It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned vet or a beginner in the fishkeeping world, one essential tool to become a proper aquarist is a fishnet. Although fishnets may seem pretty simple, you might be surprised by their many uses.
While in the market for buying a fishnet, you have to consider many things like the fish net’s size, the length of the handle, the size of your fish, and you might end up bewildered deciding which, among the various brands, is the right one for your needs. Still, you don’t have to worry because we’re here to guide you through this whole rigorous process of finding the right fish net for you.
Cheap & Good
Marina Blue Fine Nylon Net
FISH PROS Fine Mesh Fish Tank Net and Long Handle
Pawfly Aquarium Net (4 Inches) Fine Mesh
0.5 x 3.5 x 2.5 inches
14.48 x 5.71 x 0.47 inches
13.3 x 3 x 1 inches
Why Do I Need an Aquarium Net?
Right now, you might be thinking that all aquarium fish nets are the same and what other uses are there for fishnets aside from transferring fish. Other people might think that buying the cheapest one, no matter the quality, is okay because it’s not that important, but hear us out and let us change our minds.
As we’ve mentioned, a fishnet is very important because if you’re tending to an aquarium, your fishnet is your best friend. One example of why this is so is its ability to clean out your tank. If you’ve ever wondered why your aquarium smells rotten when it should smell fishy, this is because of the buildup of uneaten food floating around your fish tank that creates a pungent odor, but with the help of your trusty fishnet, this could be cleaned up without breaking a sweat, and your aquarium will go back to smelling fishy the way that you want it to be.
Aside from scooping out uneaten food, an aquarium fish net also skims out unwanted debris floating on the surface. If you have an open aquarium, debris could fall from your ceiling or be carried by the wind; and trust us, you wouldn’t want your fishes feeding and being exposed to debris that has entered your fish tank.
If you don’t have bottom-dwellers in your aquarium, then there’s a big possibility that the bottom of your tank is dirty. This means that things like algae could have grown in your aquarium. Your fishnet will become very handy when cleaning up algae.
Another important reason you need a fishnet is your need to clean out plants or leaves that lay on your substrate. By doing so, you protect your tank from mold and bacteria forming from dead leaves or plants that might come later harm your fishes.
Finally, the most obvious reason for buying a fishnet is to have the ability to move your fishes from one place to another. At some point, you would have to move your fishes for many reasons like a fish might be pregnant or you have to clean your tank to the inch, and if for some reason you just needed to move your fishes by hand, we assure you that you aren’t doing your fishes any favors. As it is, fish don’t really enjoy being forcefully moved repeatedly from one place to another, and by moving them with your hands or a tool that wasn’t designed to move fish, you could increase their stress levels or injure them. This is why purchasing a good quality fishnet and handling your fishes with care while in transit will expand their lifetime.
How Do I Choose the Best Aquarium Net?
There are many factors that you have to decide on before spending that money on a fishnet. The various designs, colors, and sizes are made for different kinds of fishes, so let me tell you what to consider.
The Size of the Mesh Netting
This is the most fundamental component that makes up a fishnet which makes it the most important. The mesh netting is basically the only thing keeping your fish from falling through the other side of the frame and making it obsolete.
Although most fishnets’ mesh netting may look similar to the naked eye, if you pay a little more attention to it, you could notice that they vary in size, which makes the whole difference.
If you’re a novice fish keeper, you might be tempted to think that a net is a net, it serves one purpose, and it doesn’t really matter what the size of the hole on my fishnet is.
If you don’t mind small fishes going through your fishnet or don’t really care if you’re injuring your fishes, then feel free to think like that, because believe it or not, the bigger the hole, the larger the risk of your fish being injured. Fish are delicate creatures, and with large holed fishnets, there could be a chance that your fishes could get their fins or gills stuck in between these holes while in the midst of you emptying it.
Once you’ve matured as an aquarist, you will soon be faced with smaller fishes and invertebrates that have the ability to easily slip out between the mesh because of their small body parts. To be prepared for all these types of inevitable circumstances, it is better to be equipped with a small hole fishnet like the baby brine fishnet, which is the finest fishnet you could purchase in the market.
The Size of the Net
If you’ve already skimmed through fishnets online, you will notice that the length of its mouth is sized from 2” to 10”.
The first thing that comes into your head might be “the bigger, the better,” or it is better to invest in the biggest net available since your fish will grow into it in the future.
Unfortunately, this is simply untrue. First off, purchasing the biggest net, there is won’t make you a better fish keeper. Second, a bigger fishnet isn’t an investment, and you should consider buying a net for your immediate needs. Lastly, depending on your fish tank’s size, having a bigger net will limit your movement due to its more difficult maneuverability steering around the fish tank, which might lead you to either damage your fish tank accessories or injure your fishes.
On the other hand, purchasing a fishnet that’s too small isn’t a good idea either.
