A pretty devastating thing happened since the last time I posted here. I was in Europe for a month because of work so I left the tank in my brother's care. This guy is one of the most responsible people (for his age anyway) that I know. But he's a 15-year-my-junior college student and got wrapped up in exams. Long story short, he neglected my perfectly healthy and thriving tank and it crashed. When he came back, only the catfish survived. All my cichlids died. I was absolutely devastated. This was back in March. Coming back home to a tank like that was, as you can imagine, the most crushing thing. I really bonded with those guys and miss them every day. Their personalities were amazing and I'm truly still feeling a huge amount of grief over it. So I spent a whole day cleaning my tank. I had to recycle all over again because it really crashed and I didn't feel comfortable using that same media (it was jello basically). Weeks later when it was fully cycled, I got some more fish. One of my Severums is fond of plants - to put it mildly. My giant Amazon sword is basically almost entirely gone now (see photo). I'd like to place a rock or a big piece of wood in that place. So I have a few questions: 1. How do I take care of this plant? Do I cut it all the way down to the gravel and place the rock on top of it? Will this cause problems? 2. If so - how on earth do I take out the plant - roots and all? The gravel/sand is about 2" and sitting on top of around 1" of soil. Will this cause problems in my cycle if I take it out? Do I *have to* take it out? 3. Lastly......are there any really really strong as , foul-tasting-to-fish plants that I can put there? I'm completely anti-plastic and do not use it in my tank so plastic plants are a no go for me. Help!!