How to pick up a pleco

AcornTheBetta

Member
Hi all!
I was wondering if there is a right way and a wrong way to pick up a pleco? Thanks!
 

Rockymountainstream

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
Hi all!
I was wondering if there is a right way and a wrong way to pick up a pleco? Thanks!
Generally speaking,I don't touch the fish
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
Hi all!
I was wondering if there is a right way and a wrong way to pick up a pleco? Thanks!
I don’t think there is a wrong way besides the obvious ways like from the face or something like that but I’ve never held a pleco is idk
 
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AcornTheBetta

Member
Rockymountainstream said:
Generally speaking,I don't touch the fish
I was just asking cuz I don't think the net I have rn will work very well on a pleco.
AggressiveAquatics said:
I don’t think there is a wrong way besides the obvious ways like from the face or something like that but I’ve never held a pleco is idk
I was just asking cuz I thought I read somewhere that they have spikes and I don't want to get pricked.
DoubleDutch can you answer any of these questions?
 

Kribensis27

Member
I don’t use nets for plecos because the pectoral spikes tangle in them. I’ve had to cut a pleco out of a net more times than I would care to admit. I always transfer them by hand. I pick them up while gently, but firmly holding down the dorsal and pectoral fins so I don’t get stabbed. They don’t tend to squirm at all, so this is fairly easy. Then I simply carry the fish to wherever I’m going to put it.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
I was just asking cuz I don't think the net I have rn will work very well on a pleco.

I was just asking cuz I thought I read somewhere that they have spikes and I don't want to get pricked.
DoubleDutch can you answer any of these questions?
Oh they might have spines like catfish on their fins but I’m not sure and I think it depends on the type of pleco if it is true then I would hold it in the catfish grip I can’t explain it very well but you can look it up
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
Here’s a vid
 

Kribensis27

Member
All of the plecos I’ve ever owned have had very sharp pectoral fins that they stick straight out when alarmed. They’re like needles and have made me bleed on several occasions.
 

Flyfisha

Member
Bristle nose plecos .
The spikes are only a huge problem in a net. They will not hurt your hand much if at all. In a net they can get completely tangle . I have had to cut them out of a net . Much easier to use a net to chase them and pick them up IN your hand or fingers from the side of the tank.
 
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AcornTheBetta

Member
Kribensis27 said:
I don’t use nets for plecos because the pectoral spikes tangle in them. I’ve had to cut a pleco out of a net more times than I would care to admit. I always transfer them by hand. I pick them up while gently, but firmly holding down the dorsal and pectoral fins so I don’t get stabbed. They don’t tend to squirm at all, so this is fairly easy. Then I simply carry the fish to wherever I’m going to put it.
Do you have a picture or video showing this?
 

Kribensis27

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
Do you have a picture or video showing this?
No, I never realized others could benefit from me getting it on camera. I can try to find a vid online showing something similar to what I do.
 
  • Thread Starter

AcornTheBetta

Member
Kribensis27 said:
No, I never realized others could benefit from me getting it on camera. I can try to find a vid online showing something similar to what I do.
Was AggressiveAquatics's video the correct way? See post #7
 

Kribensis27

Member
It’s like that, but I sort of tuck in the fins to prevent the fish from hurting me or itself.
 
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AcornTheBetta

Member
Kribensis27 said:
It’s like that, but I sort of tuck in the fins to prevent the fish from hurting me or itself.
LMK if you find a good vid or picture!
 

Flyfisha

Member
That may be the best way to hold a catfish. But I can find many things wrong with the video if I am to be picky. As a recreational fishing person .

A fish stays out of water for as long as you can hold your breath .

You never swing a fish by its mouth for 3 minutes.

He did not wet his hand before touching the slime coat.

All fish that are to be released are supposed to be revived a little first not tossed in like that.

But yes Ok maybe the way he is holding the fish is correct for a large fish?
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
Flyfisha said:
That may be the best way to hold a catfish. But I can find many things wrong with the video if I am to be picky. As a recreational fishing person .

