I have a blue-black VT in a 3gal tank with a filter and heater, and two artificial plants. After doing a few single gallon water changes, I thought I'd do a full tank, clean the gravel and plants.
Catching Herbert was a HORRIBLE experience! I catch birds all the time and can do it without much fuss or stress, but Herbert nearly had me in tears and I can tell you he pouted for 3 days, hung out over his heater, and wouldn't act normally for the entire week.
He's back to normal now, and I am hesitant to upset him that way again. There has to be a simpler way to do this, that doesn't freak the poor thing out. Further, how do you bring 3 gallons of reserved water up to temperature prior to reintroducing the fish?
Is he in the tank when you clean it or do you have him outside of the tank?
You can clean the tank with him IN it??? I don't get it....I thought I was supposed to do a complete water change, plus scrub the tank and stuff. I caught him iwth a little net after much chasing and fussing.
If you absolutely need to take him out of the tank, catching him with a cup (like the one he probably came in) is the least stressfull. One they're near the surface, you just scoop them up, and put them in their holding container while your cleaning the tank. (Unless the cup is his holding container)
You dont need to "scrub" the tank unless its getting nasty. As long as it can swim, he can stay. If youre vacuuming and it could suck him up, remove him.
Trick him, if you want, by luring him to the top will a small nom of some sort and cup the poor thing, lol.
Its not always easy, I have tons of trouble!
You said in your original post that the tank is filtered. If so, you shouldn't be doing 100% water changes. Since you will only be doing partial changes - and, yes, be careful not to suck him up - he can stay in the tank.