Length of the Handle
Another important thing to really consider is how deep your tank is. One really annoying thing that happens to many fishkeepers is getting their hands wet from submerging their hands in the tank because of how short the standard handle of their fishnet is.
Various fishnet brands offer twice the length of a standard fishnet when it comes to the handle. Although a longer fishnet is more convenient, this is less common in local fish stores. You would have to purchase a longer fishnet online.
Another popular method to counteract the problem of a fishnet being too short is by purchasing gloves specially made for aquarium usage. Aquarium safe gloves are generally either latex or nitrile gloves. Although latex gloves are a lot cheaper and easier to find, nitrile gloves are a lot safer because, unlike the latex option, nitrile doesn’t contain unknown chemical residues coming from the powder residue harmful to the fishes. If nitrile gloves are not readily available, latex gloves can be bought as long as the box comes in states that it is powder-free.
If for some reason, you’ve already bought a fishnet with a standard-sized handle and are still planning to purchase the longer option, you can still put your old fishnet to use. One fishkeeping hack that many aquarists often practice is using one fishnet to herd your fish and the other to catch them. This is due to the fishes immediately fleeing at the sight of a fishnet, so if you’re having a hard time catching your fishes, having two fishnets would surely make it a whole lot easier.
Fishnets are among the cheapest tools that you can buy for your aquarium. Prices usually range from a dollar to fifteen dollars. These prices vary depending on the size, quality of the mesh to the handle. The cheapest fishnets usually have shorter plastic handles with a lower quality nylon mesh that has bigger holes. These kinds of fishnets don’t usually last very long but are easily replaced because they are more available in most fish stores.
The more expensive options are usually heavy-duty fishnets. These fishnets are more expensive because of their quality, and they are usually equipped with longer stainless handles that are sometimes extendable. They are also more durable and are very handy when it comes to removing large quantities of debris, waste, and uneaten food because of their toughness. These fishnets are also as tough with a finer and better quality nylon mesh that will surely last you a longer period of time before it wears.
With that said, you are not necessarily required to purchase the cheapest nor the most expensive options in the market. One thing to always remember when coping with fishkeeping needs is to always stay within your budget. Although you always have to keep in mind the welfare of your pets, you have to think about the things you purchase as a whole, and not focus only on one aspect or, in this case, one tool, because purchasing a fishnet, although an essential part of being a true aquarist, is only one piece to the pie.
The best Aquarium Net in 2023
Finally, you’ve learned everything there is to know about choosing the best fishnet for your fish-keeping needs. After researching and testing multiple fishnets, we’ve narrowed them down to the 8 best aquarium fishnets you can buy in 2023.
1st FISH PROS Fine Mesh Fish Tank Net and Long Handle
- Net Dimensions: 14.48 x 5.71 x 0.47 inches
- Weight: 1.76 Ounces
- Length: 9-24 inches
- Mesh Material: Nylon
- Color: Black
This fishnet is truly one fine tool from a company known for its long-time service of producing high-quality products for all fish-keeping enthusiasts. It comes with a very durable stainless-steel extendable telescopic handle that not only extends up to 24 inches (which will allow you to get to the bottom of your tank with ease) it also ensures long term usage and is capable of cleaning out large quantities of debris and excess food floating around your fish tank. This is also perfect for transferring small, delicate, or young fish from one tank to another because of its soft and fine yet durable mesh.View on Amazon
2nd Pawfly Aquarium Net (4 Inches) Fine Mesh
- Net Dimensions: 13.3 x 3 x 1 inches
- Weight: 0.64 Ounces
- Length: 10 Inches
- Mesh Material: Fine Nylon
- Color: Green
This Net is among the mid-ranged aquarium net options, but despite that, this has been garnering many good reviews from people who’ve already purchased this product. With its very fine and soft mesh and sturdy handle, you will have an easier time handling delicate fishes without the worry of injuring their tails or scales. With its handle, you will not worry about scooping out debris or uneaten food anymore.View on Amazon
3rd Penn-Plax Qn2 Quick Net for Fish
- Net Dimensions: 3.38 x 0.25 x 12.25 inches
- Length: 10 inches
- Mesh Material: Quick Mesh Netting
- Color: Blue
The Penn-Plax Qn2 Quick Net is a great option if you’re on a budget. This is among the cheaper and more affordable options. The manufacturers claim that it is made from high-quality and reliable materials so you don’t have to worry about it bending when you’re removing debris or your fishes getting injured when in transit.View on Amazon
4th Marina Blue Fine Nylon Net
- Net Dimensions: 0.5 x 3.5 x 2.5 inches
- Weight: 0.49 Ounces
- Length: Varies
- Mesh Material: Nylon
- Color: Black
