Thursday, December 20, 2012

Moving the Angels

This week or next the first four angelfish will be moved to the local pet shop. In speaking to the owner about the process, I learned of another angelfish breeder who seemed to be doing everything wrong.

The water in which the parents are kept must be ideal because angelfish won't breed unless conditions are right. The breeder described his tank water as "green" which could mean he has algae growth. Although algae is not pretty to look at, it is not harmful to the fish and some actually prefer it.

But when the angel babies are prepared to be sold, the breeder fills the plastic bags with water "straight from the tap." When I heard this, I was absolutely horrified. First, the water he was using had chlorine in it - which burns a fish's gills. Second, the temperature would be different; fish are cold-blooded, which means their bodies become the same temperature as the water in which they live. Changing their temperature rapidly means the fish are instantly shocked.

He then transports them or mails them to the pet shops or buyers. It's no wonder his fish have a 100% mortality rate.

The proper way to move fish is to transport them in their own water. If a breeder is embarrassed over his or her water conditions, that is a serious red flag.

Second, something is added to the package (if mailed) to ensure a constant temperature. If they are shipped in the winter months, a heater is added to the box that keeps them from becoming too cold. In the summer months, a small packet of ice might be added inside the box (but not inside the bag) to keep the fish from steaming. In the hottest of days or the coldest of days, many reputable breeders will not ship them.

Fish are shipped by all postal carriers - USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc. They should be shipped overnight to avoid further shocking them in transit.

Tomorrow: what to do when you get your new fish.