Freshwater Natural Aquarium Documentary

Mikolji photos and videos presents Documentary "Natural Aquariums of Fresh Water" All the video material under water is a real example of how these organisms live and interact in nature None of these fish, flora or fauna were captured or released in front of the camera Freshwater fish can be found almost anywhere there is water You can find them from places like cold water streams to hot stationary wells They have evolved over millions of years in a great diversity of shapes, sizes and colors their reproduction and feeding habits have been specified and diversified to adapt to each body of water Here you can see what their true natural habitats look like Presents "Natural Aquariums of Fresh Water" Habitats There are innumerable types of aquatic habitats of continental or freshwater in Venezuela I generalize them in the following way Brackish water Lakes and Dams Clay Rivers Mountain Rivers Tannic Rivers Flooded Areas Morichales Symbiosis In nature from humans to plants all depend on natural aquariums in many ways Organisms that live outside the water depend on natural aquariums as a source of food like birds that feed on fish and crustaceans They also have natural aquariums as a source of water to drink or just to bathe In all these biotopes you can find a lot of aquatic fauna like amphibians that depend on moisture and water to reproduce Other important inhabitants of wild aquariums are reptiles They are the top of the food chain of all these aquatic systems Some of these reptiles are extremely dangerous like this Micrurus nattereri Which is the most poisonous aquatic snake in Venezuela This is probably the first recording of this species in its natural habitat It can last more than 5 minutes underwater before going to the surface to take air It is commonly called the water coral snake and this specimen was about 12 meters long All these reptiles feed on the slowest organisms, which are usually those that are sick In this way, maintaining control of diseases in aquatic biotopes Most biotopes with clayey or very tannic waters contain floating aquatic plants Its waters are very turbid to allow sunlight to penetrate them Without sunlight, aquatic plants can not carry out their natural process of photosynthesis Many species of fish deposit their eggs on the roots of all these floating plants In biotopes of crystal clear water is where we can see the underwater plants to their maximum splendor Aquatic and underwater plants are important in all healthy aquatic systems A large number of crustaceous live and reproduce in these as freshwater prawns These prawns and crustaceans, adults or newborns, are a key source of food for almost all the fish in natural aquariums The leaves of underwater plants present as tentacles that trap organic matter that is washed away by the current of water This organic matter is then consumed by the fish The leaves of the underwater plants are also used by the fish to lay their eggs Once the fry are born, they use the large amount of plants as a hiding place Avoiding in this way being eaten by the biggest fish The amount of fish that an aquatic habitat can maintain depends a lot on the amount of aquatic and underwater plants that these have If there are more plants there will be more places to lay eggs, more hiding places and more crustaceans to feed on In the same way that these organisms depend on natural aquariums, natural aquariums depend on the seasons The seasons There are only two stations in Venezuela The rainy season and the dry season We are here in the natural habitat of Corydoras septentrionalis, Corydoras aeneus, million Otocinclus affinis, many Hoplias, many turtles and some crocodiles There are Apistogramma hoignei and many fish ax, Thoracocharax stellatus All these small pools, here called wells is what is left of all the water flooded by the rain When the rains fall in this area, all this surrounding area is flooded Once the dry season begins, the water level drops and only these wells or pools remain All the fish are trapped here, those who were not smart enough, or those who did not have the instinct to go downstream, for the main river, they get trapped in these wells There are millions of fish here and normally those that are left are those that have a high tolerance of water with little oxygen These waters are very low in oxygen There are literally millions of fish here You can see how the corys and otocinclus going from top to bottom take air probably from outside the water, this also goes through the digestion Hoplias malabaricus or guabinas, are very tolerant to little oxygen, so they also stay here More or less within a month, these waters are going to turn completely green from the excrements of the fish and reptiles that are here It's practically green fluorescent in a month And in two months this place is going to dry, all the fish here will die And then the birds will come and commit all the little fish that are left big fish like big plecos, big locaridos and big Hoplias that can not be eaten by birds They will be eaten either