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removing plecos from tank

I like to corral plecos into a pint container (beer glass, yogurt
container, terra cotta pot) that's laid on its side, slightly settled into
the gravel, positioned next to the front aquarium glass.  If you can get
the pleco out of hiding, gently guide his waddling form to the front glass.
Don't scare him too much or he'll freak out and you won't be able to get
him to go anywhere predictable.  If he stays on the substrate and follows
the aquarium glass, he may willingly enter the container trap.   Once
inside, block the opening with the net.  DONE!  (Oh, yeah, repeat for
multiple plecos!)  It may be possible to bait the container with algae
tablet or zucchini, but you may have to wait awhile for the pleco to be
lured in.  Another option is to try using two nets, using the first to
guide him into the second net that's set along the glass.  Ambidexterity
helps here.  (IMO the solid container is more secure for them, and since
it's full of water, it reduces the wild thrashing they exhibit in the net
and is also less damaging to fins.)
	Trying to catch a pleco with one net is stressful for both the fish
and the person.  Not to mention a flailing net wreaks havoc on your plants.

-Carmen Robinett

>Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 21:55:32 -0600 (MDT)
>From: "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill at rt66_com>
>Subject: Removing clown plecos from a plant tank
>Does anyone have suggestions on how to catch clown plecos in a heavily
>planted tank?  I prefer solutions that fall short of dynamiting the tank
>and then picking them up off the floor.
>Roger Miller

Carmen C. Robinett, Ph.D.
Dept. of Molecular and Cell Biology
401 Barker Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-3202
(510) 642-5971
FAX (510) 642-7846