Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
kiro

Moving fish around - hands, net, some other way?

Recommended Posts

I've seen a lot of fishkeepers argue about this.

Some say net will harm fish's scales and you should use hands instead.

Others say even clean, wet hands harm fish's slimecoat and that net is your best bet.

Then I see people saying not to touch fish for any reason ever, just catch it into cup etc if you need to move it.

I'm curious what people here think about this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it depends on the fish and where I'm moving them from. To move them from the main tank because its so deep I usually have to use a net to guide them into a container. For WCs in QT I will use my hands to move the fish to and from its holding tub if its calm enough but if not I'll just use the tub to move it. I'll hold them when needed for photos as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kiro,

Personally I'm not a fan of catching fish with bare hands. People who say you can hurt the fish are probably as you may have some soap residue on your hands or what not and there is a chance you can drop the fish as they are quite sleazy creatures. From what I've seen and read this is how most experienced goldfish keepers like Chinese breeeders go about catching goldfish.

I'm absolutely against using net especially with goldfish. They get tangled and rub against the net which can cause all kinds of damage to their body no matter how careful you are. My favourite method of catching is scooping them up. Goldies readily come to the surface expecting food, at least mine do, and it's not all that hard to catch them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally only use my hands to move a goldfish. The slime coat is not going to be harmed unless you hold the fish too tightly or use dry hands to pick it up. When picking up a goldfish, you hold it with two hands and transfer it as quickly as possible. To protect against any residues, wash your hands before handling the goldfish. Don't use regular household soaps, use vinegar or just use the hottest water your hands can stand. If you feel you need to use soap, use castille soap, which won't cause any toxic residue. 

 

Using a net almost guarantees you are going to injure your fish. A net's surface is quite rough, contains holes that the fish's fins and spines can get caught in, and doesn't provide as much protection from jumping if they aren't tangled in it. Even koi keepers do not use traditional nets, but use koi socks and/or flat nets to scoop koi into dishes to move them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to handle Googs every day and using my wet bare hands is the quickest and kindest for him. Like Chelsea said, I use really hot water and rub them together quite hard. I then use a clean towel to rub them dry to make sure any last residue of any moisturiser etc has gone, before I put my hands in the tank. It's good to know about the vinegar and Castille soap, as sometimes psychologically I wonder if they are clean enough, but they probably are

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know of no evidence that catching fish with the fine mesh nets that one uses on goldfish can harm them.  Angler's nets can damage fish and I think the belief that nets harm fish comes from this.  Koi  people use nets and have specific types of nets for catching and transporting.  Koi shows often forbid handling fish with anything other than nets used by a trained netting team.

 

Fancy goldfish can be caught and moved with the hands without damage since the short, thick body allows cradling the fish securely in your hands.  However, an active, strong, slimy fancy goldfish can still escape your hands.  We have had a case of a fancy slipping from the hands, dropping to the floor and losing an eye.  The best way to move a fancy goldfish is to catch it in a container and move it in water.  A net can help "herd" the fish into the container.  

 

Long-bodied goldfish have a streamlined body that can slide out of hands unless they are gripped tightly enough to risk damage.  I have removed small fish from the bucket I carried them in and put them in the destination pond using my hands, but once one slid out and landed on the concrete so now I stick to netting if I can't just dump the bucket into the pond.  Catching most long-bodied fish in a container usually requires herding them into a small area first, not too hard in an aquarium, but a two-person job in even a small container pond.  I strongly recommend nets over hands with these fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm moving them a short distance or pulling them up inside the tank to check them out, I use my hands. If I'm walking with them or moving them further I use hands or a net and put them in a little bowl of water to transport them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually will use my hand to guide a fish into a container and transfer them to a five gallon bucket. I'll use my hands to put them back in the tank or to weigh them.

When I use my hands for handling I rinse my hands in very, very hot water and no soap and then I am very patient. I'll softly handle them till they calm down in my hands. Then I will gently but quickly move them.

I've never had anyone get hurt handling them with my hands. I've had fish bump scales off running from the container in the tank but I've never had them get hurt from being handled with my hands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know of no evidence that catching fish with the fine mesh nets that one uses on goldfish can harm them.  Angler's nets can damage fish and I think the belief that nets harm fish comes from this.  Koi  people use nets and have specific types of nets for catching and transporting.  Koi shows often forbid handling fish with anything other than nets used by a trained netting team.

 

Fancy goldfish can be caught and moved with the hands without damage since the short, thick body allows cradling the fish securely in your hands.  However, an active, strong, slimy fancy goldfish can still escape your hands.  We have had a case of a fancy slipping from the hands, dropping to the floor and losing an eye.  The best way to move a fancy goldfish is to catch it in a container and move it in water.  A net can help "herd" the fish into the container.  

 

Long-bodied goldfish have a streamlined body that can slide out of hands unless they are gripped tightly enough to risk damage.  I have removed small fish from the bucket I carried them in and put them in the destination pond using my hands, but once one slid out and landed on the concrete so now I stick to netting if I can't just dump the bucket into the pond.  Catching most long-bodied fish in a container usually requires herding them into a small area first, not too hard in an aquarium, but a two-person job in even a small container pond.  I strongly recommend nets over hands with these fish.

