RAIN GARDEN GOLDFISH
.... FROM THE BREEDER'S HAND DIRECTLY TO YOUR DOOR.
ACCLIMATING YOUR NEW FISH
We put a lot of effort into making sure your new fish is healthy when it leaves here. Each is given a health check-up and closely observed for several days before shipping. If we find any evidence of parasites or disease, you will be given the option of canceling your order or postponing the shipment until it can be treated and cured. We pack fish very lightly to avoid stress during the shipping process. Unpacking instructions will be included in the box.
When you receive your new goldfish, it should be placed in quarantine for two to four weeks. During this time, your new Rain Garden goldfish should not be exposed to other fish or the water of other fish (except as described below). Like you, I and every animal, goldfish can live comfortably in the presence of potential pathogens which we/they have developed an immunity to. However, your old fish may be immune to strains of opportunistic pathogens which your new fish have never been exposed to. So, there should be a quarantine period before your new goldfish are introduced to your old goldfish.
The quarantine tank, pond or tub should provide at least ten to twenty gallons per fish. The more space there is, the easier the quarantine process will be for you and your fish. If there is inadequate space, either you will be forced to do larger and more frequent water changes, or the fish will be exposed to poor water quality.
Do not start with a tank which has housed other fish. It should either have been bone dry for a month or so, or disinfected before preparing to quarantine new arrivals. After cleaning out any debris or sludge, the tank can be disinfected using two tablespoons of household bleach (e.g. Clorox) per gallon or water (one cup per ten gallons). Use enough of the chlorine solution to coat all surfaces and then let it stand for ten minutes before rinsing. Rinse well and use a water conditioner or chlorine removal product to make sure there is no residual.
If you are using a biological filter, do a "fishless cycle" using household ammonia. An Internet search for "fishless cycle" will yield numerous descriptions of the process. Some prefer to use a commercial product containing nitrifying bacteria to jump-start the process, but it is not necessary. Remember, when you add your new goldfish to the tank, the beneficial bacteria in the filter will have to adjust their numbers in response to the changing feed input. So, even if the filter is "cycled" the system will have to establish a new balance. It's an ecosystem down there. Expect to have to do larger and more frequent water changes than usual to compensate for the imbalance.
Water changes alone can be used to maintain excellent water quality during the quarantine process. People have been successfully keeping goldfish since before the invention of filters, test kits, packaged nitrifying bacteria, electricity and all the rest. In general, the more water exchange the better during the quarantine process. Fifty percent every day or every other day usually works fine if you have fifteen gallons per fish. One hundred percent per day is not too much. If you can measure even a trace of ammonia or nitrite, or if the water becomes cloudy, then you should be changing more water. You will find that the amount of water that needs to be exchanged declines over time. If you are using water from a public utility (as opposed to having your own well) then you will need to use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines.
Feed your new fish very sparingly. Many, if not most, problems experienced in the first few weeks can be attributed to feeding practices. The fish will have built up energy reserves before you receive it and it will not starve to death. A hungry goldfish is a healthy goldfish.
If the plan is to move your goldfish to other quarters which already contains fish, then start getting them used to the microbes slowly. In the second or third week, add a small amount of water from the other fish tank/pond to the quarantine tank. As days pass and everything is going well, keep adding water from the other tank in ever larger quantities. When the fish itself is finally moved, the new surrounding will "smell" like home.
I have to say that many customers do not do any of this stuff. Upon arrival, they just put their new fish straight into a tank or pond with their old fish. It usually works fine, but you do so at your own risk. Proper quarantine will substantially reduce the likelihood that something unpleasant happens.
To jump to the goldfish show room, click on the variety links below.
49-041 Kamehameha Highway
Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744 USA