|Uno de los pececillos mas pequeños junto a uno de los mas grandes, note la diferencia entre el estomago claramente lleno del pez mas grande y el estomago relativamente plano del otro.|
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
El primer ciclido que logre reproducir en mis peceras, allá para principios de los años setenta, fue el ciclido convicto, al cual en esos tiempos se le conocia como Cichlasoma nigrofasciata o "convict cichlid". Fue una pareja de la variedad leucistica de la especie, que se distinguen por ser de un color blancuzco rosado. La pareja se reprodujo muchas veces sin exigir mucho de mi parte mas allá de una alimentación regular y agua limpia. Se distingan por ser padres atentos y fervientes defensores de sus crías. Tuve estos peces por mucho tiempo. Pero hubo un evento que me hizo perder el interes en ellos, esto fue, mas tarde en la década de los setenta, la llegada de los ciclidos de los grandes lagos africanos a Puerto Rico. Los primeros ciclidos africanos que llegaron a Puerto Rico deslumbraron con sus brillantes colores y exóticos comportamientos. Súbitamente los ciclidos con los cuales estábamos familiarizados como los ángeles, los convictos, los "Jack Dempsey" y los oscares parecían pedestres y ordinarios ante lo que era como un caleidoscopio de ciclidos africanos cuya enorme variedad de colores y formas parecía no tener fin.
Hace unos meses estaba visitando a Pablo Robles y este me dijo que conocía donde estaban disponibles unos "Honduran Red Points". Los "Honduran Red Points" son una especie de ciclido, nativo de la costa de Honduras. Son sumamente similares al Convicto pero se distinguen por tener las aletas no pareadas de color rojo ladrillo y por mostrar una extensa coloración azul iridiscente en el cuerpo que no se ve en el Convicto.
Hace como un mes que tengo una docena de crías de esta especie, ha resultado interesante cuidar de ellos. Son vivaces, atentos y comilones. Sin embargo según han ido creciendo han mostrado cierta preferencia hacia algunos alimentos. Aunque las primeras semanas comían de todo con una admirable voracidad, últimamente han comenzado a mostrar indiferencia hacia la comida de "flakes". Para que se la coman tengo que dársela temprano en la mañana, que es cuando mas hambrientos están. Les doy de comer tres veces al día, temprano en la mañana, al medio dia y en la tarde. Les doy camarones, comida de "flakes" y "bloodworms". Los "bloodworms son su comida favorita y la reservo para la tarde. En la siguientes fotos veran algunos de los pececillos.
Los parametros de la pecera de cria son los siguientes:
Agua de lluvia
"hardness": Entre 25 y 50 ppm
Nitritos: 0 ppm
Nitratos: 0 ppm
El fondo de la pecera de cria esta cubierto por una capa de hojas secas que ya no liberan taninas. La pecera tiene una buena cantidad de "Najas" un alga que absorbe los desechos de los peces y libera oxigeno. En el fondo hay una capa de detritos y alga filamentosa.
Los pececillos en la mañana estan muy atentos a la llegada de la comida.
Las hojas y los detritos en el fondo de la pecera proveen a los peces de escondites donde refugiarse.
Los pececillos comen con rapidez y voracidad hasta que sus estómagos sobresalen notablemente. Los mayores excluyen a los mas pequeños cuando la comida es algo que consideran particularmente deseable.
Es importante asegurarse que hasta los mas pequeñitos comen su parte.
Una vez se han comido hasta la saciedad, los pececillos se retiran a un lugar tranquilo y seguro desde donde puedan ver si ocurre algo interesante.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I saw this orchid at the Quito Botanical Gardens, in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. This plant can be found in the wild in mountain areas from Costa Rica in the north to Peru in the south. The plant, when it is not blooming has a certain similarity to a bifoliate Cattleya. This orchid was planted in the ground in several places in the Botanical Gardens. Some were growing in places where they got full sun, a few plants showed a bit of sunburn. I saw plants of this orchid in several stages of blooming, some with developing inflorescences and others with old damaged flowers. All plants were growing vigorously but the ones in the most sunny places had yellowed leaves.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
I saw this plant at the outdoor gardens of the Quito Botanical Gardens in Quito, Ecuador. I also saw this plant in the town of Mindo also in Ecuador. This plant is a cool grower that liven in the Andes mountains. It is said it can be in bloom at any time of the year. I saw several plant in the botanical garden grounds but only two were in bloom and of these one has only a few flowers. The flower display is handsome enough but tends to suffer in comparison when grown with such large and prolific bloomers as Epidendrum pophyreum and Epidendrum atacazoicum. The plants were growing outdoors in the ground along with several kinds of Epidendrum sp. native of Ecuador. Local temperatures fluctuate between 75F during the day to 45F at night.
