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Adding new fish to your tank
There are many different fish tanks available suited for all ages from children, the new fish keeper, and the more experienced fish keeper. Therefore the addition of a new fish or group of fish can be a very exciting time for all of the family.
When purchasing new fish it is advised to read up about the type of fish you already have and the ones you may like to introduce into your tank. Some fish will fight, some will eat smaller fish, and some may out grow your tank.
Goldfish are coldwater fish and suited to non-heated tanks. There is a variety of goldfish to choose from, from common Goldfish, Fan Tailed Goldfish, Minnows and for larger ponds Koi.
Tropical fish live in warm heated water. For example there are species like Tetras, Danios that like to live in groups. The Siamese fighter prefers to live alone and some fish are suitable to live with invertebrates like shrimps.
When introducing fish to a new tank the tank should have been left to ‘cycle’, this is a term for setting up your tank, adding the gravel, décor, filter, heater (if needed) and water and leaving the tank to run for a period of time. This allows the tank to get to temperature, ensures the equipment is working properly and allows the bacteria to grow on the sponges within the filter. The tank can be treated with API tap water conditionerwhich will rid your aquarium of dangerous chemicals, such as chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals.
When adding new fish it is advised to make new introductions to the tank slowly. This will allow the biological filtration (the bacteria on the sponges) to slowly increase in line with the amount of fish in the tank.
Some fish however do like to live in groups often called a shoal so would require the introduction of at least 6 of the required species at a time. Examples of these fish are Tetras, Minnows, Danios etc.
It is also advised to quarantine new fish for around 2 weeks before they are put into the main tank. This time allows for any disease or infection to show which can then be treated without infecting the main tank. However this is not always possible as often fish keepers will not have access to another tank. Upon purchasing new fish it is advised to look over the health of your possible new purchase for any signs of disease or infection. It is advised to take care if there are any ill or dead fish within the shop tank.
API Stress Coat is a water conditioner that is used when adding new fish into an aquarium. It is a multi-purpose product which is scientifically proven to help relieve fish of stress, as well as help to restore tissue damage. It works by forming a synthetic slime coating around the fish, helping to replace the natural secretion of slime produced by fish. This can often be halted by stressful situations, leaving the fish more vulnerable to disease and infection. It is a multi-purpose solution which also helps to remove ammonia, chlorine and chloramines from tap water. It is advised that this product is used when adding new fish, during water changes, or when beginning a new aquarium.
When you purchase your fish from the shop they will be inside a clear plastic bag with a supply of water and air. They can last for several hours in this bag. The bag should be kept away from heat sources, draught and too much movement.
Introducing your new fish:
- Upon getting your new fish home turn off the tank lights and float the bag in the top of the tank. You may need to take some tank water out first to save making a mess.
- Allow the bag to float unopened for 15-20 minutes. This will allow the water in the bag to become the same as the water in the tank.
- Next open up the bag and roll down the sides. Add some water from the tank into the bag, adding small amounts slowly is advised. Ensure the water from the shop does not go into your tank. You do not know what chemicals etc the shop water may contain.
- This process should take another 15-20 minutes. After this time you can then catch the fish with a net and place them into the tank.
- Keep the tank lights off for the rest of day as this will reduce the amount of stress to the fish.
- The fish can then be fed, ideally a few hours after or the next day.