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How Do You Catch a Damselfish? (From a Fish Tank)

Trying to catch a damselfish in a tank is no easy feat. These fish are very fast and can dart in and out of artificial plants, rocks, and other decorations to avoid capture. So, if you need to remove a damsel from your aquarium, what should you do?

The best way to remove a damselfish from a saltwater tank is to use food as bait. Place a net with a frozen meat cube directly into the aquarium. Watch and wait for you damsel to swim into the net to feed and then scoop it out as quickly as possible before it has time to flee.

Now that you know the best way to catch a damselfish in an aquarium, let’s explore this idea further. I’ll outline step-by-step how to get capture your damsel using the food and net trick as well as explain other possible ways to go about it should this method not work.

So, if you’re ready to learn more about capturing the elusive, fast-moving damselfish, then let’s get to it!

Why is it so Hard to Catch a Damselfish in an Aquarium?

Damselfish are very fast swimmers. They can dart behind and between decorations in a tank with ease. This makes them highly difficult to catch. Their speed and agility are only matched by their aggression and territoriality when in captivity.

How do You Catch a Damselfish in an Aquarium?

There are few different ways to catch a damselfish in an aquarium. The typical method is to place a net in the tank and put food inside of it. Eventually, the damsel will get hungry and enter the net to feed. You’ll have to be observant and quick, removing the net with the damsel as soon as it swims inside.

Yet another way to catch a damselfish in an aquarium is to place a tall, clear glass into the tank and position it on its side along the substrate. Use your net to ‘chase’ the damsel towards (and into) the glass. Once inside, remove the glass and the damsel as quickly as possible.

If you have an aquascape tank with artificial plants or a reef tank set-up with coral/live rock, you’ll need to remove as much of the decoration as possible before trying to catch your damsel. This will eliminate the number of hiding places, making it easier to catch the fish while swimming out in the open.

Another trick to catching a damselfish in an aquarium is to do so at night. In the dark, the fish’s vision is impaired, so it won’t be able to see the net as well. Turn off the aquarium night (or blue) light and use 2 nets – one in front of the fish and the other behind it and scoop it out.

If you need to catch your damselfish during the day, try putting a blanket over the tank with the light off. Leave it that way for an hour and then turn the lights back on. The fish will be confused by the sudden change which should give you enough time to catch it with your net before it can dart away.

cleaning a reef tank

How do You Catch a Damselfish in a Reef Tank?

To catch a damselfish in a reef tank, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Begin by removing as much of the coral or live rock as possible to create more open space and limit the number of hiding places the fish has.
  2. Place some frozen brine shrimp into a net and drop it in the tank.
  3. Wait for the fish to swim into the net to feed and then scoop it out quickly.
  4. If this doesn’t work, try using 2 nets, one in front of the fish and the other behind it, moving them together until the damsel is caught.
  5. Carefully place the fish in a bag with aquarium water or into a separate tank that’s properly set-up and cycled.

How do You Catch a Damselfish in an Aquascape Tank?

To catch a damselfish in an aquascape tank, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Start by removing as many of the artificial plants as you can to create as much open swimming space as possible.
  2. Take a cube of frozen food and place it into a net.
  3. Put the net directly into the water and wait for the fish to swim into it.
  4. Once inside the net, take another net and place it into the water over top of the first net to prevent the fish from darting out.
  5. Carefully put the fish in a bag filled with acclimated water or place it into a separate aquarium that’s been set-up and cycled in advance.

How to Catch a Damselfish Using the Bait Method?

The bait method is likely the most effective and easy way to catch a damselfish in an aquarium. To do so, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Buy some shrimp (brine or mysis) and freeze it into cubes.
  2. Take a net and place the frozen food inside of it.
  3. Place the net with the food directly into the tank.
  4. Wait for you fish to swim into the net to eat and then scoop it out as quickly as possible.
  5. Place the fish in a bag of aquarium water or into a separate tank with the proper parameters to house damselfish.

If you’re having trouble catching your fish using this method, try feeding it only once (rather than twice) a day with smaller than usual amounts. This will increase your pet’s appetite and it’ll be more willing to swim into the net to feast.

How to Catch a Damselfish Using the Glass Method?

The glass method is another handy way of catching damselfish in an aquarium. If you’ve tried the bait method and it just doesn’t seem to work no matter what you do, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Begin by removing as many artificial plants, rocks, and other decorations as possible.
  2. Take a clear, tall glass and place it horizontally along the bottom of the tank.
  3. Wait for your damselfish to swim into the glass.
  4. Use a net and put it into the tank overtop of the glass.
  5. Slowly put one hand in the tank and gently lift the glass out while holding the net over the it with the other.
  6. Carefully add the fish to a bag of acclimated tank water or put it into another pre-prepared tank.

humbug damsel

Why Would You Need to Catch and Remove a Damselfish from an Aquarium?

The typical reason to catch and remove a damselfish from an aquarium is to protect the other inhabitants. Damselfish are highly territorial and can become very aggressive as they age, especially during the breeding season.

In fact, damselfish have been known to attack other fish, chasing them down and then battering them relentlessly. This hostility causes stress and will ultimately affect the overall health of the tank. The only real solution is to place the damselfish in quarantine for awhile or perhaps permanently.

Conclusion

To conclude, the most effective way to remove a damselfish from an aquarium is to bait it into capture. Using frozen meaty food and placing it in a net inside the aquarium is often the easiest way to catch this evasive, fast-swimming fish.

I trust this article has been of help in teaching you how to catch a damselfish. Thanks for reading and good luck with your aquarium hobby!

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