Unpacking your fish
Getting new fish for your tank is exciting! The first thing you want to do is release them into their new home and admire them. But a few steps taken before you release them can make a huge difference to the wellbeing on your new fish and any fish you already have in your tank.
TAKE YOUR TIME
While the fish are in their bags they are safely packed with oxygen, so there is no need to immediately cut the bags open. This is the time you can start getting the fish acclimatised to their new environment.
MATCH THE TEMPERATURE
Start by trying to get the temperature of the tank and the temperature of the bag the same. One easy way to do this is by simply floating the bag in the tank. No need to open the bag, just let it float in the tank for around 5 minutes or so.
MATCHING THE WATER CHEMISTRY
Once you have the temperature sorted, it’s time to match the water chemistry. The water in the bag will be different to what is in your tank. The easiest way to do this is to ad tank water to the water your fish is already swimming in. There are many ways to do this. Some will cut the bag open and ad tank water to the bag. Others will put the fish into a bucket with the bag water and ad some tank water to the bucket. Either will do the job. But we prefer to release the fish into the Styrofoam Box your fish arrived in. Once the fish are swimming around in a cm or so of water ad water from the tank to the box. Until you have around 2-3 times the volume of what you started with. Let them sit for a minute of so (Not too long as they may run out of oxygen if you can’t put a air bubblier into the water with them)
RELEASING YOUR FISH
This doesn’t have to be over complicated. You have taken the time getting them acclimatised to the water they are about to be released into. But a gentle release into the tank would be preferred by your fish. Start by turning off the aquarium light. This will help keep the new fish calm when they first enter the tank. If Your tank has fish swimming in it already, turning off the light will also help prevent the existing fish thinking you’re about to feed them. (You don’t want the new fish being mistaken for food by the old fish). The final step is the release. You can gently tip them water and all into the tank. Or scoop them up with a fine net. Or even better if you have a small cup/container that can scoop both the fish and some water with the fish and release them that way it will leave the fish in much better condition.