Acclimate your new Arrival
Most of you have bought fish at the local fish store (LFS) and had some helpful employee remind you to float the bag for half an hour when you get home. There are some people that come out of the sauna and jump into an icy lake. And there are some that die from the shock to their system. Nothing makes more of an impression than when you mess up and you lose one of your precious lovelies!
Some breeders keep their fish in RO water, some do not. Even if the breeder raised the fish in the local water supply, you should know that the local water supply in your location is more than likely a lot different from the local water supply where the shipment came from.
Fish that have been netted, stuffed in a little bag, packed inside a dark box and not fed for a few days have suffered a lot of stress. Do your best to not add to a bad situation. Your water will be a different temperature, hardness, pH, etc.
Prepare the water you will need 24 hours before the shipment arrives. Add all the things you normally use for a water change, a pinch of salt, a drop of aquasol, etc.
When they arrive, unpack them carefully. Transfer your new prize and the water that came with it into a small clean empty container. Do this over an aquarium or a bucket of water, not over the toilet or garbage disposal. Accidents happen. I don’t want to drop my new prize on the floor and I prefer not to hunt for them in the toilet or garbage disposal. Now is a good time to test and record the water from the shipment. If the breeder was successful with this water chemistry you might consider matching it. Remember, many shippers do not feed their fish for 24 hours before they pack and ship them. Now would be a good time to offer a small treat. It’s easy to add more, it hard to take the excess out.
Now, add your water. No mater how much water came in the shipment, add less than half of the amount that is in the jar. Pour it in slowly and let it slide down the side of the jar (like beer in a cold mug). Try not to disturb your prize. Wait at least an hour before you do it again, and again. When the little jar is full, carefully transfer the contents to the final destination and continue adding water every hour until you finally have the desired level in the desired container.
Remember that stress relates to a chink in the body’s armor, so pre-meds are a good idea, and a close daily exam is the rule.