Transfering fish question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Transfering fish question

Okay so my main tank is co2 injected and therefor has a drop in PH from all my other tanks. I want to transfer my fish from my other tank to my main tank. How should I do this? If I add water from my main tank into the tank with fish that I want in the main tank, will my filter not gas off the co2 and raise my PH? This defeating the purpose? How do I go about transferring them?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 09:24 AM
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I would do a drip acclimation, as long as you keep the surface agitation to a minimal (i.e. keep the drip line close to surface of the water), you should minimize CO2 loss.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 11:52 AM
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A drip acclimation would be good. I've been a little more aggressive and used a shot glass acclimation. Add a shot of destination water to the transfer container, wait one minute, add another shot. When full, pour off half and repeat the process.

From what I've read, pH may not be the most important thing to watch. There are some claims that the idea of pH shock is not pH at all. It is really TDS shock.

I would try to get your tanks as close as possible in GH, KH, and TDS.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 12:59 PM
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I haven't heard of pH shock actually being TDS shock. Something I will look into.

But yes OP, I would do as Darkblade48 mentioned with the drip acclimation, that way you don't have much surface agitation so the co2 content and pH levels stay closer to the main tanks' levels. Not sure how long the acclimation time should last (the more significant water params, the longer acclimation), but I just go with my gut feeling (with some basic understanding of course, 10 minutes isn't nearly long enough)
Just make sure to check on the acclimating fish (depends how many in what size container) every so often to check that they are all getting enough oxygen (since surface agitation would be very limited).
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 01:16 PM
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For transfer of fishes from one tank to another (especially from my non-CO2 quarantine tank to my CO2 planted tanks) I have a one foot high bucket fitted with a tap on the side 2 inches from the bottom. The inside bottom of the bucket has a layer of 1cm dia glass marbles stuck to each other with silicon paste. I would put the minimum amount of the water from the tank of fishes needed to be transferred and then put the fishes into the bucket with the tap closed and the screen lid on. I then float it in the tank they are being transferred to and open the tap to allow the bucket to sink slowly. I let the bucket settle in the new tank and wait for some time before adding the fishes to their new home.

All water parameters - ph, kh, gh, TDS, temperature, solutes present, even scents available - all gradually will change from their past tank position to that of their new home leaving only memories.

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.

Last edited by essabee; 10-03-2015 at 01:26 PM. Reason: add
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 01:21 PM
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I don't do anything. Just move them. Its always been my understanding that the pH difference is not an issue from the co2 like it would be from hard water to soft, etc.. Never had a problem.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 02:48 PM
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I do not know and have no way of knowing if "ph shock", or "TDS shock" or "temperature shock" really occur. I do know that quite a number of fishes are lost during their settling-in period.

What I can see is that the fishes do get traumatized when they are netted - their colours fade and do not return for quite some time, also they have a tendency to hide when released and their movements are not free. Further observation is that in their new tank they are subjected to curiosity of the other inhabitants some of whom even peck at the new-comers.

If the new fishes get a chance of gently being introduced to their new environment and being given some time to come out of their netting trauma in the isolation of the bucket wouldn't it be better for them, and easier for them to settle into their new tank? I would continue with my transfer bucket method described couple of posts here above - I feel I owe my pets that much.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by essabee View Post
I do not know and have no way of knowing if "ph shock", or "TDS shock" or "temperature shock" really occur. I do know that quite a number of fishes are lost during their settling-in period.

What I can see is that the fishes do get traumatized when they are netted - their colours fade and do not return for quite some time, also they have a tendency to hide when released and their movements are not free. Further observation is that in their new tank they are subjected to curiosity of the other inhabitants some of whom even peck at the new-comers.

If the new fishes get a chance of gently being introduced to their new environment and being given some time to come out of their netting trauma in the isolation of the bucket wouldn't it be better for them, and easier for them to settle into their new tank? I would continue with my transfer bucket method described couple of posts here above - I feel I owe my pets that much.

You are catching on! Nice to see that you are aware and observant! It seems most people don't take note of all the stressors applied to fish.


Whether pH shock, TDS shock, temp shock, etc., everything boils down to one thing, that being stress. It can be a little bit of a multitude of different stress factors that can ultimately lead to a fish dying, which is witnessed in fish dying during acclimation or even transport.


