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Old 03/08/2018, 07:51 PM   #1
Itchy Trigger
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Catching Fish in a Big Tank with Lots of Epoxied Rockwork

I'm about to post an "Out of the Hobby" sale post in Buy/Sell, as I've finally decided it's time to let go of this hobby that's held my attention for 20+ years (marine tanks for the past 5). But I'm dreading the thought of having to catch fish in the 330g tank. The tank is 36" tall, and sits on a rather tall stand too. In order to catch fish with a net, you'd need to stand on a step ladder, so this is difficult - can't move from one side to another with anything resembling speed. There's also a lot of rockwork in the tank, and it's epoxied together, so fish have plenty of places to hide where I simply can't get at them...

So I'm looking for ideas on how best to catch fish without simply trying to snap them up in a net. I've seen traps advertised, which I suppose might work for small fish, but it seems like an iffy way to catch a 10" French angelfish. I've also thought about baiting a hook (with a crushed/filed down barb) and catching them that way. Does anyone here have any ideas or advice? Thanks in advance...


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Old 03/08/2018, 07:56 PM   #2
ramseynb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itchy Trigger View Post
I'm about to post an "Out of the Hobby" sale post in Buy/Sell, as I've finally decided it's time to let go of this hobby that's held my attention for 20+ years (marine tanks for the past 5). But I'm dreading the thought of having to catch fish in the 330g tank. The tank is 36" tall, and sits on a rather tall stand too. In order to catch fish with a net, you'd need to stand on a step ladder, so this is difficult - can't move from one side to another with anything resembling speed. There's also a lot of rockwork in the tank, and it's epoxied together, so fish have plenty of places to hide where I simply can't get at them...

So I'm looking for ideas on how best to catch fish without simply trying to snap them up in a net. I've seen traps advertised, which I suppose might work for small fish, but it seems like an iffy way to catch a 10" French angelfish. I've also thought about baiting a hook (with a crushed/filed down barb) and catching them that way. Does anyone here have any ideas or advice? Thanks in advance...

I've heard the fishing method works. I've made my own traps out of 3 liter bottles. Similar to this:

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/fish_trap.php

I've also heard about a technique where you black the room and tank out completely for a few hours. This puts the fish in basically a sleep/hibernated state then you just quickly turn on a light and scoop them out. The fish take a few seconds before they realize what's going on and to "snap out of it".


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Old 03/08/2018, 08:17 PM   #3
Itchy Trigger
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Thanks, ramseynb. Yeah, the soda bottle method can work for little fish, but most of my guys are too big for that... I guess I may need to buy some fishing line and a hook for the big guys. Or do they make large traps for angels and other big fish?


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Old 03/08/2018, 08:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Itchy Trigger View Post
I'm about to post an "Out of the Hobby" sale post in Buy/Sell, as I've finally decided it's time to let go of this hobby that's held my attention for 20+ years (marine tanks for the past 5). But I'm dreading the thought of having to catch fish in the 330g tank. The tank is 36" tall, and sits on a rather tall stand too. In order to catch fish with a net, you'd need to stand on a step ladder, so this is difficult - can't move from one side to another with anything resembling speed. There's also a lot of rockwork in the tank, and it's epoxied together, so fish have plenty of places to hide where I simply can't get at them...

So I'm looking for ideas on how best to catch fish without simply trying to snap them up in a net. I've seen traps advertised, which I suppose might work for small fish, but it seems like an iffy way to catch a 10" French angelfish. I've also thought about baiting a hook (with a crushed/filed down barb) and catching them that way. Does anyone here have any ideas or advice? Thanks in advance...
Personally if I was desperate I would cut back on feeding for a couple days and then give the hook method you described a shot.


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Old 03/08/2018, 09:06 PM   #5
Itchy Trigger
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OK, I might give it a shot. I've never been that good catching fish in lakes, rivers or the ocean. Maybe this will be my time to shine. If anyone here has done this already and has advice as far as hook size, etc. that I should use, please chime in and let me know. It would be great to use a barbless hook. Less trouble than having to grind or crush down a barb on a regular hook.


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Old 03/08/2018, 09:10 PM   #6
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If youíre tearing down the tank anyway then youíll have to drain it and remove the rock at some point. Can you wait to catch the fish until you can partially drain it and pull out some or all of the rock?

If not, one way Iíve been able to catch a number of fish in my 220 is to wait until several hours after the lights have been out, then turn the lights on full blast and go in with a net. The fish are groggy from having just woken up and somewhat blinded by the sudden bright lights and you have a few minutes where they will be easy to scoop up with a net.

Unfortunately this method didnít work for my blue hippo tang who sleeps nestled deep inside the rocks and my wrasse who buries himself in the sand to sleep, but I was able to get most of my other fish this way.

The way I got the tang and the wrasse out was to get several feet of netting material from a craft store and cover the rocks on one side of the tank with it. That keeps the fish from darting into the rocks as you try to catch them. Then when they go over to that side of the tank I was able to use one net in my left hand to keep them on the netted side of the tank and a net in my right hand to catch them and pull them out.


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Old 03/09/2018, 08:23 AM   #7
jmm
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Scoop a depression in the sand. Lower the water level by 10%. After a few hours, lower the water level another 15%. The fish will relearn the tank as the water level goes down and will go to the depression. As you get closer to the sand with the water level the fish will swim to the depression where the water level is deeper. Keep going. Scoop out the fish.

I've gotten all of them out without disturbing the rockwork. Also, it doesn't stir up the dirt and cloud the tank.


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Old 03/09/2018, 08:25 AM   #8
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If you do decide on the fishing strategy make sure it is a small shank with no barbs and some thin line a size #12 is recommended IMO


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Old 03/09/2018, 08:38 AM   #9
Vinny Kreyling
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Since you are leaving a water level scenario seem best.


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Old 03/09/2018, 09:14 AM   #10
bnumair
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Drop water level down to few inches and chase the fish with a net. Usually after 5 min or if you haven't caught it it will get tired and will be easy to net.


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Old 03/09/2018, 04:37 PM   #11
Vinny Kreyling
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& Stressed Out For Sure ----


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Old 03/09/2018, 05:02 PM   #12
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Traps, patience and food with a good trap is a sure win every time. Everyone should have a good one IMO, by far the easiest method, put it in, and just feed in and around it a few days... then gotcha.


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Old 03/09/2018, 05:05 PM   #13
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x2 on traps and patience, safest way IMO


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Old 03/09/2018, 05:06 PM   #14
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I have used small gill net that divide the tank to catch larger fish. Make sure you take them out as soon as possible. They can get badly entangled into the net if left to struggle and you might need to cut the net to get the fish.


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Old 03/09/2018, 09:46 PM   #15
Kevin Guthrie
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You will have to break up the rock eventually anyway... could crowbar it apart and remove it. With no rock they might be willing to swim into a bucket.


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Old 03/11/2018, 10:09 AM   #16
Itchy Trigger
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Thanks all. Going to give the trap method a shot first. Borrowed one last night and plan to try it tonight.


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