Once you have your fish tank established you will want to introduce some hardy starter fish and allow them to live in the tank for a couple of months before introducing new fish. When purchasing your starter fish, keep in mind the type of fish you want to have in the end, and only buy fish that will be compatible with the fish you want to have eventually. This will allow your tank to cycle through the chemical cycle all new tanks experience. Once done, you can begin adding new fish to your aquarium.
When you go shopping for new fish for your tank, watch carefully so that you pick healthy fish. Do not buy any fish that have white or red spots on them. Spots are usually an indication of disease. Look for fish that are active and alert. Avoid buying fish from tanks that have sick or dead fish in them. By taking these precautions, you will avoid introducing diseases into your tank.
Introducing new fish to your aquarium creates stress for the new and old fish alike. If possible, isolate your new fish in a quarantine tank for a few weeks to watch for disease. This is not always possible, however, and there are some steps that you can take to make the transition easier on all involved.
First, make sure there are plenty of hiding places in your tank. Plants, rocks, and aquarium decorations are great places for new fish to hide. Float the bag in the water for at least twenty minutes before releasing the fish. An hour is even better. Your new fish will have plenty of air, and since the bag is clear, your fish will be able to observe each other. This is also important because the temperature of the water in the bag needs to regulate to be the same as that of the tank. If you can, only add more than one fish at a time. This way the fish already in the tank will not single out the one new fish.
Before releasing your fish, feed the fish in the tank. This may keep aggression down when introducing the new fish. After introducing your new fish, keep a close watch on the water conditions of your tank. You do not want water chemical changes to create any unneeded stress on your tank inhabitants.
A great way to distract your current fish from their new tank mate is to rearrange the plants, rocks, and other decorations in the aquarium before adding the new fish. This will disrupt territories of the fish in the tank, and will help your new fish to be on the same page. Also, the new environment will distract your fish from their new friend.
By keeping these tips in mind, and selecting fish that are compatible, you can keep the stress of introducing new fish to your tank to a minimum. Follow these steps each time you introduce a new fish to your tank! By creating a smooth transition, you will help keep all your fish happy and healthy.