Tuesday morning, Danni my driver, guide and I headed an hour east an the Pan American highway, then north about a half hour to a little pueblo on the foothills of the Cordillera Central mountain range of Panama.
The rainy season is just beginning here, but not quite in fill swing yet. The river banks are still 6 to 8 feet lower than they will be, at the height of the season. The air cool, and sky overcast.
Water temp felt much cooler than the last couple collecting trips, was moving faster, and particulate from fallen leaf littler and soil eroded from the forest in the mountain colored it brown.
As usual I tested for pH using the high range reagent, and for nitrate from a typical API kit.
The pH appeared to be around 8, and as usual, nitrate was undetectable.
Tetras are the most abundant fish in the area, and we filled the bucket with over a dozen, from 3 different species, that ranged in size from about 1.5" to @ 3".
The amount of non tetras brought up in the net, reflected that ratio.
Only 4 juvie Andinoacara cichlid (@2') 4 young plecos (2-4") and a 6" Goby were landed.
Keeping the fish cool, and aerated for the trip back seems to be one of the most important factors in keeping them alive, and healthy, so I grabbed an extra gallon of river water, to do water changes whenever possible on the trip back.
Its a couple hour car ride, and another hour at the dock, and on the ferry.
Beside the water changes, a battery operated air pump, and stones are started riverside, it is plugged into the car jack on the highway, and back to battery at the dock, and on the ferry.
During transit the Gobiomorus polished off a few of the mouth sized smaller tetras.