Fishes and the forest: Explorations in Amazonian
Natural History.  U. Cal. Press, Los Angeles & London.  280 p.

and especially

Goulding, M., M. Leal Carvalho, & E. G. Ferreira.  1988.  Rio Negro: Rich Life
in Poor Water.  SPB Academic Pub., The Hague.  200 p. This is an exceptional
book on Rio Negro biotopes and the fish and other life in them.

Mike Wise

Dave Littlehale wrote:

> Yes, I've been doing the internet research visited about 20 sites and found
> what appears to be an excellent one
> http://biodiversity.bio.uno.edu/~neodat/
>
> and have gone through all 3 of the Baensch Atlas'.  I have found a number of
> inconsistencies; not that I'd really expect all the information to match
> perfectly.
>
> I've spoken to some discus people to get their opinions on the set up and
> inhabitants, and thought I would get the opinion of the Dwarf experts.
>
> Any other opinions on fish found in the Rio Negro?
>
> Thanks
>
> Dave
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "John Wubbolt" <BigJohnW@webtv.net>
> To: <apisto@listbox.com>
> Sent: Monday, April 02, 2001 9:28 PM
> Subject: Re: Dwarf biotope
>
> > Hello Dave
> >
> > Creating a true biotope for any species of fish from south america is a
> > neat thing to do.   First off to be true to the biotope tank, you need
> > to do some reading and find what species of fish come from what regions.
> > The Amazon is quite large you know!!!   Finding the correct plants and
> > fish that come from what regions, isnt really hard.   Look through a
> > Baensch Atlas, it has both plants and fish species in there.    You can
> > find what dwarf cichlids come from what area, then find what plants come
> > from that area and proceed with setting up your tank.
> >
> > Now as for using discus along with a dwarf species.    The only dwarf
> > species that I would recommend for the same tank with some discus would
> > be Rams.   They really prefer the water warmer, this would be my only
> > choice.    If i was going to set up a biotope tank, i'd skip the discus
> > and stick with plants , tetras, corys and dwarf cichlids.
> >
> > Good luck
> >
> > John
> >
>
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White water rivers

by "Gregory Nielsen" <gnielsen/andinet.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001
To: <apisto/listbox.com>


Usually white water rivers have their headwaters in the mountains and 
the rain run-off adds a lot of nutrients and sediments giving them a 
distinctive muddy look. Black water rivers originate in the tropical 
lowlands.

Greg Nielsen


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