Acclimating a New Fish
Acclimating a new fish is by far the most
important step you can follow to keep a fish healthy and disease free.
Acclimating should never be avoided. A rapid change in their
environment increases stress levels making them susceptible to diseases.
If the water changes are made gradually, adapting from one, water
chemistry to another, it decreases stress keeping your fish healthy.
When your new fish arrive home, open the
shipping box in a dimmed area, preventing a shock from one or two days
in total darkness to a burst of light in seconds. Inspect your new fish.
If the fish look healthy, maybe a little frighten from shipping, then
start acclimating. You do not want to keep your new fish in the
shipping bags any longer than you have to. If your fish look sick or
are gasping for air, start emergency acclimation procedure below,
immediately. Caution: only if you are absolutely positive the fish
need the emergency procedure! Your new angels should be quarantined in
their own tank for about 7-10 days from the rest of your fish. Hoses
and nets should be kept clean and separated. This not only protects
your fish, but the new arrivals as well. Never just float a bag, either
when receiving fish by mail or from a local pet shop, it is very
unhealthy and even dangerous to the fish. We are often told to do it
this way, but it is bad advice. As the temperature inside the bag
rises, ammonia levels increase as well. Ammonia levels of just .02 PPM
could harm or even kill your new fish. We ship our fish in the Kordon
breathable bags, these bags allow oxygen in and CO2 out. You can read
about the breathable bag on
We will e-mail you the configuration of fish per bag so you can plan on
this before your order arrives. Have extra bags on hand or a clean
plastic container that can hold about 8-10 cups of water. There are
many different ways to acclimate a new fish. This way has worked for
us, without experiencing any losses or diseases due to improper
acclimating. The following instructions should be followed.
Put one shipping bag inside a clean 3-5 gallon
bucket. We ship are fish with up to 10 angels per bag and 4 bags per
box. Plan on this before your fish arrive. Open the bag and gently
pour both fish and water into the bucket. Add a cup of clean water from
the tank your fish are planning to go in, then additional cups every 10
minutes for 40 minutes, (4 cups total in 40 minutes.) Gently net each
angel and add to your tank. Discard acclimating water from bucket.
Never add any shipping or acclimating water to your tank. Repeat above
steps as necessary. Keep the lights dimmed or off for a few hours to
allow the new fish to get familiar with there new surroundings. Donít
worry about feeding your new fish for at least 3 hours.
likely youíll never need the emergency procedure, but I have included it
just in case of any unforeseen problems during shipping. After
inspecting the fish and if any appear to be gasping for air or sick
looking, forget using separate buckets there is no time. Dump all of
them into a clean bucket. Caution: only the bags that contain the
gasping or sick looking fish. The other bags acclimate using the
acclimating procedure above. Add one capful of Amquel or another liquid
ammonia remover, and a cup of water from the aquarium your fish were
intended to go in. For every fish bag added to the bucket, add an air
stone to the bucket to cause some surface water movement. This will
help to release C02 faster. If you have an extra heater around, set it
at 83-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Always follow instructions for the proper
use of the heater, or any other electrical device around an aquarium.
Your safety always comes first. Once you have completed the above
steps. Start to replace the water in the bucket with fresh de
chlorinated 83-85 degree water every 15 minutes. For example, for every
one cup of water removed from the bucket replace one cup of fresh de
chlorinated 83-85 degree water to the bucket. At this time, most or all
the fish should be doing fine. If this is the case start to acclimate.
Use a clean plastic container that can be floated in the intended
aquarium. Fill with water from the bucket, and add the amount of fish
in proportion to the size of the container. Float container in the
aquarium for about 15 minutes. Gently net from container and add fish
to tank. Discard water in container and repeat as necessary. For any
remaining sick fish, keep them in the bucket until they appear to be
doing fine, than acclimate. Or if they die, read our guaranteed fish
Emergency Acclimation Procedure
Add bags of sick fish to a clean bucket
Add a capful of Amquel, Amquel Plus or another
liquid ammonia remover for each fish bag to the bucket.
Add a cup of water from the intended tank for
each fish bag added to the bucket.
Add an air stone for oxygen and to release CO2.
If possible, add a heater to the bucket set at
83-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Start equally replacing water from the bucket
with de chlorinated 83-85 degree fresh water.
Acclimate the fish in a clean floatable
container in there intended aquariums that are doing fine.