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FAQs about Marine Nets, Catching Livestock

Related Articles: Super Nets, Collection Articles, Ethics of Marine Life Use by Aquarists,

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French Angel Question; moving      6/4/15
Greetings Mister Fenner and or Crew.
<Heya John>
I have been raising a French Angel for the past few years and she is getting very large. She is currently in a 200 gallon corner tank, that is 5 feet across, and though she seems happy it appears she may need more room.
She is currently 1 foot long and maybe 8' tall. Her tank mates are Fairy Wrasses and a Hippo Tang. I have a 400 gallon 8 foot long tank that is lightly stocked. It has a mated pair of 8" Cross Hatch Triggers, 3" Huma Huma Trigger, 8" porcupine puffer, 6" Lunare Wrasse, 6" Purple Tank and a 6" Yellow Tang. I would like your advice on whether to move her or leave
her in her long time home. Thank you in advance for your advice.
<I'd get/use a large (fish box size) 4 mil bag... doubled (ask your local fish store if they can give you these... used and rinsed is fine), and a couple of large nets (and a strong friend); to push the fish into the opened and partly water-filled doubled bag (need thickness to prevent the Angel's opercular spine from puncturing through both) and lift the fish in a few gallons of water from the existing, to (with towels on the floor) new tank. Bob Fenner>

New SAIA Video         8/22/13
Thank you for sending this along. A few notes; am glad to see the process not glossed over in terms of showing and stating deficiencies; and though some of the practices shown are common in Indo., there are others, variations; that are similar to P.I. practices (e.g. not bagging just-collected fishes) at the sites. Bob Fenner
New video "Aquarium Fishery Methods in Indonesia"
Click: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVWhwbb9h2I
Best Regards,
Christiane Schmidt

How to not stress fish in transfer  12/11/09
Hello Wet Web Media guys J
<Namaste Sara>
I am currently three weeks into my QT tank (almost there) and I just really have one simple question..how do I, when the time comes, not re-stress my fish during the re-introduction from the qt tank to my main tank. I mean,
they obviously do NOT like being chased. I am aware of the need to match the water quality and have it pretty much perfect, i.e. ammonia levels, ph, salinity things of that sort.
So I'm asking the professionals, what is the best way to transfer fish from one tank to another with the least amount of stress?
<Best to use two nets, go slow, but deliberately, at a slope, underneath them... one at a time. Remove artificial decor items if they're present in advance>
Thanks so much for your help,
<Thank you for asking. Bob Fenner>

Flame Head Dottyback or Lyretail Dottyback. Hippolytid shrimp comp.   9/17/09
I got a Flame Head Dottyback today, and it's a male, with the fluorescent orange head, and it's gorgeous and in good shape, however, the store told me he would be safe in my aquarium and when I went online, I saw someone in a forum writing that they are aggressive toward shrimp.
<Can be>
I have two fire shrimp and although they are fully grown, I am concerned.
They are my favorite thing in the whole tank.
Is this rumor that they are tough on shrimp true? Can they kill my fire shrimp?
If so, how would you go about catching a Dottyback from a reef?
<Might require dismantling the rock... even draining the water down a bit.
Use two nets... Bob Fenner>
Thank you in advance,

re: Flame Head Dottyback or Lyretail Dottyback 9/17/09
Hi Bob, thank you so much for the response.
<Welcome MT!/Renee>
I took a BBQ sauce bottle, cut the top off, inverted it and stuck it into the rim and used it for a fish trap, filled with Mysis Shrimp and Squid and within an hour, I had him. :)
<Ahh! Congrats!>
He is happy in his own area now lol.
Thanks so much,
<Thank you. BobF>

