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Floodplain Pond, Río Tomo, Vichada, Colombia

Sponsored by

Colombia, Vichada, Puerto Carreño

It is a simulation of one of the small ponds formed as a result of the flooding of the Orinoco River system in the state of Vichada. These ponds are also the habitat of Apistogramma hongsloi.

Submitted by
Arif Hikmet Başeğmez
Approved by
Roberto E. Reis, Pablo C. Lehmann and Flávio Lima
GPS
5.5144162, -68.3265991
Geographical region
South America
Drainage Basin
Río Orinoco
River catchment
Río Tomo
Water body type
Wetland
Water body name
Vichada flood pond
Water body part
Flood plain
Water body course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name

Videos above and below water

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Mixed water
Water transparency
Medium
Concentration of sediments
Medium
Water temperature
26 °C
Water flow/curent
None

Chemical parameters

pH
6.0
Conductivity
60
GH
2 mg/l
KH
0
Dissolved Oxygen

Substrate in nature

Sand
Grey
Pebble/Gravel
None
Stone
None
Stone form
Silt/Mud
Leaves
Driftwood
Few
Submerged terrestrial vegetation
Yes

Aquatic Biotope

Date of collecting
Collecting area
Water depth
Air temperature
Sunlight

Environment

Environment
Affected by human activity
Affected by human activity
Agriculture
Agriculture
Little
Surrounding area

Río Orinoco is a major river of South America that flows in a giant arc for some 2.740 km from its source in the Guiana Highlands to its mouth on the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout most of its course it flows through Venezuela, except for a section that forms part of the frontier between Venezuela and Colombia. The name Orinoco is derived from Warao (Guarauno) words meaning “a place to paddle”— i.e., a navigable place.

The Orinoco and its tributaries constitute the northernmost of South America’s four major river systems. Bordered by the Andes Mountains to the west and the north, the Guiana Highlands to the east, and the Amazon watershed to the south, the river basin covers an area of about 948.000km². It encompasses approximately 4/5 of Venezuela and 1/4 of Colombia.

For most of its length, the Orinoco flows through impenetrable rain forest or through the vast grassland (savanna) region of the llanos (plains), which occupies 3/5 of the Orinoco basin north of the Guaviare River and west of the lower Orinoco River and the Guiana Highlands. The savanna was given its name by the Spaniards in the 16th century and long has been used as a vast cattle range. Since the 1930s this region has been developing into one of the most industrialized areas of South America.

Underwater landscape

The region is filled with reeds and wetland ponds due to the floods of the Orinoco river and its tributaries. The submerged botanical fragments are home to the hongsloi family living here. The ground is covered with dry leaves of reeds, branches and leaves, as well as plants such as Helanthium tenellum and Eleocharis sp. The water is soft and acidic as well as slightly stained with tannin.

Fish:

  • Apistogramma hongsloi (Cichlidae)

Aquatic plant:

  • Pontederia crassipes (Pontederiaceae)
  • Eleocharis sp. (Cyperaceae)
  • Helanthium tenellum (Alismataceae)
Threats to ecology

Compared to many of the world’s river systems, the Orinoco basin is relatively intact.

But this may not last for long as the river and its surrounding areas are threatened by pollution and mining activities.

Large areas of the flooded forests have been cleared for agriculture and cattle ranching. And large dams planned for several major tributaries will destroy water flows that support the region’s unique aquatic life.

These beautiful regions inspire me as I love the Apistogramma hongsloi.