How to add new fish in an aquarium (Acclimatization guide)

Fish are very sensitive in sudden changes of water parameters and may get sick and die when added into a new tank improperly. When you add fish in their new home, they need time to adjust to the new environment. Furthermore, the main water parameters for the adjustment of the fish to their new environment is:
1.temperature
2.pH.
Sudden changes in temperature affect the physiological and behavioral responses of fish. So, if you add new fish in a tank without acclimatizing them first, they get stressed and shocked.
Ph affects the fish’s osmoregulatory function and in sudden changes results in an osmotic imbalance of ions (sodium, potassium) between its body and the water’s tank.
Fish may recover if temperature and pH restored to the original state. However, the best cure to prevent fish from dying from sudden changes is adjusting them to the water parameters of their new home.

Signs of temperature and osmoregulatory (pH) shock:

  1. Loss of appetite.
  2. Breathing rapidly on the surface of the tank.
  3. Laying on the bottom lethargically.
  4. Swimming imbalance.
  5. Paralysis of the respiratory system and cardiac muscles.
    6.Mucus production.

Adding the fish:

  1. Before adding fish test the water and make sure that the water parameters are in a suitable range for the species. If needed adjust the water parameters to the fish’s needs. Furthermore, make sure there are not chlorine levels in the water. In case you already have fish in your tank, feed them before adding their new friends to reduce any aggressiveness.
  2. Take your fish directly home, as bags have limited oxygen and the ammonia levels may raise and cause severe damages.
  3. First, close the lights to reduce stress and then place the sealed bag with the fish to float in the tank for 15 minutes to adjust the bag’s temperature to the tank’s temperature. You may add products in the bag that reduce stress, as well as, the ammonia levels to help the fish. Furthermore, you may test the pH of the water to compare the results for a better outcome in the case of sensitive species.
  4. Open the top of the bag and roll it down to create a ring of air and let the bag to float. Don’t let water to get in/out of the bag.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of your aquarium’s water in the bag and wait for 15 minutes. Repeat the step three times to adjust the bag’s water parameters to those of the tank. In the case of sensitive fish, repeat and stop when the pH level of the water’s bag reaches the pH level of the water’s tank.
  6. Move the fish from the bag into the tank with a small net carefully not to harm them. Do not add the bag’s water to the tank to prevent any transfer of diseases or parasites.
    Don’t feed the fish for one day and let the lights off to help the fish to adjust to their new environment.

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