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Old 12/17/2007, 09:08 AM
FishTri FishTri is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Delaware County, PA
Posts: 335
Gentlest way to handle/transfer fish

I'm looking for a way to take a fish out of a tank, move to a fresh water/formalin dip, rinse, then move the fish back to the quarantine tank - all without having to net the fish.

Catching him is easy. I can just coral him into a submerged specimen container and lift the container and fish out of the water.

Then I could pour most of the water out and add fresh water (temp/ph adjusted). When the flukes fall off, I'd like to get the fish out of the fresh water into another container for a quick rinse, then back into the quarantine.

I'd prefer not to use a net.

Can it be done?
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Old 12/17/2007, 11:13 AM
fishyvet fishyvet is offline
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Location: Gainesville FL
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You could try to scoop the fish with a collunder I guess. A net isn't all that bad for a fish assuming its of proper size and material. You could look into getting a koi sock net which are very well made but also expensive. For moving a fish from one container to the next, I think a net would be the safest way to move the fish
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Old 12/17/2007, 02:46 PM
lesleybird lesleybird is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 44
Hi, If you are careful you can get him into a smaller plastic container or a small plastic bucket and hold it over the tank that you plan to put him into and gently pick or scoop him into a hand and then into the other tank. It helps to have someone else to hold the container over the tank water while you gently scoop him up with your hand or hands. Do not squeeze the fish but try to cup him in your hand just long enough to plop him into the tank. I do this all the time with my fish and am good at it. I do not like to net my large angelfish as their gills usually get caught in the net. Lesley
Old 12/17/2007, 04:36 PM
snorvich snorvich is offline
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Location: Barrington, Illinois
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Good advice above.
Warmest regards,

Old 12/17/2007, 06:59 PM
marc price marc price is offline
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for a small fish, wegmans sells a berry washer holder/container. it has a removable inner 8.25" X 3"d. colander with small bottom holes and radial slits and a bowl which it fits inside of.
i wouldn't use a net. the first formalin dip i performed was on a 5" butterflyfish. it stuck to the net because of the formalin stripping it's layer of mucous. i had to peel it off the net. it did survive the ordeal however after that i've used two plastic containers, drilling small holes in the designated inner one similar to the above product. works best with three containers, minimizing transition time from saltwater to dip and back to saltwater allowing for a final rinse prior to it's return to the holding tank.
remember to areate the water prior to the dip.
formalin is composed of 37% formaldehyde gas in a h20/methanol solution, good aeration allows most of the methanol to go out of solution.
keep an airstone going durring the dip too.
when a dip would be too stressful (or if it didn't work), i use 1 ml.(20 drops)/gallon h20 in the treatment tank. iv'e used it in conjunction with copper sulfate for bad cases of ick.
use caution formalin's a known carcinogen.
*if a white sediment (paraformaldehyde) is in the bottle dispose of it and get a new batch.
Old 12/17/2007, 08:04 PM
FishTri FishTri is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Delaware County, PA
Posts: 335

You are the man. I've been thinking of the colander concept for a while now. Thanks for blazing the trail.

I think I'll grab a handful of inexpensive "Gladware" containers and start drilling.
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Old 12/17/2007, 09:04 PM
Macimage Macimage is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Quartz Hill, CA
Posts: 1,155
I got a three set of plastic colanders with long handles at the dollar store or Walmart. They are small, medium and large. They have small holes all over the bottom and up the sides and I use them to move all my fish.


Last edited by Macimage; 12/17/2007 at 09:16 PM.

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