This orchid is a fairly large plant with meter long inflorescenses. The flowers are variable in color, these were apple green. It is found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It is a cool grower that lives high in the Andes. I saw this plant in the Jardin Botanico de Quito, in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The inflorescenses were growing among the leaves with the result that the flowers were hidden from sight. I detected the flowers because I could see the inflorescences arising from the pseudobulbs. The plants were exhibited as terrestrials so flowers were near the ground. This orchid formed a large clump but had just a few inflorescences. This orchid has been known by a number of scientific names, Lycaste gigantea var. labelloviridis, Ida grandis, Ida labelloviridis and Sudamerlycaste grandis.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
I saw this plant in the gardens of Cabañas Armonia in Mindo Ecuador. This very large pleurothallid orchid has the largest flowers in a genus that is most commonly known for small plants with tiny flowers. This plant is native of Ecuador where it lives in mountain forests at heights of between 4500 and 7500 feet in cool and wet locations. In the location where I saw this plant there is little if any seasonal variation but temperatures fluctuate widely from between 75F during the day to 45 at night.
I saw this interesting orchid in the garden of Cabañas Armonia, in Mindo, Ecuador. The host, Alicia Toapanta, told me that the plant had been relocated to this area from some tree which were cut to make a road. I was quite taken by this unusual Pleurothallid. In this orchid the inflorescences grow from the tip of the leaf, not as it is most common in this genus from the base of the leaf. So unusual is this type of flowering that this orchid and similar others were placed in a new genus Colombiana in 2004. This flower lives in an area where day temperatures are quite pleasant, in the 70 F range, but night temperatures go down into the 40F. This daily temperature cycle happens all year round with little if any seasonal change.
Friday, August 5, 2011
This Epidendrum native of Ecuador produces large many flowered piramidal inflorescences. The inflorescences are quite showy both due to their sheer size and to the lovely presentation. This is a large plant, in the plant shot it might look small but this is due to the fact that behind it are the 15 feet tall canes of a large Sobralia orchid. The specific name of the plant is because there is a volcano en Ecuador named Atacazo. This plant grows in cool, wet montane forest. I have not seen photos of this plant being cultivated out of its native range except for this plant which I saw at the Quito Botanical Gardens, in Ecuador.
I had the pleasure of seeing this beautiful orchid from Colombia at the Quito Botanical Gardens. The orchid was exhibited on a rock platform. The flowers are long lasting as the whole inflorescence was open when I visited for the first time and when I came back two weeks later they were still in perfect condition. This plant is a cool grower that dies when exposed to continuous high temperatures. In this location the plant were on an open greenhouse which had temperatures of close to 45F at night and 75F during the day.
I first saw this orchid in a greenhouse in Quito Botanical Gardens. But later I saw it growing in cultivation near Centro del Mundo and in Mindo. The plant seems to be a vigorous grower and all the plants I saw had inflorescences. The fact that I saw no seedlings anywhere I went makes me think that the plants were taken from the wild and planted in the places where I saw them. All the plants I saw were adults. The inflorescences are very long. I saw one that was about nine feet long and had several short branches along its lenght. The flowers seem to be produced continuously along the inflorescence, all the inflorescences I saw had only a few flowers on them, near the tip of the inflorescence. I saw a plant tied to a bamboo pole about eight feet up from the ground, its inflorescence had been trained along the lenght of the bamboo pole so that people could enjoy the flowers at eye level. This plant is a cool grower from the Andes where it grows at elevation that can surpass the 9,000 feet. This means that it is wholly unsuited for cultivation at sea level in hot locales. It comes from western Ecuador and Peru.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
This small orchid is found in Ecuador near the border with Peru in the high cloud forest of los Andes. Since it grows at around 9,000 feet high in the mountains in cool to cold wet forests growing these plants outside their natural range demands careful attention to their growing conditions. A few hardcore orchid enthusiasts in the United States grow this beauties but they are generally unknown in the wider orchid growing circles. In Puerto Rico I have never seen a plant of this genus under cultivation.
An inflorescence of Epidendrum porphyreum
Plants growing in the grounds of the Quito Botanical Gardens
An inflorescence close up
This orchid was seen at the Quito Botanical Gardens, Quito, Ecuador. This plant was planted in the ground in several spots in the garden and inside the orchid house. The plants are large and some were just shy of four feet tall when in full bloom. It grows in Ecuador and Colombia under cool to cold conditions in wet mountain forests. It thrives under a daily cycle of temperature that goes from the middle forties at night to the middle seventies during the day. Plants in full bloom are very attractive and a group of them is spectacular. However I suspect its large size and particular growing needs have prevented this plant from becoming popular among orchid growers outside Ecuador. I would love to grow this plant but it is pretty doubtful it would survive the high summer temperatures and the ocassional dry spell. I. wonder if anyone has made hybrids of this plant that might be more tolerant of higher temperatures and drier growing conditions, you can dream, can't you?
This Epidendrum was seen growing in the Quito Botanical Garden, Quito, Ecuador.
There were a few plants of this deligthful orchid planted in the grounds and greenhouses of the Quito Botanical Gardens. All the plants were growing vigorously and blooming beautifully. Unfortunately I didn't get to see this plant growing in the wild, all the plants I saw were in cultivation. I have not seen this plant in Puerto Rico in cultivation and I suspect it would do very poorly in my tropical country. The biggest plants I saw were growing under the shade of some large trees. The main reason I think this plant would not grow well in Puerto Rico is due to the fact that I saw it growing in areas with a 30 degree Farenheit difference between day and night. In the Quito area during my visit, temperatures could go down to the middle forties in the night and climb to the middle seventies in the day, a temperature differencial impossible to get in the lowland tropics without artificial cooling.