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Transporting fish from one place to another is not an adventure to be taken lightly. Much goes into a smooth introduction of fish into a new pond as well as the process of getting them there.

If you are purchasing fish from a local pet store, the fish should be put in a plastic bag filled with pure oxygen. Ask if the provider has a stress-treatment that can be squirted in the bag. If the transportation will be a lengthy endeavor, consider putting the fish in a bucket with an air-pump or be prepared to splash the water every so often to allow the water to stay aerated.

Keeping the fish in a cool and dark place while transporting is important as this will lower stress for the fish. Keeping an ice-pack under the bag will slow the metabolism and awareness of the fish while slowing their need for oxygen.

Once you’ve made it to your destination, you’re only half way there. Letting the fish into their new habitat immediately will cause immense stress and can possibly be fatal. Start by placing the plastic bag in the pond to be floated for 10-15 minutes. If it’s a sunny day, place a towel over the bag to protect the fish from direct sunlight. Adding a teaspoon of dissolved salt will also help to alleviate stress. After the first 10-15 minutes (longer if the fish were transported with ice) add a little bit of the pond water into the bag and continue to float the bag for another 10-15 minutes. A lengthy transition yes, but it will make all the difference in assuring the health and happiness of your fish.

At this time you are ready to introduce your fish into the pond. Gently untie the bag and allow the fish to swim out. If you went the route of introducing the pond water into a bucket instead of floating it, be sure to wet your hands before picking up the fish and placing them in the water. For bigger fish, it’s a good idea to use gloves or a net to avoid injury to yourself or the fish.

It is a good idea to keep an eye on the new fish after their transition because fish, especially Koi, are known for jumping up and sometimes out of the pond. If you have a pond cover, place it over the pond for a couple of hours or a day to keep the fish from jumping. New fish will usually stay at the bottom of the pond while they recover and gets accustomed to their new surroundings.

Lastly, feed fish sparingly for the next few days to allow time to recover and also because you will find they are not particularly hungry at first.

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