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Fry catching?

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On 10/19/2021 at 9:33 PM, Kyle C said:

As my first spawn are growing out I've been wondering what's the best way to fish these little guys out? They are roughly 3 months old but I am not trying to destroy this tank to catch them all... any tips or tricks to catching 30 1-inch apistogramma fry?

Fish trap.  But it needs to be checked and emptied frequently.  Also using a hand or small net to herd them into a large net.  Can also feed them in the large net then swoop them up (will work for at least a few).

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While netting fish, I find it helps to leave the net in the tank, sitting on the substrate toward the back. I wait till the fish don't care about it, then lock eyes on one, and slowly move the net toward it. I find it really helps to stay focused on the one specific fish and move slowly. 

It seems that when I targeted a group and moved the net fast, I was just giving them plenty of time and practice to learn how to avoid the net. 

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I’ve started to make my own fry traps. It’s not a perfect system but it does work to an extent!


In my case, I’m using the trap to sort as well as trap the fry, so the holes at the bottom are big enough that the smaller fry can escape, but the larger fry cannot.

I left it in there for about an hour, then took the fish out and repeated the process. You won’t necessarily catch all the fry, but I caught a LOT more this way with a LOT less effort than it would have taken with a net.

The top of the bottle is just inverted—not glued or anything. That way it’s easy to take off when I need to get the fry out.

I used a soldering iron to make the holes, and a little file to smooth them down as much as possible.

I’m sure someone will come along with the tip of using a flashlight to catch them in the dark. They’re sleepy and the bright light blinds them for a moment. I’ve never tried it but I’ve seen others here recommend it!


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