Sea Life

How Long to Quarantine New Fish

how long to quarantine new fish

People purchase different types and species of fish in different ways like shopping traditionally from a pet store or buying online from a website. The fish kept as pets are normally small fish like betta fish, tetra fish, guppies etc. It is generally believed that whenever you buy a new fish, it should be kept separately and under observation. This lets the fish owners understand the health and nature of the fish very well. Normally, the fish should be kept in quarantine for “two to four weeks”.

Why do we Need to Quarantine New Fish?

When you purchase a new fish from a nearby pet store or you order the fish online, there is a higher chance that the fish can get sick when you add the fish to the aquarium present at your home. A more concerning fact is that the new fish if it is prone to getting sick, can infect the fish that already exist in the water tank. 

If you have purchased the fish from a store you trust that they have healthy fish then it is okay to not be so concerned about isolating the fish but still it is encouraged to isolate the fish for some time. But if you have ordered the fish from an online source or a pet store you cannot guarantee that they have the healthy fish, it is important to keep the pet in isolation and observe their behaviour during this period of isolation.

How to Decide the Time Period of Quarantine for a New Fish?

For the fish that is newly introduced in the house, almost two to four weeks are enough for the quarantine period. However, if the fish gets sick during the quarantine period and does not recover within these four weeks, you can extend the isolation of that fish to the time when it gets fit and healthy.

The isolation tank also needs equal care to the aquarium that contains the other fish. The tank that contains the new fish only needs to have a filter that can refresh the water when needed because dirty water can make the fish sick even if it is not already sick. Moreover, there must be a proper temperature control system in the isolation fish tank. And, if the fish shows some symptoms in the quarantine period that are not normal and that might be an indication of an illness or a disease, you need to provide the fish with proper medication.

Some species of fish are naturally prone to sickness and diseases which makes quarantine or the isolation very important. But, if you find your fish happy and healthy in the separate water tank for more than two weeks, you can take it out and introduce it to the other fish in the aquarium.

Moreover, the idea of quarantine is not just restricted to the new fish whenever you observe strange behaviour of any of the fish present in the aquarium, you need to get it out from there and put it into a separate container and provide it with proper medication for almost two to three weeks depending upon the symptoms and behaviour of the fish.

The Bottom Line

Normally, the quarantine of the new fish needs to be “two to four weeks” long. If the fish looks healthy during the quarantine period, it is safe to put it in the aquarium and introduce it to the other fish within two weeks but if the fish show some symptoms of illness, you should extend the period of quarantine by understanding the nature of their illness and should provide proper care and treatment until it becomes completely able to interact with the other fish.

About the author

Hadia Atiq

A Writer passionate about learning and spreading the knowledge of sea life. I like to spread the knowledge of different types and species of fish and other aquatic creatures.