the downside of a planted tank... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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the downside of a planted tank...

trying to catch the fish!

My female nannacara is sick, and has gotten bad enough that I'd like to, ideally, pull her out and stick her in my QT tank, which is smaller and easier (and cheaper) to treat. However, it is impossible to catch her without ripping apart the tank, which I'm not willing to do.

I don't know how she got sick, as there haven't been any new fish introduced, and my water specs are pristine. It started while I was away on vacation the last week of January - I came home and she had a tear in her tail. Now, her whole tail is in tatters, and covered in white cream colored dots. Not ick - bigger and more creamy looking than sparkly, but not big cottony fungus either. I've got no idea what she's got, but it's getting worse. Half to two thirds of her tail is gone now, and she's now got a couple dots on the back half of her body too. She's eating and active, which is good in one sense, but bad in the sense that she's hard to catch.

Any suggestions? Or do I just let things take their course?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by chilligirl View Post
trying to catch the fish!

My female nannacara is sick, and has gotten bad enough that I'd like to, ideally, pull her out and stick her in my QT tank, which is smaller and easier (and cheaper) to treat. However, it is impossible to catch her without ripping apart the tank, which I'm not willing to do.

I don't know how she got sick, as there haven't been any new fish introduced, and my water specs are pristine. It started while I was away on vacation the last week of January - I came home and she had a tear in her tail. Now, her whole tail is in tatters, and covered in white cream colored dots. Not ick - bigger and more creamy looking than sparkly, but not big cottony fungus either. I've got no idea what she's got, but it's getting worse. Half to two thirds of her tail is gone now, and she's now got a couple dots on the back half of her body too. She's eating and active, which is good in one sense, but bad in the sense that she's hard to catch.

Any suggestions? Or do I just let things take their course?
Hey Chilligirl,

Your fish probably has a bacterial infection from your description. I don't know anything about treating sick fish so hope someone else fills in on that part.

What I do to catch the fish is to use two nets, or one hand to herd the fish into the net.

Another way I have read is building a fish trap, putting some food in it, and wait til they go inside.

I'm trying to catch my pygmy cories under a carpet of hairgrass so I can start breeding them. Quite difficult!
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 02:56 AM
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What I do to catch the fish is to use two nets, or one hand to herd the fish into the net.
I second that! i use one small net to "herd" and one large to scope. I usually catch a bunch at a time and put in a bucket, pick out the fish I need, then put the rest back.

You may need to be a bit patient and try and let the fish come to you more, especially if its sick.

Edit: No idea on the sickness part, not a fish guru at all. let me do some hunting around on the net. i advise you to do the same. If you are a member of any other more fish related forums I would go there as well.

If you can, and i know this is probably the toughest thing, get a picture.


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 03:26 AM
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I read the title of this thread, and thought "Downside of a planted tank? Downside of a planted tank??? There is no downside!"
Then I read the issue, lol. I had to pull a dozen congo tetras out of a fully planted 180. With bracing every 2 feet across the top. Ugh. I ended up using one of the glass tops and stuck it into the substrate from the front to back of the tank about a foot from one end. I then herded them all in through a one inch gap between the front of the tank and the glass top (they followed the front tank glass and couldn't see the glass top fence) Then I still had to yank the plants in that end, but re-planting one foot was better than replanting 6 feet! Plus, imagine the cost to medicate 180 gallons instead of 15...

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 03:45 AM
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Any suggestions? Or do I just let things take their course?
This is what I do. With my FW tanks, and my reef tanks. I do my best to feed top quality foods including Selcon and Garlic Extreme (I use each one about twice a week), and keep my water parameters pristine. When my fish get sick (rarely) they tend to get better. I feed with Garlic Extreme on every feeding when there is a sick fish, and I do extra waterchanges. I haven't lost a fish in years.

The last fish I treated was a 3" Red Belly Piranha about 5 years ago who had ich. I put him in a 10g QT with 2 tbsp of marine salt. When the ich was almost gone he then acquired dropsy. I didn't think he would make it through the dropsy (never seen a fish recover before), but I kept on with the salt treatment, and he recovered after about 3 weeks. He didn't eat for the first 2 weeks that he had dropsy, but ate through the ich and the last week of dropsy like a freakin hog, and put on two whole inches in the 4 weeks he was in QT.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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Well, I think I'll give catching her another try tomorrow, using two nets, as suggested. I really don't understand how she's gotten sick as, as I said, no new fish in the tank, water conditions are perfect, and I feed a high quality, varied diet. I thought she'd just get better, because of all the above, but at this point I think it's not likely.

If I can catch her, I'll put her in the 10g and treat her (and everyone else in there by default) with Pimafix, Melafix, and salt. Her tankmates will be 11 neons that are in QT for the big tank, and who are recovering from a mild case of ich and body fungus (looked fine when I bought them, but that's neons for you!), along with a healthy little SAE, a bamboo shrimp, and a handful of snails.

