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Introducing Fish to a New Tank

It’s imperative that you slowly introduce your fish to a new tank because introducing fish to a new tank can be traumatic to the fish.

Why so I need to be careful?

Though it might seem logical, dumping your fish into a new tank is not the proper way to go about introducing fish to a new tank. Think about how it feels when you jump into a freezing cold pond or pool. It takes a minute for your body to acclimate to the new environment. The same thing occurs when a fish is just dumped into a new tank. They need time to adjust to the temperature as well as the pH levels of their new environment. If they aren’t given a chance to adjust, they may go into shock or get sick.

A pH level is the chemical level of the tank. This level varies from tank to tank, which is why when introducing fish to a new tank, it’s a good idea to proceed cautiously. When you buy your fish, ask the clerk the pH level of the tank the fish was kept in. That way when you get home you can adjust your tank to this level before you put your fish in. You should do the same for nitrite and ammonia levels.

Now what?

Perhaps the most common method of introducing fish to a new tank is the swimming plastic bag. Usually when you purchase a fish the pet store will place some of the fish’s tank water in a plastic baggie with the fish and send you on your way. When you get home, you can place this bag with the fish and the water still in it, in the tank. The bag should float in the water for at least an hour before you let the fish out. This will give your fish time to adjust to its new environment.

Keep in mind that if you’re introducing fish to a new tank using the baggie method, you’ll need to replace some of the water in the bag (about 25 percent) with water from your fish tank. This is the best way to allow the fish to get used to the chemical make up of his new environment.

You can use a bucket

You don’t have to keep your fish in the pet store bag. You can also place him in a deep, clean bucket. You need to put the fish in the bucket with the water that came from the pet store. You also need to replace 25 percent of that water with water from your tank.

Some people prefer this method of introducing fish to a new tank because it’s impossible for the pet store water to leak into the fish tank. If you choose the baggie method, make sure water isn’t leaking from the bag into the tank. Pet store water may have different bacteria that you don’t want leaking into your tank. Introducing fish to a new tank should be a pleasurable experience.

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