Before you even begin to acclimate your new fish to your pond you need to test the water to ensure that your pond is clean and safe for them. There are two major things you want to test for: Ammonia and pH. The pH level of your pond should be 7.0, and there shouldn't be any ammonia in your pond when introducing new fish. If you have ammonia in your pond, add Pond-Care Ammo-Lock to detoxify it. Continue testing the ammonia level to ensure it has reached zero before you add any fish. If this is a new pond, and you have used town water to fill it, be sure to use Pond-Care Chlorine & Heavy Metal Neutralizer to make the pond safe for your fish.
Once your pond is safe and you're ready to bring your fish home, follow these 7 steps to ensure that they get off to the best possible start in their new environment.
1.) Get your fish home quickly, keep them in a shady spot in the car so the sun doesn’t raise the temperature in the bag.
2.) Once home, float the bag in the water for about 15 minutes. This will allow your fish to get acclimated to the temperature of your pond.
3.) After 15 minutes add 1/3 of the amount of water in the bag from the pond into your bag, then leave the bag floating for another 15 minutes.
4.) Repeat step three 2 more times, waiting 15 minutes between each addition of pond water.
5.) After adding water to the bag 3 times wait another 15 minutes and then take your fish out of the bag and put them in your pond.
6.) Remove the bag from the pond. Never empty the water from the bag into your pond!
7.) Add Stress Coat to your pond to help ease the stress of both your new and old fish.