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How To Preserve Fish Skins

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by HTG, Sep 20, 2022.

  1. HTG

    HTG Member

    What's the best way to preserve fish skins so that the color doesn't fade? Is the 50/50 denatured alcohol to water the best or are there any others that are better? How long should it be left in this for about a week? Is one gallon of each enough for a thirty inch wiper?
     
  2. Penczak

    Penczak Active Member

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    The color fades as soon as you pull the fish out of the water.

    Just use Borax on a cleaned skin. After it's mounted. Dry it good in a drying room with a dehumidphier.
    The skin is going to fade. That's what painting and air brushes are for.
     
    joeym likes this.

  3. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I use a cup of borax in 3 gallons of water and add 2 ounces of Lysol concentrate as an odor eliminator. Soak the fish a few hours in this solution and mount. Yes, they are going to fade.
     
  4. HTG

    HTG Member

    After watching a Matuska video on YouTube where they mount a Walleye. They have a similar recipe they add some kind of preservative, so I will be trying this. Anyone know what kind of preservative to add? Thanks.
     
  5. HTG

    HTG Member

    The 20 mule team Borax the one to use or is there a better choice?
     
  6. Penczak

    Penczak Active Member

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    Borax , It has some remarkable drying , cleaning qualities and the bugs hate it.
     
  7. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    8,893
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    York, SC
    HTG
    What are you using to degrease?
     
  8. HTG

    HTG Member

    Clew,

    I'm not sure what to use to degrease, that was my next question? I'm just beginning and don't know much, what's suggested? I've watched a few walleye mounting videos on YouTube and That's mainly what I'm following. This was the recipe The Matuska's gave me but I'm not sure if I can get away with just Borax or if I will need to add all of these additives or just one. Anyone have any advice?

    The recipe won't vary from fish or size just duration of time. Recipe is the following:
    1 oz per gallon protex pre-soak
    1-2 per gallon borax
    1-2 oz per gallon salt
    1 oz per gallon bactericide
    For a 30" Walleye you will want to soak for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Typically we mix 3 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket.
     
  9. Penczak

    Penczak Active Member

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    I've got a Large Bass on the wall I mounted 40 years ago when I was 15. I just used Borax. Never had a problem with it .
     
  10. HTG

    HTG Member

    Is the 20 Mule Team Borax you can get at most stores the one to use or is there a better choice for taxidermy? Thanks
     
  11. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    8,893
    17,367
    York, SC
    I use a 7 gallon flat bin
    Dissolve as much borax as possible use a mixer
    1 oz of carbolic acid / phenol per gal of water
    This stuff will pull the oils out of fish,
    Exspecially strippers and salmonoids
    Plain borax is ok for LM bass bream crappie, but not so good for strippers trout salmon Ect. You will get oils bleeding thru
    A word of caution
    Phenol is a carcinogen eye protection good rubber glove and a respirator is needed when mixing, and keep a box of baking soda near by in case of spill,
    You can actually see the oils come to the top when a trout goes in
    When ready to mount wash well in dawn and water
    I have three trout that’s been in this mix for 4 years and still good
    Generally do 30 -40 fish per batch
     
  12. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    Old Leon Pray formula that works. 9 parts powdered borax 1 part powdered alum mixed together. 4oz of this dry mixture per gallon of water. Stir in very warm to hot water and let cool to room temp. Some will settle to the bottom which is ok. This is a little more than a saturate solution. If I need to de-grease I soak for a short time in mineral spirits prior to the borax alum bath.I keep the skins in the bath at least 24 hours but have went much longer than that with no problems.
     
  13. HTG

    HTG Member

    Thanks for the information.