As far as the fine mesh nets go, they are a magnet for the fish spines since there is no room for the spine to slip in and out. It's a lot like getting a run or snag in a pair of nylons. No matter how little you tug, once you've gotten stuck on something your nylon is done for. :( I know of several instances where a fish has been caught in a fine mesh net and the net had to be cut off of the fish, for more than just goldfish. I am sure that there are a few cases on here as well of this happening, but I am unable for the life of me to find photos of it. (of course) 

The times that I have seen koi netted, I have only ever seen them using the socks and the flat nets (pool skimmer-looking things) and not a traditionally-shaped net. One of the men even used a show container instead, and herded the fish into the container with a flat net. That was at Apol's Water Gardens up here where they breed koi. It was pretty neat to see how delicately they would handle the giant fish.

 

My personal theory of why goldfish are said to be harmed by nets is based on the idea of using traditionally-shaped nets. We've all seen how a fish can thrash. Just think of how someone could get caught in a wet blanket in water. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The koi nets are great for koi, but you can't catch a goldfish with them.  Some guys tried at one of the koi club meetings.  They wanted to use a goldfish to demonstrate a scrape and scope.  I looked at the net and said,  "You can't catch a goldfish with that."  They assured me they knew how to do it.  The technique they used with koi was to put the net under the water and toss some food on the water above the net.  Then they gently raised the net until the koi was trapped, then slipped it in a sock net for moving.  

So they put the net in the water and the goldfish all left.  This was a large (~ 20' x 40') shallow pond with at least a hundred goldfish, but not a one was visible once the net went in the water.  They threw in food.  No goldfish appeared.  They moved to another part of the pond and tried tastier food -- no goldfish.  They spent 45 minutes trying to catch a goldfish -- any goldfish. I did my best to keep from chuckling each time I came to see how they were doing.   Finally they caught a mosquito fish and tried to scrape that.  Nobody saw anything through the scope, LOL.  Even if they had succeeded in getting the net under a goldfish and trapping it, the fish would have flipped out of the net.

 

I can't imagine how one could catch a pond goldfish in a net that was big enough for them to get tangled in it.  The larger the net, the slower you can move it through the water and I move very slowly.  A net that is small enough for me to catch a fish has the fish curved somewhat more than this ) .  My fish don't thrash once the net is out of the water and I immediately slip them into a bucket with water to carry them.  

 

I don't move my fish unless necessary, so I probably have not netted fish more than a hundred times.  Maybe it takes 200 times to injure a fish.  :idont  If so, it doesn't seem very risky, but your experience may differ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use my hands. In the pond I use a butterfly net.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pfft. Yeah, a flat net and a goldfish sounds like a lot of laughing to me! I am surprised every time I see people play that goldfish-catching game that's popular at japanese festivals. It just seems so hard!

 

As far as the fish getting caught goes, you don't need a big net to get a fish tangled. It just has to be loose enough. Think of the common blue fine mesh nets you see in pet stores. If a fish were to move around too much in that with their dorsal up, you could definitely see them getting snagged just from their dorsal puncturing the net. It doesn't have to be all tangled up to not be able to get out. I've never had a fish react by being still when it was netted. Not even my fry, and every once in awhile I might catch them on accident when I herd them into the corner with a brine shrimp net to move them from the tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just use a pitcher to move mine, like a big gallon plastic pitcher. I just put it in the tank and they swim right in, and then I pour them gently into wherever I need them to be. I have two super docile fish, though, so they don't run away in fear or anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use large Pyrex measuring cups to move my fish. They are 4 cups to 8 cups big. I like the handle, but the larger measuring cup is heavy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use my hands to catch them, but immediately put them into a bowl of water to carry them anywhere.  They're only in my hands and out of the water for a second or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a pool skimmer to catch my pond fish to transfer them to buckets. It's only done twice a year to change ponds. We don't seem to have an issue doing it this way. The bigger ones I transfer with hands but the bucket is in the water so if they do thrash out the just land in water. It's only the juveniles that get excited out of water. I'm also transferring in rather cold water so maybe that helps prevent it :idont

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a special fish-only tupperware and use my hand (depending on the situation) to put them back into the tank after a bath or whatever and don't want the holding water to go back into the main tank. Otherwise I just let them swim out. I hold the tupperware over the top of the tank, though, in case they get extra wiggly. My fish are too fast to be caught with hands alone and can hurt themselves in the pursuit. I think transferring them in water, if possible, keeps them the calmest. The tupperware is small (the fish are small), but I usually have a 4 gallon bucket waiting for them that has a good deal of surface area. As an aside, I say that a bucket is "usually" waiting since I've had to put one of my fish in time-out a few times for about 3-5 minutes while she looked at the big tank. It was surprisingly effective at stopping bullying... anyway, off topic.

 

I used to use a glass Pyrex but then Duchess tried to swim through it at top speed and bonked her head pretty hard, poor thing. 

 

I wash my hands with unscented castile soap up to my elbows whenever I put them in the tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Pyrex bowl that I use to move my fish out of their tank when I do water changes and I put them back into the tank the same way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
  • Create New...