How to add fish properly - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-23-2008, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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How to add fish properly

My 125 gallon reef tank is fully cycled and I am ready to add a few fish. What is the proper way to add fish? I was reading that you need to quarantine fish first before placing them in a tank. However since I have no other fish in the tank yet, is quarantine really necessary?

What about in the future (after I add the first few fish) - do I have to quarantine fish? If so, where and for how long? I don't have a quarantine tank.

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post #2 of 11 Old 10-23-2008, 04:57 PM
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Quarantine is necessary, you do not want to put ICK or other disease into the tank. Drip acclimation is also necessary. You can get a small tank to use as a quarantine tank, all it needs is a heater, filter and small pvc for fish to hide out in. Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-24-2008, 05:08 PM
I would quarantine as well for the tank, as you will most likely have a good amount of fish.

And for actually acclimating the fish, Drip acclimation is good, but I just do a 30-40min float and add 2-3 cups of water at the 20 minute mark for fish.

Quarantine should take around 2 weeks, if not more. This gives you time to look for illnesses, and diagnose them if they should appear.

And as stated, a Quarantine tank is basically a tank with cycled water that matches the display, a heater, powerhead or two, filter, and some LR or hiding spots. A 20G should be a decent size.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-24-2008, 06:02 PM
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Most people believe that the you should use tank water that you have taken out for a water change. THat way it has the opportunity to adjust to your tank water.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-24-2008, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Cody View Post
And for actually acclimating the fish, Drip acclimation is good, but I just do a 30-40min float and add 2-3 cups of water at the 20 minute mark for fish.
Hey Cody, you may want to eliminate this practice. Research has shown that CO2 does not escape the bag as efficiently when a portion of the bag is submersed in water. Borneman published a series of articles on this topic in the 1990's. Floating is easy, but very stressful for the fish. A drip system is really the only way to go.

Floating has proven so stressful that many pet shops stopped the acclimation process altogether, because setting up drips for hundreds of bags was far to time consuming. Allowing a bag to warm to room temperature and then adding the fish, without acclimation to water chemistry, became the 2nd choice, behind the drip system. LFS's adopting this method reported significantly fewer losses of livestock when they stopped floating the bags. John Tullock owned an LFS in Knoxville at the time and was very vocal against floating bags, supporting Bornemans claims. Here in Louisville, I was personally involved in this process, and we adopted this practice at the LFS... the decrease in lost livestock was incredible.

Bottom line, the drip method is the only way to acclimate properly. If you don't have time to drip, then you are best to just to skip acclimation altogether.

Last edited by Pasfur; 10-24-2008 at 08:13 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-24-2008, 09:49 PM
Wow, thank you for that note Pasfur. I will defiantley be dripping from now on.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-24-2008, 10:18 PM
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Yes, and that's why learning about the fish is so important before you get them. there's a fish that can only be dropped straight into the tank because it needs massive air. even being in a bag for less than an hour can sometimes kill it(for those that drive far for a LFS).
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-24-2008, 10:30 PM
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heres a tip.

dont mix corals and fish in the same bag!!

the fish will suffocate very fast from the chemicals released from the corals.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-24-2008, 11:20 PM
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Everything said is correct so far. The only downfall to drip acclimation is that when a bag which has contained a fish for a long time opens, co2 is quickly released, causing the ph to rise, which converts ammonia to a much more toxic form. When drip acclimating an ammonia neutralizer should be added the the shipping water as soon as it is opened.

As for adding the first fish, it depends on if you already have coral and such in there- and if you want to in the future. If it's a fish only tank, go ahead and add them to the main tank, let that act as the QT. However, if you already have coral, I would QT separately, as the fish may get sick with something which is best treated by a medication not safe to inverts. If you want to add coral or inverts definitely avoid ever having to use copper in the tank.

Also, ask your LFS about their QT methods. The store I work at QT's all fish in 1/2 strength copper for two weeks when they come in (except for special, copper intolerant ones). It's not fail safe, but certainly makes the chance of illness a lot less risky, and makes your investment a more sound one. In fact, people can even put a hold on the fish while they're in QT. They are able to monitor the fish's health during the QT period, and then purchase the fish afterward if they feel it is healthy.

Last edited by okiemavis; 10-24-2008 at 11:23 PM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-24-2008, 11:21 PM
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What exactly is the drip method?
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