Wire Mesh Breeder Trap - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Wire Mesh Breeder Trap

I've just gotten back into freshwater liverbearers after a 25 year break. I'm going to keep guppies only. My daughter and I want to try some breeding, so I'm starting with a 20H tank and 6 male and 12 female store-bought fancy guppies.

I have read different ways to separate the mother and fry. I plan to buy a 10 gallon tank and use it for the breeder tank. Any females ready to drop will be transfered to this tank. I plan on using no gravel, and a sponge filter only.

I have some #8 hardware cloth (about 1/8" mesh). I thought I could make a mesh divider, the size of the tank bottom, and suspend it about 6-8" above the bottom, with the female above it. The mesh is large enough for fry to drop thru, but too small for the female to get thru.

Has anyone ever tried this? The hardware cloth is galvanized, so I am concerned about zinc and chromium possibly contaminating the water. Back before stainless steel became readily available, galvanized metal was used extensively for human food-grade food prep equipment.

I'd just like to hear if others have tried this, before I risk the fish.
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 08:44 PM
Metal hardware cloth is galvanized and may be toxic to fish. Use plastic. It is inert and poses no dangers.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Where can I find a fine mesh plastic large enough to cover a 10 gallon tank, but with fine enough mesh to let the fry thru and stop the female from getting thru?
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 09:36 PM
Lowe's, Home Depot..... Craft stores like Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, Michael's.....
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-03-2008, 12:02 PM
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It never hurts to try new things. You can set up the 10 gallon tank and treat it just like you would a new tank and put in the metal and let it sit for a week or so and then test the tank again to see if it has added anything harmful to fish. But I wouldn't recommend experimenting with fish in it haha. Good luck
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-03-2008, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TheBoss
It never hurts to try new things. You can set up the 10 gallon tank and treat it just like you would a new tank and put in the metal and let it sit for a week or so and then test the tank again to see if it has added anything harmful to fish. But I wouldn't recommend experimenting with fish in it haha. Good luck
Metal simply will not work. Even using surgical stainless steel will create an environment that could turn deadly in a heartbeat. Not only would the chemicals used in the galvanizing process of hardware cloth leach, but the industrial lubricants and cleaners would also pose problems. Take into account that metal rusts, the equation is complete and spells doom.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-03-2008, 03:04 PM
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Plastic canvas will work great. I have used it many times to seperate females from fry. I used a small net breeder but it could easily be done over the entire 10 gallon tank if you really wanted to.

To be honest, I don't think they need that much room. She is only in there to drop the fry so why not use a smaller "cage", maybe 1/4 of the tank? Some upholstry thread and a couple pieces of that round window insultation secured to the sides will allow it to float. Throw in some anacharis for some security and there you have a good way to seperate momma from babies and keep her from becoming too stressed out.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-05-2008, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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I have the same concerns about using anything galvanized in a tank. I just wanted to see if anyone had used it, and how they faired. I'm not going to try it, because of the concerns expressed about leaching, rust, etc.

Fish4all, you mention plastic canvas. Is this the plastic mesh material used for embroidery/needlepoint work that I can find at a fabric or craft store? If it is what I am thinking of, it might make a great divider.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-05-2008, 05:25 PM
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http://www.aquamoss.net/Fissidens-fo...s-fontanus.htm

That site actually uses some sort of metal mesh for their moss. I do remember seeing some sort of metal mesh, I am thinking marine stainless or maybe aluminum could work but the plastic canvas will work better, imo.

And yes, it is the stuff used for needlepoint. It comes in a lot of colors and some pretty large sheets. For a divided I don't know because it isn't really that stiff but it could if you can frame it or something somehow.
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