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Need Help With Small Salt Water Fish Method

Discussion in 'Training' started by Rubberduc142, May 1, 2022.

  1. Rubberduc142

    Rubberduc142 New Member

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    Hello!
    I’ve been purchasing already taxidermied pet fish to make my art, but prices have gone up insanely since COVID— to the point I can’t justify the price of them based on what my final works cost. To that end, I need to learn how to do them myself.

    I live in Jacksonville, FL and I’m looking for a class. The North Florida Taxidermy School seems to no longer exist. Any online classes available?

    For reference, I have taken a bird taxidermy class and my teacher said I had a talent for it, so I’m not a complete noob.

    Photos of duck from class and my typical work for reference.
    https://imgur.com/gallery/3o7TPIw

    My teacher previously said there was a good teacher on YouTube for fish, but I can’t find where I wrote down her name. Recommendations?

    Thanks.
     
  2. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    You can half cast most small panfish and skin mount them. It's a simple process. I've done both freshwater and saltwater fish using this method.
     
    Clew likes this.

  3. Rubberduc142

    Rubberduc142 New Member

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    I can do that. But I was curious— the ones I’ve been purchasing only have a tiny hole in the bottom. What method are they using to get the guts out? I like that I wouldn’t have to pick a “pretty side” right off the bat in case I lose some scales…
     
  4. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Those were possibly eviscerated and freeze dried. On commercial fish, there will always be a "pretty side", unless it's a Masters Level competition fish. Your other option is reproductions.
     
    Clew likes this.
  5. Rubberduc142

    Rubberduc142 New Member

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  6. crablover

    crablover Well-Known Member

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    On the small fish you are using, you do not need to worry about removing any internal organs especially on thin flat fish like your Moorish Idol. Should you choose to plump the fish up, just use some laytex caulking. You also should not have much of an issue with scales as many reef fish are void of scales, like Clownfish. Freeze drying, along with the half cast method as Joey mentioned and wax molding will all work. A cheap and easy way is to freeze the fish in your position choice, then make multiple dips in clear Flex Wax. Once you have built up a wax shell, cut open the back and remove the fish. You can then pour or inject the wax shell with a variety of different materials like two part plastics. Then, when your casting material cures you remove the wax shell by hand or run it under very hot water. Flex wax is a very low temperature material and will melt away under hot water. The only downfall with this method is you can only get one cast. Hope this helps