Ohio is home to a lot of tropical fish clubs and many hobbyists and I was fortunate to be able visit the area recently.
Wayne Toven is a long-time hobbyist and his fishroom in Ravenna, Ohio is large (200 tanks) and has incredible variety. I've never seen as many types of Ctenpoma (leaf fish) before. Of course, Wayne also has a bunch of livebearers.
Wayne showed me a livebearer fry trap he created which was really unique. This trap fits into a ten gallon tank and is made our of plastic canvas material.
In case you're not familiar with plastic canvas, you can usually find it Hobby Lobby and other craft stores. The kind I found is Darice 5 Mesh Giant Plastic Canvas and a 13 by 22" sheet was $1.99. You can buy it online via Amazon.com six sheets at a time.
The hole size on this mesh about 3-3.5mm or shade over an eighth of an inch. That's a good size for most any livebearer except some of the goodeid species which have really big fry.
In the above photo, two end pieces of plastic mesh are cut to fit and stand up in the brooding tank. Wayne used a 10-gallon tank, but I created one to fit a five-gallon and a 2.5G Lustar plastic tank.
To assemble the fry trap:
- Measure the inside dimensions of the tank taking into account the width of the tank frame. Subtract 1/4" from all measurements.
- Cut the end pieces to fit inside the frame
- Cut the curved piece to fit inside the two end pieces.
- Assemble with monofilament fishing line, knotting as you go. Use an appropriately sized sewing needle to put it together.
Here's an illustration I made to show the fry trap in perspective: