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Thread: Caught the bug

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    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    Caught the bug

    Actually, I'm trying to catch bugs.

    Recently I was at a function up in the local hills, and there were back swimmers in the pool. I read up on them, noted that they can give a pretty bad bite, and proceeded to catch as many as I could. They were much fun, and very interesting to watch in the water bottle I stuck them in. It gave me an idea. Of my two aquariums, the small five gallon tank has just one fantail goldfish. I was thinking of moving the goldfish into the thirty gallon tank with the other goldfish, and putting in a small community of invertebrates. Skuds (tiny shrimp), water boatmen, perhaps doodlebugs and triops. All detritus and vegetation eaters, as far as I'm aware. Or... I could move the two goldfish outside into the climate controlled GH and it's pond, and put the buggies in the 30 gallon tank.

    But how on Earth do I catch the bugs? I guess a sturdy, reinforced bug net or aquarium net should do, but....yeah. Those suckers are FAST. I guess I have all winter to work it out, as most of them are now either dormant, or mere eggs, waiting for things to warm up. I have all this time to figure out how to catch them.


    One of the best places for bugs that is somewhat nearby is the CA Delta. It's in the central valley, and is much warmer than around here. That's a start. Perhaps I can find a nice creek or stream around, or a handy levee or river. I could even go out in the boat and swing a net over the side, and blindly take a stab in the dark, murky waters to see what I pull up. One crazy idea I had was to plan an overnight trip in the boat, and when the sun goes down, put a fishing light over the side with a net hanging under it. After I can no longer stand waiting, I pull up on the net, around the light (think tuna net going vertical), and haul up whatever came to the light. That is certain to catch back swimmers, for sure, but I don't know about the rest.

    What are your ideas?
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
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    Kyle's Avatar
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    Ohman, I've wanted to do a tank of invertebrates for a long time. Keep us updated, 'cause I may very well want to follow in your footsteps. ^.^

    One thing I thought would be really cool (though it would probably require a fairly large tank) was to make a vivarium to house both aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. The little buggers (d'oh) are so friggin' fascinating.

  3. #3
    does this rag smell like chloroform to you? boxofrain's Avatar
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    it can be a blast.
    I used to collect and raise quite a few "bugs" while deep in the fish hobby.
    Some are very interesting to watch, I liked "fairy shrimp" the most.
    Have fun with it!
    "the memories of a man in his old age, are the deeds of a man in his prime"

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    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    The best way to catch boatmen is to stay still for a long time and move the net very quickly. Ever tried keeping crayfish before? They are one of the most interesting things I've ever had in an aquarium.

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    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    Two years ago we went out camping with the boat for a week. When we left, we pulled into the gas station, and I decided to look at the bottom of the boat for jammed rocks, scratches, and stuff. I saw a gray rock sticking partly out from between the centerboard (switchblade keel) and the centerboard trunk. I poked at it to see if it was lodged, and it started flicking! It was a baby Louisiana red crayfish (invasive little monsters!). I put it in water and took it home, and kept it in the small aquarium for over a year. I also caught a native crayfish, I forgot the species, tan with blue claws. I kept it with Lucky, the red one. They thrived for over a year, then they got moved outside. That was when I discovered the raccoons.

    I am eager to try a tank full of little inverts. I guess I'll have to go out sailing on the Delta and fool around with nets. If I catch one, there are GIANT back swimmers, almost two inches long and black. I actually found it one cold evening at Starbucks here in San Jose. I was just sitting there, chatting, and I moved my foot. Something went crunch. I kept it to study, and to dry and pose in an interesting position.

    Perhaps I can keep the herbivores in the big tank, and the back swimmers in the little tank, and regularly feed them, maybe minnows or baby guppies. That wound be very fun. Not for the minnows, though.
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
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    I am a CPaholic... DJ57's Avatar
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    I have a lot of "boatmen" in my outside ponds up here in Oregon, fascinating creatures to watch and very vicious little critters; they remind me of the movie Predator. They will eat almost any bug that lands in the pond, fish fry, tadpoles, etc., and I have seen them attack and eat things twice their size!

  7. #7
    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    Hey, if I can't catch any, could you? Would you?


    If they'll eat stuff that big, minnows will be easy meals. Good to know.
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
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    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    I think you'd like giant water bugs. Those things scare me.

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