How to Acclimate a Fish to a New Bowl or Aquarium
How To Keep New Fish Alive
When you bring your aquarium fish home, make sure you acclimate the fish to your new bowl of aquarium if you want them to stay alive. There are some simple but very important steps to take when adding new fish to an aquarium.
If you take the 15 minutes or so that it takes to introduce fish to a new aquarium properly, the result will be a much higher probability of success for the new fish and lower probability of disease to the old fish.
Add Fish Slowly
Never add more than 2-3 fish at a time. It's better to go back to the store two weeks later for more.
Get New Fish Home Fast
For starters, once you have purchased a new pet for your home fish tank, it's time to go home. Don't stop off at a few more places to shop while the poor fish is left in the car. There's oxygen in that little bag of water, but only so much, and the temperature will change much more quickly in the bag than it would in a 10 gallon tank. Also, make sure you have not purchased too many fish for your fish tank size.
Getting your pet home quickly will reduce stress that can come from excessive temperature change or lack of oxygen. This stress is what can bring on disease that not only may cause problems for this fish, but can end up taxing your entire aquarium. For best results, make the pet store your last stop before going home.
Leave Fish in the Bag
Keep the bag closed and equalize the water temperature first.
Equalize the Temperature
Once you make it home, place the unopened bag in the water of your home aquarium for at least 15 minutes. This will allow the temperature of the water in the bag to gradually change to be equal to the temperature of the water in the tank or fish bowl.
This gradual change is much better for the fish, and will make the transition much easier - at least where the temperature variance is concerned.You will also be entertained by the other fish in the tank as they check out the big strange bag floating around at the water's surface.
Don't forget about your fish! Leaving the fish in the bag too long, or forgetting about it, can cause a depletion of oxygen in the water that will harm or kill your new fish.
Add Only the Fish
Don't dump the water into your tank - just the fish please.
Adding Fish to a New Aquarium
Now it is finally time to get the fish in the tank, but before you do that take note. Whatever you do, don't dump that nasty pet store water into your pristine home aquarium or fish bowl. That water can bring with it diseases that you really don't want.
To properly introduce a new fish to an aquarium, use a small net to scoop them out of the pet store bag and gently place them in the fish tank water. This leaves the bag of water out of your tank.
Once you have added each of the fish, you can toss that pet store water down the drain and wash it away.
When to Feed New Aquarium Fish
Wait at least an hour or two from the time you add new aquarium fish before the next feeding. This gives them time to settle down and get acclimated to their new surroundings so that they may actually eat. It also allows the other fish to get to know them a bit.
Feed just as you normally would, adding only enough food that all the fish will eat in a few minutes. If they don't seem to eat well at first, don't sweat it. They are likely to be good to go at the next meal.
A Quick Review For Introducing Fish
Remember, to make sure your new fish stay alive, follow these steps:
- Don't add more than 3 at a time
- Bring them home quickly
- Equalize the water temperature in the bag before opening
- Add only the fish, leaving the pet store water behind
- Feed them a couple hours later
If you follow these simple tips to acclimate fish to their new home, you have done your best.