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Aqua Medic Fish Trap Review

February 11, 2010

I recently purchased an Aqua Medic Fish Trap from an online retailer in order to capture my Masked Rabbitfish, who had taken to picking on a colony of newly introduced Austrailian Duncan corals. I haven't found any substantive reviews of this product online, so I thought I'd be the first to offer my thoughts.

The basic premise behind this trap is intuitive. Some bait is placed inside the container and a door is held open with some string by the user. As soon as the fish enters the trap, the user lets go of the string and the door slams shut. The entire container can then be lifted out of the water with the fish inside.

The body of the unit is constructed from some kind of light plastic rather than glass or acrylic. Silicone has been applied to all the interior edges to make the container water-tight. The door is constructed of 1/4" glass, which gives it the weight it needs to slam shut when you let go of the string. Circular plastic grates have been positioned on either side of the unit to allow for water flow. These grates also have the effect of draining the container to 2/3 when it is removed from the water.

Bait is meant to be placed inside the clear cylinder that comes with the unit. This clear cylinder is then inserted into a circular opening at the top of the unit. I chose to rubberband a sheet of algae (nori) around the cylinder rather than put anything inside. Here is a picture of the fish trap set up:

I found the fish trap to be extremely effective, although this may have just been luck. Here is how I placed it into my 90-gallon reef:

The string was long enough that I could hold the door up from across the room. To my surprise, my extremely timid rabbitfish was the first to enter the trap and it did so within 5 minutes! I waited for it to get a good ways in and then let the door go and the fish was caught:

Interestingly, this unit came with no instructions and in fact no papers of any kind (although it was reasonably well packaged). I was really confused as to the function of the two plastic cones that came in the box, as was Aqua Medic USA. It wasn't until I contacted the European headquarters that I found out what they were for.

Basically, they can be used to convert the Fish Trap into a Bristleworm Trap. Two two plastic cones can be inserted into the trap in place of the two plastic grates, which pop out. The trap is then baited and the door left closed overnight. By morning, the trap should fill up with bristleworms and other scavengers. Here is a picture of the unit setup to catch bristleworms:

I found this product to be fantastic for the price I got it for. The going price of $40 is quite high, but if you can find it for $30 or less I would highly recommend it. The last time I had to catch a rabbitfish, I ended up draining my tank half-way and removing almost all of my live-rock. This time things were so much easier; I was even able to keep the fish in the trap in my tank overnight until I could sell it the next day!

My only caveat would be the size of the unit. At roughly 11" x 7" x 7", this is one of the larger fish traps out there. Make sure you have room for it in your tank and that your fish are large enough to justify using it.

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