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losing scales

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by fish etc taxidermy, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. fish etc taxidermy

    fish etc taxidermy New Member

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    I'm using a pickle that is me losing scales on the fish. it doesn't matter what species it is. :'( . its effecting them all. the scales is also pooping up.
    the ingredients that is in the formula is 2 gallons of water, 1/2 cup of zinc sulfate, 4 teaspoons of concentrated Lysol, 2 tablespoons of glycerin, 2 cups of non iodize salt, 2 cups of borax. i mix the dried ingredients first then add the liquid ingredients. don't know what I'm doing wrong or is there any better way to perserve a fish skin .
    please help.
     
  2. Jason O

    Jason O Active Member

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    Wi
    water ,lysal,borax is all you need
    ,dont know what the other stuff is for
     

  3. fish etc taxidermy

    fish etc taxidermy New Member

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    this is the formula we learned in school. the teachers don;t know why this is happening.
     
  4. visions of wildlife taxid

    visions of wildlife taxid love me or leave me, just dont try to convert me

    im with jason, water lysol and borax is all i use, and all i have ever used, Russ
     
  5. jkidd

    jkidd New Member

    Are you loosing scales when trying to mount? Or are they loose before you get it mounted. Loose scales and scales and scales popping up could be a sign of putting the skin over a form that is too big, causing the scales to do some wierd things. Not saying that this is the cause but it's just a thought.
    I use a 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol and water and have never had a problem with it.
     
  6. fish etc taxidermy

    fish etc taxidermy New Member

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    ho much water, borax , and lysol
     
  7. Jason O

    Jason O Active Member

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    if i use 2 gallons i put a hand full of borax and maybe a capful of liquid lysal or 2 ,i have never measured my fish tan.
    a little bit of this a little bit of that.one thing i have found ,is to use cold water it seems to keep the skin tighter,if this makes a difference.
    good luck
     
  8. fish etc taxidermy

    fish etc taxidermy New Member

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    how much water lyso, and borax to use, i losing them in the solution.
     
  9. Jason O

    Jason O Active Member

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    Wi
    look at my other reply
     
  10. visions of wildlife taxid

    visions of wildlife taxid love me or leave me, just dont try to convert me

    im like you jason, we were taught for every gallon of water to use 1 cup of borax and 1 cap full of lysol concentrate, so i usually double it and am done with it, russ
     
  11. I used the same formula for years, minus the borax. Ditch the LYSOL and useBacteriacide from Jame Supply. dont soak the fish more than a day or two. After that I reallyt hink the formula is growing bacteria that allows the skin to rot.

    25% Denature alcohol and 75% water. is what I use.
     
  12. Jason O

    Jason O Active Member

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    i have left fish in there for months and mounted up great ,same tan for a whole batch of fish sometimes,20 or 30 sometimes.jmo
     
  13. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Ooooh Jason, if you use a water-based glue you could be asking for compatibility problems with that skin so heavily treated in borax (When leaving your skins in there for extended periods of time).

    Fish Etc - the BIG question is "how long are you leaving your skins in this solution"??? When I use to use the same borax solution as you btw, I didn't have any of the issues you're having. Although I've been told that with some HEAVILY treated skins that the scales will lift on certain species in particular. I switched to the DA/H2O solution simply due to convenience. I can leave my skins in this solution indefinitely with no ill effects.

    You should be treating your skins in your borax mixture roughly:

    3-4 hours for panfish
    4-6 hours for bass and walleye
    overnight for larger fish and all salmon and trout

    Any longer and it's overkill AND (again) you could be asking for problems.

    The other thoughts I have IF you're NOT leaving your skins in too long are 1) rough handling at the mount-up process and/or 2) rough handling during the skinning process. OR all of the above. IF you're having issues with all species (not to state the obvious) then it's clearly something you specifically are doing incorrectly...

    Ohhhh - actually that is NOT the exact recipe that I was using (which I believe was in Breakthru). No salt in mine. I know others swear by using salt when SKINNING, but I tried it and I don't like it because it thaws out the skin faster and it sort've "puckers" the skin up. IMO it helps scales to lift. Plus, it can leave a residue on your skin that is next to impossible to get off. I'm just talking skinning here. But again, I'd get rid of the salt in your recipe. BUT, these have just been my experiences based on a couple of times using it. Again, I know others like to use salt when skinning. Personally, I prefer skinning delicate species partially frozen, remove in sections and simply being delicate...
     
  14. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    I highly doubt it is the solution that is causing your problem. My best guess would be if you looked in a mirror you would see the culprit. I have soaked hundreds of fish in the same solution and the only ones that came out with loose scales were the ones that had loose scales when I put them in. I have soaked skins up to six years without damage to the scales or scale pockets. The skins browned up a bit, but that was all. So my solution to your problem would not lie it the solution at all, but in your skinning process.

    And to the folks reccomending DA, it would be nice if you also mentioned the health risks involved with using that product.

    Paul B
     
  15. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    That's what I said Paul - didn't know about the salt though.

    It's good to mention that DA is not environmentally friendly, but quite honestly exposure to it is quite limited. I hold my breath every time I open the Rubbermaid and this year I only opened it a handful of times - lol! Regardless, I suspect if folks use lacquer-based paints - even with a respirator, I'd bet the fumes absorbed into the skin are worse than very limited exposure to DA from tanning. JMO...
     
  16. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

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    I totally agree with Paul, wow, can you believe that Paul? Really though, All I have ever used was water, borax, and a good squirt of Dawn , I've mounted fish after years of soaking in that. I was at a shop that used DA and I couldn't stand the smell. I've never used salt, never used lysol. If your scales are popping, then they are more than likely loose to start out with.
     
  17. wvboy

    wvboy USMC Retired 28 years

    I use zinc sulphate too, but not the salt and glycerin. Left fish in for long periods of time with no problem.
     
  18. den007

    den007 Active Member

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    I have eliminated salt from any fish pickle. If not rinsed out of the skin, salt can actually draw moisture out of the air in humid climates. Try leaving out a chunk of salt on a humid day and you will see what I mean.Glycerin is also "hygroscopic" and that is why it is used as a moisturizer. Borax and DA keeps skins indefinitely, although that is not always the best practice, I have left them in this stew for almost a year with no bad effects.
     
  19. Bill4bass

    Bill4bass New Member

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    Fish etc.,
    I use the exact fish tan formula that you do and have never had any problems. Is your water source city or country well? I leave mine in for 2-3 weeks sometimes also. The problem may be your water.
     
  20. fish etc taxidermy

    fish etc taxidermy New Member

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    city water, they get the water from lake ontario