by crocodiles or some scavengers Here we have small wolves or foxes Or if they die, the vultures will eat them We will try to come here and record when it is really green and the saddest thing is that everyone dies All the fish here die And it's part of the ecology here, it's part of nature and it's how it works in this area of ​​the Cojedes state in Venezuela Rain Everything starts up in the sky From the moment a drop of rain begins its journey from the clouds down to the earth this begins a very complex process While the raindrops fall they trap innumerable molecules and particles that are suspended in the air Like oxygen, pollen and dust When it falls through the trees or touches the ground they bring life for all the flora and fauna Once on the ground, rainwater erodes the earth and acquires minerals that alter its chemical parameters At this time it also begins to pass through decomposing organic matter like leaves, fruits, fallen trunks and branches All this decomposing matter transfers tannins to water, making it discolored and acidic As the millions of drops come together and saturate the soil, the excess water starts running Creating small miniature rivulets that bring all these new natural chemicals to the river Creating natural aquariums Rain does much more than fill rivers and aquatic habitats with water This changes the landscape by eroding it It also brings a new temperature that is different from that existing in the river water All these changes in water parameters activate the reproductive and migratory instincts of fish The rain also does what we call in the aquarium a change of water Diluting and getting rid of harmful chemicals such as ammonia and nitrates The water parameters of any river are strongly influenced by the soil substrate and vegetation that surround them These plants support one of the harshest environments These plants live here on these black rocks That are around 60 degrees Celsius These are dry as a bone during the dry season and for months you see how they have been burned by fire They simply survive these extreme temperatures hard environment These look like prehistoric plants In the dry season, most of these plants burn and survive 6 months of drought After this, when the rainy season arrives, they get good rains for at least 4 months And they are absolutely incredible If the surrounding soil consists of soil or clay, which is 80% of the time, we obtain clay rivers If there is an excess of decaying organic matter near the river, which is probably 19

5% of the time, we get excessively tannic rivers Both types of water are impossible to photograph or record, so our trip under water is limited to the remaining 05% The equation is simple, the remaining 05% of the rivers have crystal clear waters and as statistics show, these are quite difficult to find Finding that they are crystal clear enough to photograph or engrave is not easy Requires endless hours of driving We have the truck on the barge, which takes us across the Orinoco River, which is the largest river in Venezuela It takes around 10 to 15 minutes to get to the other shore, and once we get to the other side we are officially in the Amazonas state of Venezuela In some expeditions we have to travel in the back of a platform truck Although traveling this way is not comfortable at all, it gives you the opportunity to see how the vegetation changes as we move away from the river and into the jungle It also gives you a good example of how some small Amazonian populations look Sometimes you have to get out of the way And when the road ends, we have to do it ourselves But when the trucks can not go further into the jungle, we ride on a grass Walking is also the only option on many occasions All this driving, on the road, in a truck, walking or by boat takes you to some extraordinary places with small waterfalls, medium waterfalls, or some more than 80 meters high Here we are filming a type of catfish, the noise you can hear behind is a waterfall In the same way that we drive on the road, rivers are the roads by which fish travel When the rains reach our natural aquariums the breeding season arrives Reproduction Season The main river is east, then all the fish are trying to swim they are trying to swim upstream And go to the flooded area, to lay their eggs and reproduce For this they have to go through this little arm, that's why there are so many fish here Once the fish reach the breeding areas they start to flirt The cyclids are a good example of how this whole process takes place This process usually begins with the males and females intensifying their coloration to attract the opposite sex, as you can see in this Laetacara Another distinctive behavior is the constant fights that occur between the males I have seen these fights last more than 5 minutes These fights happen cause territory, females or to obtain greater rank Once the fish are matched and reproduce, the fry are generally cared for by both parents as it is the Laetacara, Mesonauta or Crenicichla The female Discrossus prefers to take care of her fry on her own She