3" PVC Tee for Schedule 30 Pipe.
3" Solid Core Schedule 30 Thinwall PVC Pipe (cut 2 pieces 4" long) I didn't use the foam core PVC, because sometimes it floats.
1" PVC Pipe (cut into 6" long for Handle and 23.25" long for Stopper)
4 feet of 1/4" Black Airline Tubing (cut into 2 pieces 24" long each)
You may want to use longer airline tubing and a longer Stopper if your tank is higher than 22". Else you'll probably be getting your hands wet.
Drill bits (13/64 and 5/16)
To build the Loach Trap Base:
I drilled several 5/16" drainage holes in the 3" PVC Tee just below the slip joint. Then cleaned up the sharp edges with the rotary tool. Then gently hammered in the 4" long pieces of 3" PVC pipe to each end, along with the 3" PVC caps.
Next I super glued on the Airline Tubing and clamped it until the glue dried. I tried using other things like fishing line and shoe laces, but the airline tubing glues better, won't get tangled up, and won't harm the fish. The elasticity of airline tubing makes the handle snap into the groove on the Stopper too.
I glued the other ends into the handle, which is 6" long piece of 1" PVC pipe. I drilled a 13/64" hole near each end, then fed the tubing in, then glued it into place.
Here is the loach trap fully assembled. The Stopper on the left is 1" PVC pipe, that's cut to 23.25" long, and has 2 reducing bushings connected to one end. A 3" to 1.5", and 1.5" to 1" bushing.
On the other end of the Stopper, I used the rotary tool to grind out a groove, so that the handle secures into place.
It's a nice snug fit thanks to the tension of the airline tubing. The Loach Trap is complete.
Now to set the the trap. Just lower it into the tank, it should sink rather easily.
(As you can see, I've got a few caves in this tank, that look similar to this trap, but they are painted. I'll probably paint this trap, when I have some spare time. With the other caves, I painted the inside flat black, and the outside sand color, then stenciled on green leaves, and black loachy stripes. So if you end up buying 10 feet of this 3" pipe, you can make some pretty cool loach caves with what's leftover. The paint I used is Krylon Fusion for Plastic. They have several camouflage type colors.)
Set the handle on the side of the aquarium.
Get some bait. I'm using a Veggie Round.
Drop the bait into the stopper handle and let the bait sink into the trap.
Now just wait for the fish to come get it.
Here comes a loach over on the left.
He's almost there.
Now pull the handle slightly, which will rotate the hole upwards.
It's good to have the stopper ready and in place before you pull the handle though, which I didn't do here.
Set the Stopper in the Trap and secure handle. You don't want to put the stopper on too tight or it will be difficult to get off.
Let the water drain out of the top part of the trap, that's why the drainage holes were needed.
Remove from tank.
Secure the trap. Hold it at the bottom. Never know if that airline tubing will come unglued.
Move the trap to the tank where you want to move the loach. I'm just putting him back in this tank.
Take off the stopper.
Slowly lower trap to bottom.
You may need to give it a nudge with the stopper or something so that the opening flattens out.
Let loach swim free.
A lot of loaches can fit in this trap if you let it sit in the tank long enough. If there are a lot of loaches in the trap, and you want to get them out quickly, you can wiggle them out of the trap near the surface. Just be careful that you don't let all the water out. I've caught clown loaches ranging from 3" to 8" with this trap. It works pretty good, especially when all the decor and caves are removed from the aquarium and the trap is the only "cave" in the tank.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for improving this trap, I'd love to hear them.
YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/bookpage1
Yeah, it should work for many types of fish. You certainly can share this project. If anyone out there has some ideas on how to improve the trap, let me know, and forward the link! I'd be interested to see how well this trap works for other fish too.GrizzlysDad wrote:Nice job Keith!!! It might even work to some extent on other types of fish. Do you mind if I share this project on other forums?
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