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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if there were an easier way to remove fish from a moderately planted tank. I have the tank set up in a way that I quite like, and do not wish to damage my plants or remove any hardscape items, but I have a few fish that are going to need to come out pretty soon. Does anyone on the forum have any advice for how to do this, or will I just have to take part of my tank down to catch them?
 

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I recall seeing a large 300 plus gallon tank that Tom Barr was taking care of ,or setting up for a client.
Seems someone had placed unsuitable fishes in the tank and Tom was going to remove them.
The tank was a beautiful planted tank, and I asked how he was going to catch the fish in such a large planted tank.
He responded by saying, they would be shocked (electrical charge), which would momentarily send fish to the surface.
I have wondered about this for I too have some fishes I would like to remove without tearing hell out of my plant's while trying to catch them but I dared not ask out of fear,, that other's ,,possibly younger,, less careful,, would seek to try this and possibly sustain injury should Tom have chosen to respond. (Tom, you could PM me)
I have tried in the past to lower the water in the tank by 50 percent in an effort to catch the fish, but the tall plant's just lay down making capture of fishes even more difficult.
I too would be interested in a plan of action short of draining the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I like the trap idea. Would this work with Rams and a Dojo Loach? These are what I am going to try to remove. I don't HAVE to get them out right now, but probably the sooner the better. Thanks!
 

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My fish that aren't bottom dwellers always come to the top at feeding time so maybe hold the net in ther for a few min and then feed them and net them out.

Sometimes if your real patient and slow you can wait for them to swim close or into the net.

But either way the rest become wise pretty quick and I end up saying a few choice words before it's over and then have a few plants to replant. Sometimes it's unavoidable. :(
 

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Funny...I just did this yesterday. I removed 10 Bloodfin tetras from my 75g planted tank. I got super lucky and got 8 in one scoop thanks to the fact that they school pretty tightly when stressed. The other two wasn't as easy but I eventually was able to pin them and net them. Next time I'll try the trap and see how that works.
 

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My fish that aren't bottom dwellers always come to the top at feeding time so maybe hold the net in ther for a few min and then feed them and net them out.

Sometimes if your real patient and slow you can wait for them to swim close or into the net.

But either way the rest become wise pretty quick and I end up saying a few choice words before it's over and then have a few plants to replant. Sometimes it's unavoidable. :(
Took me 3 weeks to catch a particular fish with this method (choice words included) in a rocky tank that liked to hide, but it worked. You just have to be patient and get lucky.

I want to hear more about the electric shock method though!!!
 

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Two nets. Though it might be fun for the first few minutes to chase them around with just one. But it gets old.
 

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Took me 3 weeks to catch a particular fish with this method (choice words included) in a rocky tank that liked to hide, but it worked. You just have to be patient and get lucky.

I want to hear more about the electric shock method though!!!

Me too.... I have been plotting to catch my CAE for a while. I originally got 3 of them. Caught one with a spring water bottle. That was luck, pure luck. The second one jumped out of tank at night. Probably being chased by the other one. Now, I have one left. I am planning to "purchase" one of those traps from Aqua Medic. I have problems with the soda bottle. Other fish gets in to and can't get out.
 

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I recently had to catch a dozen glowlight tetras in my hundred gallon.
I emptied about 70% of the water so they would have less room to escape, and barricaded sections of the tank with an undergravel filter. (A screen would have been better.) Then went at it with the net. Still took me the better part of an hour:mad: though I managed not to disturb any plants.
 

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Though I have never tried this myself, I've read that you can catch your fish by waiting until after dark, turning the lights out, and then shining a red light into the tank. Apparently, they can't see red light. Again, I haven't tried it so I don't know if it really works. If you try it, post back here and let the rest of us know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have tried the trap method, and I ended up catching a bunch of tetras instead. Last night I waited several hours after lights-out in my tank and used my old Army flashlight with the red lens filter. The fish do not seem to notice the light, but they certainly notice the net. I think I am going to do my next big water change at night and then try removing a few pieces of hardscape, letting the tank settle for a bit, then see if I can net them with a light. Thanks to everyone so far for your tips; if anyone has an idea that has not already been suggested here, please post it!
 

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I had to catch 5 SAE once and did great just building a trap (using an empty water bottle). Caught 4 in the first night, however the last one was a bit stubborn (or smart enough to know that his friends went into the jug to never return). With him after my bi weekly WC I cranked the CO2 a bit which made come to the surface about 20min after and just scooped him out.
 

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Got this from another sfbaaps member -- leave the net/s in the tank for a few days. Catch them during feeding time or a few minutes after lights out. Worked for me to catch a very smart 4-yr old glo-light tetra. (They're pigs, so I caught all but one of them in one swoop during feeding time)

I've read the red light method in a reef forum where they were talking about mantis shrimps. Have yet to try this...
 

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two nets and dropping the water level to an inch or two is what I usually do. I frequently do 90% water changes anyways, so easy to do then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
two nets and dropping the water level to an inch or two is what I usually do. I frequently do 90% water changes anyways, so easy to do then.
I think that if I tried to lower the water that much I would have to take out all of my hardscape. I think that I may have to do that eventually, unless I can find a better way to get those fishes out.
 
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