Adding your aquarium fish correctly

You will have observed that wild animals are transported blindfolded, because this makes the journey considerably calmer and less stressful for them. There is a similar trick to reduce stress for fish. Stress leads to the weakening of the immune system in fish and often to an increased likelihood of illness.

Help keep your new arrivals healthy by catching them correctly, transporting them appropriately and adding them to the aquarium correctly! It’s worth following a few tips:

Catching fish

Always catch fish with two fish nets! With the smaller one you drive the fish into the large net and lift them out of the water. When doing so, keep one hand BELOW the net. The fish will then struggle less and injure their mucous membrane less.

Most people chose fish nets that are too small. The fish net should at least have four times the size of the fish itself. Don’t touch fish with spikes and ideally catch them with a vessel instead of a fish net. But if you use a net, choose one with a VERY fine mesh where the spikes can’t get tangled up. If your fish is tangled up in the fish net, it often helps to put the net with the fish in the aquarium or transport container. The fish can then free itself alone.

The transport

Many pet shops add a few drops JBL Acclimol in your fish transport bag before closing it. With JBL Acclimol the fish are calmed, the stress is reduced, and, due to protective colloids, the fish’s mucous membrane is protected against infections which can occur when small injuries through the net create entry points for germs.

A transport bag should only be filled one third with water and transported in a lying position. This enlarges the water surface to a maximum and no oxygen problems will occur. As with wild animals it is quite helpful to darken the fish transport bag using paper or a paper bag. Additionally the paper has an insulating effect against high or low external temperatures.

Only if the fish is very high-backed, such as the discus or the angelfish, should the bag stand upright. Ideally, the pet shop will also have filled the bag with pure oxygen for transport. For fish species that have accessory (additional) respiratory organs, such as labyrinth fish, pure oxygen must not be filled into the transport bag. Normal air contains "only" 21 % oxygen.

Armored catfish (many Corydoras species) release quite a strong toxin into the water under stress. This has a toxic effect on fish. Therefore they should never be packed in the same transport bag with other fish and some activated carbon should be added to adsorb the toxin.

Double transport bags: For fish that have spines, it is advisable to use two bags on top of each other, ideally even with a layer of newspaper in between. This prevents the spine from penetrating the bags and the bag from leaking during transport. This method has also worked with sharp-edged corals. Alternatively, transport in a bucket would be possible.

Transporting, transferring and adding fish without losses. Here’s how!

How do I correctly add aquarium fish to my aquarium? How are ornamental fish best transported? What problems can occur when inserting fish? What should NEVER be done and why not? We show you step by step how to introduce ornamental fish into your aquarium correctly and without any problems.

The insertion

As soon as you arrive home with the fish transport bag, please switch off your aquarium light and put the lighting aside. Open the bag, roll down its edge and put the bag onto the water surface. The rolled up edge will make the bag float on the water.

Gradually transfer small quantities of water from your aquarium to the transport bag until the water quantity in the bag has doubled, to acclimatise the fish to the new water values and temperature. Now add a dose of JBL Acclimol into your aquarium water to protect the animals after the relocation against germs in the aquarium which are new for them. After you have added about 10 „shot glasses“ of aquarium water into the bag you can put the fish, after about 30 minutes, carefully with a fish net from the bag into the tank. Please DON’T pour the transport water into your aquarium. It could contain new germs, problematic copper or residues of medications! Switch the light on again after one hour. With territory defending fish, like cichlids, we advise you slightly redesign the aquarium when adding new fish. That way the existing territorial boundaries can be fought out anew.

The JBL Acclimol disposable cartridges with a 50 ml content are very handy. Shake vigorously and pour the entire contents into your aquarium - this is the best way to protect your new arrivals!

Be very careful when handling fish that have spines! The most unpleasant are spines from freshwater rays. Stings almost always become infected and take months to heal! Even harmless-looking fish can sting painfully. These include armored catfish (pectoral fin rays), clown loaches (lower eye spines), cichlids (dorsal fin rays) and a few more. In seawater, there are also fish species that can actively inject venom, such as the well-known lionfish (Pterois species) and stonefish (deadly venom). Surgeonfish have a razor-sharp scalpel on the root of their tail, and zoanthids from the genus Palythoa secrete the really dangerous toxin palytoxin, which can even be life-threatening if it comes into contact directly or via aerosols in the air. Good ventilation and gloves are recommended when working on the aquarium. The following always applies to poisons: They affect each person differently, as is known from bee stings.

Spines on armored catfish
In rays, the venomous spine is located on the tail
Loaches have under-eye spines
Many cichlids have very pointed and long fin rays
Lionfish and their relatives have venom in their fin rays
The poison in the fin rays of stonefish is very often lethal
Surgeonfish have sharp "scalpels" on their tail root
Zoanthids secrete a strong poison that must not get into open wounds

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