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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the backstory. My brother in law had a 125 that he needed to get rid of because of his newborn needing a room in the house. So he sold it to me,I proceeded to hook up everything that he had that he threw in with it, the Filstar x3, some generic HOB filter, 300W heater, some black gravel substrate he had, a roman colosseum looking thing, and a 12" piece of driftwood attatched to slate with a screw. I cycled it. Then deposited 2 Jack Dempseys, a firemouth, 2 Convict Cichlids, 2 Pink Convicts, 2 Texas Cichlids, a julli cat, a panda cat, and upside down cat, 3 generic plecos(came with the tank). I later found a little blue mystery snail that my daughter just had to have. Then I unknowingly planted some onion plant I got from Petsmart in there, a cambomba(sp?)from Petsmart,and Amazon Sword from my LFS(already knowing that cichlids eat plants), and also threw in a moss ball from PetCo for good measure. Oh yeah, the canopy has a 40W compact flouro bulb. So that gives me ooh about .3 WPG, talk about low light!!!
So in hopes of eventually finding some aquatic plants to put in a decide to pull out the UGF, the stand that the aquarium sits in I can see the bottom of the tank, and I've got fish mulm from the bottom of the glass to the top of the UGF. Well the time comes to pull the UGF. I change the filters on the HOB, and in the canister, figuring a clean filter will catch some of the crap. I pull all the ornaments, driftwood, Colisseum, broken clay pots, and ceramic tile(leftovers from a bathroom project). The moment of truth hits, I pull out the airlines, grab the tubes of the UGF, and reach in up to my armpits into the aquarium. I pull out the left side, instant green cloud, I pull the right side, now a nice color of brown to add to the green with a mix of black gunk. Oh wow, a ghost shrimp from last month zips by, it's about the size of my thumb. Oh yeah I left all the fish in, if they can survive this, they can survive anything, especially after the 3 day power outage last week.
So I then grab the gravel vacuum, and throw it in the tank, and proceed to pull out 50 Gallons of water out of the tank. I had 30 Gallons of water that I had prepared earlier in the week for the project, so I only had to put 20G of tap water into the 125. The only casualty of the UGF removal was the smaller of the 2 Jack Dempseys, who was a pain and chased everyone around the tank anyway, he swam under a mountain of gravel. So I net him and pull him out, and replant the Amazon, and the onion plant, the cambomba stuff is sitting in some water on the front porch as the fish have eaten it down to the stalk. I grab the camera to take pictures, and realize it got broken a couple of weeks ago, time to go out and buy a new one!

So here we are on day 2, the water has cleared up and everyone is swimming around just fine.
I know there are some things I could have done, like 1. Not put in the UGF in the first place. 2. Remove the fish. 3. Just pull 1 side of the UGF, and do a water change, and do the other at a later time. But oh well, almost everyone is alive!

Now to get some Anubias b. and, some java moss, and maybe a fern. I definitely will be adding an apple snail or 3 if I can find some, and maybe a couple other snails.

Thanks for reading sorry about the length.
 

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:pound: Very funny story! I've still got an undergravel plate on half my tank and I just can't bring myself to remove it for that very reason. Glad to hear most everyone made it through in good shape. :)

That cloudy water was probably more stressful to you than to the fish. ;)

-Dave
 

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LOL! I know this is after the fact, but if you ever have to do it again :eek: you should gravel vac while the ugf is still there, especially if you can see the bottom and you'll pull out all the junk underneath the plates prior to ripping out the plates and spreading it all over the tank.

I wish you luck trying to keep any plant alive with 40W on a 125.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The only problem was the UGF was so clogged with trash that I couldn't get it vacuumed up, I even went so far as hooking my canister filter up to the UGF tubes to try and pull stuff out, but it was just clogged up gunk. I know a result of overfeeding....
About the 40W, you like that huh? maybe I can get some duckweed going, that may last a week!
 

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At last, a use for duckweed!!! I predict it will thrive in your tank, colonize the total water surface, then march across the living room floor heading for bigger and better things.
 

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At last, a use for duckweed!!! I predict it will thrive in your tank, colonize the total water surface, then march across the living room floor heading for bigger and better things.
HAHA! I still have to say. I like duckweed, but only because I have fish that like to eat it..so it never lasts more than a week in my tank.

isenblatter, are you planning on getting some more lighting, or are you going to see if the fern/anubias will live in that low of light? I once had a 100gal with 80 watts of regular flourescent lighting (.8 WPG) and was able to keep a java fern alive, but it never really grew much.

