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Tips on Showing Fish

by Don 'Z-Man' Zilliox

ACA 2003.Have you ever walked through a fish show and said, "I have fish at home that could have taken this class!"? Well maybe so but a lot of entrants put a lot of work into their entries so they just didn't happen to look that good. If you are interested in showing prize fish, here are a few helpful hints.

The fish you want to show must first conditioned with the correct foods to bring out the best color and finnage. Lots of meaty live foods and flakes food rich in carotene should do nicely. One trick used by at least one who has won many trophies is to shine a flashlight into the tank as the fish are being fed daily. This way the fish will associated the light with feeding time. Why? So when the judges shine their lights into the show tank your fish will dart to the front of the tank expecting to be fed and display their very best to the judges. I know this sounds silly but if you carry a clipboard along just like the judges do, that won't hurt either. This way your fish won't hide in the corner of the tank while the judging is in progress.

Read the show rules carefully! Use a small sponge filter to keep the water clean if one is allowed. Those sold for goldfish bowls are just Amp. citrinellum.the right size. If a background is allowed, use one. Usually a blue, green or black one will contrast with your fish. Try lots of different colors at home until you find one that shows you fish to its best advantage. Some shows even allow you to put in your fish's favorite clay flowerpot to make him or her comfortable. Some shows supply the tanks but if you must take your own, don't use one that is too large. Use the smallest size possible to make your fish look large but not cramped

Your show supply box should contain the following: fish net, siphon hose, a few feet of airline tubing, plastic wrap to cover the tank, tape to hold down the covering, cloth or paper towels, pail, sharp knife or a pair of scissors, air stones, sponge filters and colored tank backing (if allowed), extra fish bags & rubber bands. You probably won't have to buy all this as mostly likely it is already part of your fish room but you will need it all at the show site.

At least 36 hours before the show day, stop feeding the fish you are planning to take with you. This will give them enough time to clear their bodies of waste material so your show tank stays clean. When bagging Aul. baenschimy fish I always siphon the water from the tank through a brine shrimp net to keep any floating debris from getting into their transport bag. When trying to capture the fish it is best to coax them into a plastic bag rather than risking fin damage using a net. Next, filter some more water into another bag or pail and upon arrival at the show location, transfer your fish from the now cloudy water they are in due to more waste debris to the clean extra water. It's a good idea to have the air stone or filter running before even thinking of placing the fish in the tank and run you hand or net along the inside walls of the tank to remove any tiny bubbles that have accumulated.

After releasing your fish, cover the tank so your prize doesn't get out and wipe the front of the tank clean of all water and spots. Then just sit back and wait for your name to be announced as the winner in your class! □

 

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