Adding Fish to Your Aquarium

There are a lot of options for setting up aquariums, with many different sizes and lots of different equipment that can be used. An ideal beginner aquarium is one of the new ‘all in one’ aquariums made by a number of manufacturers. These come with lights and filters built into the aquarium and are easy to set up.

Check the Aquarium
Before purchasing any new fish, make a quick check of the aquarium. Ensure the filters, aeration etc are working properly. Check the water quality, particularly pH and ensure it is at a suitable level – for most community tanks a level of 6.8 – 7.2 would be suitable. It may also help to improve the water quality if a water change is also undertaken before purchasing new fish.

Check Fish Compatibility
When buying the fish, check with the pet shop staff to ensure the new fish will be suited to your aquarium and will mix with the species you already have. It is also good to get your water aquarium water tested prior to adding new fish. The Happy Pet Place offers free water tests, so bring in a container of your aquarium water with you.

  1. Avoid delays
    Your fish will have been bagged with minimum water at the Pet Store or Aquarium , and changes such as temperature fluctuations, reduced oxygen levels and increased ammonia levels can occur rapidly. Try to get the fish home quickly and keep the bag out of direct sunlight and extremes of temperature.
  2. Turn off lights
    Turn off lights on the tank – bright lights can add to the stress of fish.
  3. Acclimatizing your Fish
    Gently place the sealed bag in your tank and let it float for up to 15 minutes, this will allow your fish to climatize to the temperature of your tank.
    Then add about half a cup of your aquarium water to the bag approximately every four minutes. This will allow the fish to get used to your aquarium water. The number of times you do this will depend on the size of the bag. A smaller bag 2 to 3 times will be ample.
  4. Place fish in the tank
    Pour the contents of the bag (fish and water) through a net, capturing the water in a container, and the fish in the net. (Try not to handle the fish too much). Carefully release the fish from the net into your tank, discard the wastewater appropriately. Do not place the water from the bag into the tank.
  5. Overcome Transport Stress
    We recommend adding Stress Coat and Stress Zyme anytime new fish are added to an aquarium. API Stress Coat is scientifically proven to reduce fish stress and heal damaged tissue. It forms a synthetic slime coating and replaces the natural secretion of slime that is interrupted by handling, shipping, fish fighting, or other forms of stress.

    Stress Zyme contains over 300 million live bacteria per teaspoonful. Breaks down organic compounds that cause dangerous conditions such as ammonia and nitrite poisoning and low oxygen levels. continuous use assures an active biological filter, cleaner aquarium, healthier fish and good water quality. 

    In addition to adding both Stress Coat and Stress Zyme do not feed for the first 24 hours, and leave the light off for at least 3 hours, to help the fish overcome the transport stress.
  6. Observe with Care
    Observe your fish carefully for the next few days. Signs of stress, such as white spot can be treated by White Spot or a broad-spectrum medication.

If you have any questions and guidance regarding fish, pop into The Happy Pet Place and speak to one of our fish experts.