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Your Fish's First Day

Your fish’s first day in its new tank is exciting for you, but a little unnerving to your finned friend. There are things you can do to make your fish’s first day as pleasurable as possible.

Minimize trauma

Your fish’s first day in your home is exciting! Well, it’s exciting for you. Your fish is going to be anxious and stressed out. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to erase all of the tension your fish will feel because moving is stressful. However, you can minimize the trauma.

When you leave the pet store with your new fish, get home as quickly as possible. Your fish is not used to being in a car or being jostled about. When you get home, start getting him adjusted to his environment as soon as possible. Your fish’s first day should not be spent entirely in a plastic bag. He should be put in a tank as quickly as is comfortable.

Prep his environment

Yes, you need to get your fish in a tank, but you don’t want to just throw him in and wish him good luck. Fish, like all animals, are sensitive to their environments. So, on your fish’s first day, you’re going to need to let your fish float in his new tank while he’s still in the plastic bag.

You’re going to need to replace about a quarter of the water in your fish’s bag with water from your fish tank. This will allow your new friend to get acclimated to the temperature and pH and chemical levels in the tank. For the first hour of your fish’s first day, your fish should be floating in his bag in the newly replaced water in the fish tank. This will allow him to gradually become accustomed to his environment.

Your fish’s first day is going to be a stressful one, so make sure your tank has plenty of hiding places. Once your fish is ready to be placed in the tank, he’s going to want to hide out until he feels a little more settled.

Be respectful of other fish

Your fish’s first day is also unsettling to any other fish in the tank. All of a sudden they have a new tank mate that they’ve never even met! Before you introduce your new fish, feed your other fish. This will make them less aggressive toward the new fish. Also, do not add a new fish to your tank unless you know you have enough room for another fish. Your fish’s first day will not be a pleasant one if the other fish in the tank feel that they are being crowded out.

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