Welcome to the wonderful world of fishkeeping!

If you're new to this hobby, you may wonder about the best way to buy your fish. While visiting a local fish store is a popular choice, there's another option that offers convenience and a wide selection: buying aquarium fish online. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the whole sale process step by step, ensuring your fish arrive safely and thrive in their new home without any need for previous fish-keeping experience.

Benefits of Buying Fish Online

Purchasing marine and tropical fish online comes with several advantages that make it an appealing choice for both seasoned enthusiasts and beginners alike. Here are a few reasons why buying fish online can be a great option:

  1. Selection: Online retailers often offer a broader range of species compared to local stores. This means you have a better chance of finding the specific marine and tropical fish you desire for your aquarium.
  2. Convenience: With just a few clicks, you can browse a vast collection of fish from the comfort of your home and have them at your door in just a few days. Online shopping eliminates the need to travel long distances, saving you time, effort, expense and travel.
  3. Health and Quality Assurance: Online fish stores take extra care to ensure the health and well-being of their fish. We have stringent quality control measures in place, reducing the risk of introducing diseases or parasites into your aquarium and ensuring fish are kept comfortable with extra measures, such as heat packs for tropical fish if needed.
  4. Information and Reviews: Online retailers provide detailed information about each fish species, including their care requirements, compatibility, and behaviour. Additionally, you can read reviews from other customers to gain insights into the quality of the fish and the store's service.

What are the differences between marine fish, tropical fish and coldwater freshwater fish?

There are three main types of fish to consider when buying online, marine, tropical and freshwater fish. Marine fish are suitable for saltwater aquariums and marine environments; they are often the most challenging to keep as they need specific water quality and chemistry. Buy tropical fish online (such as Plecos) for warm freshwater aquariums; you can often stock these tanks with a full range of plants as well as brightly coloured fish. Finally, coldwater freshwater fish are suitable for an unheated aquarium. These fish often require less attention and are easier to manage.

Adding New Fish To Your Aquarium

1. Turn off Aquarium Lighting and Reduce Room Lighting

Before you start acclimating your new fish, it's crucial to create a calm and stress-free environment for them. Begin by turning off the aquarium lighting and reducing the room lighting as much as possible. Close the curtains or blinds to minimise external disturbances. This dim environment will help ease the transition for your fish.

2. Open Box/Packaging Carefully

Once your fish package arrives, handle it with care. Open the box gently, ensuring you don't damage any bags or containers inside. It's important to avoid sudden movements or loud noises during this process, as they can startle the fish.

3. Check for Visual Signs of Health

Take a visual assessment of the fish in their sealed bags. Healthy fish should appear active, have clear eyes, and display vibrant colours. Look out for any signs of distress, such as laboured breathing, unusual behaviour, or visible injuries (most of the time, fish will be naturally docile and less vibrant for a while after a move). If you notice anything concerning, contact the store or seller immediately.

4. Float the Bags Unopened

To help your fish acclimate to the water temperature in your aquarium, float the sealed bags unopened for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the temperature range of the room and the season. This step allows the fish to gradually adjust to the water temperature.

5. Pierce and Float the Bags

Gently pierce the top of the bag close to the seal using a pair of scissors. Roll down the top of the bag, ensuring it remains partially filled with air and then begin mixing water.

6. Gradual Water Mixing

While the bags are floating, you have two options for acclimating your fish to the new water conditions. You can either add about 25mm of water from your tank into the bag every 5 minutes for 25 to 30 minutes or place the fish in a plastic container and mix the water in the same way. This gradual water mixing helps the fish adjust to the water chemistry in your aquarium.

7. Net and Release the Fish

Instead of adding the bag water directly to your tank, gently net the fish from the bags and place them directly into your aquarium. Avoid adding the water from the bag as it may be contaminated with waste produced in transport. Once the fish are in the tank, leave the lights off for at least 2 to 3 hours to allow them to settle and adjust to their new surroundings.

8. Monitor Closely and Check for Feeding and Bullying

It's important to keep a close eye on your new arrivals, particularly in the first 24 to 72 hours. Observe their behaviour, check for signs of feeding, and ensure there is no bullying or aggression from other tank inhabitants. This monitoring period allows you to intervene promptly if any issues arise, ensuring the well-being of your fish.

In conclusion, buying aquarium fish online can be a convenient and exciting way to expand your underwater world. By following these step-by-step instructions, you'll give your fish the best chance to acclimate successfully and thrive in their new home. Remember to always provide proper care and maintenance to keep your aquatic friends happy and healthy. Happy fish keeping!

If you would like to explore Swell's Marine Livestock range, you can shop a wide selection of Marine fish UK delivery, including gorgeous Angel fish, Clown fish and Blennies. We also offer a wide selection of test kits and treatments to help you ensure your water chemistry is the best it can be.