Collecting in Trinidad

trinidad-tobago 1998 trinidad-tobago




To start with the beginning. The trip took place in the end of September to 22 October 1998. We started out with a couple of days on Trinidad first, because I wanted to see if I could collect the REAL Aequidens pulcher. Now, later I think I should have spent more time on Trinidad. But, done is done. We came to Port of Spain in the evening, and after an hour, at least, waiting to get through the immigration and customs we were assaulted by taxi drivers. Everybody wanted to drive us to downtown Port of Spain, and everybody had a special hotel for us.

When we got to this "especial Hotel" (named Trin-Bago) and accepted the price, we went downstairs to a Chinese restaurant for some food and not to forget cold beers.

When you have been waiting in line, to get through immigration and customs, then argue with the porter and then the taxi driver and later found out that you paid the porter in US$ instead of Trinidad dollar, then you deserve a couple of cold beers.


After breakfast the next morning we needed a car. And it had to be a small bus at least, with all the baggage we had we could not settle for less. We were lucky, we got an eight-seat van, and it was NOT too big. Can you a imagine me a little nervous? Well I was, because I had never driven a car on the left side of the road, and with steering-column gears. After a couple of times I managed to shift gear, even if it sounds like I was brushing the toothed wheel. It does not sound very good, but we should not have the car more than two days, so we managed.

We looked at the map to decide where to go. We decided to drive the Eastern Main Road, because it look like this road would cross several rivers and streams that could be interesting to us. We did not go very far before we saw a small river that we decided to take a look at. The river is before we get to the town of Arima. We took with us plastic bags, cast net, small dip net, Tetra test set, cameras and then we were ready.

The water was clear, but there was a lot of garbage in the river and at the riverside, people had just thown it down the hill. So I decide not use the swim mask and dive in the water. I am no sissy, but this was at the beginning of the trip and I had four more weeks to go. I did not want to end up in a hospital to pump out the stomach so early.

We collected some Tetras, Hypostomus(?)

Guppy and Ancistrus sp.

Aequidens pulcher.

After taking water samples, the temperature, the position and putting our plastic bags with fish into the styrofoam boxes, we were ready for the next biotope. The water temperature was about 25°C, pH 7.5, dH 4, kH 7 and nitrite 20.1>, the mS was 270 and the air temperature was 31°C. The date was 29 September, 1998 and the position was 10°37'69"N and 61°19'38"W. The next biotope came after we passed a small town called Arima. But before we came to the next biotope we decide to have some lunch. Okay, something cold to drink too!

To the next biotope it was about 6 km east of the town of Arima, and about 3 km before Valencia. This small river did not have much water, so we just used our dipnet to catch fish that were swimming at the surface. This was mostly Guppies, and we got some Tetras too.

I decide to walk a little higher up in the river, but did not catch anything else, so I decide to take a shortcut back to the car when I came across a very small pond. Well, I never pass a pond without checking it out, and here I found Guppies, some Tetras and a Rivulus type, this was very nice.

Water temperature was 25°C, pH 5.5- dH 3-, kH 0 and mS 90. We checked other rivers too, but nothing new so we continued driving up to the north coast to a place called Toco. There were no hotels there but we were lucky, because there was a house with apartments, and they were for sale. We were not interested in buying anything, but the lady at the kiosk told me that we could rent one of the flats, and that was perfect for us.

We had all the equipment necessary to camp anywhere, but now we had beds and a roof over our heads. Perfect. But we decided to drive to "downtown" Toco(?), to buy beer to have with supper. The next day we started on the road back to Port of Spain. We had to find a place to stay for the night and we got rooms at the Airport Hotel. Before we got that far we found a small creek and I said "let's check this one, we might find Killis," and we did.

The photos are not very good. I will try to take some better photos at home. But they will at least give you an idea of what the fish looks like. It might be "Rivulus hartii".

The water temperature was 27.4°C - pH 6 - dH 7 - kH 4 - mS 780 and nitrite less than 0.1. The air temperature was 32.5°C. The position was 10°45'64"N and 60°57'28"W.

Toco biotope where we collected (I think) Rivulus hartii.


So, this was a short story from Trinidad.




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