The Best Way To Acclimate Fish

So you've brought your new fish home and now need to acclimate it. How do you acclimate fish? Well, fish are as sensitive as humans to sudden changes in water temperature. Have you ever been in a hot shower and had the water turn cold on you? You probably didn't enjoy it. Your new fish may do worse than not enjoy the change in temperature. Disease, ich or death can occur if you don't take the time to acclimate your fish properly. Go slow. It's very easy to do.

acclimate.jpgYou'll first want to distract any other fish you may have in the aquarium by feeding them. Turn off the light in the fish tank and float your bag containing the new fish in the water for a 1/2 hour. Make sure the bag is still tightly sealed! This will slowly acclimate the water in the bag to the water in your fish tank.

The next step is introducing the aquarium water. I've found the best way to do this is by placing the bag in your fish bucket with some of the aquarium water. You can leave it in your fish tank, but watch for jumping fish (I had a yoyo loach leap from the bag on to the floor once!), or a bag that rolls. You don't want to add the pet store water to your aquarium.  (Please note:  I use the fishless cycling technique when initially adding fish.  A reader saw that I had a lot of bags in the picture, and thought I was adding too many at once.)

Add 1/3 of the aquarium water to your bag water. By using the bucket you just dip it in a little. Wait 10 minutes, then add a 1/3 more. After 10 more minutes your new fish should be acclimated. The slower you do this process the better. Take about 45 minutes to an hour when you acclimate saltwater fish. Net the fish and place him in your aquarium.

You've avoided mixing the fish store water with your tank water and the fish is acclimated to his new home.

Blue Tetra

To catch this fast-swimming Blue Tetra, Sakichin had to be quick with the camera. This blue fish, the Boehlkea fredcochui, will grow to only about 1.5 to 2 inches long as an adult. This makes it a great fish to keep in a small aquarium.


It's best to use plenty of plants with the Blue Tetra. They're most comfortable knowing there's a place to hide, and seek cover if needed. The color of the Blue Tetra can best be seen against a dark substrate. If you are just planning your aquarium, you'll want to choose plants, background, and gravel that show your fish off best.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing this fish:

  • Tetra are best kept in groups
  • Belongs to the Characidae family
  • Tank conditions most suitable include 73 - 82°F, pH 6.0 - 8.0
  • Maximum size is 2 inches

The Blue Tetra is an omnivore that will be quite happy eating eats fish flakes or blood worms . Soft acidic water is prefered by this tetra, especially when breeding.

Part of the Characidae family, the tetra has a small adipose fin that makes it different from most other fish. It's believed that the fin is much similar to an appendix in a human. The function is not known.

Stocking the Blue Tetra with fish the same size is best. They would do well with Barbs, Angelfish, Loaches, other Tetras, or non-aggressive fish in the community tank.