What Do I Do With My New Fish
Once I Get Them Home?
1. Get your fish home as soon as possible. Do NOT leave them in a hot car, the trunk of your car, or in direct sunlight.
2. Float the unopened bag of fish in a shaded portion of your pond until the water temperature in the bag matches that of the pond. This takes approximately 10-15 minutes. If you don't have any shade, cover the bag with a wet towel.
3. Pour out approximately 20% of the water from the bag (discard the water onto the ground, not into your pond), then add the same amount of pond water to the bag. Repeat this procedure five times, once every five minutes. Now the water in the bag should have the same chemical composition (e.g., pH, ammonia level) as the pond water. This step is critical to aid in causing minimal stress to your fish.
4. Gently release the fish into your pond using a small wet net or your wet hands, making sure the fish are disturbed as little as possible. Remember, do not add any of the water from the fish bag to your pond for any reason. New arrivals are often nervous for a few days and they might hide among any plants you have. After a couple of days/weeks, they'll become more active and will start to feed readily.
5. Feed the fish no more than what they eat in a five to ten minute period, once or twice daily, depending on the water temperature. (Refer to our Pond Temperatures handout for more information pertaining to fish feeding in relation to water temperature).