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How to catch my fish


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  • Regular Member

Hi guys. I have a question for you. Hopefully you can give me some good advice. I recently moved my common and comet from a bowl to a tank. When I did o caught them with my bare hands because I read that you can harm them by catching them in a net. Both fish were extremely fast and nimble and I found it difficult to catch them. I imagine that the longer the catching procedure takes the more you stress out the fish.

I have know idea how I'm going to proceed now that they are in the tank. They don't mind my hands being in the tank but they will keep out of reach.

At some point I want to start weighing them regularly and I was contemplating feeding Eduardo outside of the tank.

Any advice on catching my fish without stressing them too much?

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it's not uncommon at all that fish will run from a hand that they're not used to. usually we try to get them used to hand feeding. once they become familiar with the routine, it then becomes easier to actually catch them.

that said, single tail fish are so super fast as you know. they will feed from the hand but any other slight movement that is not related to feeding is often detected and they're gone faster than the speed of light!

i think the best way is to first sink a transparent tub just under the surface in one hand and then try to hand feed with the other as close to the tub as you can, once they're in position, scoop them up with the transparent tub. this way, no handling, less stress and a job well done! :clapping:

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Hand catching might work well with fancy goldies, but I get the feeling that my common goldies would laugh at me if I did the same. They are lightening fast and excellent swimmers. My small neons are much the same and would be impossible to catch by hand.

You could find a piece of perforated plastic the depth of your tank and force your fish to one side, reducing their maneuvering room, but ornaments and such might get in the way.

I minimize the amount of handling I do with my goldies. I do not move them for water changes, for example. Only when I have to empty a tank completely, such as to move it, do I remove my fish, and I then use a net. The net is not ideal as it removes some of their slime coat, but this will grow back. I do the catch fast and have everything ready beforehand. Moves are similar to ripping off a bandage after your cut yourself and healed: quick, painful but over before you realize what has happened.

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I second herding them into one side of the tank, it should make things more manageable should you need to remove them. Over time handling should become easier; however, there's no need to be continuously catching them.

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Fat-bodied fish are easy to catch and easy to keep hold of, but I use a net with long-bodied fish. With some, I can use the net to herd them into a container and then scoop them up in water. Most quickly learn my trick and avoid the container. Commons and comets are streamlined and slippery. Even if you hold them tightly, they can slip away and wind up flopping on the ground. The people I've seen catch such fish by hand hold them so tightly that I fear damage. They certainly will remove more slime coat than they would with a net.

The way you make catching easy is to remove most of the water so they cannot go over or under the net. The problem with catching these fish is not their speed, it's the agility with which they can avoid the net/hands. They lose much of that with low water.

I don't think transferring is as stressful to the fish as it looks. The violent flopping is the instinctive response to being out of water. A fish stranded out of water has only one chance of survival on its own -- to flop around until it gets back to the water.

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  • Regular Member

I always catch my fish with my hand, and do so very quickly before they know what's coming. If I fail and they become aware of what's going on, it gets incredibly difficult.

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Hi guys. Thanks for all the replies. They were very useful. So I did a waterchsnge yesterday and because at the moment I can't connect my python to the tap, I filled it with buckets. I didn't want the sand to blow into my fishies faces so I caught them. I did the herding them into a corner and plastic container thing. Still wasn't easy. I think my plastic container was too big and so they were able to escape by the sides. I did catch them in the end though. Had a bowl ready and moved them by hand. I also weighed them.

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I think an easy solution to your sand-blowing problem is placing a large plate or rock in your tank and pouring the water over that.

Singletails are hard to catch, I know. Smaller fish are so much harder to catch. I successfully caught my common in a betta cup once, and she outsmarted me every time afterward. :lol3

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Georgia: i actually dis that. the plate thing. But still didn't want to leave them in. Maybe I could have.

Yeah I noticed the suction thing and yet they still managed to escape a couple of times. I was worried that the chasing them might get them hurt :/

Hmm I really would like to get them hand trained.

But I suppose from your answers they will never let themselves be caught easy.

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What I've done before is I've used a plastic colander to scoop them up and then I am able to hold them. Plastic containers are good if u can find deeper ones. I've had fish almost jumped out before. I've also used nets a bit smaller than the fish to kinda guide them into the container if ur having a real hard time

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What I've done over time is just let the fish get used to your hand. Having a hand in the tank should become normal for them hopefully. I do what Jared had said above though many of times. When the water is half way gone due to doing a water change sometimes it's just easier to grab the fish. If I need to get my fish for whatever reason though I just put my hand in the tank until the fish I want comes to my hand (thinking he's getting food) and than before they know it, Wham I got him. ha ha I only need to catch them though if I want to measure them or weigh them.

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That's an excellent plan for fancy goldfish. It won't work with commons/comets.

Edit: Reading that over, it sounds a little rude, but I don't want the OP to get frustrated trying something that will not work. I can catch any of my fancy goldfish in my hands without training them. I can't do that with any of my pond-type goldfish unless I get the water level so low they can't swim away. Even then, unless the fish is smaller than my hand, I can't hold them without using more force than I feel is good for the fish.

Edited by shakaho
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That's an excellent plan for fancy goldfish. It won't work with commons/comets.

Edit: Reading that over, it sounds a little rude, but I don't want the OP to get frustrated trying something that will not work. I can catch any of my fancy goldfish in my hands without training them. I can't do that with any of my pond-type goldfish unless I get the water level so low they can't swim away. Even then, unless the fish is smaller than my hand, I can't hold them without using more force than I feel is good for the fish.

:rofl

This is so true.

The single tails are not amenable to the tricks of the fancy goldfish keeper. :rofl

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That's an excellent plan for fancy goldfish. It won't work with commons/comets.

Edit: Reading that over, it sounds a little rude, but I don't want the OP to get frustrated trying something that will not work. I can catch any of my fancy goldfish in my hands without training them. I can't do that with any of my pond-type goldfish unless I get the water level so low they can't swim away. Even then, unless the fish is smaller than my hand, I can't hold them without using more force than I feel is good for the fish.

Hi Sharon, I'm not sure if this was meant for me but I didn't find it rude of you. You were just direct and to the point. I do appreciate you adding to your comment.. All is good here and you went on to explain. :)

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