Adding fish - The proper way


New member
So I've been rather unsuccessful in adding new fish to my tank so I thought I'd ask before I go out and get more fishes only to have them die a couple of days later.

A little bit of background, my previous tank exploded (cracked) and flooded my house 2 months back so I had an opportunity to "restart" with a new tank. I now have a 4x2x2ft tank and it was started on the 19th of October 2020. Tank is now cycled, and I have also added couple of corals in it and they seem to be doing fine.

Tank parameters are
Salinity - 1.025
Ammo - 0
No2 - 0
No3 - 2ppt
dKH - 9.5
Ph - 8.3
Calc - 430
Mag - 1420
Phos - 0.1ppm

Tank is currently having a Cyano outbreak but a manageable one.

I'm still dosing Microbe Lift Special Blend weekly, and Polyp Lab medic as a preventive measure.

So I've recently started adding fish, only to have most of it die off within 3 to 5 days.

What have died so far - 2 clowns, Yellow Tang, Blue Tang, Algae Blennny, Mandarin Dragonnets. Scopas Tang

Whats surviving so far - Purple Tang, Lopez Tang, a shrimp, a hermit crab, yellow tail tamarind.

Ps. if introduced live tigger pods to the tank

I'm always puzzled when I wake up in the morning and find some fish dead. They seemingly die at night when lights are out.

I couldn't really figure out why. Parameters seems ok. Parasites? Idk.

Usually when I add fish in, I'll do a freshwater dip. I'm always very nervous when doing a freshwater dip and dip max 1 minute before introducing it into the DT

Question is, what's the best way to introduce a fish into the tank, assuming a QT is out of the question.

Is it to
Floating bag to match temp - drip acclimatise, fw dip, then straight into DT

Or should I fw dip first only acclimatise?

Or am I missing out anything? I really want to make sure I'm doing it right. Having fish die all the time is quite demotivating. [emoji3061]

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Moving on Up
Question is are you getting healthy fish to begin with? Sounds like you are not doing a quarantine so you are definitely taking a chance. Now that you have added fish that haven't been quarantined you very well could have a parasite in the tank. My suggestion is make sure the fish your getting are extremely healthy. Healthy fish have a better chance of fighting parasites off. Where do you purchase fish? Take a look at TSM aquatics. All fish are treated and properly eating before they are sold makes things a lot easier.

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Moving on Up
What I do when I get a new fish is place it in a 5 gallon bucket and drop for about an hour or more then place them in the tank.

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Vinny Kreyling

Premium Member
Sounds like you need to wake up around 2-5 AM & search the tank with a flashlight. Dying overnight sounds like a red flag to me.


New member
Hmmm, ive never fresh water dipped any of my fish & i never acclimate over 30 min tops, never had one die or get sick done this way. I don't do drip its too slow, instead knowing the source water salinity i pre-mix new saltwater to match then put the fish immediately in the new, clean toxins free water, now i have plenty of time to start adding DT water to it to match. Just seems the common sense way to me im a bit stumped more do not do this?
I agree 100% on only buy fish that are medicated beforehand from a store you trust or a good online retailer that states so, especially if not doing a QT.

Dragonnets are a bad idea on a new tank they will starve if they do not die of something else like freshwater dipping etc. Can only survive in a large established DT with a lot of live rock.

Tangs are ick magnets & they stress out so easily it is not funny, you will never read that it is a good idea to put them in a tank just cycled, a large mature tank absolutely.

All of the above i have witnessed on others tanks that were rushed so just stating what i have witnessed not spanking here.