Teaching a Fish to Swim into a Net

fishkeepinginaisa

Member
(I did this with a maroon clownfish, but it's useful for both fresh and salt so that's why I put it here. If I need to move it to the saltwater forum just let me know.)

Back in High School, I piddled with a way to teach a fish to swim into a net instead of chasing them around the tank. Since then, I've perfected the technique and I thought you guys might find it useful. I also included a video if you'd rather watch than read. This go round, I taught a maroon clownfish the trick, but I've used this technique on damsel fish, triggers, tangs, goldfish, tetras, and an uncharacteristically mean archer fish.


Usually, it takes between three days and a week to teach the fish to associate the net with food. However, I caught the trigger and goldfish after just one day of training. (Perhaps they were just more trusting of me!)

First, I bend the net into a useable shape that I can clip to the side of the aquarium. This way, I can put it in the aquarium and walk away while the fish adjusts. After a day or two, they no longer see it as an intruder. For them, it becomes part of the tank.


for-article-jpg.jpg


The next day, I feed them directly over the net, forcing them to swim over it. Most fish adapt to this routine quickly. After the second day, my maroon clownfish swam to the net when he saw me approach.



for-article-3-jpg.jpg


Finally, when the fish reliably comes over the net for food, you scoop them out. In the video, you can see BingBing doesn't panic. (Also, I didn't pull him out of the water because I didn't need to this time. I just wanted to show you an example of this technique in action.)



my-movie-4-jpg.jpg


I've found that this technique has two benefits. First, it's low impact on the tank. Using this method, I've never knocked anything over or needed to remove hiding spots. And it seems to be less stressful on the fish. Coming out of the water is rough enough, but at least they don't think they're in the jaws of a strange, green predator. In fact, BingBing finished the flake I had dropped in for him while in the net!

I hope you guys find this useful. If you have an even easier way to remove fish, let me know. I'm always looking for new tools for my fish keeping belt!
 

SinisterCichlids

Member
Sounds like you got Pavlov's famous experiment thing going on over there! hahaha

No fancy methods here. Chase them around the tank until I get lucky is the method for me
 
  • Thread Starter

fishkeepinginaisa

Member
SinisterCichlids said:
Sounds like you got Pavlov's famous experiment thing going on over there! hahaha

No fancy methods here. Chase them around the tank until I get lucky is the method for me
haha that was actually part of the inspiration behind this and my youtube channel! Sometimes I have to do that too if the fish is either not smart enough or if they're too smart!
 

SomyaValecha

Member
fishkeepinginaisa said:
(I did this with a maroon clownfish, but it's useful for both fresh and salt so that's why I put it here. If I need to move it to the saltwater forum just let me know.)

Back in High School, I piddled with a way to teach a fish to swim into a net instead of chasing them around the tank. Since then, I've perfected the technique and I thought you guys might find it useful. I also included a video if you'd rather watch than read. This go round, I taught a maroon clownfish the trick, but I've used this technique on damsel fish, triggers, tangs, goldfish, tetras, and an uncharacteristically mean archer fish.


Usually, it takes between three days and a week to teach the fish to associate the net with food. However, I caught the trigger and goldfish after just one day of training. (Perhaps they were just more trusting of me!)

First, I bend the net into a useable shape that I can clip to the side of the aquarium. This way, I can put it in the aquarium and walk away while the fish adjusts. After a day or two, they no longer see it as an intruder. For them, it becomes part of the tank.


for-article-jpg.jpg


The next day, I feed them directly over the net, forcing them to swim over it. Most fish adapt to this routine quickly. After the second day, my maroon clownfish swam to the net when he saw me approach.



for-article-3-jpg.jpg


Finally, when the fish reliably comes over the net for food, you scoop them out. In the video, you can see BingBing doesn't panic. (Also, I didn't pull him out of the water because I didn't need to this time. I just wanted to show you an example of this technique in action.)



my-movie-4-jpg.jpg


I've found that this technique has two benefits. First, it's low impact on the tank. Using this method, I've never knocked anything over or needed to remove hiding spots. And it seems to be less stressful on the fish. Coming out of the water is rough enough, but at least they don't think they're in the jaws of a strange, green predator. In fact, BingBing finished the flake I had dropped in for him while in the net!

I hope you guys find this useful. If you have an even easier way to remove fish, let me know. I'm always looking for new tools for my fish keeping belt!
That’s amazing, I’m going to see if I can do this with my giant danios (fingers crossed though it might not work as perfectly). They are the HARDEST thing to catch in a net, especially in a 75 gallon planted tank...
 

ForceTen

Member
Very cool. Very Cool!
 
  • Thread Starter

fishkeepinginaisa

Member
I think it ought to work for you no problem!
 

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