A Simple Fish Trap - 02/23/09 re: Catching (fish) Eric Russell's Way - It Really Works! - 11/30/05 Greetings to you all, thank you for so much patience with all of us. <<Hello Martha>> This query is for Eric R. specifically please, or for someone there who knows what "Eric's way" is in regards to his trapping suggestion. <<Tis I, EricR here…>> I was reading all I could in your FAQ's on Heniochus Butterflies, and came across a reader thanking Eric for his fantastic fish trapping method of using fishing line and a clear 2 liter bottle with food in it to catch a fish. <<Ah, yes>> Eric, can you please share this method with us? <<Mmm, is quite simple…and certainly not an original idea. The design is based on the "minnow traps" you can find/see at most any sporting goods store selling fishing gear. You take a cleaned clear 2-liter plastic soda bottle and cut off the top at the shoulder just before the bottle begins to taper. Invert the top and insert in the body of the bottle and then use a needle to "stitch" it in place with some monofilament fishing line (or simply loop and tie-off the line at 6-8 points around the circumference of the bottle). The clear fishing line is less intrusive/startling to the fish than using string or duct tape to secure the top to the body, and it can also be used to fashion a means of "tilting the bottle upright once a fish enters the trap to further reduce chances of it escaping before you can get it (the trap) out of the water. The inverted bottle top creates a cone that "funnels" the fish in to the trap as it enters to get at the food placed inside, yet once inside, makes escape difficult as the fish must find the small opening it came through to get out. The trap has its limitations as obviously the opening in the neck of the bottle must be made large enough for the fish you wish to capture, but keep in mind the larger the opening the easier for the fish to escape once inside. Once the targeted fish is caught…remove the trap from the tank, snip the fishing line to remove the bottle top, and transfer the fish to another tank or transport vessel>> I've attempted to search the FAQ's for this, but I don't see one specifically from you. I spent 4 hours draining my 350 gallon tank down to the halfway mark, partitioning it off with mesh gates, moving a fantastic rock stack around to net out a bully of a Sailfin Tang just days ago, so this method described has my full attention! <<I see… Another solution I have for removing fishes that can't or won't be trapped is to utilize very light fishing line (2lb-4lb) and a very small (size 22) barbless hook baited with a small piece of table shrimp. I've used this method to remove aggressive Damsels with good success and no lasting damage to the fish…and this method is certainly less damaging than the stress induced by hours/days of chasing with a net>> The Heniochus seems a much more peaceful tank inhabitant, so I'm glad I read here first as Bob advises, or else I never would have seen this 2 liter bottle idea. Do you cut the bottle's top off? <<Indeed>> How far down? <<As explained…but feel free to experiment a bit>> Doesn't the food float out, defeating the trap's purpose? <<No…be sure to place the trap in the tank horizontally>> And what is the fishing line/string for? I'd love to learn this in case I need it in the future. <<Do feel free to write back for further clarification if I've not been clear>> Thanks tons in advance! Martha <<Is a pleasure to share. Eric Russell>> <Eric... you really should make some, take some pix of in progress... and write this up as an article... Perhaps make into part of a pet-fish pitch to present to hobby groups on removing livestock period... Yes. BobF>

Catching a fish, harder than I though  4/26/08 I thought this would be easy.... wrong! I have a 65 gallon saltwater, live rock etc. My problem is my Longnose Hawkfish. He's not full grown yet but has taken a dislike to my two Banggai Cardinalfish. I wrote to you before about this and realize this isn't going to work. My pet store is willing to take him back and will replace him with another type. I have two questions....how do I catch him. <Two nets...> I've tried the two nets at feeding time, not a feeding time, a plastic tube to get him out of the rocks. With 85 lbs of rock and number of other fish and corals I have to careful. He is so fast. I've even fed the fish later at night in dim light, he caught right now. My Cardinalfish are now staying in a back corner and they have to be stressed, I know I am. After three days of trying I've run out of ideas and I don't know how a Hawkfish thinks. Second question, I would like a yellow tang. I know only or three and they don't always like others them. I've read about their food etc. My store has a large one and 3 small, I think I'm better with one small so they fit in with the other fish that are still young. This may help some other aquarists as well, but I think my Hawkfish is just unusual. It's also not a good idea to name them, I feel really badly about having to give up McGregor. Marilee Derby <There are ways to train a fish to make it easier to remove, but it may be necessary to drain this tank, remove the rock... Bob Fenner>
Re: Catching a fish, harder than I though   4/27/08
Thanks for the fish catching idea, will try with the nets again. Drain the tank, etc etc...I'm still chuckling. Great sense of humour but, probably has had to be done. What are your suggestions on the yellow tang replacement (one or three). Marilee <Posted... please read here as well: http://wetwebmedia.com/netfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Ctenochaetus binotatus,  Nets 1/17/08 I have wanted one of these fish for quite some time, and finally received one now almost a year ago. He has been living in a 72 bowfront quite happily. I would like to catch him however and move him to my 220 cube. I have been reading that it is very dangerous to use nets with these guys for fear of damaging their specialized mouthparts. Do you have any recommendations on something different to use that I wont have to worry about hurting him? I have attached a picture of this beautiful fish for your enjoyment. <Crystal, I'd use an Ulti Net, available at Foster And Smith. They are made of very soft material and should suit your needs just fine. See here. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3728+3861&pcatid=3861> Thank you, <You're welcome and thank you for the photo. James (Salty Dog)> Crystal http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o172/cl2ysta1/blueeye002.jpg

