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Catch a Loach

Posted By: Anne <anne.webel@sg.cec.be>
Date: Thursday, 25 February 1999, at 6:14 a.m.

Some time back on this forum, there was a discussion on how to catch Loaches; in the final analysis it wasn't easy and no method had much visible success. Now in my Aqua'Plaisir (French Magazine) one of the authors put forward a simple method for trapping his mbuna fry. I tried it out on the yoyos in my aquarium and met with almost instant success.

Take any plastic drinks bottle (eg water). Cut off the top quarter, unscrewing the lid. Put several small holes in the bottom 3/4 and add some gravel or sand to give it weight. Now reverse the top quarter and place it into the bottom 3/4 with the neck portion pointing towards the closed end, to form a shape similar to a lobster pot.

Two points are important: the fish must be able to pass through the neck size of the bottle. The half length of the bottle must be at least as long as the length of the fish.

The author suggested starving the fish for a day or two, then placing favourite food into the trap and putting the trap at or near where the fish usually hang out. I tried it out without starving (loaches are always hungry anyway), and placed the bottle near the rock where they tend to hang out. Ten minutes later, I had captured my first YoYo. I repeated the process and actually managed to get all the fish in the end, although the last was also the cleverest and got out several times. (A couple of other fishes also managed to get themselves in it, so better watch out.)

Happy hunting.

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