How to catch fast little fish in big planted tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-16-2013, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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How to catch fast little fish in big planted tank?

OK so as you might have guessed I'm relatively new to fish keeping... I am dealing with some sick fishies now and trying to get them setup in a hospital tank to treat them. I got as far as filling up a smaller tank (I think 25 or 30 gal, not sure) with water from the main tank and adding some stress coat and a bubbler... My plan was to next quickly move the fish while the water is the same temp, then slowly over the rest of the day add more freshwater to top it off (its about 3/4 full, I don't want to take any more water than that from my other tank). Then I would proceed with adding the HOB filter with old media in it, adding some salt a little at a time and treating with the meds etc...

But OMG. I cannot for the life of me catch a single one of those little suckers!!!! I have 10 Zebra danios and 2 Oto cats in a 55 gal tank that is FULL of live plants (rather overgrown I must admit - but I don't have time to deal with that right now), and a giant 2 piece sunken ship with live plants precariously growing on it... There is no room to do anything in there and these fish have ADD, they never stay still, except the little Otos, but they too seem to give me the slip just the same. What to do??!

Advice anyone? Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-16-2013, 05:33 PM
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First, welcome to the forum

I feel your pain there. It took me most of forever to catch all of my fish when we moved.

You really just have to trick them into the net. Have you tried using two nets? One to gently lure them into the other one?

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post #3 of 9 Old 03-16-2013, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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No I haven't tried that yet, but it sounds like a good plan! I have a tiny net, and a much larger net. There's not much room in there but maybe it will work a little at a time.... It's hard to concentrate on any such project for long due to frustration from lack of success and my 5 mo. old fussing as soon as things start to get good (jealous of the fish perhaps? LOL). But alas! I have worked too hard on this tank to give up on it now.

OK I guess I'll stop whining now and give it another go :)
Thanks for the advice and the welcome!

Last edited by spiderlady; 03-16-2013 at 06:00 PM. Reason: typo
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-16-2013, 07:51 PM
you can try: ninja skills, two nets, and don't chase them with the net as it just enforces the flight response. Move the net slowly instead. Also try herding them with one net into another net.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #5 of 9 Old 03-16-2013, 10:21 PM
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I have no idea how you people with all your plants catch fish without destroying everything. I have a hard enough time not making a mess of my java moss.

I use a big 12 inch wide net to catch fish - even little ones. It's just so easy - the fish will often swim into the net on their own. Aside from that, I find removing the water slows the fish down considerably, making them much easier to catch

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post #6 of 9 Old 03-16-2013, 10:34 PM
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I make a habit of feeding my fish in the same spot each time. I take a triangular clear plastic .5 gal fish tank and drop it in that spot well before feeding time so they get used to it. With many small holes drilled in the upper half of the plastic tank and a string tied to it, I feed the fish and pull the tank out of the water when the time is right. You will be amazed how uneventful this is for you, your fish and the plants.

Consider the needs of your fish before acting on your desires.

Last edited by marshallsea; 03-16-2013 at 10:39 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-17-2013, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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OK Wow that was pretty much horrible. I finally got all but one fish out of the big tank and into the new one. But exactly as was mentioned, I destroyed everything. Most of the stem plants are floating. The only thing that ended up working to catch the fish anyways was the ninja skills and patience... neither of which I have much of apparently. This seriously took hours. Much of the time and the plants getting messed up was in trying to catch the last one, which turned out to be an epic fail anyways, sigh. It's playing possum somewhere in there - I never did find it. That whole adage about prevention being worth more than cure is really making sense right now.... I totally need to work on my ninja.

Live and learn right? Thanks guys!
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-17-2013, 07:30 PM
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This is what i did, rest the net inside the tank, then put some food inside the net, this will require patience. Soon the fish with their short memory will forget the danger of the net and concetrate on the food.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-17-2013, 07:37 PM
There are a lot of ways this can be approached and the success/failure of any given approach will vary from tank to tank/fishkeeper to fishkeeper. In my daughter's tank, they are all just super friendly/begging fish so you open the top and they all come running, it's harder to NOT catch a fish than it is to catch one (ie when trying to get one you get five or six) because they all come "running" to see what is going on and swim right into the net. In my tank I have found that turning off the lights the fish gather in the upper part of the end near the living room, drawn by the light from the television - simply open the top over them and scoop away. For my son's tank I find using slow, deliberate and patient net work is the best - I'll introduce the net and just sit or a moment, then start moving slowly around catching the fish I need - no running, chasing, etc. It's really just a matter of developing the "feel" for what works for you/the fish you are working with.
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