takes care of her offspring of any predator by scaring any fish that comes within a 18 meter distance of their fry Even if the fish is much bigger than her When she feels that her offspring are not safe, she moves them to another area He takes them in his mouth to a new location and makes sure that none is forgetting At the same time she still has to defend the area from any possible danger The female Apistogramma also prefers to take care of the fry herself, but the male is always close to help take care of the area The same behavior can be observed in different species of the same genus even if they live 1600 meters away as with the Apistogramma guttata Some cyclads take care of their fry until they are quite large as the Crenicichla geayi In our natural aquariums, depending on the species, two fish can have from 20 to thousands of young And as always things in nature balance, someone has to take advantage of all this biological mass Normally when you hear about the food chain, you hear about how one animal eats another In the aquarium, you hear how the big fish eats the small fish I will explain things in a different way I'm going to show you the fish that in our natural aquariums are not normally eaten by any other fish We just found a shaker in this little stream We are here swimming with her and it is quite dangerous, this unloads large loads of electricity Then we will try to swim with her and I will try to be very cautious since I do not want to be electrocuted The Untouchables Here you can see how the fish move away while the Electrophorus electrices approach them and then they are returned when it moves away Large specimens of Electrophorus electrics can download up to 650 flips making one of the least edible fish in our natural aquariums Right here in this river we just found freshwater stingrays These sting rays of fresh water are very dangerous if you step on them They have a poison in their stinger and they usually kick you in the foot if you step on them which is very dangerous and painful, so let's go down there and swim with them One of the most curious things that I have seen in our natural aquariums is that if a river has tetras drunk nose and streaks, the drunk nose tetras can always be seen swimming around the stripes Here we see a good example of how the rays are camouflaged in the river substrate The color of its body and its patterns have evolved to perfectly rewire its habitat This part of the river was approximately 4 meters and a half deep The stripes are not only camouflaged in the sandy substrate, they also camouflage it in the vegetation This big stripe got really pissed off when he tried to take a second picture of one of his eye up close and I hit the camera Another species of ray that inhabits our natural aquariums is the Potamotrygon motoro The other untouchables are the piranhas of the genera Pygocentrus, Pristobrycon and Serrasalmus All these untouchables have almost no natural predators but they are the minorities in our natural aquariums and they are outnumbered by touches Touches Although tropical aquarium fish are raised by millions of aquarium enthusiasts around the world Little is known about what their natural habitats look like Here are some of my personal favorites As we go to more remote areas we find fish that are extremely rare in the aquarium Like the green Ammocryptocharax elegans What makes this small stream so special is that it has partially crystalline waters Although the waters are not extraordinarily crystalline I hope it is good enough to record the Corydoras aeneus underwater The waters of this one are quite cold, around 24 degrees Celsius In some expeditions we also find very rare aquatic plants with unusual colorations To record my favorite fish in our natural aquariums Oliver Lucanus and I had to shoot at night in extremely tannic waters This fish has partially disappeared from all the crystal clear streams due to the uncontrolled collection and poisoning of the water made by the natives to fish and here is I am here in this stream and I can not believe we have found Moenkhausia pittieri and the water is totally crystalline, around 254 degrees Celsius and it's the only place where you can where you can find diamond tetras or Moenkhausia pittieri in their natural habitat This fish is partially exctinct in all the rivers from where it is autochthonous This is native to the lake of Valencia, and all the rivers in this area have been contaminated and this has partially extinguished them We have tried to record them underwater for a long time and we could not So we found this stream after 2 years looking for them and well, here they are, so let's dive and swim with them The round object is a handle Natural Aquariums of Fresh Water 2009 Produced, filmed and edited by: Ivan Mikolji Special thanks to: This documentary could not have been created without the support of: Music: In great appreciation to Oliver Lucanus for introducing me to underwater photography George Fear for accompanying me on extreme expeditions

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