So, you have gotten yourself a few new fishes for your aquarium!
Great! But before you release them into the tank, there are steps to follow so that your fish don’t go into shock when you release them in.
This could lead to illnesses or even death for your little friends.
Here are a few simple steps to introduce your fishes into your tank:
- Make sure your tank is stable before adding your fish in. Test the water parameters to make sure everything is balanced in the tank. If you aren’t sure that your tank is safe, one can’t go wrong with a water change. Change 10 – 20% of the water in your aquarium to make sure. Be sure to add your water conditioners after doing a water change to remove Chlorine, Chloramines etc.
- Your fish most likely is in a plastic bag from the shop. Do not open the bag yet. Instead, place the bag in the aquarium to let it float for 10 to 20 minutes. This process is to allow the temperature of the water in the bag and your aquarium to be equal. We don’t want your fish to experience a sudden change of temperature.
- After waiting, get a cup and pour some of your aquarium water into the bag. This is to allow your fish to slowly get used to its new environment. Be careful when opening the bag. You do not want water from inside the bag to go into the aquarium. Water in the bag may contain parasites or diseases that can enter the tank.
- Reseal the bag and let it rest on the water again for another 10 to 20 minutes to let your fish get used to the new water.
- Once the wait is over, carefully net the fish out of the bag and gently release it into your tank. Remember not to let water from the bag get into the aquarium.
- Once the fish is in, turn off your aquarium light for a few hours to let the fish adjust to its new home comfortably and stress-free. During the first few days after introduction, watch the fish to make sure there are no signs of aggression or illness.
The process of introducing new fish to the aquarium shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time.
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A full-proof way to make sure your fish is free of any illness before letting it into your aquarium is to get yourself a quarantine tank. A quarantine tank is a separate tank that houses new or sick fish before being released into the main tank. The quarantine tank acts as monitoring tank to make sure any diseases that your fish might have does not enter the main aquarium.
The quarantine tank can be a simple and cheap plastic aquarium fitted with a filter and/or air pump. A heater is also a plus if you need to raise or lower the temperature to keep the fish comfortable and to increase appetite. Monitor the fish for 2 – 4 weeks before introduction into the main aquarium.
By following these steps and adhering to pre-introduction principles, your new fishes should have a smooth transition into its new home with minimal stress.