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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
im giving away all my Mbuna t(about 20) to my friend and aside from breaking the whole tank down so they have nowhere to hide... its nearly impossible to catch them.. *** taken the tops off and fed them and tried to scoop them out... but it doesnt really work as they kinda wait for the food to drop a little or only the peacocks and haps go to the top... any suggestions?
 

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Yeah. Remove all your rocks and other decorations before trying to catch your fish. It's less time consuming in the long run.
 

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Malawi Mac said:
Yeah. Remove all your rocks and other decorations before trying to catch your fish. It's less time consuming in the long run.
And less stressful for the fish. Two nets are better than one. Use a divider, drain the tank down halfway.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
so basically i should only try to catch them when i do my weekly tank breakdown and water change.... once its broken down its not usually that difficult.. i was just wondering if anyone had any special tricks they use to catch them without breaking the whole tank down... im buying an infrared net from kensfish.com maybe that will help a little....
 

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I saw the "infrared nets" (actually just nets with red netting) in a LFS last spring and purchased one out of curiosity. It would be my experience that the fish must not be able to see the red netting as well as they can see green or blue netting, because they are much easier to catch. I was so pleased that I went back to that LFS store and purchased multiple red nets in a variety of sizes. I recommend them highly.
 

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No matter what I try I end up removing all rocks. So now I just go with it.
 

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I use 2 nets and/or larger nets. As mentioned , move some rocks.
 

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I use the cut, 2 liter bottle method when I need to catch a fish or two. You can find it in the library here. Patience is definitely in order with this method, however.

Since you need to catch them all, I agree with previous posters......drain the water down low and get 'em!
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
lol not them all.... i have like 40something fish in there.... i gota catch another 14 i think.. i gota do it slow anyways as to not spike his ammonias his gota new tank... i used a sponge from my other tank in there thou...whats the 2 liter bottle method?
 

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My fellow members the safest way to capture fish is when there sleeping try late night around 1am or 2am.
 

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Been there, done that. First in my mbuna tank there is not that much substrate. Second, I seem to be unable to ID the particular fish I want in the few brief moments before they awaken too much to be caught.

My best trick is this. Aquascape the tank so that the rock piles are either separate or are easy to separate by removing a rock or two. When the water is drained during a water change, shoo the fish to one end of the tank and insert a divider to isolate the rock pile on the end.

Remove that one rock pile. Net the fish, two nets are essential. Reassemble and refill the tank.
 

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Has anyone tried catching them in the dark, using a red torch or head-lamp to see by? Some fish can't see red light as well as blue or white. I don't have too much trouble when all the rocks are gone and I use two big nets (i do it in the day).
 

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Yes. What I am saying is I can catch them then. But I cannot see them from all the right angles quickly enough to determine which fish exactly I want to catch. Say it's a holding female and I need to see her jaw. So...by the time I find the right fish they are all wide awake and I've lost the advantage.
 

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Have you guys ever heard of/ tried the clear plastic bag method? When I stared fifteen years ago, that was the way you caught your fish. Basically, you use a clear plastic bag (sandwich bag, butcher bag) to catch your fish, in stead of a net. They don't see the clear plastic bag, and they're pretty used to your hands moving around anyway, so there really isn't ever a chase. Of course, you do have a fish in a bag full of water at the end, but that is rarely a crisis, since they end up in water anyway - just like with new fish, minus the yucky LFS water.

I must add though, that I've never done this with Malawis (although that time will surely come), but it works a treat with South American fish.
 

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I'll agree with DJ on this one.

I've tried the night time thing as well and can't determine the right fish sometimes. Plus mine are usually sleeping in the rocks, so then you have to coax them out as well. Also, trying to hold a net and a flashlight isn't too simple!

I've also tried a laser pointer to get them to chase it and net them, strike 2!

What I did was make a screen out of 4 pieces of needle point mesh. I tied them together with fishing line and cut it slightly bigger than the inside dimensions of my 125. Then I edged it with some plastic tubing and put a piece of aluminum welding wire down through the tubing. This way, it's flexible enough to put into the tank and open up. Then I get the fish I want into a separate rock pile, and insert the screen to isolate that area of the tank. I make sure that it is all the way down and sealed against the sides. The wire helps to hold it in place by pushing it down into the sand. Then remove the rock pile and net the wanted fish.
 

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A high-tech divider, I love it. :thumb:
 
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