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Old 10/20/2017, 12:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 7
Emptying the aquarium to catch shy/aggresive fish

Currently my 550L fowlr tank is like a warzone between a yellowtail damselfish and three allen damsel. Iv tried to use bait and traps, but it's impossible to catch any of those fishes. My question is if i dry the tank, will it be ok for my any other fowlr tank inhabitants? I'm afraid drying the tank will kill the live rock and increase the ammonia to a lethal level

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Old 10/20/2017, 12:43 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 326
Before you do that, I promise you, there are traps that work. Even a simple Soda Bottle trap works wonders. I had a Hawkfish that was TERRORIZING all the other fish in my tank a few years back, (even my Niger trigger that was more than 5x his size) so I made the bottle trap (shown below) and tied fishing line to it. I skipped feeding for 2 days, then I put a cube of food in the trap and sank the bottle, then sat in a chair a few feet away holding the string.
I think it took about 10 minutes, but the jerk finally realized where the food was, swam right up to it and cautiously crawled inside. I pulled the string and had the sucker trapped, and took him to the LFS.

If your rock dries out, it will cause parameters to go crazy if there's any die-off.


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Old 10/20/2017, 03:35 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Central Nebraska
Posts: 2,817
A fish hook with some shrimp has worked for me and others.

Do you mean "dry" or drain the tank? Draining the tank, catching the fish in the low spots, and refilling the tank works well and is a proven method we call the "high and dry method."


Current Tank Info: 125 in-wall , 40b sump. 6 bulb T5. ASM G2 skimmer. LPS and leathers
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Old 10/20/2017, 04:13 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 33,254
Blog Entries: 55
It's just like a low tide: rock survives it fine. You'll probably accomplish your goal with a hand-span of water still left in there: just dig a fist-sized hole in the left front corner (assuming you'll wield a net with your right hand) and they'll go for that as the water level drops. You can save the water in a lined trash can and pump it right back in within a few minutes. Put a mixing bowl in the tank and pump water into that to prevent kicking up sand detritus as you rewater.


Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, 2 firefish, 2 chromis, royal gramma basslet, starry blenny, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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