3x5 Photo Tank

The 3x5 Photo Tank is almost 3.5" deep and almost 5.5" long (inside measurements). It is about 3" wide (front to back measurement). Small sunfish, which are notoriously difficult to identify, fit in the 3x5 Photo Tank easily.


The bluegill in the tank is large enough to positively identify without a problem, but having the tank still makes it easier to get a good photo and allows the fish to breath while you are doing it.


Having a photo tank that is large enough to hold several micros at once makes it much easier to compare similar looking fish. Many micros share the general color pattern of olive/brown back, white belly and a black stripe down the side. Subtle differences, like eye size or the width of the black stripe stand out when the fish are side by side.


Micros seem to settle down a bit better in the larger tank, particularly if there is more than one fish in the tank. It is thus easier to get a good photo, which definitely aids in identification.

The tank is not so large that it is cumbersome to carry, though. The tank's corners are all rounded and it is molded from a single piece of plexiglass so you do not have to worry about leaking joints. The lid is hinged and can be closed to prevent fish from jumping out.

The 3x5 Photo Tank is large enough that you can lower a still-hooked fish directly into the tank immediately after it is caught, so the time it is out of the water and gasping for oxygen is minimized. Also, the tank is large enough to dip your hand in so you never have to handle a micro with dry hands. It is large enough that you can use the Dr. Slick Spring Creek Clamps (very highly recommended) to unhook the fish while it is in or directly over the tank so if it slips out of your hand it slips into the water.

Finally, since the tank will hold several fish, you can finish fishing a pool and then go to the water's edge and gently pour all the fish into the stream or pond at once rather than throwing them in from the bank. Plus, of course, at least some minnows give out a "danger" scent when injured or caught. Releasing them immediately warns all the others of the same species.

""Alan S kept this nice brookie wet and still got a great photo.

Studies clearly show that fish handling practices have a major impact on post release mortality for trout. I doubt that anyone has studied post release mortality for micros, but I have to believe that good fish handling practices will maximize the number that will survive to be caught again and to make more baby micros. Please handle with care.

The photos above are very representative of what you can expect. Please understand, though, that the tanks are plastic (acrylic) and not optical quality glass. Please also understand that plastic is susceptible to scratches, so I would recommend keeping the tank in a plastic or cloth bag to protect it and rinsing off any sand after setting it down on a rock or riverbank.

You will not have to obsess about getting that first scratch because the tanks come from the factory already scratched. I was shocked to learn that, after having sold hundreds and hundreds of tanks, and after using one myself for over 5 years now. All the tanks have symmetrical scratches on the left and right side of the front and back faces. I had never seen the scratches and they don't show up in any of my photos.

When a customer told me her tank was scratched, I told her I would replace it. Upon careful examination I discovered that all the other tanks I had in stock had identical scratches. I just received a new shipment of tanks, and they all have identical scratches. I checked my own tank, which I had gotten in 2016 and it has identical scratches. They are a manufacturing issue.

However, out of almost 700 buyers, only one has ever even mentioned them. Either no one else noticed them (probable) or no one who did notice them thought they were important (also probable). Still, in the spirit of full disclosure, now that I know the tanks are scratched I feel the need to tell you that the tanks are scratched. You will have to look very carefully to find the scratches, and I seriously doubt that the scratches will show up in your photos (they don't show in any of mine - the first three photos above are of my scratched tank).

So there you have it, you can use your tank without having to worry about getting that first scratch!

I have four "imperfect" 3x5 Photo Tanks. The imperfection is either a scratch or scratches that are more noticeable than the usual "factory" scratches, or very minor flaws in the plexiglass (which you probably would have to search for to notice). They are offered at $10, one third off the regular price.

For some reason, I have not been able to automate the shipping charge for these items. If you wish to purchase one (or more) please let me know through the Contact Us page. Be sure to include your full name and delivery address, and the item(s) you wish to purchase.

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