Questions - assuming I do catch her and move her to the smaller tank, will the salt treatment kill the plants in the 10g? It's moderately planted, and while it wouldn't be the end of the world to lose the plants (I could replant with cuttings from the 90g), I'd rather not...
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 08:55 AM
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Yes the salt is very likely to kill the plants.

Instead, you can use just about anything you want as a temporary QT. I've even used a saucepan in a pinch (do NOT tell my hubby!!! lol Actually the handle was kind of handy...) One of the cheapest and easiest ways to go is either get a new $10 10gal tank or find a plastic or glass container you already have somewhere in your house. (Only tricky part would be heating the water if you go with plastic)

I wouldn't mix your fish- the chances of cross-contaminating already weakend fish IMO is a recipe for disaster.



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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 09:11 AM
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Actually, some plants can handle salt. You have to look them up. I've run across a number of low light plants (the basics, java fern, moss, etc.) that can handle it quite well. There were others, too. So look up what you have in the tank. They may be salt friendly.

When trying to catch her, be very slow and very patient. Do not chase her with the net at all. You want to be so gentle that she isn't alarmed. Alarming her will send her into hiding, making it just that much more difficult. It will also stress her which won't help her condition.

While I haven't had a lot of experience getting fish from planted tanks, I have found that fish will sometimes go into the net for you. Put a large net into the tank in a way that the opening is facing upward, being sure the entire net can be raised up swiftly without catching on anything. Add the net and leave it. Later, put some kind of sinking food inside the net like an algae wafer or sinking pellets. Wait calmly. When she goes in, let her get all the way in, and then gently, but quickly, lift the net up and out. You have to lift it fast enough for her to not swim out.

I've also found that fish get confused when they are able to get inside a breeding net. Attach it to the side of the tank so that the top part is an inch or two below the water. Once again, put food at the bottom of the net. The fish swim on the water surface straight into the area of the net, but once they swim down to the bottom, they try to get out sideways, not knowing they have to swim up to get back out. All it takes is to raise the top above the water line, and you have your fish.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 12:46 PM
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Good luck with that one. Genuinely.

This is by far the hardest fish I've ever tried to catch. When I had them in my 55g, I literally had to remove every single plant, rock, everything, to catch them - it was unreal.

Incidentally, this is also by far the most evil little cichlid I've ever seen. I thought I was doing something wrong, they were so aggressive... then I met a lady who had the males keep killing females, or after breeding, females killing males... and another guy who had a pair of Anomola kill 4 breeding pairs of apistos in a 72g in under a week.... evil little fish.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 02:31 PM
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I've had some success catching fish in my planted tank by using a VERY LARGE net. Place the net in the tank and try and spook the fish you want towards the large net with a smaller net or some other object.

I most recently caught a large SAE in this manner. I tried everything for a couple of weeks and could not catch him. Then I put this huge net that I have in the tank and chased him for less than a minute till he ended up in the large net (along with some other fish) but I got him!

YMMV but HTH!
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 03:53 PM
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Just do a WC and leave bout an inch or 2 from the substrate, makes it much easier to catch...


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 04:24 PM
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Mott, do you really have to come in with a suggestion that's so obvious and makes so much darn sense?

Great idea! I'll keep that one in mind.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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or build a fishtrap and put something in it that the fish cant resist
http://www.instructables.com/id/Soda-Bottle-Fish-Trap/

You get the idea. i use it every time and it works wonders.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, I just spent about 40 minutes trying to catch her, and it's not going to happen. I pulled out all the cabomba and the asian ambulia to make things more open, fed the fish, and used two nets. No luck. No problem catching any of the other fish though - they were all eager to ride in the net - go figure

Having worked in an LFS in the past, and had considerable experience netting fish, I can say that she'd be near impossible to catch. She's the worst kind of fish to catch: small, shy, doesn't panic, and uses cover to her advantage.

Lowering the water level would work, if it wasn't a densely planted tank, that also has lots of hardscape. I'm simply not willing to rip the tank apart to catch one little fish.

The fish trap would work, except that she's not the only fish that size in the tank. I think I'd be more likely to catch my yoyo loaches, SAE, or glowlight tetras in the trap than the nannacara - nannacara are really shy, smart little cichlids, and very cautious of anything new in the tank.

I'll just have to let things take their course. She'll either get better, or die. I suspect the latter, as she's suddenly started courting my male, who's been chasing her without response for weeks, but she's not in spawning colors, and looks, well, awful. I figure the spawning behaviour is a last-ditch effort to reproduce before she dies. She's still active and eating though, so who knows...
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 08:16 PM
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^^^ My tank is also densely planted, the thing is as it drains push long plants to the back when you have about 2 inches from bottom just take the handle part shove it in the back if fishies are a hidin then just chase them to the net.
It works better with big fish but if you take your time and have a friend that could help chase it would make it easier.

good luck


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