for the week of 1/13/00
Choose your weapon. Select a rectangular frame net with a width at least twice the fish's length, and deep enough netting to form a dangling "bag" when lifted from the water. It should not have any dangling threads or tears that fish can slip through (or worse, half way through). A medium mesh works for most fish, except a few sharp-spined fish like pictus cats, high-fin bull sharks and iridescent sharks which should be handled with fine netting.
Set up a "catch zone." Remove or at least move a few decorations out of the way to clear an area big enough to easily maneuver the net. One or both of the front corners are ideal.
Coax, don't chase. Fish are faster and more agile than most of us, so it's hard to catch them from behind by slashing at them with the net. Instead, herd them into the catch zone, then maneuver the net in front of them. Hopefully, they will swim head first into the waiting net. Immediately, bring the net frame up against the aquarium glass to seal off their escape route.
Try two hands. Some fish are so fast, or hide so well, that they are best chased with one hand (or net) into the catch net.
Finishing the job. Once the fish is trapped, a little jiggling of the net or a gentle tapping on the aquarium glass will make him move deeper into net. The net should then be lifted up and a little away from the glass to catch the fish in the bag of netting hanging from the frame.
"Tip of the week" appeared regularly in 1999 and 2000.
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