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"i Found A Fish" - Part 5 - How Do You Clean A Fish?

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For those of you who have been following this topic, THANKS!

As you know, I took my fish to vertman last weekend for his review (http://www.thefossil...rt-4-questions/). We're still waiting to hear back from Mark McKinzie regarding his thoughts on the pics that vertman sent him.

Below are the latest pics of the progress. The circled items on the first pic show the two areas of fins. The second pic is a close-up of these areas.



Now to my question. I've cleaned alot of fish in my time, but never a fossilized one. One of the things I've noticed during the prep, is that the fish has become covered in dust. This is from the dust generated during the actual prepping and cutting off some of the plaster jacket. I plan to cut more of the plaster jacket off before I finish, so I'm sure it will generate alot more dust.

I've gently wiped some small areas of the fish with water using a small paint brush, but it does not remove enough of the dust The fish is much more vibrant when I first expose an area, but later becomes dull and dusty looking as I continue to work.

What is the best way to clean it before I harden the entire thing?

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You are doing a geat job on this thing. I remember the photo of it still in the ground and I wondered how you all know what these things are when you see them. And now I am seeing fins and that gives me an idea of what it is.

Sorry I cannot help I just wanted to let you know you were doig a great job on prep so far. I cannot wait to see the final piece when done.

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These nasal aspirators are very handy for gently removing dust and small debris while prepping. You can pick them up at pretty much any pharmacy for $3-4.

Great job so far!


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You've done a great job with a difficult specimen!

The loss of "luster" may be due to drying; do what you can to keep that a slow process (to avoid quick shrinkage). wWhen you're done with prepping, and after it is completely dry, one of the myriad consolidants on the market (butvar, et al) would hold it together and restore the contrast.

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Two things you can try. 1. Use a sponge to soak up the water directly after cleaning. This may soak up the water before it evaporates leaving the chalky residue. 2. Use a type of glue on the dry bone to make it show up like when it's wet. (Butvar or something else reversable like that)

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