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I spent about an hour yesterday catching a holding female. I ended up having to remove all te rocks to get her too. It was my first time stripping fry, and I think I didnt get them all out. I want to catch her gain and strip the remaining...but i dont want to spend all day catching her again. Anyone have any tips? She is about 4"
 

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get up early in the morning before daylight and turn on the light and get her before she comes out of her sleep.
 

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Practise (and get used to removing and replacing the decor). Sorry, but if we're talking rock-dwelling fish, no magic solutions, and I've tried a number of the ones that are supposed to work. "Nab'em while they're sleeping" - well they sleep in nooks and crannies where the net won't go, and don't take that long to wake up when they sense you're after them, ime. "Pop bottle trap" only seems to catch the fish I don't want to catch. The ones you want to catch always seem to be more weary because in their condition (holding, sick, injured) they feel more vulnerable. I supposed there may be more elaborate traps to try, but these are very wiley fish!

Actually here're some things I do to reduce the frustration involved. Try to time it with a water change (catching fish in a half full tank is much easier). Remove the decor from one end of the tank to create an open area. Use two nets, one in each hand, and try to chase the fish into one net with the other, or failing that use both to chase it out of the rockwork into the open end, then use the two nets to catch it. I use two different size nets and use the smaller one to chase the fish into the larger one.

If you anticipate needing to do this often you can rig up something re-usable the right size to divide the tank with, at least half-way up. A leftover piece of eggcrate can work, for instance. Put it in after you've lowered the water level, then you only have half the tank to catch the fish in.

Good luck with it.
 
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I try to lure the female to one side of the tank during feeding or chase her to the other side with a side, then use egg crate to make the tank smaller. Usually she is too confused as to why she can't fit through the egg crate holes that I can easily scoop her up.
 

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I leave a large net in my tank for several days eventually I get the female or target fish but not always
 

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You gotta wake them up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning. Hopefully she'll be just lounging around somewhere easy for you to get at her but if she'd hidden in the rocks you gotta get her to move out somehow. She'll still be disorientated enough so that you can grab her easily. I just had to do that last night
 

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I agree with Afishionado. Every time I need a specific fish I use two nets, unless it's catfish, then I just throw some food into a net and drop it in. They head straight for the net to get the food and presto, catfish in a net.
 

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I also use blood worms it drives the fish nuts and they swim right into nets (don't feed blood worms regularly too rich) but it won't work with holding females.
If you do the night thing use a flashlight in the front with a net behind it seems to blind them for an easy catch.
 
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