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ok so heres the deal I have a huge 2 foot stump of driftwood that all my loaches hide in. theres 7 of them. they hide in the large 2foot by 1 foot by 1 foot piece of drift wood most of the day and whenever someone comes close to the tank abruptly or messes around in it.

a couple weeks ago I thought i had them all out as they were going nuts over algae wafers so i decided to act quickly and pulled the driftwood out quickly to brush all the algae off (have a hair algae problem at the moment). i figured any fish trapped inside would survive the 45 seconds it was going to take without a problem or id hear them flapping around. well while carrying it 10 feet to go outside my door some where my rainbow shark fell out.....and landed right in front of my next footstep. yes i smooshed the poor bugger. he was my favorite fish, i couldnt believe it, it was so sad and very messy as he had gotten big, about 5". I'm stilled pissed off with myself.

anyways there has gotta be a better way to catch these fish and get them out. I dont really see how i can transport that 2 foot piece of thick driftwood (it weights a good 50lbs wet its so big) in water, and i dont know how to get all the fish out of it. possibly i pay have to put it into a rubbermade 40 gallong container and fill it up with water and get 4 people to carry it

is there a way i can trap all the loaches and get them out of there? theres 3 clown loaches, 2 yoyo loaches, a kubotai and zebra loach. its not possible to catch them with a net. they see it, they hide.

i can catch all my other fish no problem, but the loaches all hide in wood and wont come out even if you shake the wood above the water. very frustating.
 

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I think the rubbermade contained full of your tank water is the best idea.
 

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Hmmm. That's a poser. Usually you can trap the buggers with a coke bottle trap but that's not going to work with loaches. The only thing I can think of that might work would be to put a couple pieces of goodish sized PVC pipe in there, on the order of 4" or bigger, with one end capped off. They might decide that's a good cave as well and you could quickly block off the open end and scoop them out in that. Of course, you'd have to know that they were actually in there, and if they still prefer the stump that's obviously not going to work.
 

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Blake, buy a $10 18"x26"x1" white plastic tray from any restaurant supply store.
(don't buy this online. ask your favorite restaurant owner to get one for you)
whenever you remove anything from your tank, just carry it out with this tray.
that way any fish, snails, water and plant remnants get caught and survive.
I find my tray indispensable when I do water changes and other tank service
as I lay it on the floor or a table, and it keeps everything around neat & dry.
 

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heres something i found :

The elusive loaches
Some of the most frustrating of fishes to catch are from the family Cobitidae, commonly referred to as loaches. The ever-popular Clown loach, Chromobotia macracantha, and Chain loach, Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki, take top honours.

These fish are happiest in tanks with lots of cover and shoals of dither fish such as tetras, barbs, etc. Unfortunately, this ideal environment pretty much equates to a case of 'Now you see me; now you don't'! And that is especially true the moment your net breaks the water surface. I have heard of hobbyists who have, in sheer desperation, stripped the tank down in pursuit of these elusive fish. However, there is an easier way... and you have your friendly milkman to thank.

Simply switch off the lights and place a glass milk bottle at the front of the tank. To entice your elusive subject, put some strong-smelling sinking pellets inside.

Within about an hour or so, the loach will have overcome their fear of this new object that has just invaded their space.

Eventually, their urge to explore will get the better of them. Once inside the bottle, approach the tank slowly, making sure you have left the top open for that sudden lunge with net to block their exit. Placing plants such as Elodea densa inside the bottle could help the fish feel more at ease.

In shops, they can be caught using the two-net method or by physically removing decor (bogwood, castles and shells, etc) which make perfect hiding places. Place a large net underneath these objects and simply wait for them to wriggle out, which usually takes
no more than a few seconds.

Many loaches carry two defensive spines directly beneath the eyes (subocular bifid spines). These are used as a defence mechanism and often play havoc with plastic bags and nets. As these spines lack a reverse serrated edge, removing from the nets is simple enough. However, they must be double-bagged with the corners taped up to prevent leaks.

Heres the whole article How to catch your fish | Practical Fishkeeping magazine
 
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