Did you know NOT to add water to the bag when you bring home new fish?? That’s right, no water goes into the bag. Float the bag on the water for up to 30 minutes, then lift the fish out and into clean water.
Here’s why: If the fish has spent any length of time in that bag, say 3+ hours, (maybe even 7+ hours if you bought him at a show) then while inside that bag, in the little bit of water with the pure oxygen, sealed by a rubber band, that fish is breathing!
Okay, and the fish’s breathing produces carbon dioxide which combines with the water producing carbonic acid. This in turn reduces the pH and turns the ammonia into harmless ammonium. Great! But when you open the bag, some of the CO2 will escape, causing the pH to begin its rise.
THEN if you add pond water, with its own pH of 7.0 or 8.0, you are in effect returning the ammonia in the bag to its toxic form and burning the fish’s gills, if not outright signing the death certificate for the poor fish.
That fish may live another eight months before dying, so by that time you will be really confused as to what caused this perfectly healthy-looking fish to expire, right? Well, the cause of death was ammonia on the day it arrived at your home. Please don’t blame yourself if you were given the wrong information.
Many people still think that is the right way to acclimate fish. But be forewarned, it is not, and in the end your fish will pay for it. Courtesy of Norm Meck, the water quality expert of the AKCA’s KHA program.
Dechlorinator (sodium thiosulfate) products work great on chlorine! But what about chloramine?
Another thing I learned about chloramine is that it is actually a combined form of chlorine and ammonia. So, when you use a dechlorinator to remove chlorine on water containing chloramine, you will be releasing AMMONIA into the pond! Sooooo, you need to address the ammonia properties along with the chlorine in the new water to avoid a fish kill! MICROBE-LIFT/Dechlorinator Plus and ML/Ammonia Remover will handle chloramines in the water when used together. LaMotte and others have test kits for chloramine. Ecological Laboratories recommends: Measure the chloramine and ammonia levels. If there is greater than 2.0 PPM chloramine, double up on the Ammonia Remover for one day and monitor the ammonia levels for three days adding more ammonia remover as required. Add more Ammonia Remover if the ammonia level in the pond goes above 0.6 PPM.