Put fish in the aquarium – this is how it works
Moving to a new home means one thing above all for fish: stress! In addition, they have to adapt to their new environment and new water values. Read here what you absolutely have to consider when catching, transporting and releasing the fish.
If you want to stock your aquarium with new fish, you always face the same challenge. The new fish must be caught, transported safely and then used in your own aquarium. For the fish, this process is associated with great stress, which can be minimized by taking the right approach.
Before buying new fish, you must also find out which species can be easily socialized in the aquarium. For shoal fish it is generally more comfortable to travel in groups of three or more, depending on their size.
Before inserting: catch fish
If possible, fish should not be caught by hand. A fine-mesh landing net and a lot of patience are ideal.
The least stressful way to catch fish is to place a larger net some distance ahead of the fish and gently maneuver them in with a smaller net. You should note the following:
- The net used to catch the fish must be at least four times the size of the fish itself
- The landing net must have such a fine net that the wriggling fish cannot get caught in it.
- When removing it, it is advisable to carefully place one hand on the bottom of the net so that the fish inside doesn’t wriggle as much.
With a little skill, the fish can of course also be surprised and caught from behind. This is usually quicker than chasing after the fish in question with the landing net and possibly driving it crazy. In any case, you should make the catch action as calm as possible.
Dangers when catching the fish for transport
Fish have different methods of protecting or defending themselves when threatened. They generally use flight or camouflage, but some species adopt more direct strategies: a popular tool is even poison. Caution is required here and – when moving or traveling – fish traveling with you must not be exposed to this danger.
Example armored catfish
A well-known example is catfish, especially all types of armored catfish. Anyone who has caught them by hand may have already become familiar with the spine that is placed directly in front of the dorsal fin.
In addition, armored catfish secrete toxins under stress to defend themselves. In a transport bag with comparatively little water, the concentration of these toxins can become so high that other animals die or are at least severely affected. Therefore, do not bag armored catfish together with other fish or animal species, only fish of their own kind.
Before inserting: transport fish safely
Special plastic bags with an elongated shape and rounded corners are ideal for transporting the fish. This invention has meanwhile established itself in the entire aquaristic sector. You should note the following:
Before catching the fish, the transport bag should be filled a third full with the water from which the caught fish have just come.
The clear bags can be wrapped in newspaper or a small blanket to darken the interior. The fish inside are much calmer and are not exposed to the strongly changing external stimuli (light, temperature). You are, after all, in a situation where there is no way to find shelter.
It is advisable to transport the transport bag with the fish lying flat. This creates a larger water surface and more space for the fish.
To ensure additional protection during transport:
If the fish are very sensitive, it is possible to add an additive to the water. Some medicines for fish are suitable in small doses to reduce the stress of the animals and to have a positive effect on the mucous membranes in the event of minor injuries. Ultimately, they also strengthen the immune system of the fish, which suffers greatly from the severe stress of transport. Talk to your veterinarian about this beforehand.
Put fish correctly in the future aquarium
Once you have arrived at your destination, you should never simply put the fish in the aquarium. Especially in their stressed state, this can come as a shock, which can also be fatal. Fish need some time to get used to it. This is how you proceed correctly when introducing the fish into the new aquarium:
- Turn off the light in the aquarium
- Hang the transport bag in the aquarium so that the water temperature can adjust.
- Pour some water from the aquarium into the transport bag about every five minutes until the amount of water in the transport bag has doubled.
- After about 30 minutes, carefully take the fish out of the transport bag with the landing net and place them in the aquarium.
- After about an hour, the light in the aquarium can be switched on again.
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