How to Transfer Fish From One Tank to Another

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Transferring fish from one tank to another can be stressful for you and your fish. Water conditions such as temperature, acidity or alkalinity and ammonia levels vary between fish tanks. To reduce stress to fish, it's important to gradually introduce them to different water conditions. Whether transferring fish from one home tank to another, or introducing store-bought fish to their new home, always change 25 to 30 percent of the new tank's water before introducing the fish.

Changing Tank Water

Changing a portion of the new tank's water when transferring fish helps provide the fish with the best possible conditions in their new home.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket that has never had soap in it.
  • Aquarium water treatment tablets.
  • Filtered siphon.

Step 1

Fill a bucket with clean water.

Step 2

Dissolve aquarium water treatment tablets to neutralize the chlorine and other chemicals that are harmful to fish.

Step 3

Wait an hour or two until the water in the bucket has reached the same temperature as the water in the fish tank.

Step 4

Siphon 25 to 30 percent of the water out of the fish tank using a filtered siphon.

Step 5

Pour the treated water in the bucket into the fish tank slowly to avoid disturbing the fish or gravel.

Transferring Fish

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bag.
  • Aquarium net.
  • Clean bucket that has never had soap in it.
  • Clean jug that has never had soap in it.

Step 1

If the fish aren't already in a plastic bag, put them in a bag when you remove them from the first tank, with tank water to cover them.

Step 2

Float the plastic bag containing the fish in the new tank for about 10 minutes.

Step 3

Empty the bag containing the fish and old tank water into the bucket.

Tip

  • If the water in the bucket is too shallow to cover the fish, tip the bucket and securely wedge a book or similar object under one side, so the water and fish lie in the bucket's corner.

Step 4

Scoop water from the new tank with a clean jug, and add the water to the bucket, about every 2 minutes for half an hour. Add about 20 percent of the original amount of water in the bag.

Step 5

Catch the fish with an aquarium net, and put them in the new tank. Discard the water in the bucket.

Acclimating Fish

Fish can take some time to get used to a new tank. Watch your fish closely for the first two or three weeks after transferring them to a new tank, especially if the new tank contains other fish. New fish are sometimes bullied by the original tank fish, or your fish may become stressed or develop diseases.

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