There are two areas of introducing new fish into an aquarium that you must be aware of:
1. Fish Quarantine
Fish quarantine is one big, singular factor that must be observed strictly before you can be sure that your new fish is of good health and not an apostle of doom for the other inmates. Most new fishkeepers don’t take consider this very important factor.
For the benefit of intending aquarists, quarantine in the fish world refers to the physical and chemical treatment of new fishes (either imported or caught from the wild) to rid them of disease and restlessness before introduction into a new environment,
A small quarantine tank (30x20x25cm) is advisable for any serious aquarist. The alternative is to be sure that your pet shop has a functional quarantine section to cater for bacterial, fungal and viral diseases.
This is a sure guarantee against fish deaths. The unfortunate thing with most shops in the country is the lack of space and inadequate expertise to build and administer the prophylaxis procedure on new fish, as the procedure is sure to last at least nigh days! To the average aqua-investor, this is an unnecessary tie down of capital and you know what that means.
Admittedly, the expense incurred on quarantine by way of chemical purchase e.g. copper sulphate, wescodyne, malachite green, teremycin etc) is high. This is more or less reflected on the final sales price of the fish, which is slightly higher in our shop. But, this would pay you off in the long run, as it is unlikely that you will complain of fish deaths any longer.
I am quite sure, some fish farmers reading this column would be more concerned about the application of this procedure to solve their farm problems especially those with hatcheries or those who stock with post fry and fingerlings.
2. Feeding New Fish
When you just introduce a new fish to aquarium tank it’s necessary to feed the fish. Though this will not be instant because no matter how carefully you add the fish to your aquarium tank they will look very unhappy for a while.
Thus it’s necessary that you turn the flights out, and leave them overnight to get used to their new home first before thinking of feeding them. Then feed fish with aquarium fish food with fish flakes the next day, this will make the fish feel at home.
If you already have an established tank, it is advisable to quarantine new fish before adding them to an existing populated, and the cheapest way to do this is to purchase a plastic tank which will need no gravel or plants.
This can be used solely for quarantine and as a hospital tank.
Leave the fish in this tank for about three days during which any disease harbored by the fish would be evident for which it can be treated using available chemicals from your dealer. The fish can then be introduced into the tank in the same way as before.
When you add new fish to an established community, there will probably be a certain amount of harassment of the new arrivals by the original fish. Try to divert their attention by giving them a good feed when the fish are introduced.