After setting up a new tank and getting fish to fill it, you might be inclined to merge the two together immediately. However, as exciting as it is to see your new tank in action, placing fish into their new home straightaway could cause various issues. Your fish might endure osmosis shock, discoloration, illness, or even death without proper acclimation to their new environment. So how long should you wait to put fish in a new tank?
Adding Fish to a Brand-New Tank
Setting up a new tank involves creating an ideal ecosystem for your fish to thrive in. Each component of a fish tank requires a set time to go into effect before it can create a stable, healthy atmosphere for the fish and greenery. To successfully live in a tank, fish require certain water temperatures, lighting, pH balances, circulation, and bacterial activity, among other set conditions.
Typically, you should wait at least 24 to 48 hours and even up to a week before adding fish to a new tank. Waiting ensures that all the set conditions for the ecosystem have had time to establish themselves. This also gives your fish enough time to acclimate to their new environment.
Increasing an Existing Fish Population
Fish tanks are like playgrounds. Certain fish become territorial over certain areas or decor in the tank, and they may not be so welcoming to sharing their space with newbies. Therefore, adding fish to a new tank with an existing population also requires a bit of wait time. You need to wait at least six weeks after adding the initial population into the tank to introduce any new fish. This allows the first set of fish to get used to the environment and minimize the amount of shock they endure as they get comfortable with their new home. It also further establishes whether your tank conditions meet the ideal qualities for fish to survive. If you have aggressive fish, using tank sectionals and waiting another hour for the fish to socialize and familiarize themselves with one another through a barrier can reduce any aggressive tendencies.
Introducing Another Species
Like increasing the existing population, introducing other species to a new tank requires a couple of weeks to let the initial fish populace settle into their new environment. Before mixing the fish species together, let one species explore their new home for an hour to help them calm down and to reduce shock. Then, with barriers separating the species, let them socialize for another hour. Once they have had time to familiarize themselves, you can let the different species merge and enjoy their new home and family members together.
Prior to enjoying the benefits and beauty of your new custom aquarium tank, you have to set the stage and let the starlets get to know one another and familiarize themselves with their new setting. Knowing how long you should wait to put fish in a new tank allows your tank’s ecosystem to create the ideal conditions for the fish to survive. Waiting before merging new fish with others and into their new home reduces the risks of death, illness, and other mishaps that can affect the success of your new tank.