Apistogramma biotope from Igarapé Belem

Brazil, August 2008

Image Apistogramma species are often misunderstood. These dwarf cichlids, a favourite fish for many aquarists and hobbyists around the globe, live in nature in almost all (South American) habitats only one year, like many annual fishes. They spawn at the end of the dry season in biotopes almost not to believe, of which I want to show you here just one, from the Igarapé de Belém near the border Brazil and Colombia.

 

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This part of the Igarapé de Belém was drying up in the extreme western part of the Brazilian Amazon region and I knew I will find in some parts dwarf cichlids

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The drying up tiny connection to the original riverbed was less than 5 cm (2 inches) deep and merely 25 cm (10 inches) in whith.

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In this incredible tiny habitat were hundreds of Apistogramma, my net was literally full on the very first scoop. Beautiful adult specimens all in breeding colours and spawning here in masses and laying eggs which seem to remain within the leaf moist litter waiting for the rain to come, while the adults die. The water was extreme turbid.

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I had to walk back to the main river and swim across with the plastic bag to the other side where our boat had anchored and Natasha photographed for the record all collected specimens. There were two different species in that tiny habitat and also another dwarf species like Aequidens thayeri and Crenicara punctulata

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