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Fishes of the Orinoco in the Wild

Imagine yourself floating in a crystal-clear river filled with some of your favorite tropical fish. When you look down at the river bottom you see Stingrays and schools of Corydoras. When you look to your right you see Cardinal tetras, and to your left you witness schools of Severum cichlids.


A Stamperija / Mikolji eco educational collaboration


A journey with Mikolji, river explorer, underwater photographer, transcends writing. Of course, he shows you where he is, through words and images. But that’s just an entrée. When you read his work, you’re carried into a full tactile experience.


The Fusion Between Nature Science and Art

In this video, Ivan describes his work as the fusion between nature, science and art. We see how all three interests meld together to form one whole body of work.

Wild Aquariums

The series that started the Wild Aquarium movement! Ivan’s ingenious idea of creating an ephemeral aquarium using only the materials found around a body of water has been applauded and emulated throughout the world.

The Fish Guys Series

Hi I am Ivan, and I am George, and we are The Fish Guys! We travel all over in pursuit of getting underwater footage of tropical fish, same topical fish most of us keep in our aquariums.

Famous Interviews

Ivan Mikolji interviews featuring himself and other legends of the aquarium hobby. Exclusive interviews with Marc Weis, Frans Vermeulen, and others.



“Conservation relies on empathy for what is being conserved. Empathy relies on communication. Ivan is one of nature’s great translators, communicating to the senses the very emotions of animals, plants, even the land. ‘We are here,’ they say through him. ‘We are here and we matter.”
Nathan Hill | Associate Editor of Practical Fishkeeping Magazine, UK

Amazon Leaffish in the Wild Mikolji

Amazon Leaffish in the Wild

M. polyacanthus is a widespread species present in many South American countries from Bolivia up to the Orinoco River, in southern Venezuela.

Three Spotted Eartheaters

Satanoperca daemon are very common in most rivers south of the Apure River in Venezuela. The locals refer to them as Horse Face or Earth Suckers.

Red Line Lizard Tetra Iguanodectes

The Red Line Lizard Tetras are as peaceful as a fish gets and opposed to many other tetras of the same size it seems not to swim around too much and do not like open waters.

Green Neon Tetras in the Wild

Let’s hurry before we miss the sunrise.” With that brief exchange, we head off into the early hours of the morning.


Mikolji has a need to draw and paint when he is not on the road.  It is an expression of his longing for nature.  His photographic and fine art exhibitions are curated art collections on various subjects that are ready to show. These exhibits are not only highly aesthetic, but also serve as a strong educational tool to inspire preservation of the environment around the world.


Find out who is behind Mikolji.


A journey with Ivan transcends writing and photography. He is one of nature’s great translators, communicating to the senses the very emotions of animals, plants, even the land. ‘We are here,’ they say through him. ‘We are here and we matter.’The man is a living documentary.

Nathan Hill

Associate Editor of Practical Fishkeeping Magazine, UK

Mikolji has demonstrated the authenticity and originality of his artistic passion for photography and painting. The philosophy that moves his creative will is the urgency to preserve the aquatic ecosystems of the planet, and as a first step he considers it necessary to make known the richness and beauty of these biomes.

Eduardo Planchart Licea

Phd Latin American Art History UNAM

The work carried out by Ivan Milkoji to obtain sub-aquatic photographs on Venezuelan rivers is excellent both from an artistic and a scientific point of view. His work has allowed to elucidate the scientific aspects of many species and communities and the recognition (in vivo) of freshwater species.

Antonio Machado, PhD

Professor in the College of the Environment, Wesleyan University

Mikolji’s underwater photographs, videos, and observations provide us with valuable insight into the behavior, biology, and ecology of these aquatic organisms, which are often entirely new to us. Ivan’s work is a clear example of art and science that will last through time.

Carlos Andrés Lasso

Coordinator of the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources


Mikolji makes people fall in love with aquatic life through his engaging renditions of nature. He takes us on a tour of the wild rivers of South America and fascinates us with his marvelous photographs of the continent’s wildlife.


Mikolji’s work bets on science. Proof of this is undoubtedly the numerous publications that contain photographs and writings of his authorship.


His work shows a life dedicated to the passion of making known the beauty of the ecosystems of the Amazon and the plains through his art, as a way to raise awareness about the need to conserve these fragile biomes for future generations.



Mikolji’s work has inspired all types of merchandise, from stamps from exotic countries to beautiful silk scarves.  Here you will find those items plus exclusive fine art photography, inexpensive posters, and other surprises.  Your investment on this merchandise support our efforts in the promotion of the conservation of nature.



Learn about Mikolji’s current and past consevation projects, his work with some of the leading scientists in the world, research in progress, publications, and future expeditions.

Ivan Mikolji’s work through his vast and detailed photographic documentation and as an explorer is very important when it comes to talking about scientific disclosure in Venezuela and Colombia. He has made a significant contribution making the biological and scientific knowledge of our planet accessible to all through his pictures, observations and field trips.

Mikolji supports the UN’s SDGs


Find out the latest events, exhibits, appearances, and news about our work and that of our partners and sponsors.