So just think of the travels and everything the fish goes through to get to your home and just look at all the stress building up on the fish. Even things such as lighting, people presence, vibrations, o2 levels, so so many things that are indeed stressors to the fish. And the things you mentioned (netting fish and the chase, fish getting to a new environment, other fish staring at it or messing with it while it is in a vulnerable state/stressed, etc). There is only so much stress a fish can take, everything adds up. Of course toxic levels in their water is a major stressor as well. Best thing to do for best success is to minimize as many stressors as possible. Of course fish aren't THAT fragile, but they surely could use some help.

Temp. shock is definitely a real thing, but depends on the how healthy the fish is, stress free even. Again a weakened/stressed fish can't take as much "shock" (stress) as a fish who is healthier/already acclimated/settled in. Although healthy fish are definitely more tolerant of instant temp changes then they are given credit for.
I haven't looked into pH shock or TDS shock, so I can't say for sure, but sounds like they can be factors just as well.


Just had to commend you for taking observations and thinking proactively.
But as for your current plan for acclimating, it can be revised and done in better ways. The desensitizing to new environment isn't really necessary unless you have aggressive fish (cichlid owners have used "kritter cages" so the new fish is safe from attacks from other fish, but still can be seen so they can become acquainted and the new fish can "check out" it's new environment). Just gentle acclimation to water params is enough, but more shaded hiding spots are definitely a plus (or turn off lights). I am sure you can figure things out.


Cheers!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 05:38 PM
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Fish can have problems when they are moved from a "no CO2" tank to a "CO2 added" tank.

If the GH, TDS and KH are the same, there is still sometimes problems. If there is any way of adding CO2 to the quarantine tank for a few days (perhaps a yeast/sugar set up) to introduce the fish to CO2 this could help.

The fish keepers that I know, who use pressurized CO2 do not simply take fish home and add them to the tank. I think a lot of them use drip acclimation when it is time to move the fish to the main tank. I do not know the level of CO2 in their tanks, or if they have added any CO2 to the quarantine tank ahead of time.

Yes, TDS shock (problems with osmotic regulation) is very real. If the GH, TDS and KH are not well matched, then the fish can indeed have problems in the new tank. These values should be within 10% of the quarantine tank if the level in the main tank is lower (softer water), and within 15% of the quarantine tank is the level in the main tank is higher (harder water). This is easy to do: While the fish are in quarantine, do water changes that will gradually shift the parameters to match the main tank. Over several weeks, the fish can safely acclimate to the new TDS.
pH is not a totally unimportant water parameter. However, if the GH, TDS and KH are in the right range the pH is likely to also be in the right range, though it may not match, but is not a problem for the fish. Fish can handle much more change in the pH than they can in TDS levels.

I like Essabee's method of acclimating fish. I have tried drip acclimation, but it seems the bucket gets cold. So I have usually done the 'shot glass' method- small amounts frequently added while the bag floats in the tank to stabilize the temperature.
Essabee- I am going to set up a little bucket like you describe!
To control the water flow into the bucket- a drip irrigation emitter, or a bit of air tubing with a knot tied in it.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Okay. Thanks for all the help guys and gals!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 01:00 AM
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I use the drip method. The initial rate of drips dependent on how much water the fish are in. Then I slowly increase the drip rate, removing water from the container as needed.

The difference in TDS between the water the fish were in, to the water the fish are going to determines how long the process takes. I've spent 2 hours acclimatizing fish in this manner. Towards the end of the process, the drip valve is full open ensuring temperature is also matched, which has the added benefit of reducing the original water concentration to all but nothing (keep emptying the container as needed).

Empty excess water from the container, then slowly lower the container into the tank at an angle, allowing more tank water to enter the container, and the fish to join the tank as they see fit.

Feel free to edit.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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Can I do a 50% water change in my hospital tank, then turn off the sponge filter, and add water slowly from my display tank when the display tank is pearling and has excess oxygen? Thus alleviating the need for service agitation?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
To control the water flow into the bucket- a drip irrigation emitter, or a bit of air tubing with a knot tied in it.
Why not one of those regulators available for airflow distribution from aerator pumps?

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Why not one of those regulators available for airflow distribution from aerator pumps?
Because I have boxes full of drip irrigation parts, and many, many feet of air tubing.

But very few of those regulators, and I actually haven't seen them in a while (I do not usually run air pumps). They are probably at the bottom of a box, out of sight, out of reach.
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