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Caring for your Angelfish

These instructions provide information about acclimating your fish to their new environment in 5 sections:

1. PREPARING THE RECEIVING TANK

          We suggest that your receiving tank be set up well in advance of receiving
          your Angels (ideally the tank should be conditioned for a minimum of
          3 weeks). We recommend the following ideal water conditions:

pH 6.7 to 7.0 
Total hardness 50-150 ppm as CaCO3
Carbonate Hardness 50-150 ppm as CaCO3
Temperature 79-82 deg F
Ammonia undetectable
Nitrite undetectable.

If pH or hardness are outside these ranges they can be adjusted
as follows:

If hardness and pH are too low they can be easily raised with proprietary products.
If the hardness is too high, it can be lowered by diluting the aquarium water with distilled water or RO water.
If the pH is too high, first lower the hardness which will make it easier to lower the pH

Some hobbyists don't bother to change the aquarium conditions; they just use the water they have. If receiving water conditions are significantly different than recommended in the first paragraph, then carefully follow the instructions in the next section "Acclimating your Angelfish to the Receiving Tank".

2. ACCLIMATING YOUR ANGELFISH TO THE RECEIVING TANK

When you receive your fish, transfer them and their water into a bucket or container. A 3 or 5 gallon bucket is ideal. Ten minutes later start adding small quantities of water from the new receiving tank or starting a slow drip with an airline tube. Loosely knot the airline tube to control flow. Keep adding water until it is at least 50% new receiving water. This will prepare the fish for transfer. Transfer nets should be clean.

You can transfer the fish 20 minutes later. It's better not to add water from the container to your tank! It contains unfiltered waste from the shipping water.

Some customers like to turn off the light and "black out" the tank for several hours so current residents leave the newcomers alone. 

Cleaning nets: Nets can be cleaned by washing with dish soap (physical removal of soiling and bacteria), rinsing thoroughly with hot water (for soap removal and heat kill) and cold water (for chlorine kill) and drying (for dry kill).

3. COLD WEATHER ACCLIMATION

We have success shipping Angelfish when temperatures are as low as in the teens by using heat packs, insulated boxes, and overnight shipping. In cold weather the fish usually arrive warm, but sometimes arrive cold. This may have to do with the location of the box in transportation vehicles, exposure to wind, etc. If they arrive cold, Angelfish sometimes appear sluggish and breathing slowly. If their gills are moving they can recover.

The best thing to do is warm them up right away. Floating the fish bags in a a warm tank warms them up at the right speed. The fish usually revive within half an hour.

4. CHANGING THE AQUARIUM CONDITIONS OVER TIME THROUGH WATER CHANGES

As you know, healthy aquariums need partial water changes to remain healthy. Ideally, 25% water changes should be made weekly. However, if you don't have much time, you can probably get away with 25% water changes twice a month.

If your water conditions are significantly different than recommended and you don't want to keep doing dilutions and pH adjustments, just declorinate your change water and pour it in. Your tank will eventually transition to the local water conditions, and in most cases the Angels will adapt nicely.

5. FEEDING

Offer food as soon as the fish have acclimated to the new tank. They will be hungry. Sometimes they acclimate fast; sometimes it takes longer. You have to cater to your own situation.

Start off with small amounts and then add more if they want it. Suggested foods are

flakes - any and all kinds
frozen brine shrimp
newly hatched baby brine shrimp
color enhanced flake or Cyclopese wafer (to supply cartenoids needed by orange fish)
pellets 
algae wafers (which contain fish meal too)
dried plankton (crumbled)


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