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Subject: non-invasive marking of small fish
From: R C Marelius <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 15 Aug 2000 22:19:23 -0700

text/plain (29 lines)

I want to mark young breeding pairs of cichlids (Heros appendiculatus, F1)
in a large tank with several others of their own kind and size.  I do not
have tagging equipment and would hesitate to use it on such a small fish
anyway (4 -5" SL).  Due to their aggressive nature, I cannot pull the pairs
from the group, as all their energy would be concentrated on each other
then, rather than dispersed harmlessly among the crowd.

It takes them a few spawnings before their pair bond is secure enough to
prevent them from damaging each other once they are removed to a tank of
their own, but once they have formed a pair at all, they don't do well when
it is broken.   I can isolate them to catch them and mark them (with any
luck) now that they're busy preparing a nest site, but I can't keep them
isolated.  And they look just like everybody else, of course, when they are
all darting away from a net and trying to look like gravel.

Is there a glue I could use to place a metal or plastic dot on their dorsal
or caudal fin, or perhaps a dab of paint that would dry instantly on the
moist surface of a fin?  Can something be placed on the body surface
itself, given their excellent slime coat and the small size of their scales
(1 to 1.5 mm exposed)?  Has anyone some suggestions.

Charlotte Marelius
Just a hobbyist

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