3x5 Photo Tank

The 3x5 Photo Tank is almost 3.5" deep and almost 5.5" long (inside measurements). It is about 3" front to back (which for for anything other than a water tank would be called depth). 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.

""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 it off 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 I customer told me her tank was scratched, I told her I would replace it, but upon careful examination 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. Obviously, 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!

Finally, even though I truly do not believe that the factory scratches detract at all from the functionality of the tanks or the quality of your photos, if you want to return your tank for a refund, you may. However, refunds will be given only if the factory scratches are the only scratches. I cannot offer exchanges because there are no 3X5 Photo Tanks that do not have the factory scratches.

I no longer sell the 3x5 Photo Tank. You can purchase the exact same product from Angler's Emporium. They sell the smaller Micro Fishing Photo Tank as well.


Domestic shipping is between $10 and $15, depending on package weight and destination, via USPS Ground Advantage (2-5 day delivery).

Please note: All packages are shipped via USPS. If you have a PO Box, please list ONLY the PO Box in your address, not the PO Box and your street address.

If you live in an apartment, please put the apartment number in the same box as the street address (as in 123 Main St. Apt 45).

Please do not put anything in the box for "Company" if it isn't absolutely necessary. Not "self", not "none" not "--". It wastes your time to put it in and it wastes my time to take it back out. Please just leave it blank.

International Shipments

International purchases may be subject to import duties and taxes. I cannot keep track of all import regulations in all countries written in all languages. Understanding and paying import duties and taxes is the responsibility of the buyer.


TenkaraBum.com no longer ships to the EU.


TenkaraBum.com no longer ships to Russia.


TenkaraBum.com no longer ships to the UK.
The new VAT regulations are too onerous for a one-man shop that rarely ships anything to the UK anyway. I apologize. 

TenkaraBum Home > Microfishing Gear > 3x5 Photo Tank

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” - Benjamin Franklin

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." -
Col. Robert Venables 1662

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

Beware of the Dogma

Currently processing orders that were received Sep 28.