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Acclimatizing fish

2 years ago

2 min read

Acclimatizing fish into new tanks can be a highly stressful process for fish, particularly the actual transport from one location to another in bags or small tanks (Figure 7.13). It is important to try to remove as many stressful factors as possible that can cause fatality in new fish. There are two main factors that cause stress when acclimatizing fish: changes in temperature and pH between the original water and new water; these must be kept to a minimum.


The pH of the culture water and transport water should ideally be tested. If the pH values are more than 0.5 different, then the fish will need at least 24 hours to adjust. Keep the fish in a small aerated tank of their original water and slowly add water from the new tank over the course of a day. Even if the pH values of the two environments are fairly close, the fish still need to acclimatize. The best method to do this is to slowly allow the temperature to equilibrate by floating the sealed transportation bags containing the fish in the culture water. This should be done for at least 15 minutes. At this time small amounts of water should be added from the culture water to the transport water with the fish. Again, this should take at least 15 minutes so as to slowly acclimatize the fish. Finally, the fish can be added to the new tank.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2014, Christopher Somerville, Moti Cohen, Edoardo Pantanella, Austin Stankus and Alessandro Lovatelli, Small-scale aquaponic food production, Reproduced with permission.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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