View Full Version : Any one know how to trap a Demon-Fish?

05/18/2007, 09:06 PM
How do you trap a smart, and evil Jeweled Damselfish? What do you bait it with? Ours grazes on the algea on the rock, which is unusual for Damselfish.
But what can it be lured with that WON'T attract the tangs, or the other, Yellow-tailed Damsels? The Demon-Fish terrorizes eveyone else in the tank and has shredded the fins of all the fish inhabitants, even our peaceful Dragonet! Anyone have any ideas???:confused:

05/18/2007, 10:08 PM

05/18/2007, 10:18 PM
Get some spirulina frozen cube, put it in a large net, and start feeding the terror FROM the net, encouraging it, never letting it make off with the food, and withdraw the food when it loses interest. Repeat this daily, working the net closer to the wall, until the fish gets so cheeky it goes into the net after the food.

Slam the net against the wall and don't make a mistake: if nothing else, reach in and pin the net and fish until you can lift it out safely. If it gets loose, it will have learned that trick, too.

05/18/2007, 10:38 PM
Thanks for the idea! My dad tried to do something similar to that. He put and left a net in the tank for the fish to get used to it. When it was time to feed them, all but the Jeweled Damsel (a.k.a Demon-Fish) would be comfortable enough to feed very close to it and even in it. The Demon-fish would either lurk under the net, close to the bottom, or he would feed off to the side, waiting for the food to drift down towards him. It's like he KNOWS he is not wanted! My Dad wants to just throw him away, not even take the effort to bag him and drop him off at our LFS.

05/18/2007, 11:02 PM
If he's wise to that trick, here's one that WILL work, but it's messier---I note this is a really large tank. Get a sheet of glass or acrylic tall enough to serve as a gate. Put it in a corner---gate open. Feed in there. When you have him/her/it in there no matter what other fish are also there, shut the gate. It will make a triangular space in which you simply insert net, NOT letting the devil escape, and haul out the offender to the sump, until you can get it back to the lfs.

Another variant on the net trick is not to feed at all for several days: then offer something really good ONLY in the net. See how long the rascal can hold out when starving.

One of mine, large AND obnoxious, I caught by lowering in the dome of an Anniversary Clock---you know, those clockworks in the dome? into my tank. Huge opening. I had a piece of glass ready. Fish went in to get the bit of raw shrimp---I moved the glass in front to block exit, very, very carefully raised that fragile dome to the surface, and had the critter. I've used wine carafes, the dome, glass cannisters, whatever will do the trick. There ARE fish traps: Foster/Smith sells them---but mine only caught the fish I wanted to keep.

We don't even want to talk about rapidly withdrawing water from a 210 gallon reef---it can be done without damage to fish or corals, and that's surefire---involving, oh, a half dozen Brute 32 gallon trashcans and a mag 12 pump. I've done it on a 100g. You hollow out a depression in one corner where you want all the fish to congregate, and they will. You then net the blighter and rehydrate as fast as that pump can spit. But try not to have to do that.

Others swear by filing the barb off the finest fishing hook sold, baiting it, and using a little clever angling.

Tang Salad
05/18/2007, 11:05 PM
I'd keep trying the net trick if I were you. I had a coral beauty angel that I used it on, but it took almost three weeks for him to go in the net. So give it time and lots of it.

05/18/2007, 11:28 PM
get a TINY fishing hook and some fishing line. cut off the barb. attach a small weight and a piece of mysis.

as soon as he sinks his chompers on the mysis give it a sharp yank. works every time!

05/18/2007, 11:32 PM
Thank you very much for all the suggestions and i'll let you know when the lil' Devil is caught! Very much appreciated!

05/18/2007, 11:35 PM
get a TINY fishing hook and some fishing line. cut off the barb. attach a small weight and a piece of mysis.

as soon as he sinks his chompers on the mysis give it a sharp yank. works every time!


We've tried that very same thing when catching a Beta that we had in our old 180gal. It DID take a long time to do, but we caught him all the same.....

05/18/2007, 11:42 PM
My LFS lends out a trap from ultralife. I'm 6 for 6 over the past 2 years, and none of them were nice fish who wanted to be caught. Maybe you can talk your LFS into the same deal I've had - especially if they know they will sell you the replacement for the demon, as well as selling the demon-fish. Here's one model.


It works. Obviously it'll catch your tangs and everything else, but with a long piece of fishing line and sitting several feet away, the demon can only stand so long watching the others swim in and get the mysis and swim back out before it'll have to get in on the action - that's when you drop the door. It's OK to catch a tang along with the demon - you can sort that out later. It's always worked for me. The only fish you can't catch is one that is too sick to want food. I even borrowed the trap to take 500 miles to catch my Dad's giant domino damsel that had grown for 5 years into a terror. He'd tried everything else, but the trap took about 40 minutes.

05/19/2007, 12:11 AM
What a coincidence....we have that model finsurgeon, but the Demon-Fish is too smart to go in when we trapped our Angel of Destruction (Emperor Angel). He just watched from his cave as our Angel was caught. I am beginning to think he can actually "think".....and...."have a mind of his own"....O well. My dad and i will just have to try out your ideas and see if the Demon-fish is not as smart as we think. Thankx!