A fish stays out of water for as long as you can hold your breath .

You never swing a fish by its mouth for 3 minutes.

He did not wet his hand before touching the slime coat.

All fish that are to be released are supposed to be revived a little first not tossed in like that.

But yes Ok maybe the way he is holding the fish is correct for a large fish?
Yeah it kinda triggered me how he didn’t wet his hands or revive the fish I always do that when I go fishing
 
  • Thread Starter

AcornTheBetta

Member
Flyfisha said:
That may be the best way to hold a catfish. But I can find many things wrong with the video if I am to be picky. As a recreational fishing person .

A fish stays out of water for as long as you can hold your breath .

You never swing a fish by its mouth for 3 minutes.

He did not wet his hand before touching the slime coat.

All fish that are to be released are supposed to be revived a little first not tossed in like that.

But yes Ok maybe the way he is holding the fish is correct for a large fish?
Yeah I was a bit iffy on the hanging and the time out of water in that vid. I will be doing this underwater so wetting hand is not a problem. I will make sure to revive my pleco, but he will be out of water for less than 5 second so I don't think it matters too much. IDK if it would work on some thing like a small BN... I'm not a fisherman...
 

Dippiedee

Member
If you didnt want to hold the pleco;
I had to move my pictus when I got my new tank and they cannot be netted either so I asked for a large bag from LFS (the ones they sell fish in), took all the decor out of the tank. Then someone holds the bag open at one end of the tank, covering from back to front if possible to reduce the chance of the fish getting behind the bag. Then the other person steers the fish towards the bag with the net (because as you know they flee from the net). Sometimes the fish will just swim straight into the bag, sometimes the bag holder has to scoop it up a bit, but with the 4 catfish we moved none of them took a long time or were particularly difficult with this method.

Just an alternative if you decided that picking the pleco up wasnt for you.
 
  • Thread Starter

AcornTheBetta

Member
Dippiedee said:
If you didnt want to hold the pleco;
I had to move my pictus when I got my new tank and they cannot be netted either so I asked for a large bag from LFS (the ones they sell fish in), took all the decor out of the tank. Then someone holds the bag open at one end of the tank, covering from back to front if possible to reduce the chance of the fish getting behind the bag. Then the other person steers the fish towards the bag with the net (because as you know they flee from the net). Sometimes the fish will just swim straight into the bag, sometimes the bag holder has to scoop it up a bit, but with the 4 catfish we moved none of them took a long time or were particularly difficult with this method.

Just an alternative if you decided that picking the pleco up wasnt for you.
I'm fine with picking it up it's just about how to do it without giving my self the pleco vaccine lol
 

CHJ

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
I don’t think there is a wrong way besides the obvious ways like from the face or something like that but I’ve never held a pleco is idk
1. Reach in with both hands
2. Corral and grab cactus/Rhino/black dragon/spiny monster/etc
3. Make shrieking noises and drop fish back in tank.
4. Bleed profusely.
5. Remember they are called things like "Cactus" for a reason.
6. Put on welding gloves and start over at #1

Heavy gloves is the way to go with big, ouch oriented, plecos that can tangle badly in a net. If you don't have gloves just wince, use profanity, and move fast.

LFS guy's hands looked like he had been petting a table saw after someone brought him 2 adult cactus.

EDIT: after watching the "how to" vid, Do not do that. That vid is how to keep you safe, not how to keep your fish safe.
Always fully support a fish when you pick it up. When you hold them vertically like that their weight tears their muscles apart. The heavier the fish, the worse it is. Now with a pleco it is big, strong, and sharp so odds are you are holding it snuggly just out of self preservation because you don't want to look like you have been stirring a pail full of X-acto blades with your hands.
Look at the salmon fillets at Costco. You can tell by the separations in the fillet that the fish was picked up by its head at some point. With tiny fish there is no real weight but with big fish you can mess them up.
For fishing: If you aren't going to eat the fish make sure it doesn't leave the water when you are unhooking it.

EDIT: I found a pic online showing how to pick up a large pleco Facebook note full support and protective gloves.
 

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