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When I was out of town for 3 weeks my firemouths breed. Now I have 4 adult firemouths and alot of free swimmers in my 75. The parents are no longer trying to keep them corralled. So I'd like to pull the little ones but its next to impossible to catch them all, or even most. any ideas on fry/ juvenile catching.
The tank has a gravel substrate makes it harder
 

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Siphon them out.
Get the siphon going into a 5 gal. pail and quickly move the siphon into the area of of the fry. Sometimes it takes no more then a few seconds to get them all, or just about all of them, especially if the mother has gathered them into a compact shoal.
If the fry are much older, say 6 weeks or more, then a siphon won't work well as each individual fry will run away from the hose. Then you'll need to net them out which is often not that easy at all.
 

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Unfortunately, there is sort of an in between size or stage. Too big and agile for a siphon and too small to easily catch with a net. Larger substrate can make it a lot tougher to catch with a net as the fry can use it to hide or escape.
You may just have to wait until the fry are a little larger. Drain the tank down and remove what decor you can. Planted tanks, it's not always practical or possible to remove all of the decor.
Somebody else might have an idea on some kind of trick or trap(?) A container with some food in it that will draw the fry into it and then can be removed with the fry inside. Heard of such things but never used it nor ever had a need for it. All my tanks are bare bottom. Been over a dozen years since I've used substrate, so there's no fish i wouldn't be able to easily catch simply by draining the tank down and removing decor.
 

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Sirdavid;

A single net or vac hose is fairly easy for them to evade/escape from...after removing as many of the decorations as possible, I would try the two handed technique...two nets or a net herding them to the vac tube...Good Hunting!
 
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