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Plecos are very hard to catch...

seangee

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Colin, what up man ? I thought everybody knew that trick. The aquarium and fish keeping hobby seems to be experiencing the same lack of basic expertise as every other area of society in general.
Please come and teach that one to the staff in my LFS (especially the weekend staff). They seem to think the trick is waving the net around very fast in the hope that they are faster than the fish. I have had to shoo them away a couple of times so I could catch my own fish.

Top tip: (At least it works for me). Ask for the fish using the binomial name. For example
Me: I'd like some guppies please
LFS staff: Sure, I'll just grab a net

Compared to
Me: I'd like to speak to someone about getting some poecilia reticulata
LFS staff: Errrrm, please wait a minute. I'll just get the manager :fish:
 
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And when catching a pleco, you have to avoid injuring it as you trap it against the side wall or filter or heater . When I trapped mine against the wall, his barbells got caught in the net as he tried to swim away, and made taking him out a bit easier.

Catching him was a bear, to say it nicely....I didn't say such a nice word when he kept getting away though.
 
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Deanasue

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When my plecos were young, one got into the filter media. That was fun to get him out of without hurting him. He was stuck in the media and I was getting stuck by him. We were both glad when that was over with! He never tried that again.
 
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Next time I need to catch him, I'll ask my Asian Fisherman to catch him for me. EZ PZ.
 
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Plecos are harder to catch than most fish because they don't swim in the open much, but jump from surface to surface staying close to the tank wall. If you have driftwood, they will hide under it. I had to remove everything in the tank except the heater and filter in order to be able to see him at all.
 

Jan Cavalieri

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I just finished writing a comment that included the fact that Pleco's are ridiculously hard fish to catch. So are my two loaches. Catching them in their cave doesn't work if you're like me and sleep too late to catch them in their cave, in fact my two currently have no cave and sleep behind the filter input tube which I can't get behind with a net and even putting one on each side - you need 3 to cover the bottom. The one time I decided to move them I had to take everything out of the tank, decorations, caves, foliage and even some of the bigger fish that kept getting in the way. It still took about an hour to catch them. My plan was to move them between tanks as they cleared off the algae but instead I just bought some more of them. Much easier.
 

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For anyone wanting to catch loaches or suckermouth catfish. Get some pvc pipe that is big enough for the fish to swim into. Have the pipe about 6-8 inches long. Put an end cap on one end and put the pipe in the tank. The fish swim into the pipe and you stick a net over it they are caught.
 
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seangee

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For my BN
  • Place a shrimp pellet into a net
  • Lay the net on the tank floor
  • Wait 2 minutes
  • Lift the net
Job done. Its a few years since I had to do this but in my case there was an optional part 2:
  • Catch the pepper corys that hitched a ride
  • put them back in the original tank.
This probably doesn't apply to all corys, my sterbai are little rascals about being caught, but the peppers will happily swim into the net just to see what is going on.
 
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I even tried dropping a wager in the tank and rested the net just above the wager....he did not come out to get his wafer as he usually wood....He must have suspected I was planning on netting him. Plecos are failry intelligent in my opinion.
 
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