Preparing For Your New Goldfish

In this article, we will be going over the stages we recommend for preparation of receiving goldfishes. 


Quarantining new fish means to keep them in an independent system, completely separated from the pond or tank. It is ALWAYS recommended to quarantine all new fish, no matter where the source comes from. It's not that his goldfish are sick, but the stress will weaken their ability to fight off any infections or outbreaks. You would be putting your other fish at risk if not separating them. It is recommended to quarantine for a minimum of 7 days before introducing the new fish to your primary pond or Aquarium. Please let the fish rest a few days before starting any treatment.

Today, goldfishes comes from many sources such as Thailand, China, Taiwan, and USA. If new goldfishes are introduced into the same fish tank which already has other goldfishes, sometimes the bacteria mixes and one or more of the goldfish may become sick as a result. Apart from that, when two independently healthy goldfish are mixed together, one may become sick in the process. Often times goldfish will have a resistance to the bacteria they carry in small amounts and it may not make them sick unless they become stressed. At such a scenario, they may be overcome with the bacteria they carry.

It is recommended that when carrying out quarantine to first of all have their own equipment, such as tank/tub, nets, sponge filter for a minimum time of 7 days to avoid cross contamination. You should clean the quarantine tank either first or last and ensure you wash your hands and arms between the process of cleaning the quarantine tank and your other existing tanks


Adequate space should be provided based on the goldfish's size. If you don't have an aquarium, you can use a plastic storage bin. You would fill it, and add sponge filter with Aeration. Setting up the water prior to receiving is more beneficial and will give time for the water to age.

When you first receive the fish they should be placed in a tank that has salt at concentration of 1 – 2 tablespoons /10 gallons. This helps them deal with stress  


There are a few steps that you have to take for proper acclimation.
1. After you tear open your shipping box with excitement, you want to grab your bag (WITHOUT opening it at this point) and place the bag in the tank.
2. After the bag is placed in the tank, it should float there for 15-20 minutes. The goal is to get the temperature in the bag as close as aquarium temperature to prevent shock.
3. When both temperatures match you can then proceed to add aquarium water in to the bag. Slowly start adding tank water into the bag. 1 cup per 5 minutes is a good rate. Repeat 3 to 4 times.  Leave the fish in the bag for another 15 minutes in the mixture of both waters.
4. You may then remove with fish from the bag either with soft net or bare hands. If you're going to grab it with your hands, make sure you wash your hands before handling the fish.
5. After removing the fish, you may dispose of the bag AND water. DO NOT place bagged water in your aquarium.
If your fish do appear stressed while in the shipping bag, you should forego floating the bag, and instead move on to introducing the fish into your tank.  Signs of stress include gasping for air with the mouth above the water, inability to remain upright, and overall lethargy and sluggishness.
When the fish arrives, please leave them alone and turn off the aquarium light. 
After your fish are added to the tank, they may initially display some unusual behavior.  This can include:

  • Lying down on the bottom
  • Swimming quickly toward the surface of the water and momentarily poking their mouth above the surface of the water, then darting back down below
  • Swimming rapidly around the surface of the water with their mouth protruding above the surface

All of these are normal behaviors seen as a result of the stress involved in the shipping process.  Provided that your water parameters are correct, this behavior should subside rather quickly. Even if none of this unusual behavior is seen in your new fish, it will still take considerable time for them to become completely acclimated with their new surroundings. 
Often it can take a number of days, possibly as long as a week, before new fish begin eating.  This is normal, and fish have no problems going a few days without food. If its below 50 degrees F, please refrain from feeding Goldfish. Please let them rest at least 48 hours before feeding. Let them rest and recover first. When they are actively swimming you can feed them a minimal amount with soaked pellets (1-2 Pellets a fish), or gel food. Continue this for 2 day, then increase the amount of food gradually. 

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