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What do I do? Planted tank and "full grown fish"???

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by AquaticJim, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

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    I have a 120gal planted tank that is lit with metal halides and CO2 injected.

    It's given me immense pleasure since I set it up 5 years ago and I have gone through the ups and downs of algae outbreaks etc and have followed Tom Barr's advice and others and have what I believe to be a fairly successful tank plant wise in regards to growth.

    The problem is that all the fish that I bought 5 years ago as tiny little babies have GROWN!

    I have virtually the full compliment of fish that I started with 5 years ago.......and hence thus lay the problem.

    My 5 Angel Fish are now huge. There bodies are bigger than the palm of my hand. They spend all day ripping my Hygrophilla to confetti sized pieces.
    They rip my Bacopa, my Hornwort all my feathery bunch plants get ripped. The leaves are always floating around and block the two intakes to my dual Eheim 2217's

    My Clown Loaches are now around the 7" mark and LOVE punching holes on the top of and eating the tips off my Amazon Swords. And dig up my Pygmy chain swords.

    My Bristnose Plecos are monsters now as well and love to scrape the bottom of my Amazon swords.

    Even Val has a hard time in my tank now.

    I had STUNNING displays of Java fern, but even this cops a beating and theres tons of it clogging my filter intakes all the time.

    My 6 x SAE's are around the 5" mark and as fat as my thumb and the most beautiful bronze color. Absolutely stunning fish to look at and watch their antics, but their about as interested in algae as a 4 year old child is in Broccoli.

    What do I do? There's no way I could give away my fish. I'm too attached to them. Do I just give up on a fully planted tank?

    If I had my time over again, I would most likely go with a smaller Tetra species tank and have more schools of small fish (but even my Red Eye Tetras are now very very big and will munch plant tips).

    Whats to be done? Do I turn my tank into a Fish Only Freshwater tank for the foreseeable future???
     
  2. anov50

    anov50 Lifetime Members
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    I had a few large rainbows (marci and blues) that took a liking to eating plants after being housed with some ruby barbs. I started giving them blanched lettuce and few day old trimmings from my tanks (softer that way). They leave the plants alone now for the most part. They seem to go for whatever is the softest. I take trimming from stem plants, leave them in a 5 gallon bucket with some water for 2 nites or so, then put it on a feeding clip and they love it. The only plants they refuse to leave alone now are mosses of any kind.
     
  3. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

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    I'm pretty sure the Angels don't see the plants as a food source. They don't mouth the pieces they rip off or anything. I think it's purely destructiveness on their part.
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Some fish like to eat young plantleaves, like Angels, Rainbows, Congo tetra's etc. But then again, some of them do, some don't. Why, is unclear to me, but I've definately seen angels eat the tops out of Hygros. You could try to feed some algae wafers as a replacement, although old habits are hard to break.

    If you can't live with that, you will have to make a choice, since the fish you have are not optimal to keep in a fully planted tank. To me it's not that difficult. A planted tank that looks well is great to look at, while a tank with beautiful fish but ugly plants still looks ugly. But that might be just a matter of personal taste.
     
  5. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Rehome them. You don't have to give them away. You can always place some of them in a smaller tank. It could be they feel overcrowded somewhat and the destructiveness is territorial behavior. Something along the lines of "Look at me, I'm big and angry, don't come over here or I'll do to you what I'm doing to this plant!".

    -
    S
     
  6. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Large fish like these are actively sought after by people who maintain aquariums is businesses and homes. So I have three suggestions for you:

    1. I would encourage you to contact your local fish store and see if they will do a trade for store credit.
    2. Contact local aquarium cleaning and maintenance services. If you are in a large metropolitan area someone will snap them up.
    3. Take them to your local/regional aquarium club's auction. Most clubs have one or two auctions a year, and large specimens often sell very well.

    It takes time to grow healthy large specimens, so they truly are often sought after.
     
  7. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I made the decision to keep the fish, but move them. The last couple of days I have been setting up a new home for them in a 55gallon tank in my garage. The Angels, Featherfin and Clowns will be residing in there.
     
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