Moving into a new home can be a shock for any creature, but for fish it is particularly stressful. Not only will a new aquarium tank be completely unfamiliar for your new fish, but the water will likely be of a different quality. Subtle changes in water temperature, pH, and other factors make a huge difference in a fish’s life. To keep your fish safe and healthy, there are certain measures you should take when introducing fish to a new aquarium tank. Here are some tips on how to make an easy transition:
- Talk to an expert at the fish store or to a veterinarian to make sure the aquarium fish species you are adding will be compatible with your existing aquarium fish species.
- Make sure the fish you are adding to your aquarium tank are the proper size for their new environment. Research the species and make sure it won’t grow too large for your tank.
- Test your water quality before adding your new fish. Your chlorine level should be at zero, and your pH should match that of the fish shop’s where your pet is coming from.
- Make sure your tank has plenty of places for a fish to hide. Objects, plants, and rocks provide good cover so that your fish will be less stressed.
- Feed the fish in your aquarium before adding any new fish. This will make the existing fish less aggressive.
- Before adding your new fish, turn your aquarium lights off. You may want to dim the lights in the room as well. This will create a less stressful environment.
Adding the Fish
When you are ready to add your fish into the aquarium, you should follow these steps:
- Take the sealed bag that your fish came in and float it on the surface of your aquarium’s water.
- Allow the bag to sit for ten minutes, then open the bag and add a cup of your aquarium’s water to it. Reseal the bag and let it float again for ten minutes.
- Repeat the previous step until the bag is full. Then, you can use a net to transfer the fish from the bag into the tank. Make sure not to pour any water from the bag into the tank.
After this, your fish is free to swim around and explore his new surroundings. Leave the lights off for a few hours as your fish adjusts, and make sure to look out for any signs of aggression in your fish population.