-Dave
 

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Goldfish love Duckweed (Lemna minor) otherwise get ready to hand scoop daily. Duckweed makes good fertilizer for plants and lawns or give bags to your Goldfish keeping friends. Duckweed grows constantly and covers the surface of a tank, blocking out what light gets to the other plants.

Java Moss grows slowly but, again constantly, Goldfish shouldn't bother it but I would not bet on it, they are curious creatures besides being voracious eaters.

These two plants are fairly easy but one hears constantly about folk who cannot grow it so I guess they also have requirements that need to be met.

Lots of light and a carbon source are always basic as well as WC’s. Fish and food should supply the rest.

40 watts of light and a very questionable selection of live stock is dicey at best. You tank is a disaster looking for a place to happen. Get rid of most of the fish. Get your livestock down to two, compatible species and put some money into some lights. The water changes are good and the nasty work of getting rid of the UGF plates is over. Get a HOT magnum with the extra fine filter to polish your water whenever cloudyness happens or just for giggles to have just in case.

This is a start, not the omega. Good luck Partner.
 

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Years ago I had to go through the same thing to remove plates from a 100 gal.

I drained 50% of the water and when refilling I stuck the hose down the uplift tubes to break up the accumulated gunk. Then I inserted the intake from my canister into the tube and it pulled out most of the gunk.

Then I simply removed the plates. There was still some crap under the plates but not nearly as much as there used to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I love my Cichlids is the only bad thing. My convicts produce babies like there is no tomorrow, as soon as I get a batch of them spurted out, I throw them in my 10 gallon with my tons of guppies, when they get large enough, they go back into the big tank as fish food.
I have just started into the planted tank world. It was always just plastic plants for me. I will eventually get my 10 gal up and running planted, but really don't have the time right now with work and life. As far as the big tank goes, I want to keep the Cichlids in, because my kids love watching them run around and chase each other. Maybe if the all the fish go to the big fish tank in the sky I may experiment a little more with a bigger lighting system rig, COs, ferts and the like, but for the time being I'm chilling with my plant eaters/rearrangers.

I wouldn't say my tank is a disaster waiting to happen, all the fish have plenty of room to hide and get away from each other as need be, and compatability is not a problem whatsoever.
 

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That entire family of fish does not deal well with competition. The chasing you see is generally not about being playful buddies or wanting to reproduce. Your fish selection is among the most territorial and all tanks are small. There is no place to go. Somebody will end up dead. Breaking up lines of sight and providing hiding places helps.

There is a running joke in the hobby that Convicts coming up for Auction breed in the bag, sometimes when there is only one.

Your experience of no compatibility issues with these fish is different than all of the folks that I know who keep them. I have a friend who keeps a lot of Cichlids and I would not even want to put my arm in there with them, they can and do bite...hard. It is not unusual for one fish to try and kill a prospective mate. Who knows why? I once had a tank full of Dempsys that I fed Weiners, Dog Food and Snails to as well as fish food. Eventually there was only one fish left.

You may have smaller specimans at the moment but it is a good idea to plan ahead. A lot of the fish species you mentioned stay small but some of them do not. If the Plecos are the common everyday variety they can get big (18 to 24 Inches) and need a larger tank although my experience with them is that they are tolerant and can take care of themselves. Any fish is generally omniverous and widely varying sizes leads to the smaller individual being eaten or just simply harassed to oblivion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've kept South American Cichlids for almost twenty years total now, I'm 31, my father had several 125 Longs, growing up and I got my first 55 at 10. I've tried every possibly combination of SA's to come up with this collection, which over the years has proven to me to be a good mix of fish. I know about the agressiveness of the varieties of Cichlids. We need to keep in mind that our aquarium hobbies are just reflections of nature. In nature, fish will not always get along, you will not just have a pond, lake, or ocean of fish that do not chase each other, eat each other, or eat each other's young. Nature does not have powerheads, external canister filters, UGF, in tank heaters, CO2 diffusers, the hobby has evolved to make keeping these fish in "natural settings" easier, and we need to remember that.
 

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2 Jack Dempseys, a firemouth, 2 Convict Cichlids, 2 Pink Convicts, 2 Texas Cichlids, a julli cat, a panda cat, and upside down cat, 3 generic plecos(came with the tank). I later found a little blue mystery snail
I used to keep South American Cichlids, and I just don't see how those fish in a 125 gal is "a disaster waiting to happen". From my experience, all of those species get along together as long as they have room to move around, which they do in this case. Perhaps the julli and panda may not fair well, but all the others are compatible in my experience.
 
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