Blue Tang Severely Ill...Strategy Suggestions Needed For Removal Of Tang...Input From a WWM Reader  - 05/22/2006 Hey all, I hope I'm not butting in too much here, but I've tried this in numerous tanks and have had great success with it.  Unfortunately it might be too late to help save this guys tang, but it might help others in the future.  First get a large net and stick it in your tank first thing in the morning before the lights come on when all your fish are still asleep.  Leave it there all day and feed as per normal (this is very important....DO NOT MOVE THE NET) I got really lucky one day and had a fish swim right in it during feeding, that made a nice easy catch. The next day get up before your fish do (in other words before the tank lights come on.  Turn another light on in the room your fish will start to wake up slowly, not be moving quite as quickly as usual, makes it easier to catch them.  I've caught I don't know how many fish this way for people I know: at least 7 of the Zebrasoma species, 2 blue hippo tangs, a dragon wrasse, a red Coris wrasse,  a particularly stubborn yellow canary fang blenny, and a terrorizing clown trigger to name some of the more difficult ones I've netted.  It's always worked for me, hopefully it'll work for you. <Thank you for the suggestion, Amanda.  Will post.  James (Salty Dog)> Cheers Amanda

Australia Collecting License and fence/barrier nets   1/17/06 Hi Bob am looking to buy a fish collecting licenses in Australia what do you think and were can you bye fence nets etc Hank <Mmm, licenses in the "Land Down Under" are closely numbered and regulated. Likely you would have to become a citizen, and either buy into an existing one, or add your name to a list, lottery to win one if/when same became available. Fence nets can be made (I used to do this... don't!), or bought from outfits that make them by machine... Look to the aquaculture industry, magazines... I used to get mine from Memphis Net & Twine. Bob Fenner>
Re: Australian collecting marines...  1/18/06
Bob Thanks for that. I am a Australian, and l have found a license for sale. what fish are sort after in the US and Japan that's were. l would like to export too . <... easy enough to find out... look at their listings... principally the hardier angels, butterflies and wrasses... But there is always room to try new, good-looking, hardy new ones> You used to get the fence nets from Memphis & twine do you have phone number or fax still . Hank <Mmm, nope. I would try searching the Net for... Nets! In the U.S.... look through on-line catalogs for ones with integral float and lead lines. Bob Fenner> Collection Nets Bob, <Mike> I've been trying to research materials used for netting by different net collectors. Steve Robinson has been gracious enough to give me a few leads and share his perspective on my questions. I was trying to find Chip Boyle's contact info to see if he might share his. <I will bcc him here (he and wife Alice are still living, working in Roratonga in the Cook's unless something has changed> I 'Googled' him, and found some info on WWM, but not the actual info. The page seemed a little older, so I thought I'd ask you if you had his current information or not. <His email doesn't "bounce" but I haven't heard from Chip in more than a year though> I also happened to notice while looking for your e-mail address that you also worked as a fish collector for a time. Might you mind also sharing the types of nets you used and the materials used? <Certainly, glad to help. Most folks years back used to sew their own float and lead lines on their fence nets (most of which had a 1/4 to 1/2" "draw"), whereas I refer folks to "Memphis Net & Twine" and other automated makers nowadays... much faster, sturdy nets... and neat continuous lead lines. Hand nets can be made of the same netting or nylon mesh (a bit softer) per the "Super Nets" article posted on WetWebMedia.com. Sorry for lateness of this reply. Have been out (diving) for a few weeks in Indo. Bob Fenner> Thanks! Mike

Re: fisher net Hi, I would like to know if the net I have in my saltwater aq. is safe chemically for Mr. Fish?                                                               Thank You  sandy from Va.
<Say what? Please read over your message. Bob Fenner>

Fishing Nets. Not for aquarium use Hello, I put a fisher net in to a tank of marine fish for decoration. Then I begin to worry about the fish. Is the net okay or will it harm the marine fish? Ty  sandy <A fisher net, as in one made, intended for lifting fishes as in "going fishing"? Most are too coarse for aquarium use (too rough on the fishes bodies), and the frames are often made of aluminum, even steel... toxic metals to sea life. Bob Fenner>

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