01-31-2009, 07:10 PM
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Agreed - temperature is only one of the factors you have to let equalize during acclimation. If there was a significant difference in pH between the water at the store and the water in your tank, the fish could have died from pH shock. A better way is to acclimate using the method catfishtabbi described. Or, you could open the bag, roll down the top so that the bag floats, and float it in the tank. Every five or ten minutes, add about a shot glass full of tank water to the bag until the volume at least doubles. Either method will help prevent pH shock. It is also quite likely that the fish was already sick or stressed to begin with and that the acclimation process was enough to do him in.
How long has the tank been set up, and do you know about cycling an aquarium? If the tank wasn't cycled before adding fish, you will have to do water changes just about daily in order to keep ammonia and nitrite in check until the tank can cycle.
One more question: do you know what type of fish this "algae eater" is? The two most common fish sold as such are the common plecostomus, which reaches lengths of 18" and needs an absolutely huge tank, and the Chinese algae eater, which reaches up to 6" but can become very aggressive as it ages (plus, it will stop eating algae as it gets older).