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I have been catching minnows in my creek and have started taking pictures. My "models" have NOT been taking my posing advice very well!

I have tried taking photos in a water-filled ziploc bag. The fish usually sit on the bottom crease and it is difficult to observe their mouth or ventral fins.

I have also tried taking "dry" photos in a bowl with ruler marks. A large number of minnows have successfully leapt out of that photo shoot.

There is zero chance anybody is going to able to count the dorsal rays, etc. on my photographs. frown

Any good advice, or a good past thread in the forum that I missed on my search? (Also, I am not a good photographer, so pure photography advice might also be helpful to me and other PB readers.)

Could I put salt in a 1/4" of water in the bowl and get decent shots with a calmed fish?

Do you just take dozens of shots of the fish in the ziploc until you happen to get a good one?

Is there any good optically clear bowl or jar that can be used to take pictures? For example, a little betta fish globe - or does the curved glass cause optical distortions? Or a small "goldfish" bowl that has the two flat sides? Or just the jar from a large Ragu spaghetti sauce that works perfectly?

Thanks for the help,
FishinRod

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Necessity and creativity is the Mother of Invention. Flat sided gold fish bowl should work - try it.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/25/22 08:52 PM.

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The curved glass distorts the fish. You need flat sides or at least 1 flat side to get a good picture. Buy some acrylic sheet, get the glue and make your own rectangular "picture" tank? Maybe buy a small 5 gallon aquarium? Find one on Craigslist or FB Marketplace?

A way to calm the fish is to use clove oil.

Example:

https://www.walmart.com/browse/heal...SsLH3dOTccaArcNEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Since you can get a bunch of minnows, experiment. 1 minnow of "x: length, one drop, 2 drops, 3 drops, etc? You want to slow the fish down and not knock it out completely for the fins to be sticking out and visible. Don't use a flash - you might get a reflection from the "glass" or freak out the fish.

Or spend more $$ and get this:
https://www.amazon.com/SureLife-Tranquil-Fish-Calmer/dp/B07VFXYSC4

5-8 drops in about 3 gallons of water will calm down a half 5 gallon bucket full of fish when added to the water......... It might take them a while to calm down though. Adding more will flat knock them out. I haven't left them in there long enough to kill them, as soon as they stop flopping around I take the lid off the bucket and weigh them, then dump them into the pond.

One customer thought I was stocking dead fish (they WERE belly up). I told him that I had to stock his neighbors pond with fish, and if the fish were still "dead" when I came back in 20 minutes I'd refund his money AND bring his fish order at no charge the following week. We came back and he asked me about half a dozen times where his dead fish went. LOL

Last edited by esshup; 07/25/22 10:04 PM.

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Thanks for all of the good ideas, esshup!

I can't believe how many species of fish we have in our tiny creek. I am already into double digits. I am definitely going to have to post good pictures to Pond Boss to get proper identifications.

I like your DIY idea. I think I can just make two kerf cuts in some 2x4s and put in some clear window glass and make a "tank" only a 1/2 inch wide. A liberal application of silicone caulk should allow it to hold water long enough to get a few good pictures.

I can put in a few drops of clove oil, and hopefully the fish will then make a few artistic poses.

P.S. I also like your story about stocking the "Lazarus" fish in your client's pond!

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The next time you go to the local box store, look for items sold in rather square or rectangular clear plastic containers. Or check out the kitchen isle and look for measuring jars with flat sides.

Seems like I've seen mixed nuts come in clear squarish containers, I know the local Menards had bungy cords sold in clear containers...I'd bet Hobby Lobby has what you need, I'm thinking ,cheap model car display case...heck, you might even need what's inside...lol!

Of course, the old fashioned goldfish bowls with two flat sides might be the quickest and cheapest bet.


Fish on!,
Noel
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