Here's a device we can relate to. How many times have you had to dissect an entire aquascape or pull a reef to tatters to catch a single aggressive or sick fish? For me the answer is 'lots', says Nathan Hill.
The concept needs explaining. It’s a plastic box with a trapdoor you control with a length of line. You place it into the aquarium, slip some food into the open compartment and sit and wait for the fish to swim inside before dropping the door.
Of course it never runs that smoothly, as there’s always the bold fish you don’t want to catch who snaffles all the food and leaves swiftly, compounded by the fact that the one fish you want seems too clever to fall for it.
However, it’s still a quadrillion times easier to use than tearing the tank apart!
The packaging details recommend catching your fish at evening time after a day of fasting and although I used to do this with home-made fish traps back in the day my own selection of fish seemed to wander in and out at their leisure.
What I love about this model is the way the door does exactly as it claims. Traditionally I’ve been plagued with designs where the trap seizes or fails to drop sufficiently fast, but the sliding rails either side of the door are superb: snag and kink free.
Note the breathing holes cut into the door and top. These are easy enough to blank off if needed, but if trying to catch small fish don’t be surprised if they come back out of an un-blanked exit.
Also, remember to angle and drain some water out of the thing through the holes before lifting the trap straight out of the tank, otherwise you’ll get well and truly soaked.
A fish trap that works! You’ll need to be patient, but then you’d need to be even more patient if sat there trying to catch fish with a net. This’ll make my life a lot easier in the densely decorated tanks I’m planning. The price is a little high, though.
Price: RRP £18.99; available through ALF.
Why not take out a subscription to Practical Fishkeeping magazine? See our latest subscription offer.