The Marina Blue Fine Nylon Net is also among the cheapest options, but despite that this fishnet is fairly reliable. This fishnet comes in a variety of sizes to choose from depending on your needs. With its fine woven mesh, this fishnet becomes the ideal fishnet for cleaning out the surface of your fish tank as well as other maintenance works.View on Amazon
5th Pawfly 3-inch Telescopic Aquarium Net
- Net Dimensions: 13.6 x 3.8 x 0.2 inches
- Weight: 0.81 ounces
- Length: 9-24 inches
- Mesh Material: Nylon
- Color: Black
This aquarium net is very convenient, thanks to its telescopic quality. It gives you the convenience of getting to the very depths of your tank, especially for really deep tanks. The handle was designed to be rust-free to ensure long-term usage. This is truly a perfect aquarium net for cleaning debris to handle brine shrimp and other delicate fishes with the ease of mind that they will not be injured.View on Amazon
6th Pawfly Aquarium Fish Net Set
- Net Dimensions: 15.51 x 6.1 x 0.51 inches
- Weight: 2.08 Ounces
- Length: 12 inches
- Mesh Material: Nylon
- Color: Green
This aquarium net has a handle that’s a little longer than the standard 12-inch handle. It comes with a plastic handle that makes holding the handle very comfortable. It is also equipped with a soft, fine mesh that is safe for your fishes, decreasing the chances of injury.View on Amazon
7th PAWCHIE Aquarium Net Long Handle
- Net Dimensions: 17.24 x 5.51 x 1.02 inches
- Weight: 7.37 Ounces
- Length: 16.5 to 25.5 inches
- Mesh Material: Stainless Steel Material
- Color: Light Grey
This is one of the best and most sold fishnets in the market today. It has a larger net than usual fishnets with a width of 5.3 inches and 4 inches. It is one step ahead of its competitors. Unlike most fishnets that meshes are made up of silicone and more prone to wear, this fishnet is made out of steel material and is more durable, and is rust-proof.
This fishnet is also equipped with a retractable telescopic handle that is thicker and a lot more durable than most fishnet handles. Aside from having all the convenience of other fishnets that cleans out debris, uneaten food, and transferring fishes, this handle has a science-based color. Its light grey color was chosen for the users to have a better view of their nets. If you have the budget, this fishnet is surely worth that extras couple of bucks.View on Amazon
8th Filhome Aquarium Fishnet
- Net Dimensions: 12.6 x 6.61 x 0.91 inches
- Weight: 1.9 Ounces
- Length: 13.8 to 23.2 inches
- Mesh Material: Soft Nylon
- Color: Black
This Fishnet is extremely durable and has a very soft mesh. It is also very convenient because of its very convenient stainless-steel telescopic handle that will stretch out up to 23 inches that will reach the depths of your deep tank. It can also handle large loads of debris and uneaten food with ease.View on Amazon
The Differences in Colored Fishnets
A lot commonly believes of beginner fish-keeping enthusiasts that the colors of a fishnet imply a different usage. This is because of the popular belief that some colors are harder to see for a fish. Although with the right lighting, some colors like chartreuse could be more effective in catching fish compared to others, according to a study by Sport Fishing Mag shows that fishes don’t actually detect the color and will detect contrast and movement. This means that no matter what color of the net you’re using, fishes will still move away from your net.
The question now is, if the color of your fishnet doesn’t really matter in regards to catching a fish, what is it for?
The answer to that is quite simple:
Most people purchase fishnets to distinguish a fishnet from one another. Due to the many uses of fishnets, aquarists use one color for let’s say, capturing small fishes and another one for picking up the bigger ones. Another important use for having multiple fishnets in different colors is using one colored fishnet for your fresh-water fish tank and another for your salt-water tank, if you have multiple fish tanks. If you have the budget, keeping different fishnets in different colors around will surely come in handy.
How to clean and sterilize an Aquarium Net
Time and time again, your trusty fishnet will always save the day; if its excess food or debris floating around, it has always been there, but now after multiple uses, it’s about time to give it its long-deserved bath to make sure it lasts a little bit longer.
Here are the things you need:
- Wash Cloths
- Used toothbrush
- Hot Water
When you have gathered everything you need, let’s get to it. This is how you clean your fishnet:
- You can start by filling up an empty tub or your sink with hot water.
- When it’s filled up, submerge the fishnet in hot water. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Put your hand inside the net and push it upward towards you to hold up against your fingers.
- With the used toothbrush, gently brush out any debris that may be stuck in the net.
- If there is any debris left, wrap your finger around a washcloth and wipe out any dirt.
- Turn the net towards the other direction and repeat the process on the other side.
- Alternate from one side to the other if any debris is pushed out to the other side. Repeat until funny clean
- Clean the handle as well
- Rewash it with clean water
- Wipe it with a washcloth and allow it to dry.
- Wash Your net either after every use or at least once a week to decrease any chances of debris building up
- Using detergents and soap is greatly discouraged when sanitizing fishkeeping supplies because it is hard to remove it fully and might be deadly to fishes.