Help us serve you better. Take a five minute survey. Click here!



Archived message board.

How to catch my pleco????????????

Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: General message area: How to catch my pleco????????????


Monday, March 18, 2002 - 12:32 pm
I am hoping to get a new tank soon ad allthough i will rest it and all i am looking to the future. I want to put my pleco in it cos he has kind of outgrown his. Anyway he is really timid (he swims away when i go near the tank.He goes crazy when i put anything in the tank like when i thought he was dead and put the net in. There is a big piece of wood in the tank and he goes under it. He went mad when the pet shop person got him out. I don't want to hurt him. Any ideas anyone?



Monday, March 18, 2002 - 04:22 pm
Yes, a few ideas:

(1) Don't put it in a new tank. They like established tanks with algae for tehm to eat (at least 6 months, according to the web gurus.)
(2) I would pick up the big piece of wood and try to net him as he comes off the bottom. That's what I would do, but some People who handle plecos often actualy pick them up by hand. My friend who owns many expensive, exotic plecos swears this does not stress them out. Others on this site may argue this point, as it does sound dubious. He picks them up behind their head and above their first set of fins on the side.



Monday, March 18, 2002 - 04:33 pm
He's a bit big for his tank at the moment and i don't think i could pick him up by hand i'de probably drop him. I'm a bit screamish



Monday, March 18, 2002 - 05:06 pm
Try this. Turn off the lights and cover the tank for about 1 hour. Then uncover the tank and turn the light on. This will stun the fish for a few minutes and are pretty easy to catch. That is how I catch a hard to catch fish.



Monday, March 18, 2002 - 06:11 pm
I remove most of my decor and sometimes use a tank divider to chase them into one area. Then I have hubby net them out. I'm with you liz and would probably scream if I had to grab a large catfish by hand!



Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 01:05 pm
I've never had too much trouble catching any of my plecos...they are kind of fun to pick up and chase people around with...well, I've never tried, but I bet you could really get a scream out of some people...especially the next time the girl scouts come around selling cookies.

As far as catching the pleco, buy a larger net if yours is small. Without knowing the size of the pleco, I'd say to get at least a 6 inch net to chase him with. When I set up my first tank, it came with about a 2 or 3 inch net, which made catching my fish (even in a 10 gallon) nearly impossible. What I finally did, since I was moving the tank anyway, was drain just about all of the water out and leave a couple decorations in that sort of trapped them in a corner. Trust me, a $4 or $5 investment in a bigger net will save literally hours of frustration

With plecos, I can usually chase them up onto the glass. Once they're on the glass, just put the net over them, and he's trapped. Sometimes, the fish will swim into the net by himself, other times, I'll grab him through the net, and that usually gets him swimming. Sometimes, a quick upward sweep with the net will get the pleco if he's trapped between the net and the glass.

Going after him shortly after the lights have been turned on will probably prove fairly effective. On some occasions, I've been able to pick up a piece of driftwood, with the pleco still attached, and put the net below him. Raise the wood or whatever the decoration may be up and out of the water, and the pleco will fall into the net.



Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 02:28 pm
Thanks alot everyone. It should be a lot less stress free for me and him. I'll get a bigger net and try some of your ideas


Karen McCollam

Sunday, March 24, 2002 - 02:49 am
Hey Liz,

I just had to take my very large pleco out of the tank today and he thrashes if you startle him so I put a large--like a Big Gulp plastic cup in the tank and nudged him into that with the net.

the reason I don't like a net for the Pleco and my Pictus cats is some of their fins are very sharp and can get stuck in the netting. That happened with one of the pictus cats today and I had to cut the net off its fin--and now looking in the tank I realize I will have to catch him because there is still a tiny piece of netting stuck to him!

I have handled my Plecos before--they prefer the cup --and sometimes the fins are sharp--and can poke your hand a little--if the fish thrashes it might hurt. I think my pictus cats would cut the skin but I am not going to find out.

Use a cup or tupperware or something --push the pleco in the cup with the net. (:

good luck


Bryan Starbuck

Monday, March 25, 2002 - 02:16 pm
I use karen's technique when I need to move hard to catch fish - convict cichlids and clown loaches in my case. I have a couple of old pickle jars. Chase them into one and then transfer. In my experience it is very unstressful for the fish. They don't even seem to realize anything is going on until you dump them in the new tank. ~Bryan


Navigation panel.